There’s nothing worse than the mid-day energy drain. You’re sitting at your desk. You’re hungry, losing focus, and counting down the minutes until you can go home.

A quick, healthy snack packed with protein and carbs could be just what you need to fuel you through the rest of the workday. Some of my favorite bites include cheeses, fruits, and lean proteins. They’re quick, easy and tackle my hunger.

1. Nuts and Dried Fruit

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The combination of salty nuts and sweet fruit provides a midday snack that feels like you’re cheating on your diet. The truth is, you’re getting a balanced dose of all three macronutrients, with healthy fats and protein from the nuts and carbohydrates from the dried fruit.

You can mix up what kind of nuts and fruits you mix to make this an exciting treat. Try combos of almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts with peaches, pineapples, apricots, and bananas to find your favorite.

2. Jerky

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If you want to increase your protein intake during the day, jerky is a fantastic afternoon meal. This snack is low in calories and high in protein and iron, which improves blood health and raises energy levels.

Jerky comes in a variety of flavors and styles. Options include flavors from spicy to sweet, made for protein sources like beef, pork, turkey, chicken, salmon, and mushroom for a vegetarian choice.

3. Greek Yogurt

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Greek yogurt is another great source of protein between meals. One portion of this delicious sweet treat has fewer than 100 calories and can contain as much as 16 grams of protein.

Individual portions can be conveniently taken on the go or enjoyed at home, where you can enhance the flavor with added fruits. I prefer some fresh pineapple or blueberries in mine.

4. Hummus and Veggies

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Hummus makes an easy go-to snack when hunger strikes. It provides a balanced combo of fat, carbs, and protein and pairs perfectly with many vegetables. Popular veggie choices include carrots, broccoli, snap peas, bell peppers, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes.

Check your local grocery store for a wide variety of hummus flavors. My favorite is spicy garlic combined with bell peppers.

5. Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups

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Turkey roll-ups combine everything you like about a sandwich to make handy finger food for a quick bite. They’re easy to make and throw in your lunch box. They’re high in protein and have zero carbs. They’re an ideal snack for keto or low-carb diets.

You can also switch the ingredients from time to time. For new flavor profiles, try lean deli chicken and your favorite cheeses.

6. Hard Boiled Eggs

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Eggs aren’t just for breakfast anymore. A hard-boiled egg can satisfy a hunger craving and provide protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins A, B6, B12, and D.

It’s simple and convenient to make a batch of hard-boiled eggs for the week. You can grab one or two on the go, eat it plain, or add it to salads or wraps for an added source of healthy protein.

7. Smoothies

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Smoothies are an easy way to replace meals and provide optimal nutrition. The basics of your smoothies should consist of leafy greens (spinach or kale), fruits, protein powder, and liquid, which can be milk or plant-based milk such as almond milk.

I love smoothies because you can freeze them overnight and grab them in the morning. I also don’t get bored because I can switch out the fruits based on what I want that day.

8. Avocado Toast

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You don’t have to go to a fancy brunch restaurant for a trendy, overpriced slice of bread with avocado smashed on top. Not only are avocados delicious, they’re packed with healthy fat and have been linked to lowering heart disease.

You can quickly leave avocados at your desk and bring your choice of bread or rice cake for your after-lunch hunger fix. You can even spice it up by adding tomatoes or a vinaigrette.

9. Edamame

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These tasty soybeans are packed with plant-based protein. They can be steamed, cooked, or dried, making them a classic snack you can eat by the handful.

Studies have also shown that edamame has a plant compound called isoflavones. This compound has been shown to improve bone health and lower the risks of certain cancers.

10. Cottage Cheese and Fruit

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Cottage cheese is high in healthy nutrients like protein and calcium and low in calories. It can be purchased in smaller portioned containers, making it an excellent option for quick snacks in the office.

Pairing cottage cheese with fruit makes it an even tastier option. Choose from peaches, pineapples, berries, or pomegranates for extra vitamins and antioxidants.

11. Dark Chocolate Covered Nuts

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Dark chocolate has some health benefits you wouldn’t expect in a sweet treat. It is rich in antioxidants and has many anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. Protein-packed nuts covered in dark chocolate make a nice snack.

It is important to note that these foods can have hidden sugar added to them. Be sure to look at nutrition labels to find brands that omit these sugars.

12. Roasted Chickpeas

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These roasted chickpeas will leave you snacking all day without any guilt. These crunchy bites are full of fiber and protein and have been thought to improve insulin levels and aid in weight management.

Chickpeas can be bought at local health stores or made at home with simple ingredients like olive oil, sea salt, and your choice of seasoning. I like to add chili flakes for a little spice to mine.

13. Apples and Peanut Butter

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Apples and peanut butter were among my favorite snacks as a kid. As an adult, they are still one of my preferred mid-day bites to get me through the day.

Apples provide a great source of fiber, while peanut butter provides protein, which helps you stay full throughout the day. You can keep a jar of peanut butter in your desk drawer, for a snack when you need to help you get past a craving.

14. Smoked Salmon and Crackers

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Salmon is full of protein, healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids. Pair it with whole-grain crackers and cream cheese, and you might have your new favorite afternoon meal.

This combination reminds me of an adult version of the Lunchables we ate as kids. We all secretly love those, but we feel like we are too old to eat them.

15. Popcorn

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Popcorn is low in calories and high in fiber. You can snack on it during the afternoon without eating too many calories. You can add plenty of different seasonings to enhance the flavor, but just stay away from the butter.

However, movie-theater popcorn is a different story. Theaters coat their popcorn with salt and imitation, making it a horrible snack option.

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Adam Spraker

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