Clean Eating Snacks for All-Day Energy

I don’t think about food much and am not one to cook much either. I’m on healthy-eating autopilot and that suits me just fine. But why should I keep my eating lifestyle to myself? I like to share, even if I don’t like to think about food much.

I snack because it keeps my blood sugar at an even keel – I’m wicked cranky without a regular infusion of food. Snacks keep my main meals smaller and prevent me from being a lethargic mess. By snacking, I’m always energetic and have a nice, even temperament (ha!).

I consider healthy eating to be a lifestyle, not a diet. It’s something you do every day out of habit because it makes you feel and look good. If you’re not there yet, I recommend reading Tosca Reno’s The Eat Clean Diet. I follow a modified version of clean eating, and along with consistent exercise, it’s cured me of chronic digestive problems and gives me crazy, nonstop energy.

Snacks should be a balance of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats. It’s all about choices: Salsa instead of sour cream, sodium-free pretzels instead of chips, Greek yogurt instead of sugary yogurt, plain, air-popped popcorn instead of buttery or oily popcorn. Make it convenient, small, and satiating while low in fat, sugar, and sodium. Prepare ahead and bring your snacks with you when you leave the house.

You can use the following list as pre- or post-workout snacks, mini-meals, between-meal snacks, or evening snacks. Control the portions of your snacks just as you would your main meals; you can estimate calories per serving by checking here.

The Healthy Eatin’ Goods

I’ve put these snacks together in a certain way here, but feel free to mix ‘em up any way you please. My only request is that you share your own concoctions!

For each snack below, choose one protein and one complex carbohydrate. This combination gives you both short-term and long-lasting energy.

Choose a ProteinChoose a Carbohydrate
1 cup 0% fat Greek yogurtFrozen blueberries
Strawberries
Peaches
Baked pears
Chopped apple
Cucumber slices
Honey
Rolled oats or Muesli
Cashews
In a fruit smoothie
2 TB nut butter
¼ cup low-sodium hummus
Mashed no-salt-added beans or homemade bean dip
2 scrambled egg whites
Whole-wheat bagel
Whole-wheat English muffin
Whole-wheat pita
Whole-wheat toast
Sliced carrots
Sliced Red bell pepper
Broccoli spears
¼ cup chopped, unsalted walnutsOatmeal + frozen blueberries
1 boiled egg
1 low-fat cheese stick or Babybel
Fruit (grapes, orange, cantelope, etc.)
Veggie sticks (celery, carrots, red bell pepper, etc.)
1 cup cottage cheese Fruit slices
¼ cup roasted, unsalted almondsFresh chopped apple
Dried cranberries
7 oz. tuna packed in water1 slice whole-wheat toast or English muffin w/ tomato slice
1 cup low-fat milkPlain Shredded Wheat
Grape Nuts
Edamame beansIn salad, soup, or right out of the pod.
Protein shake using milk, nut butter, nonfat Greek yogurt, and/or protein powder (although not necessary). Avoid protein powders with added sugar, artificial sweeteners like aspartame, dyes, and artificial flavorings.Add fruit, veggies, and spices

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Comments

  1. I love the fact that you make protein part of every snack. Great advice, as usual!
    Mary C. Weaver, CSCS recently posted..Coping with trigger foodsMy Profile

  2. Apple and a cheese stick. That’s it; my snack of choice for nearly 20 years. Sometimes have waffles and a bloody mary, but mostly it’s an apple and a cheese stick.
    Emergefit recently posted..I Am Not A Doctor…My Profile

  3. Oh, love the breakdown of snack options! It is so easy to get in a rut but this is a great reminder of all the options there are. I need to incorporate more veggies into my snacks and start prepping hard boiled eggs.
    Anna recently posted..Twas the morning of Christmas, 10K virtual run…My Profile

  4. This is a GREAT list! I realized recently that eating certain foods together was so much more filling. It’s great.
    Lisa recently posted..Holiday EatsMy Profile

  5. What a handy chart! Thanks for putting it together. Makes it easy to pick something healthy.

  6. Excellent chart!!! I’m printing it off and hanging it on the fridge!

    y
    Yolanda recently posted..Success: What Exactly Are You Doing… Right Now?My Profile

  7. Hi Suzanne, I like the odd smoothie and I am trying to get more natural proteins into my daughter’s diets so I appreciate the link to the protein shakes :)
    Sarah Arrow recently posted..7 ways to research content for your blog (that you may have forgot about)My Profile

  8. Great – and imaginative – list, Suzanne – shows that with a little thought we can opt for a healthy choice that’s just as tasty as an unhealthy one… though the idea (from Emergefit) of a bloody Mary on a health and fitness blog is wonderfully novel! :-)

    Thanks for sharing
    Linda Mattacks recently posted..Calling Women Who Love Life and Mean Business!My Profile

  9. Nice, snacks are where I need to make sure I have enough options – I love the way you broke things out into a table like this – feels like I have infinitely more choices :)
    Sara, Food Blogger on a Diet / Ms. Adventures in Italy recently posted..How I Food JournalMy Profile

  10. I am a great one for raw carrot sticks, and always have a supply of vegetable soup (really packed with chunks and more like a stew really!) on the go, as it nourishes me with something warm which naturally seems to feel more filling to me.
    Love the protein snack ideas, too.
    Christine Miller recently posted..Work as PlayMy Profile

Mentioned Elsewhere:

  1. […] popcorn. Make it convenient, small, and satiating while low in fat, sugar, and sodium. I consider Healthy Eating to be a lifestyle, not a diet. It’s something you do every day out of habit because it makes […]

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