7 Days, 7 Snacks: Make Between Meals Healthy and Simple

By Joe Wilkes

The toughest part of the day for a lot of us is the time in between meals. The temptation to graze through the office or kitchen dipping into candy dishes, doughnut boxes, and chip bowls can be great. We may not count these “found” calories, but our scales and measuring tapes absolutely do. The best strategy is to prepare for attacks of the munchies by having your own healthy snacks on hand.  This way you will stick to your exercise goals, no matter what time of day.  Enjoy!

Chalene Johnson Holding Strawberries

Note: All nutritional information is for one serving.

Sunday: Tony Horton’s Sticky Bar

Tony Horton Holding Sticky BarThe father of P90X® has created the granddaddy of all snacks, as far as I’m concerned. The worst cook in the world can mash up these three ingredients for an easy, healthy bite. The key to this recipe is the quality of those three ingredients. The banana’s pretty easy. Better to look for organic, but most bananas come in their own protective gear. The peanut butter should likewise be easy to choose. Just get the one with one ingredient: peanuts. No sugar, no salt, no problems. The granola is where things can get crazy. While ostensibly a wholesome cereal, all manner of sins have been committed in the name of granola, like soaking the poor oats in high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. Just read the label to make sure you know what you’re getting. A good granola should be low in fat, low in sugar, and high in fiber. If your local supermarket isn’t giving you what you need, you might consider investigating making your own so you can control what goes in.

  • 1/2 medium-size banana
  • 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened granola

Mix and mash all three ingredients into a bowl. Spoon onto a sheet of wax paper. Roll up the contents into a hot dog/cigar shape. Stick in the freezer. Ready in about 90 minutes. Cut off little bites or eat the whole thing. Eat it frozen or throw it in the microwave for 10 seconds. Serves 2.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Freezing time: 90 minutes

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
389 17 grams 47 grams 9 grams 14 grams

Monday: Orangeberry Shakeology®

Glass of Shakeology and OrangeWhile I think Greenberry Shakeology is delicious on its own, it’s even better when mixed with orange juice. Some have even commented that the flavor resembles a popular shopping-mall beverage that has the same name as a famous Roman emperor.

  • 1 scoop Greenberry Shakeology
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • Ice to taste

In a blender, mix all ingredients until frothy.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
252 1 gram 43 grams 3 grams 19 grams

Tuesday: Cottage Cheese Surprise

Cottage Cheese with Hot SauceI’ll leave it to historians to decide Richard Nixon’s place in the presidential firmament. For my own life, his greatest contribution would be his love of the odd culinary mash-up of cottage cheese and ketchup. Much as I departed with some of his policies, I wasn’t a big fan of ketchup. Most ketchup these days is just a bottle of corn syrup with an odd tomato or two (not technically a vegetable, as one of President Nixon’s succeeding administrations would have had us believe) thrown in. I’m more of a hot sauce man, but Nixon did inspire me to enjoy cottage cheese as a savory snack instead of a sweet one. Most of the leftover condiments in my refrigerator have made it into a protein-rich bowl of cottage cheese at some point, along with other leftover veggies. Hot sauce and Parmesan cheese are my standbys, but I also recommend kimchi, salsa, chopped herbs, garlic, chives, or anything else that is flavorful and low-cal in the fridge (that’s the surprise!).

  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
  • Hot sauce to taste

Mix ingredients in bowl. (If only one cup of cottage cheese left, mix ingredients in cottage cheese tub for easy cleanup!)

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
216 7 grams 8 grams >1 gram 29 grams

Wednesday: Edamame

EdamameThis has become my go-to snack for watching TV. Full of protein and a slightly salty treat (but be careful not to make it too salty), these soybeans are delicious and nutritious, and if you shell them yourself, the unshelling process will slow down your chow time, so you get fuller faster on fewer pods.

  • 1 cup edamame

Buy frozen or fresh edamame, and steam or reheat according to package directions.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
189 8 grams 16 grams 8 grams 17 grams

Thursday: Trail Mix

Trail Mix in a JarTrail mix is a great way to combine some of your favorite snacks and avoid the world of nacho-flavored fatty and salty snacks. You can mix up the recipe to include your favorite crunchy treats. The best ingredients include nuts, dried fruit, and unsweetened granola. Try and steer clear of less wholesome ingredients. If you’re adding M&M’S® or chocolate chips to your recipe, who are you kidding? You could trade your favorite nuts or dried fruit for the listed ingredients. This is a good time to bust out the individual serving bags, so you don’t end up going down the trail of oversnacking.

  • 1 cup peanuts, shelled
  • 1 cup unsweetened granola
  • 1 cup raisins

Combine ingredients into airtight container. Shake to combine. Serves 6.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
320 17 grams 37 grams 5 grams 10 grams

Friday: Chalene Johnson’s Crispbread

Peanut Butter and a StrawberryHere’s a quick little snack to tide you over between meals, inspired by Turbo Jam® and ChaLEAN Extreme® trainer extraordinaire Chalene Johnson. She recommends the following recipe, although you could try some other fun variations—for instance, with cottage cheese instead of peanut butter or different fruits or vegetables, both fresh and dried.

  • 1 Wasa® crispbread (or similar low-fat cracker)
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 2 fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced

Spread peanut butter on cracker, then pile sliced berries on top.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
241 16 grams 17 grams 6 grams 9 grams

Saturday: P90X® Peak Performance Protein Bar

P90X Peak Performance Protein BarsSometimes the easiest snack just involves opening a wrapper. If you haven’t tried Beachbody’s P90X Peak Performance Protein Bars in a while, treat yourself. All of the flavors have been recently reformulated and taste even more delicious, plus there are new flavors like Chocolate Fudge and Wildberry Yogurt. With 20 grams of protein per bar, you’ll feel full and have energy for hours. And you can’t beat the preparation time!

  • 1 P90X Peak Performance Protein Bar

Preparation time: 1 minute (longer if you don’t have opposable thumbs)

Nutritional information (per serving; for Café Mocha flavor):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
260 7 grams 29 grams 1 gram 20 grams

Feel free to eat any of these snacks on any day of the week. And repeat your favorites. Most of these can be integrated into your favorite Beachbody meal plan, including P90X. Bon appétit!

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