You know the feeling: Staring at your computer screen, flipping back and forth between Facebook, email, and that thing you’re supposed to be working on… but not getting much work done at all. When you need help staying focused and sharp, and coffee isn’t cutting it (hello, afternoon crash and burn), certain foods, herbs, and supplements may help.
Dried Fruit & Nuts: The Salty-Sweet Fix You really can’t go wrong with dried fruit and nuts, which is essentially trail mix. This combo is chock-full of fiber from both fruit and nuts, as well as healthy fats and protein from nuts. Together, dried fruit and nuts provide plenty of vitamins and minerals to get you through that next stretch of work. Buy it: Back to Nature Harvest Blend trail mix Cubed Fruit Bowl: A Refreshing Morning Treat Sometimes, your stomach just can’t make that stretch between breakfast and lunch. When your belly starts growling at you mid-morning, treat it to a refreshing bowl of fruit to hold you over until noon. If fruit alone won’t cut it, add cottage cheese for an additional texture and flavor element, or sprinkle chia seeds on top for a crunch. For a protein boost, add some Greek yogurt and make it a parfait. Make it: You can cube or slice any variety of fruit to make your fruit bowl to taste, or you can purchase pre-made fruit bowls at most grocery stores. For a little inspiration, try this Honey Lime Rainbow Fruit Salad recipe from Cooking Classy. Roasted Chickpeas: Fiber-Rich Salty Snack When you want the savory mouthfeel of potato chips, but don’t want the questionable ingredients most potato chips are made with, try roasted chickpeas instead. This fiber-rich snack offers the same salty crunch, but with fewer calories and more health benefits: Because of their high fiber content, chickpeas can help with digestion, and their relatively high protein content (for a plant) can keep you full all afternoon. Buy it: The Good Bean Classic Hummus Crunchy Chickpeas Hummus and Veggies: A Healthy Crunch There’s really no downside to a snack that consists mainly of vegetables — all varieties of vegetables, starchy or not, provide your body with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients. One classic veggie-packed snack is raw vegetables and hummus. Make it: Simply chop up some vegetables and dip in your favorite hummus. Looking to make your own hummus? Try this recipe from Choosing Chia. Sugar-Free Meat Sticks: On-the-Go Protein Even when you work from home, you can still often feel like you’re on-the-go. Your “commutes” are just shorter… You know, from the office to the kitchen and back again. Next time you’re passing through the kitchen, get back to work quickly by grabbing a sugar-free meat stick, which can offer long-lasting satiety from protein. Buy it: Paleovalley 100% Grass Fed Beef Sticks Popcorn: For a Long-Lasting Snack When you’re really feeling peckish — as in, you could peck at some snacks for an hour or more — keep it healthy and relatively low-calorie with popcorn. Popcorn is extremely volumetric, meaning it has a low calorie density, as long as you don’t slather it with butter. Plus, it’s rich in fiber, so go ahead and peck! Buy it: Try Angie’s BoomChickaPop Sea Salt Microwave Popcorn, which is one of the few brands that actually uses real butter and not “butter flavor,” whatever that is. If you prefer pantry popcorn, try Skinny Pop Original Popped Popcorn. Boiled Eggs: When You Need Some Protein Did you know that to facilitate muscle growth, you should eat at least 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight each day? For a 150-pound woman, that comes out to at least 120 grams of protein. Amp up your protein intake with one of the simplest, most natural snacks you could possibly eat: hard-boiled eggs. Buy it: Of course, you can just boil eggs at home and keep them on-hand in the fridge (for up to a week), but if you really can’t squeeze in the time to boil (or you just hate peeling boiled eggs), try pre-boiled hard-cooked eggs, like these from Organic Valley. Avocado Toast: The “Duh!” Snack Avocado toast is the perfect mini-meal: Fiber from whole-grain toast and healthy fats from avocado quiet your hunger and give long-lasting energy to make it through the last stretch of the work day. Between the grains and the avocado, this snack contains ample B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, and other essential nutrients. Make it: Fresh avocados and whole-grain toast are the minimum you need for this universally loved snack. To spice things up a bit, try adding some toppings, such as minced garlic, sliced radishes, a fried egg, pickled onions, crushed red pepper… The options are endless! For more ideas, check out these recipes by Cookie and Kate. Plantain Chips: For a Tropical Crunch What do you do when you want fruit, but also salt, but you’re not about to sprinkle salt on your fruit? Turn to fruit chips, of course. Plantain chips offer a salty, subtly sweet crunch — perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up. Buy it: Artisan Tropic Plantain Strips With Sea Salt. These plantain chips are made with only three ingredients and don’t contain any hydrogenated oils. Turkey Jerky: Quick Protein Boost To be frank, it’s hard to find sugar-free jerky (turkey or otherwise) out there that isn’t in the form of sticks. If you’re looking for sugar-free, I’d go with the Paleovalley 100% Grass Fed Beef Sticks listed above. However, if you don’t eat beef — or you just want some regular jerky — there are some low-sugar turkey jerky products available, and they can stand as a lower-sodium, still craveable way to get some more protein into your day. Buy it: Country Archer Hickory Smoke Turkey Jerky Seaweed Chips: For An Immune-Boosting Salty Fix Wait, seaweed chips? Yes, it sounds strange, but hear this out: Seaweed is extremely rich in antioxidants, which are known to keep your immune system humming along smoothly. Seaweed also contains ample tyrosine and iodine, both of which support thyroid function. On top of that, seaweed is a sustainable food source and it’s low-calorie. Buy it: Gimme Extra Virgin Olive Oil Seaweed Chips Leftovers: When You Need More Than a Snack News flash: Snacks don’t always have to look so snack-y. When you’re craving something more hearty — but don’t feel hungry enough for a full meal — simply heat up a small portion of leftovers. Not only can this satisfy your tastebuds, but it’s a good way to add more veggies to your day (let’s be honest: many of us only eat veggies at meals). Make it: Heat up whatever you have in the fridge! For a super quick fix, give your plate a spin in the microwave, but know that leftovers reheat just as well (and often better) on the stovetop, in an oven or toaster oven, or in an air fryer. Learn How To Meal Prep & Batch Cook With Us! Discover a simple strategy for meal prep that will show you how to cook once, with just a few simple ingredients in your pantry, and have a variety of healthy, delicious meals for days. 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