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Look, Feel and Perform Better Challenge > Talk to me about snacks

The place where I tend to get derailed with Paleo eating is snacking. In past years I have defaulted to technically on-challenge, but high-sugar, items like Larabars a little too often. Last year I was better at avoiding Larabars, but turned to nuts, which although not as sugary are certainly not a food that's going to get me to the "look better" part of the challenge.

I'm realizing I may have to bite the bullet and cart some veggie crudites to work, but man, do I find snacking on just veggies to be unsatisfying. What can I put on them (besides calorie-heavy almond or cashew butter) that's Paleo-friendly? And any other snack suggestions most welcome!

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStella

My go-to's:
1. Cashews
2. Trail mix (Trader Joe's has great single serve packages of both cashews and a couple of decent trail mixes that are great for me as far as portioning)
3. Jerky
4. Apples
5. Almond butter
6. Baby Belle cheeses/whatever brand mozzarella sticks used to be a big one for me too, but I am trying to go dairy-free for this challenge so I will do without

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichael C.

I like a hard-boiled egg as a snack.

But more often I treat a snack as a mini-meal: I just do a small bit of protein and some veggies, almost always a small amount of leftovers. While I was doing the Whole30 I would cook up a pack of breakfast sausages at the beginning of the week and have one (they were small) with whatever leftover veggies I had around as a post-WOD snack.

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRuth

I've always had trouble with paleo snacks and try to eat large meals to avoid the urge to snack. Some things that work for me if I must snack are: cold cuts, berries, low carb nuts (almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts), unsweetened coconut flakes (mostly fat and some fiber, very low net carbs). If you want something tasty to dip veggies in, homemade mayo is 0 carb and easy to make in a blender, you can add things like chipotle peppers or garlic to spice it up and make it interesting.

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew C

I really like where Ruth went with it, redefining what "snack" and "meal" mean to her. I also will use boiled eggs, leftovers, sliced deli meat, nuts, etc... When each "meal" is real food and has a protein component you'll do better. Lara Bars are not a real food, contrary to the marketing. Use them only in a pinch if you can.

I'd also caution against total carb fear. If you avoid grains, caloric beverages, and packaged foods you'll have gone a long way to get rid of refined sugars anyway. Trying to focus more on the positive (what food to eat), as opposed to the negative (what food not to eat) can be amazing.

January 2, 2014 | Registered CommenterChristian Fox


I say we make a pact to try and expand our palates eat some bugs over this challenge! Any ideas where?

January 2, 2014 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

So far i'm finding that snacks are where i need to get creative, especially adding in some protein. As much as i love a larabar i'm staying away for a while, they have become almost too convenient and used as something sweet. I'm digging the idea of just having some leftovers as a snack so i'll be trying that! I've reintroduce black beans and lentils for this challenge, kind of as another protein source for a snack. Zone refers to black beans and lentils as carbohydrates but it has been mentioned that they are a good source of protein for vegetarians. So, maybe i'm a snack-etarian…?

Morning snacks have been a bit random: apple slices with hummus (sounds like a weird combo but i love it. also, rationalizing the chick-peas in hummus as protein) and peanuts. Today's afternoon snack was super satisfying: black beans with avocado & salsa, and a small piece of leftover pot roast!

January 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBeccaWolf

Here's a link to 50 Paleo Friendly Snacks.

January 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAdele

Thanks all for these tips! My first week has been fruit twice a day. All that sugar must not be good for the look portion of this challenge!

January 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSara E

Kimchi y'all. It is v. low cal and fermented foods are great for you. Pickle some vegetables and snack on them. Way more exciting than crudites.

January 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoel W.


I threw in for this Kickstarter project for protein bars made out of cricket flour. I have 6 bars coming my way. There has been delays, but if they ever come you can try one.

January 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBen W

Building on Ruth's idea (which is fabulous), I brought some leftover fritatta today to eat (cold) as a snack. Normally I'm not a big fan of cold eggs, but I had some for breakfast too and it was pretty good! Definitely something you'd want to eat right away though.

