REAL food. Here are some of my go-to REAL food ideas. A little planning & prep can go a long way.
Remember: Avoid foods and drinks that are artificially made “low fat” or “no fat.” If nature made it with fat, that’s how it’s best managed by your body. Avoid artificial sweeteners. Monk fruit may be ok. If you are having something sweet, own up to it and only have a little. You can modify the list below to remove grains or dairy.
Snacks to have on hand (**Always available, keeps longer):
In the Fridge:
- Raw veggies – usually have 2-4 varieties in fridge for week:
- carrot sticks
- sugar snap peas
- celery sticks
- radishes (eat salted- yum)
- romaine hearts
- grape tomatoes
- salad/baby spinach packs
- Greek plain yogurt
- Baby bell (or other individually wrapped) cheeses**
- crumbled smoked blue cheese or feta cheese
- blue cheese or other salad dressing**
- boiled eggs (boil a dozen at beginning of week- remember boil older eggs & add 1 tsp baking soda to water helps make them easy-peel)
- crispy oven baked nitrite/nitrate free bacon (line on cookie sheet & bake)
- deli meats, (pasture raised IS better)
- leftovers: roasted veggies or meats
- Berries occasionally
- dark chocolate covered cocoa dusted almonds** (Buy in bulk & stored in freezer)
NOT in the fridge (often in my desk drawers in office or pantry at home)
- nuts** (various flavors ie. wasabi soy sauce almonds, smoked almonds, salted peanuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, etc.)
- nut butters** (peanut, almond, cashew, etc.) – great to add to other foods or when in a pinch, just scoop it out in a spoon and eat 1 spoonful- surprisingly satisfying.
- beef jerky** (pasture raised is best)
- tuna packs**
- salmon packs** (great way to get wild salmon, instead of farm raised “Atlantic” salmon – which doesn’t have the higher omega 3’s of wild salmon)
- Kind bars** – there are many varieties…these are when I want something sweet
- Kale Salad: kale- 1 bunch (julienne or chopped fine, massage leaves with drizzled olive oil), juice of 1 lemon juice, sprinkling of pine nuts, grated Parmesan to taste
- “Everything” Mix: nut butter + flax seed + chia seeds + coconut flakes (unsweetened)+/- hemp hearts +/- few choc chips +/- other nuts/seeds (optional) (which is combined & put together with some maple syrup (optional) & stored in fridge in balls or crumbled…then when desired, mix it into plain Greek yogurt +/- berries). Recipe for a no-bake snack.
- Chopped Colorful Salad or Wedge salad – nitrite/nitrate free bacon, boiled eggs (as above) +/- avocado/blue cheese +/- grape tomatoes on salad pack (or quarter of iceberg lettuce or cut up hearts of romaine lettuce) with leftovers from dinner
- Tuna/egg/salmon salad on romaine lettuce leaf (use like taco shell) or on cucumber slices/boat (scoop out the seeds) or on salad pack. (If you like capers, add some to your egg salad – it is divine!)
- Nut butter on celery or apple slices or stirred into Greek yogurt
- Deli meat (as above) or tuna/egg/salmon/chicken salad wrapped in romaine with hummus or cheese +/- additional veggies like peppers slices or tomato or avocado (wrap in saran wrap like nori-maki to store in fridge if making ahead)
- Spinach with almost anything (can saute or eat fresh or put in microwave. Then, put dressing or soy sauce or vinegar w/olive oil or sprinkle with cheese & bacon or toss berries in it)
- Broccoli slaw – saute or add to almost any dish. It’s easy and an excellent source of vitamins and delicious.
- Eggs: fried/scrambled/boiled with tomato slices & avocado (+/- sprouted ezekiel bread-if occasionally eating whole grains, found in freezer section only) +/- salsa
- Homemade Trail Mix: mixed nuts with some dark chocolate chips/carob chips +/- unsweetened coconut flakes
- Cabbage – sauteed as “base” for other foods in place of pasta or rice
- Spaghetti squash -baked – to eat with spaghetti with meat sauce
- Cauliflower – as “mashed potatoes” or “rice” or baked with parmesan or roasted or raw, etc. etc.
- Meatloaf, prefer grass-fed ground beef or ground lamb – great as leftovers & easy to add to almost any other meals (if have extra time, would make it into meatballs)
- Green beans (blanched) & grape tomatoes halved (soy sauce, chopped garlic & sesame oil)
- Edamame – boil x 5 minutes & sprinkle with salt over pods. Good hot or cold.
- Eggplant slices – baked or fried with some olive oil & salt or grated Parmesan or other seasonings. Add some tomato or marinara sauce on it with a sprinkling of Parmesan or Asiago & baked- it is AMAZING.
- Mushrooms – stuffed. Or baked with soy sauce or cheese
- Cheese crisps (sliced or shredded cheese placed on parchment & baked or microwaved until melted & flattened out, then browned just a bit to make them crispy when cooled down)
- Stir fry veggies +/- protein
- Hummus with veggies
- Peppers stuffed with deli meats (see above), tuna salad or sliced with hummus or in stir fry or salads
- Leftover meats cut into strips (Always cook extra protein for dinner & cut up the leftovers. Strips are easy to grab as snack or put in romaine boat or toss in salad or stir fry or with cabbage stir fry)
- Coconut granola (I did not use both honey AND maple syrup, so it wasn’t too sweet)
- Golden Low Carb granola from the Low Carb Diet Doctor
Keep healthy food options easy and readily available and you will improve your nutrition and your health from inside…out. Please share some of your suggestions for easy healthy real food ideas.