Healthy Snacks to Keep You Lean
Portability, convenience, and taste: that sums up the perfect snacks. How do you combine all 3 and keep your physique while also having a life and taking a vacation? This is the piece for those who aren’t consumed by fitness. It may be your lifestyle but you understand how to have fun and live a balanced life while enjoying it.
1. Overnight Oats
Overnight oats are essentially the fitness equivalent of granola bars. While they’re not new per se, they’re becoming more and more popular within the health fitness sector given their nutritive value along with the easy and preparation and portability. Here’s what you’ll need:
1/2 Cup oats
1 Scoop chocolate Beast Protein
2 Tbsp chia/hemp seeds
1/2 Cup Greek yogurt (I use less protein when I add GY)
2 Tbsp of cocoa
1-2 Servings of frozen/fresh fruit
Liberal amounts of cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Toss all the ingredients into a Tupperware container and mix thoroughly – add water until you reach your desired consistency. Toss the container in the fridge overnight and the oats will slowly absorb the water and soften.
PRO TIP: If you like your oats a little runny, you can opt for more water and no Greek yogurt. However, I prefer them a little thicker so I typically use less water and more Greek yogurt.
In the morning, you’ll have a convenient breakfast option or even a midday snack. Easy to prepare and easy to transport – best of both worlds!
When I work with clients face-to-face or online, one of the first quick breakfast or snack options I typically recommend is a smoothie, NOT a protein shake.
Well, I’m finding that more and more within the fitness industry we have this silent epidemic of gut dysfunction and protein shakes can certainly contribute to preexisting issues.
Smoothies are great alternative as they usually contain a few ingredients, which necessitate chewing. This is the crucial piece of the puzzle that’s missing with protein shakes – gulp and swallow as opposed to bite and chew.
If you’re not too familiar with the gastrointestinal system, digestion essentially begins in the mouth when you start chewing via something known as salivary amylase. As you chew, this sends a signal from your brain to your stomach to begin secreting hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes, and bile to assist in the digestion of your meal.
However, many people are bypassing the first step in the digestion process when they default to protein shakes with only liquid.
You can reduce the chance of corresponding GI distress with protein shakes by simply switching to smoothies, which include a chewable element (nuts, shredded coconut, frozen fruit, etc).
Here’s one of my favorite recipes:
1 Frozen Banana
A Cup Chocolate Almond Milk
1 Scoop Beast Protein
2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 Tbsp Hemp or Chia Seeds
1 Cup Frozen Spinach
2 Tbsp Almond Butter
Toss it all in a blender and pulse to your desired consistency. Don’t forget to chew a bit though!
3. Beef Jerky
I have yet to meet a male who didn’t like beef jerky.
But females on the other hand – you all are a tough crowd sometimes. But, nonetheless, there is an easy solution to this problem: simply make your own and flavor it the way you like.
I used to have a coworker who would wait until sirloin went on sale at the grocery store and then she would clean house and buy up most of what they had to freeze for later. She had her own dehydrator and would often bring new flavor options and jerky recipes she was working on.
Hey, I certainly wasn’t complaining because homemade beef jerky is 1,000 times better than what you get in the store.
Best of all, you get to control what it tastes like. Not only that, dehydrators don’t require you to sit over a stove for hours on end.
Toss your meat in a marinade for a couple hours (or simply season to taste) and then throw in the dehydrator for a few more hours.
Way cheaper, much tastier, and individualized exactly to your taste buds.
4. No Bake Protein Balls
Sometimes protein powder is a pain. It sticks to your fingers, get everywhere, and ends up clumpy when you mix it. Enter the protein ball. These are portable, easy to make and cost effective. Here’s what you’ll need:
2 Scoops Beast Protein
3/4 Cup cashews
1/2 Cup rolled oats
2 Tbsp Peanut/almond butter (PB2 works also as a low-calorie alternative)
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips
Pinch of salt
Blend all the dry ingredients (cashews, protein powder, oats, cocoa powder, salt) until they resemble a finely mixed powder. Add the honey, peanut/almond butter, and mini chocolate chips, and mix by hand until the batter begins to take on a “sticky” texture.
NOTE: You may need to add a touch of water from time to time to improve the texture of the batter. Adding 1-2 Tbsp at a time is usually the best strategy to ensure it doesn’t get too runny.
You’ll most likely need a food processor or a heavy-duty blender in order to make these but the final steps can be processed by hand if you prefer your chocolate chips to be whole.
On the plus side, these can be put in the freezer if need be.
5. Fruit and Protein “Dip”
Did you know that you can turn protein powder into peanut butter or caramel sauce? Well, maybe not the same flavor but you can mimic the texture at least.
I began to experiment with this when I was making endless peanut butter sandwiches back in my college days. I got tired of carrying around protein shakes with my sandwiches, so instead I would simply mix up the protein and spread it on the bread along with the peanut butter.
Turns out, most protein powders contain thickening agents such as xantham or guar gum which help to enhance the palatability (i.e. “mouth feel”) of certain products. Typically powders advise you use 6-8 oz. of water to make a shake. Well, if you use 3-4 Tbsp of water and progressively mix, the powder will dissolve and you’ll be left with a sticky toffee-like consistency, which can spread on anything or be used as a topping/dip.
PRO TIP: This works exceedingly well with chocolate protein and peanut butter. #Reeses