What's sadder than a sad desk lunch? A sad desk snack -- especially when that snack is the salty, preservative-laden fruit of a company vending machine. (The metaphorical and/or artificially flavored Fruit Roll-Up variety, not to be confused with an actual piece of fruit.)
However, keeping your desk stocked with filling, nutritious, and workplace-friendly snacks is possible with some strategic grocery shopping. Registered dietitian Lisa Mikus says the key is choosing foods that combine at least two of the three macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbs.
"That helps the snacks not only be more nutritious, but also keep you satisfied for longer," she says. "Think of the difference of chips and chips with hummus. You'll feel less full with chips and be hungry in an hour or less."
Hungry, and likely to blow up at your co-workers… or steal their leftovers from the fridge. Nobody wants to be that person. So, on to the snacks Mikus recommends!
Pearl's Black Pitted Olives to Go (35 calories a cup) with three or four Triscuits (60 calories)
"I do whole-grain wheat Triscuits. The olives give you healthy, monounsaturated fat and will keep you full. There's also Kalamata olives -- same concept, but one to-go cup is 95 calories. It's a flavor preference."
⅓ cup Three Farmers lightly salted roasted chickpeas (100 calories)
"These have fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates that won't raise your blood sugar as much as a piece of white bread."
Siggi's yogurt tube (50 calories) and half a banana (50 calories)
"Yogurt is a good source of protein, and since it's 2%, it's not really low-fat. Which I like, because the fat will help you stay full."
12 Blue Diamond oven-roasted almonds -- dark chocolate flavor (80 calories) with one cup unsweetened almond milk (30 calories)
"This gives you that chocolate milk feeling without all the saturated fat and calories."
Three Applegate organic roasted turkey slices (50 calories) with ⅕ of a medium avocado (50 calories)
"These turkey slices are lower sodium and less processed. I roll the avocado up inside the slices and get protein from the turkey and omega-3 fatty acids from the avocado. Avocado has no sodium or cholesterol -- so you get some from the turkey, but you aren't adding any more from the avocado."
¼ cup shelled edamame (80 calories) with 1tbsp pickled ginger (20 calories) and soy sauce (0 calories)
"Edamame is a great source of plant protein. This snack is more of a kitchen thing -- you'd need to be able to mix the ingredients up."
Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt -- strawberry cheesecake flavor (80 calories) with 1tsp chia seeds (20 calories)
"Chia seeds are a good source of fat to pair with nonfat yogurt, which has 12g of protein. Those two together will keep you full."
Dole Apple Strawberry Mixations (70 calories) with a clementine, part of a cheese stick, a few Triscuits, or nuts (30 calories each)
"This is applesauce with fruit chunks in it, which is kind of cool. It's a good source of vitamin C."
2tbsp Marzetti Greek yogurt veggie dip -- Cucumber Dill Feta (60 calories) and ½ cup baby carrots (25 calories) or one cup broccoli (30 calories)
"Flavored Greek yogurt dips are trending, and this is also gluten-free."
¼ cup Bare baked apple chips (55 calories) with ½ cup fresh blueberries (40 calories)
"You can mix and match different types of fruit."
½ cup Friendship Dairies low-fat whipped cottage cheese (90 calories)
"This has 15g of protein, which is really high. Some people don't like cottage cheese, because of its texture. But this is whipped, so it's more like a light yogurt than your typical cottage cheese."
Hard-boiled egg (80 calories) with four Wheat Thins (20 calories)
"There's protein, fat, B12, and zinc. Make sure you eat the yolk."
15 Garden of Eatin' blue corn tortilla chips (80 calories) and ¼ cup Sabra chunky pico de gallo salsa (20 calories)
"I often eat chips and salsa with Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins as well, which have the same calories and are really filling because they're based on mostly almonds. It's about your taste preference there."
Brown rice cake (60 calories) with ¼ cup banana slices (30 calories), less than a teaspoon of honey (10 calories), and a sprinkle of cinnamon (0 calories)
"Brown rice cakes give you more fiber and whole grains than a white rice cake, and there's research that shows cinnamon helps with blood sugar stabilization in people with diabetes."
Greek salad with ½ cup sliced cucumber (10 calories), ½ cup grape tomatoes (20 calories), 1tbsp balsamic vinegar (14 calories), 1tsp olive oil (40 calories), and 1tbsp feta cheese (25 calories)
"Mixing this all together gives you a high-fiber source of monounsaturated fat from the olive oil and flavor from the feta cheese. You can prepare it the night before and stir in the dressing when you're ready to eat it. Scale it up by adding chickpeas to get protein in."
One cup Amy's organic chunky vegetable soup (80 calories)
"The volume and fiber from the soup will keep you full, and you get protein and fat from the pistachios."
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