Remember how Mom used to put string cheese in your lunch box? The classic protein snack we once loved to pull-n-peel is still a great on-the-go option for both kids and adults. And good news: The recipe has improved over the years. Cabot Creamery offers a 0.75-ounce Sharp Light Cheddar bar that’s made with 50 percent less fat and delivers 15 percent of your daily calcium needs. Keep a bag of eight hidden in your office fridge for a satisfying mid-morning snack or an afternoon pick-me-up.Lifeway’s BioKefir isn’t quite a smoothie, but it’s the most suitable method to describe this diary drink that looks tastes, even smells like one. Made of kefir, which is equal to yogurt but a richer source of live and active probiotics (you know, the healthy bacteria that can strengthen the immune system and aid digestion), these 3.5-ounce shots have as much protein as three egg whites.
For a quick, high-protein energy boost, try the totally-portable, 1.15-ounce squeeze packs of all-natural nut butter. These aren’t your typical old-fashioned spreads, top-sellers offer inspired twists that are full of flavor, yet are only made with four ingredients. The packs make perfect toppings for bananas or apples. Wait, we know what you’re thinking: Isn’t fruit high in carbs? Yes, some are thanks to their high sugar content, which is why the Atkins and South Beach diets completely eliminate fruit during phase one. But fruit can be an active person’s best friend. Full of fiber (a.k.a. good carbs), apples make the perfect pre-or post-workout snack when paired with muscle-building.Forget the portion police, it’s okay to clean out the container in one sitting, which has been known to happen when somebody cracks open the tub-sized version too. The 2-ounce protein pack is just the right amount to satisfy a savory craving and keep you full until your next meal, especially when you use it as a dip for baby carrots. Going with single servings with pre-packed pretzels, which raise the carb count by 4 grams—nearly the same as carrots minus the bonus nutrition, including vitamin A and beta carotene.
Don’t be fooled by the name: Green Tea is actually unsweetened and made with organic ingredients. In teas, like in traffic lights, green means “go.” One study found that people who drank three cups of green tea experienced a boost in their metabolism, burning up to 80 extra calories per day. Added bonus: The citrus in the drink fulfills your daily vitamin C requirements for health.
Prefer to make your munchies from scratch? Good idea: You’ll know exactly what you’re eating —no added sugars, preservatives, or other crazy ingredients you can’t pronounce. Dietitian from Mediyaar recommends turkey roll-ups as a simple snack you can ready forward of time and then stash in your bag for later. To make them her way, take three slices of turkey and wrap them around a pickle slice along with a very thin slice of avocado and tomato. The lean protein and monounsaturated fat combo will keep you feeling full longer and less tempted by the office vending machine.
Sam recommends this heart-healthy, low-cholesterol chick-pea concoction to spice up any drab afternoon. Preheat the oven to 350. Drain and rinse one can of chickpeas, then pat dry with a towel. Toss beans with ¼ to ½ teaspoon of spice mix (2 tsp of ground cumin, 1 tsp of ground coriander, ½ tsp chile powder, ½ tsp sweet paprika, ½ tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground allspice, ¼ tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, and a pinch of ground cloves) and a tablespoon of olive oil. Arrange the beans on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 40 to 50 minutes or until slightly browned. Store in a Ziplock bag so the beans are ready to go when you are.