7 Days, 7 Snacks

Friday, September 10, 2010 | 0 comments »

By Joe Wilkes

The toughest part of the day for a lot of us is the time between meals. The temptation to graze—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 will. The best strategy to prepare for attacks of the munchies is to have healthy snacks on hand.

Note: All nutritional information is for one serving.

Sunday: Tony Horton's Sticky Bar

The 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-to-prepare healthy bite. The key to this recipe is the quality of those three ingredients. The banana's pretty easy. While it's better to look for organic bananas, most come in their own protective gear. The peanut butter should also be easy to choose. Just get the kind with one ingredient: peanuts. No sugar, no salt, no problems. Things can get crazy choosing the granola. 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 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
  • Wax paper
Mix and mash all three ingredients in a bowl. Spoon onto a sheet of wax paper. Roll it up into a hot dog/cigar shape. Stick it in the freezer. Freeze for about 90 minutes.

You can 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 Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total
389 14 g 9 g 47 g 17 g

Monday: Orangeberry Shakeology®

While I think Greenberry Shakeology® is delicious on its own, it's even better when it's mixed with orange juice. Some people have commented that the flavor resembles a popular shopping mall beverage that has the same name as a 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 Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total
252 19 g 3 g 43 g 1 g

Tuesday: Cottage Cheese Surprise

I'll leave it to historians to decide Richard Nixon's place in the presidential firmament. I believe his greatest contribution was his love of the odd culinary mash-up of cottage cheese and ketchup. Much as I disagreed with some of his policies, I also wasn't a big fan of the ketchup. Most ketchup these days is just a bottle of corn syrup with an odd tomato or two thrown in—not technically a vegetable, despite what a more recent presidential administration would’ve had us believe. 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 in the fridge that's flavorful and low-calorie (that's the surprise!).
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
  • Hot sauce to taste
Mix ingredients in a bowl. (If you only have one cup of cottage cheese left, mix the ingredients in the cottage cheese tub for easy cleanup!)

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total
216 29 g 0 g 8 g 7 g

Wednesday: Edamame

This has become my go-to snack for watching TV. Full of protein and a slightly salty treat (but careful not to make it too salty), these soybeans are delicious and nutritious, and if you shell them yourself, you will slow down your chow time, so you get fuller faster on fewer pods.
  • 1 cup edamame
  • Salt to taste
Buy fresh or frozen edamame, and steam or reheat according to package directions. If buying fresh, unpackaged edamame, boil or steam them for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they reach desired tenderness.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total
189 17 g 8 g 16 g 8 g

Thursday: Trail Mix

Preparing trail mix allows you to combine some of your favorite snacks and helps you avoid the world of nacho-flavored fatty and salty snacks. You can change up the recipe to create your favorite crunchy treats. The best ingredients include nuts, dried fruit, and unsweetened granola. Try to steer clear of less wholesome ingredients. If you're adding M&Ms® or chocolate chips to your recipe, who are you kidding? You could trade in your favorite nuts or dried fruit instead. 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
Place ingredients in an airtight container. Shake to mix ingredients. Serves 6.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total
320 10 g 5 g 37 g 17 g

Friday: Chalene Johnson's Crispbread

Here's a quick little snack to tide you over between meals, inspired by Turbo Jam® and ChaLEAN Extreme® trainer extraordinaire Chalene Johnson. While she recommends the following recipe, you could try some other fun variations—use different fruits, both fresh and dried vegetables, or cottage cheese instead of peanut butter.
  • 1 Wasa crispbread (or similar low-fat cracker)
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 2 fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced
Spread peanut butter on cracker and pile sliced strawberries on top.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total
241 9 g 6 g 17 g 16 g

Saturday: P90X Peak Performance Protein Bar

Sometimes 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, including Wildberry Yogurt, have been recently reformulated to taste even more delicious, plus there's a new flavor, Chocolate Fudge. With 20 grams of protein per bar, you’ll feel full and have energy for hours. And you can't beat the preparation time! Nutritional information is for the Café Mocha flavor.
  • 1 P90X Peak Performance Protein Bar
Preparation Time: 1 minute (longer if you don't have opposable thumbs)

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total
260 20 g 1 g 29 g 7 g