With your new additional part-time job (wedding planning!) you're probably busier now than you have ever been in your life. Keep plenty of snacks on hand to keep you fueled. "It's ideal to enjoy snacks that have carbs, protein, and healthful fat," says culinary dietitian Jackie Newgent, RD, author of 1,000-Calorie Recipes. "You can choose a single food that has all of these macronutrients-in-one, or pair ingredients from different food groups." One last guideline: "A good maximum calorie guideline for snacks for the average woman is 200 calories. If you're highly active, bump that up to 250 calories." These 10 smart options will keep you feeling peppy and sharp all day long.
1. Crunchy Chickpeas
"These can be enjoyed like a better-for-you munchie in place of potato chips thanks to their double whammy of fiber and protein," says Newgent. One brand she likes: The Good Bean Crispy Crunchy Chickpeas in BBQ flavor.
2. Cheese stick and an apple.
Easy to carry (their both in their own packages!), and the combo fulfills the magic carb-protein-fat mix.
3. Guacamole and baked chips.
You're juggling so many things that it's important to keep your mind sharp right now, too. "Guacamole is a great source of monounsaturated fat, which is important for optimal blood flow and, in turn, key for brain heath," says Newgent. "Scoop it up with a handful of baked blue corn tortilla chips."
4. Dark Chocolate Hummus plus fresh strawberries.
Yep, chocolate hummus exists! "This will satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthier way than traditional sweets," says Newgent. "The hummus is still based on garbanzo beans." Pairing it with strawberries adds a dose of brain-friendly antioxidants.
These crunchy snacks contain a good amount of both protein and fiber, plus some fat— they're ideal to help keep you going, says Newgent.
Just quickly cook up these frozen soybeans in the pod, drain, and add a pinch of salt. "They're lovely squeezed straight from the pod. And naturally protein-packed," says Newgent.
7. Seaweed "chips."
Packs of dry-roasted nori (seaweed sheets) are now available at most supermarkets. They're crispy, a little salty, and contain antioxidants like vitamins A and C, which help protect your skin. Dip them in hummus for a boost of filling protein.
8. Single-packs of olives.
You may have started seeing individually packaged servings of marinated olives, such as Oloves, at cafes and shops like Starbucks, World Market, and Duane Reade. These snacks have only about 50 calories per pack and plenty of healthy fats, plus some fiber and protein for good measure.
9. Greek yogurt topped with walnuts.
Walnuts add a super-satisfying crunch, plus healthy fats and fiber, to the famously protein-packed yogurt.
10. KIND Nuts & Spices bar.
Newgent recommends bars that are low in added sugars and made with "real" ingredients and 200 calories or less. One of her favorites is the KIND Nuts & Spices bar, "especially the dark chocolate and sea salt flavor!" she says.