College dorm living can pose a hefty challenge to healthy eating – especially when it comes to choosing snacks wisely. Here are some easy ideas for healthy snacks, whether you’re at school or work.
Plantation Chips– these crunchy treats are fried in coconut oil, a healthier alternative to the hydrogenated fats in most snack foods. If you want to eat regular potato chips, look for those fried in coconut oil such as Jackson’s Honest Chips.
Beet Chips- Beets are a miracle food! Adding them to your diet in any form is a bonus. They can improve your health by increasing detoxification, which helps purify your blood and liver. Beet chips are also high in Vitamin C, fiber and potassium, manganese and folate. They help fight inflammation, and the nitrates help lower blood pressure. WARNING!!! Beets can turn your urine and stools red, so beware.
Epic Beef Jerky and Maple Glazed Smoked Salmon Bites - all of these products are perfect for the Paleo movement. Some of them are a little “earthy,” and the texture can be an issue if you are used to Slim Jims, but I always take a package when I fly so that I am not stuck eating airport foods. I do love the salmon bites. Try them, you may be surprised.
Cacao Nibs- this is the raw goodness which becomes chocolate. These little chocolate morsels are an antioxidant powerhouse and contain almost 4 times the antioxidants of dark chocolate! Cacao nibs are packed with flavonoids, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant. They are also high in magnesium, which is why many women find themselves craving chocolate around their monthly cycle. Menstruation is when magnesium is rapidly depleted in a woman’s body.
Enjoy 2-3 TBSP of cacao nibs in your favorite yogurt; add them to sprouted seeds, nuts and shredded or flaked coconut for a little trail mix; or combine them with a little coconut manna (butter) or almond butter for a little sweet treat. Of course, a bit of dark chocolate works…just because!
Go Raw Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds- I recommend buying sprouted seeds, nuts or grains since they are easier to digest. Sprouting removes some of the phytic acid that coats these foods and prevents the absorption of zinc, iron, magnesium and calcium. Pumpkin, watermelon, and sunflower seeds are all good sources of some vitamins and minerals. I like to add a couple TBSP to salads for crunch, homemade trail mix, or just snacking on a small handful.
Plantation Blackstrap Molasses- molasses is a powerhouse of minerals in a small serving. 1 TBSP contains helpful levels of Vitamin B-6, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron and selenium. While it is technically considered a sugar, the nutrients contained in a small dose make it a worthy addition to your diet. I add it to sweeten tea, and use in place of honey in baking recipes. I’ve have also been known to take a swig when needing a little mineral boost.
Coconut Water. There is a delicate balance in our bodies between salt and potassium. Most of us get plenty of salt in the foods we eat, but getting the Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) of potassium is more challenging. A good goal is 4700mg of potassium a day, and coconut water can significantly help. A 16 oz serving of coconut water contains more than 800mg of potassium. Coconuts do have a lot of natural sugar, so make sure you look for brands with no ADDED sugar.
Redmond’s Real Sea Salt- I am a huge fan of Redmond’s Real Sea salt and actually contacted the company to tell them I recommend their product to all of my clients. I add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Redmond’s Salt to 32 ounces of water. Find out why I recommend adding salt to your drinking water here.
Swapping out your ordinary salt for a pouch of Redmond’s Sea salt can be one of the easiest changes you make in your health. There are 70 trace minerals found in Redmond’s salt, compared to none in brands such as Morton’s. Many household salts add non-caking agents and bleach to their products.
Justin’s Almond Butter pouches- these are easy, portable snacks that you can throw in your car, purse or backpack for whenever you need a quick meal. Add it to a banana for a super quick breakfast. If you aren’t crazy about almonds they also have cashew, peanut and hazelnut.
Nicks Grass-Fed Beef Sticks- I keep these in my purse in case I am out and need a quick snack. These are a good protein source and a much better choice than most ‘protein’ bars which are mostly made up of questionable ingredients and taste like candy.
Traditional Medicine Herbal Teas- Herbal teas are so comforting, and I really like this brand. I usually add a healthy spoonful of the molasses to a cup of the Roasted Dandelion for liver support, or Smooth Move for occasional constipation. Try Every Day Detox, Licorice Root, Throat Coat for sore or scratchy throats, or Nighty Night or Chamomile to help relax before bed.
AND FINALLY my favorite health tip of all…. EAT SARDINES! I must confess, I have become addicted to mixing a tin of sardines packed in water with Primal Kitchens mayo. It’s perfect as a dip with beet chips. I enjoy this for breakfast every other day – it’s actually an unexpected favorite. This mix of healthy fats in the mayo and fish, plus the protein and carbs in the beets keeps me satisfied until about 2pm.
I know not all of you are willing to dive in, but I promise you if you like tuna fish, you will probably like sardines. The health benefits are unsurpassed. One serving provides 18 grams of protein, and 1800 mg of EPA and DHA Omega 3’s which is the most bioavailable form for the body. In addition, sardines provide 70% of the Vitamin D, 15% of calcium, 10% of iron, and only 140 calories. (Although calories are less important when eating a nutrient dense diet).
Whether you are in college, at work, or traveling, take these healthy snacks along – your body will thank you!
I'm Amy Baragar, and I believe food is our first medicine. As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I love helping people feel better with easy steps to healthy eating.