It can be hard to eat healthy snacks and feel good when your schedule is packed. Many of us have super-busy lifestyles which makes it hard to be mindful about the foods we eat. The stress of our daily lives can impact our energy levels and focus tremendously. Most of us have so many obligations for school, work, and family, it can be awfully easy to grab anything when you’re hungry. When your belly is rumbling, instead of reaching for something that could make you sluggish or exhausted, try eating healthy foods to give your body enough energy to make it through the rest of the day.
When you’re busy you want a quick snack that gives you energy, right? However, these are likely the foods that aren’t the best for you. These types of options typically consist of fast food or processed snacks that are quick to eat, yet high in sugar, salt and fat (all ingredients that can affect your energy levels). These foods are usually low in nutrients too.
Does this mean that you are destined to a life feeling fatigued and not having the best of health with your packed schedule? Not at all! In fact, there are plenty of healthy snacks you can eat on the go, giving you more than enough pep in your step to keep you feeling focused and great all day long.
Busy? Try Healthy Snacks for More Energy
Don’t let your crazy schedule get in the way of your healthy goals. Instead, start packing snacks that give you energy and nutrients. These snacks are easy to throw in your bag or keep in your desk to help you make better decisions for you body and mind, as well as help you feel focused, satisfied and ready to take on the rest of the day.
- If you’re not getting a lot of protein in your diet, you may notice that you find it hard to focus. It can also mean that you don’t have as much vim and vigor as you’d like. Here’s the thing: just one ounce of almonds provides roughly six grams of protein that your body can easily use to fuel itself in between meals. That’s approximately 20-25 almonds. Grab a baggie or plastic container and keep them with you. This gives you instant access to an energy-boosting snack even when you’re on the go. Walnuts are a great alternative too.
- Greek Yogurt
- Another healthy snack that’s high in energy and easy to eat is Greek yogurt. Because it’s also higher in protein, it give powers to your brain and muscles to help them stay fueled and focused when hunger hits. Plus, it comes in ready-to-eat containers, so it’s simple enough to grab while heading out the door. Add some almonds to it for extra protein or if you crave a mixture of tastes and textures try granola or seeds.
- The great thing about melons is that they’re primarily water, which means that they give you energy mainly by making sure you stay hydrated. This is important, since you should be drinking a recommended nine cups of water per day for maximum health. To make it quick to grab, simply cut it up on Sunday to last all week, giving you a light and effective option whenever you’re hungry or notice you need to add some fruit to your day.
- Edamame is a great on-the-go snack and can really help hold you over between meals. It contains fiber to fill you up, complex carbohydrates to keep you moving, and healthy fats to keep hunger at bay longer. You can buy it fresh and eat it as is or go with dry roasted, depending the most appealing choice for your taste buds.
When You’re Really Rushed…Try These Healthy Snacks
All of these high-energy and healthy snacks will help you stay focused and feeling great, but sometimes you don’t even have time to prepare and eat these relatively easy options. In that case, stop at a convenience store and select one of these healthy yet oomph-giving foods:
- Fruit and nut trail mix
- Apple or bananas
- Sunflower seeds
- Pre-cut veggies and light dip or hummus
- String cheese
You can also grab an energy bar or drink, but if you do, stick to options that are lower in sugar and higher in protein. These will give you more pep in your step without giving you blood sugar surges that make you feel jittery and, ultimately, tired once they wear off.
Now, if the idea of making these types of changes makes you feel a little anxious, follow College News’ advice and “take a deep breath, step away from your computer, and take a quick walk.” Remember, you’re building new, healthier habits, which is something that is going to take time. But as long as you stick to it and try to add in these healthy snacks, you’ll get there in the end. And the best part is you’ll have more energy!
Shelly Stinson is a freelance writer from Denver, Colorado who specializes in all things related to healthy living. When she’s not working on her latest article or doing research, Shelly is making her way through downtown Denver’s amazing food scene (and tweeting about it) follow Shelly here.
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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is The Guidance Girl. Her goal is to help YOU become the most confident person you know! Emily is an award-winning author Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, Educational Speaker, and parenting consultant. She travels around the country educating girls, women, and parents. Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.