I completely agree that snacks are tough. Here are some other ideas:
- Lunch meat around a slices of bell peppers and avocado. (This is one of my favorite Paleo-friendly meals/snacks to bring hiking too).
- OR lunch meat around a pickle (maybe with mustard too?), but I'm guessing that's a weird Iowa thing.
- If you're doing dairy, cottage cheese/yogurt with anything (fruit, sunflower seeds, protein power, if you're short on protein).
- Or string cheese with a piece of fruit or veggies on the side
- A smaller portion of chicken or tuna salad (with veggies, of course!) - use oil/vinegar instead of mayo you're being strict on the mayo and don't want to make your own

None of these ideas are low calorie :( but they will keep you full!! Fruit generally makes me more hungry, so I avoid it as a snack unless it's paired with fat/protein (e.g., almond butter, cheese, a meal). Even then, I consider it a second rate snack. I rotate through all the snacks above, and I'll post again if I come up with anything revolutionary. Hope this helps a little :)

DO, Ben, I LOVE the idea of bug protein powder! I probably wouldn't use it exclusively, but hooray for a sustainable source of protein. Protein to the people!!!! Let me know how it goes, Ben. And DO, I will eat bugs with you anytime!

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKMo

Lunch meat around a pickle sounds fantastic, KMo! Thanks for the idea -- I have been going to the well of nut butter all too often lately, and I'm pretty sure that's why my weight is stubbornly stuck where it is despite the fact that French fries have completely exited my life.

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStella

I've been eating SO much fruit… I know it's too much sugar, but I love fresh fruit, and it's the easiest thing to pack. I am usually at school for 10+ hours a day, so it's really tough to get creative in the packing department (yesterday I was here for 13 hours. Try packing for that day). I've been making batches of "trail mix" (thank goodness for the Coop's bulk aisle), but even that has dried fruit (and tons of calories). I'm going to try and hard boil up some eggs for the week to supplement all the fruit eating, although I'm pretty sure if I peel and eat hard boiled eggs in the law school's library someone might kill me.

A couple of questions-- what do people think about fruit intake? Is it going to affect my weight loss if I'm having clementines, a banana, berries, and grapes all in one day? Can you think of anything besides eggs, nuts, and fruits that are easy to pack and don't need to be kept cold? Is that ridiculous?

My other question is… how many eggs in a day is too many? Some days I creep into the 4-ish territory. Is that terrible?

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLily

Lily - fruit consumption will most definitely affect your body composition, as in too much will blunt it. 1-2 servings a day is the most we recommend, and some folks do better cutting it out completely. Take Katie's advice and always pair it with protein, and try some of the other great snack ideas above. I've dealt with similar obstacles in the past when I was going to school in the morning and heading straight to work afterward. I'd pack a insulated lunch bag with meals and snacks for the day. To keep stuff cold you can use an ice pack and/or a frozen water bottle. Some stuff that I would pack that would be ok not being refrigerated were:

-tuna with frozen peas and carrots and beans mixed with some olive oil (or a few nuts) and vinegar
-cooked oatmeal with protein powder and nuts
-sliced deli meat and peppers
-boiled eggs and small pieces of fruit
-cottage cheese and berries

I'd eat the most perishable stuff first but I never really worried about it. If you peel your eggs in the morning then you'll feel like less of a nuisance popping them in the school library ;) Bonus is that you can S&P them right there and then.

4 eggs a day is just fine. I'd definitely buy the best eggs you can.

January 14, 2014 | Registered CommenterChristian Fox

Thanks for these tips! I'm sorry if life has rendered me somewhat helpless. I'm still getting the hang of packing three meals and snacks for the day… that tuna with veggies and olive oil is genius, BTW. I missed that in Katie's post.

Going to stick with my massive egg consumption, because I love them and they are easy. Also will work on pairing fruit with protein and cutting back on it as my default snack.

Thank you for helping me with… everything!

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLily

Today's lunch gave me another idea: green beans with sesame ginger dipping sauce. I bought this from a cafe near my office. They sprinkled the green beans with sesame seeds, which made the whole thing seem fancy. Obviously this idea would work with other veggie (peppers, snap peas) / sauce (tahini, tzatziki) combinations. (+)'s seems fancy and grown-up, you can eat it with your fingers; (-) doesn't include protein

Lily, I'm sorry if it seemed like I was demonizing fruit. I've just found in the 4+ years I've been eating this way that it doesn't keep me full. So I agree with Fox that 1-2 servings is probably best, but I'd encourage you to feel it out for yourself. I used to feel really guilty about eating "too much" fruit and that's not right either. Full disclosure: I'm eating an apple right now.

And if 4 eggs is a massive amount, I'm in trouble!! I eat 3-8 eggs a day and have eating that many forever. I'm still here. Admittedly, I haven't considered the long-term consequences. Eggs are just one of the only things I can cook consistently well. I get the pastured ones on the far right at the coop. They have a handwritten label, which I think is quaint.

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKMo

Haha, it's totally quaint! I also buy those eggs for that exact reason.

I don't want to get caught up in worrying about eating too much of a lovely, fresh, whole food like fruit, but I also know that having 5 servings in a day (ahem, today and yesterday) is excessive. I'm going to find a balance!

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLily