Nutritionist Approved Packaged Snacks

If you missed my nutrition post from February, I have been working with Noor as a nutrition coach since late January and I have learned so much! As I mentioned in that previous post, she is a certified nutritionist, holds a bachelors degree in Biology and is about to finish up her masters degree in Nutrition. I have been counting macros and after filling out a questionnaire about my eating habits and fitness goals,  Noor has set my macro targets to high protein, high carb, and low fat. I also mentioned in the last post I will not be sharing my exact counts, because they are different for everyone. But to meet some of these numbers, I have really upped my snacking, I usually bring 3 or 4 snacks with me to work!
So I thought it might be fun to share some of the snacks I have been fitting into my plan, that have all been approved by Noor as on-the-go options. I'm also having her include some of her own favorites! These are snack ideas to have in your work bag, maybe keep in your car, eat between classes if you're a student, etc. I am aware that the best foods are whole and unprocessed foods. But to quote Noor "Not everything can be picked fresh from the ground all the time." She also noted that some of these packaged snacks make more financial sense, because you could spend a lot of money on some fresh snacks and they can all just go bad before you get to enjoy them. And some of these snacks also bring great variety from fruits and veggies! I really value her qualifications and her backing of my recommendations. I have been wanting to do a post like this for awhile, but I don't really feel like I am qualified to be giving out nutritional advice. I use this blog to document my journey with health and fitness and what has been working for me, but I do not intend for any of this to be an exact guide to follow. So I wanted to make it a priority that I had her backing on some food related posts during my time working with her. And if you're looking for a nutrition coach, I could not recommend her enough! You can sign up to work with her here! So anyway, that was a long intro. Happy snacking!

Salty snacks
Popcorn- Skinny Pop or Boom Chicka Pop, I don't think they taste too different from each other. Although Skinny Pop has a little more of a buttery taste to it. I honestly just buy whichever one is on sale at the time.
Puffs- popcorn puffs by Skinny PopBoom Chicka Pop, or Hippeas chickpea puffs. I think the popcorn puffs taste a lot like a healthier version of cheese puffs, and I prefer the Boom Chicka Pop version. The chickpea puffs (that I did not expect to like, but love!) are a little more filling and have a spicier taste to them. I haven't been buying them as much as the popcorn puffs just because they are more expensive for less food in comparison. But they are available at Starbucks if you're stopping somewhere for a snack!
Rice cakes- I have been buying some from Simple Truth (Harris Teeter brand) that makes mini flavored ones, my favorite and Himalayan salted caramel!
Jerky- I usually have Chef's Cut chicken or Field Trip turkey jerky in my work bag as a quick source of protein.

Sweet snacks
Dried fruit- I have been buying Simple Truth (Harris Teeter brand) dried strawberries and Bare apple chips lately. I usually have them in my work bag and have a handful or two as an afternoon snack. This has also been helpful in trying to cut my sugar addiction, because it is even sweeter than fresh fruit.
Fruit bars- I really like the apple and blueberry version from That's It. They don't have any added sugar, and are also available at Starbucks!

Protein bars
RX Bars- there are so many options of these but my favorite are Chocolate Sea Salt and Chocolate Peanut Butter
Perfect Bars- these are a little high in sugar but they have some really good flavors and are made of superfoods. I love the dark chocolate peanut butter, which also comes in the "bites" option (I could not find online, but I find them by the yogurt at Harris Teeter), which is basically a package of pre-cut bars. They are great for when you don't want to eat the entire bar. Oh and the bars are also available at Starbucks!
Simply Protein Bars- I recently discovered these and I love the Crispy bars in peanut butter chocolate (seeing a theme here? haha) flavor.

Some of Noor's favorites:
Nut butters: nothing added, literally just the nuts. (Cara's note: I am obsessed with the RX vanilla almond butter, by itself or with an apple)
Greek yogurt cups: obviously these have to be refrigerated, but are a great quick grab'n'go for when I'm STARVING but can hop into a store or grabbing from my own fridge on my way out of the house.
Pre-packaged nuts: Trader Joes has these available
Barnana Organic Coconut Chewy Banana Bites: in moderation - high in sugar but mmmm delicious

Also, not exactly a snack...but I have been adding Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides to coffee and water, and usually have them between meals. Collagen supports your hair, skin, nails, bones, and joints! There is an unflavored option that I have seen in a lot of food recipes and works well in coffee, if you typically add anything to it. But I prefer my coffee black and I could taste a little bit of the unflavored when I first tried it, so I would rather add the Collagen Coffee Creamer. It is available in several flavors, but I like the mocha.
However, the creamer only dissolves in hot liquids (the unflavored works for hot and cold), so on days I do not drink hot coffee, I have been adding the Melon Mint Beauty Collagen to water. I found the best way for it to fully dissolve is to put it in a full water bottle and leave it in the fridge for a day or so. It is not the best at dissolving quickly in cold liquids, but I once added it to tea and thought it dissolved quickly that way! I honestly only got this melon mint flavor because it was on sale at TJ Maxx, but I want to try the Lavender Lemonade after this one runs out. These powders are an easy source of protein and I have already noticed the collagen helping my hair and nails after the first few weeks!

Thanks for reading!

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