I am a snack girl, 100%. From healthy turkey jerky to matcha collagen lattes – these are the quick, portable, and healthy snacks I always have stocked in my pantry (and fridge)!
1. CHOMPS Meat Sticks
Growing up in Wisconsin, I grew up on homemade meat sticks and they are one of my favorite snacks to this day. However, now that I live in the big city that is Chicago, my source has changed a bit! CHOMPS have 9-10g of protein and no added nasties like a lot of meat sticks on the market. My reigning favorite to this day is the Hoppin’ Jalapeño Beef CHOMPS, with the Jalapeño Turkey coming in a close second (what can I say, I like it hot )
Full disclaimer, I am a Marketing Intern for the company, but I loved them even before I was hired on! I first discovered the tasty meat sticks at Trader Joe’s, and after doing a little research I found that they office out of Chicago and viola, here I am.
2. RXBAR Protein Bars
Another local-to-Chicago company, RXBAR has changed the game for protein-packed snacks. These bars are INSANE. Each bar has 10-12g protein and they taste great. Seriously, I have not found a flavor that I do not like. The Chocolate Hazelnut is my all-time favorite (and it’s pretty new!). I’ll usually have one with a piece of fruit for breakfast and pack a second to have later in the day as my post-lunch treat. They are seriously so good, I could (and do) eat them for dessert.
Also, I love their no B.S. mentality, in both their ingredients and life in general. Like this new campaign they are running:
You call that number and can leave a rant about whatever B.S. you are dealing with. What a concept.
3. Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen & Vanilla Collagen Creamer
Since my intern days at Vital (shoutout to another Chicago bizz), this combo has been my GO-TO. The Matcha Collagen and Vanilla Collagen Creamer truly go hand-in-hand to make the perfect matcha latte. I like to add a tbsp of MCT oil and a splash of unsweetened Milkadamia (macadamia) nut milk and blend it up in my Nutribullet. I will have it hot and iced, day and (sometimes night), summer and winter, doesn’t matter. I. Love. This. Stuff.
4. Roasted Mix Nuts
Having roasted mixed nuts is super handy for me. I will literally grab a *handful* whenever I am feeling for something crunchy and a little salty. I like to buy the roasted, unsalted mixed nuts from the Whole Foods bulk section and then add my own seasoning at home. I will mix the seasoning blends up depending how I am feeling, but my favorites are pink salt and chili powder or pink salt and a dash of cinnamon. By seasoning the nuts myself, it helps keep the sodium intake low but the flavor high!
5. Trader Joe’s Just Dried Mango
This stuff is addictive. The chewy texture and naturally sweet mango tastes makes it like candy. I am unashamed to admit that I have finished the entire bag in one sitting before. And I will probably do it again. Okay… maybe a little ashamed. Buy at your own risk.
6. Simple Mills Gluten Free Cheese Squares
Who says you have to give up Cheez Its if you’re gluten free? Well… you do but you don’t. These gluten free squares of cheesy goodness may knock you off the Cheez It wagon, too. They are super crisp and crunchy, and I love that they are ALSO from Chicago. How cool is it supporting local businesses?
7. Picnik Butter Coffee
These little nutrient packed bottles changed my opinion on coffee FOREVER. Like… I do not want to drink another butter coffee again, they are SO good. My favorite flavor is the Mocha Latte and I stock up on it whenever I see a sale at Whole Foods. They are made with MCT oil, Grass-Fed butter and whey protein, and are sweetened with maple syrup. These come in handy on mornings I am especially busy and don’t have time to make a matcha or if I am not super hungry for breakfast.
8. Perfect Bar
It was truly love at first bite with the Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Perfect Bar. I am not kidding when I say this thing tastes better than raw cookie dough. It does. And it is better for you. I am a creature of habit, so naturally I stock up on this flavor and this flavor alone when Whole Foods does the twofer deal.
That was until I tasted the Chocolate Walnut Brownie. Which tastes just like grandma’s if you were to throw ’em in the fridge.
9. Siete Foods Grain-Free Chips
When I first started down my health journey, I began to mourn the loss of the simple pleasures… like nacho cheese and cool ranch Doritos. Then I discovered Siete Foods Grain-Free chips. These are my favorite things to throw alongside a homemade burrito bowl or on top of tortilla soup (and by themselves, because duh). I love that I can still enjoy the pleasure of eating “junk” without the actual junk!
10. Health-ade Kombucha
Kombucha is my favorite thing to sip on if I am feeling a bit of a sweet tooth. I love Health-ade because of their honest ingredients. My favorite flavor is the Blood Orange-Carrot-Ginger with the new Jalapeño-Kiwi-Cucumber following closely behind (mainly because it makes a GREAT margarita!)