Life is busy, and it gets even more hectic around the holidays. One of the biggest complaints I get from clients is that they have zero time, and their diet suffers when schedules get tight. Having easy grab-and-go snacks on hand at home, in your bag, in the car, or at work can be a total game-changer.
To keep yourself full and energized, pick foods high in protein, healthy fat, and fiber. Protein will help decrease ghrelin, your hunger hormone, fiber fills you up and can expand in the stomach, and healthy fats take the longest to digest, helping you stay fuller longer. Check out my 20 favorite grab-and-go snacks perfect for wherever the day takes you.
1. Designer Protein Smoothie
I may be biased, but the new Protein Smoothies from Designer Protein have it all when it comes to the perfect grab-and-go snack. Bonus: the taste is delicious. Protein Smoothies do not need to be refrigerated, so you can take them and keep them anywhere. They contain 12g of high-quality protein plus MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) to keep you full for the long run. Plus, no added sugars and no artificial sweeteners for a pure, clean snack on the run.
2. Powder Protein in a Mixer Bottle
Keeping protein powders on hand can help when you’re in a pinch. I keep Designer Collagen in my office to add to coffee, tea, or sparkling water when in a pinch. If you’re running to catch a flight, you can add protein powder to a mixer bottle to get through security and then buy your favorite milk once you get past security for a hydrating and filling snack.
3. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs contain about 7 grams of 100% absorbable protein. The yolk provides vital nutrients such as B vitamins, choline, vitamin D, and selenium. Hard-boiled eggs are easy to prep ahead, and take-on-the go.
4. Baby Carrots
Carrots are durable and easy to throw in a bag. Carrots contain 3 grams of fiber. Carrots are high in soluble fiber pectin, forming a gel and expanding in the stomach, increasing fullness. Carrots are also high in anti-inflammatory beta carotene that helps reduce inflammation and prevent chronic diseases.
Almonds are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They’re easy to find in snack packs or quickly bag on your own. About 22 nuts make one serving and are packed with vitamins, including vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant, helping you fight free radicals that cause disease and speed aging.
6. Protein Balls
Protein balls are easy to make with as little as four ingredients or less. They are high in protein and travel quickly. Check out our Designer Protein Peanut Butter Balls HERE. You can add a little cacao to the recipe for a yummy healthy dessert.
7. Tuna Pouches
Tuna is high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats and an excellent source of protein. Portable tuna packs contain about 17g of protein. You can eat it alone or with crackers. I suggest picking crackers with 3g of fiber or more for a completely satisfying snack.
Sardines aren’t the most popular snack item but if you are a lover of these tiny fish, consider keeping them in your weekly routine. They are incredibly easy to travel around with a pack. Plus, two cans a week meet your omega-3 and vitamin D needs for the week.
Edamame contains a whopping 9 grams of fiber preserving plus 11 grams of protein. You can buy them dried or cooked and ready to eat. They are easy to pack alone as a snack or throw on top of a salad.
10. Dried Vegetables
Dried vegetables such as dried carrots, beets, and green beans are high in fiber and packed with health-promoting phytonutrients. Buy them salted if you’re craving that salty afternoon crunch.
Jerky comes in many varieties, including beef, turkey, fish, chicken, and soy. One ounce packs 28g of protein. Jerky is easy to find and has a long shelf life. You can find low sodium and lower sugar options to meet your individual needs.
12. Roasted Chickpeas
Roasted chickpeas are super easy to make ahead, and it’s packed with nutrients. Half a cup packs 12g of protein and 10g of fiber. Bonus: you can season them with your favorite seasonings to meet your cravings.
13. Peanut Butter and Celery
Celery with peanut butter has been a long-time go-to for many reasons. Crunchy fatty deliciousness is always a win for me. Celery packs in the fiber and provides hydration, while peanut butter provides healthy fat and protein to help you stay satisfied.
14. Almond Butter
I love almond butter, especially the almond butter packs that are readily available these days. They are easy to throw in your bag. Plus, they are sealed and stay good for long periods. You can bring them everywhere, even on a plane. One pack contains about 19g of fat and 6 grams of protein.
15. Apples and Pears
When picking fruit, you want to think of durable fruit. Apples and pears are an easy go-to to throw in a bag. They are available all year round and contain about 3-6 g of fiber.
16. String Cheese
It’s hard not to love cheese. Plus, I kind of feel like I’m a kid again when I eat string cheese. String cheeses are super easy to pack and go. Each stick contains 7 grams of protein and a good source of calcium, providing 20% of your needs.
17. Protein Bars
Protein bars provide all the things, including fiber, healthy fat, and protein. You can buy them or (my preference) make them on your own. Check out this recipe for a Designer Protein Protein Bar.
18. Protein Muffins
Muffins aren’t always the healthiest thing on the menu, but they can serve your body well when you make them yourself with nutrient ingredients. Check out this recipe for a Protein Blueberry Banana Muffin made with Designer Protein.
19. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese contains a whopping 26g of protein in 1 cup and meets 20% of your calcium needs for the day. You can pack it yourself or find single servings. Add your favorite toppings for an easy snack or lunch on the go.
20. Greek and Skyr
Greek and Skyr yogurt contains 20g of protein in 1 serving and is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin-A. You can have it alone or top it with your favorite fruit, nuts, or
Don’t make life more complicated than it needs to be. Try keeping these easy snacks on hand to keep you satisfied and energized no matter where the day takes you.
By Ginger Cochran, MS, RDN, CDCES, CEP-ACSM