A typical urban commuter lifestyle carries plenty of stress and takes its toll on our minds and bodies. Refined sugars, artificial flavours, additives, preservatives and carbs form the bulk of processed snacks available in the market. Refuse these and the damage they wreak upon your body. Choose healthy snacks that help curb stress/binge-eating. Set a limit on chai and coffee consumption while you are at it, too. Know that you have options.
Here are 15 ideas for healthy snacking-on-the-run.
1. Yoghurt: This is a high-protein snack conveniently available in sealed cartons.
2. Cut vegetables (crudites): Buy some off the rack, or cut your own carrot, celery, peppers and carry them in your tiffin. Sprinkle them with lemon juice and finely chopped coriander for a shot of vitamin C and minerals.
3. Fruits: This one’s a no-brainer! Carry a banana in a convenient banana case, or whole apples and pears to sink your teeth into on the go. Whole fruits have more nutrients than cut fruits.
4. Boiled eggs: These are easy to prepare and will last a day or two even without a refrigerator, as long as the shell is left on.
5. Peanut butter: You can get peanut butter cups on the go, or pack one of your own for a quick, energy boosting snack.
6. Peanuts: Peanut sachets are available almost everywhere. Go easy on the salt, though. Some brands of salted peanuts are very high in sodium. Read the label.
7. Other nuts: Almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios are all great in moderation.
8. Seeds: These days you can buy various roasted seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds etc. Carry a small container or make your own seed mix.
9. High-end granola or nut-and-fig bars: These might lighten your pocket more than the other options. But be careful to opt for ones that are made from premium ingredients, and are free of refined sugar, corn syrup, and harmful preservatives.
10. Cheese slices or foil-wrapped cubes: Cheese means calcium and good fat in a jiffy! Cheese will also keep you full and get food off your mind till your next proper mealtime.
11. A small carton of hummus: Hummus is made from protein and nutrient-dense chickpeas. It also contains other goodness: olive oil and lime juice, occasionally sesame.
12. Pan-fried paneer or tofu: Plan ahead a little and carry a snack box with pan-roasted paneer or tofu cubes, sprinkled with a little salt and spice mix.
13. Home-made muesli or granola bars or cookies: Home-made being the operative word! Control what goes into these in terms of sweetening and binding agents. These make great dry snacks to fuel you on the go.
14. Protein powders: Keep a small container with one serving of your favourite protein powder in your purse or backpack, to add to milk, water or any suitable beverage.
15. Roasted chana: Everyone’s favourite roadside snack is, guess what, quite healthy, too! It’s a guilt-free, healthy snack especially when combined with a bit of onion, coriander, tomato and lemon juice for added vit C and minerals.