Snacks for Clean Eating

Honestly, eating clean has been a life-changing experience for me. In the past, after lunch, I would be exhausted, dreading how I was going to find the energy to make it through the rest of the day. I was tired when I woke up, and yet, I’d lie in bed at night wide awake, unable to fall asleep. It wasn’t until I took a hard look at my diet and really changed things that I was able to finally get to where I am now. Finally, through a complete change of my diet and lifestyle, I feel great. My energy is up, I fall asleep when my head hits the pillow, I feel refreshed when I wake up, and I feel simply amazing. One of the questions I get asked about my diet is, “Don’t you get tired of just snacking on fruit all the time?” However, simple things like fruit, although delicious, are not the only clean snacks out there. Below are some of my favorite snacks you will usually find in my purse or fridge, and how to make them.

Trail Mix
Trail mixes are a great way to get all of your favorites into one healthy, hassle-free snack. By simply combining nuts, seeds, cereals, and dried fruits, you will end up with a treat that is completely catered to your unique taste. When making your own, opt for raw nuts and seeds to ensure you get the most from their essential fatty acids. My go-to trail mix is ¼ cup walnuts, ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, and a handful of dried cranberries, and every now and then, a few pieces of dark chocolate…this treat hits the spot every time!

Protein Bites
A personal favorite of mine, I always try to make sure that I have a few of these in the fridge. Using unprocessed ingredients, like nut butters, raw seeds, unprocessed and unheated gluten-free flours, and of course, my favorite topping…coconut shreds–these snacks are always a hit. Besides being simple to make, a little goes a long way, and after two of these protein-packed snacks, you’ll be more than content waiting for your next meal. Right now, my favorite protein bites recipe is ½ cup raw cashew butter, ¼ cup hemp seeds, 3 TBSP maple syrup, a pinch of salt, and enough coconut shreds to coat each bite. Simply combine all of the ingredients by hand or in food processor, coat with your shreds, and enjoy!

Veggie Chips
I always joke that I don’t have a sweet tooth; I have a salt tooth instead. Personally, chips were the hardest thing for me to give up when I started living a healthier lifestyle. From the crunch to the taste, I did not think that I would be able to find a replacement for my all-time favorite snack. That was until I started making my own veggie chips. Honestly speaking, I no longer miss my one-time favorites, like salt and vinegar or nacho cheese varieties; now, I just make my own. Kale is usually my veggie of choice, but really, if you can slice it, you can turn it into a chip. One of my favorites were cheese flavored chips, so now, to make my own, I use a head of kale and rip the leaves into small pieces. Then I add a teaspoon of salt, two teaspoons of pepper, two teaspoons of garlic powder, a heaping tablespoon of nutritional yeast, and a tablespoon of olive oil, and mix. Then they go into the oven for about 15 minutes at around 400 degrees.

Not a DIY fan?
I understand that for some, time or cooking can be an issue. However, you can still follow a clean eating routine; just make sure you are purchasing snacks in line with your dietary preferences. Some great go-to snacks for clean eating can include nutritional bars, dried fruits, and even raw granola.