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10 Healthy High-Protein Snacks You Can Take With You On The Go To Stay Fuller Longer

10 Healthy High-Protein Snacks You Can Take With You On The Go To Stay Fuller Longer

Getting enough protein in each meal can help stabilize your blood sugar levels as well as nourish your muscles and brain cells for optimal energy, focus, and productivity. We also need complex carbs and small amounts of fat, but we should attempt to get these nutrients from real foods instead of highly processed meals and snacks on the go. Choosing snacks high in protein can stabilize hunger levels and blood sugar levels between meals to help you stay energized throughout the day.

We all know protein shakes are easy on-the-go snacks, but what about other high-protein options for on-the-go eats? There are lots of ideas you can try, as long as you choose lean and easy-to-digest sources of protein so your body can efficiently break down the amino acids in the protein sources and put them to use in your muscles, brain cells, and digestive system. Here are 10 great high-protein snack options anyone can make!

1. Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt With Berries And A Few Tablespoons Of Nuts Or Low-Sugar Granola

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    Image Source: Lisa/Flickr

    Plain, non-fat yogurt is a great source of probiotics and protein along with potassium, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D to help you feel healthy all day long. Dairy yogurt offers 12-20 grams of protein per 5.3-ounce cup, and it can easily by taken with you in a cooler or purchased at food marts everywhere. Pair your yogurt with some fruit for additional vitamins and minerals plus some fiber, and top your yogurt with some low-sugar granola or some nuts. Choose yogurt without added sugars, GMOs, artificial sweeteners, and always go for low-fat or non-fat yogurt when you can.

    2. Steel Cut Or Rolled Oats With Yogurt, Pumpkin, Nut Butter, And Seeds

    oatmeal

      Image Source: aj Jazmen/Flickr

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      Steel cut oats and rolled oats digest more slowly than instant oats, and both options make wonderful breakfasts, but they also make for wonderful on-the-go eats. Oatmeal is a great source of protein, and it’s actually much higher in protein, fiber, and overall nutrients than quinoa (which most people think is better). Pair your oatmeal with some non-dairy milk and yogurt, some pumpkin, cinnamon, stevia, and some nut butter for a protein-packed meal you can take with you in a to-go cup or mason jar. This snack also keeps well all day long in a cooler or in a fridge if you want to eat it at work.

      3. One Cup of Plain, Shredded Wheat Cereal With Cinnamon, Stevia, And One Small Container Of Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt

        Image Source: Jacqueline P./Flickr

        Shredded wheat cereal (not the frosted kind) is loaded with fiber and is possibly the healthiest boxed cereal you can eat. The only ingredient is wheat and/or wheat bran. It’s also wonderful at keeping you full and is packed with natural protein, containing 7 grams per cup. Pair plain shredded wheat cereal with yogurt, cinnamon, and stevia, and you have your own version of a cinnamon toast crunch parfait. It’s tasty and filling! You can also take it with you on the go by packing your yogurt in a cooler and putting your cereal in a separate plastic baggie. Take some travel packets of stevia or your choice sweetener, some cinnamon, and you’re all set!

        4. Protein Breakfast Cookies

        oatmeal cookies

          Image Source: melissa/Flickr

          Making your own protein snacks is a great idea for optimal nutrition, ingredient control, and it’s also good for staying prepared. Protein cookies and muffins can easily be prepared in no time on a weekend and can be packaged up in baggies, kept in the fridge or freezer, and can be toted with you anywhere all week long. Most recipes call for oats, some type of nut butter or seeds like flax and chia, and many have fruit like bananas and applesauce that act as a binder. Search Pinterest for protein breakfast cookies, or feel free to try my favorite recipe.

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          5. One Packet Of Your Choice Of Protein Powder Or Meal Replacement Powder Mixed With Plain Non-Fat Greek Yogurt And Fruit

          oatmeal and fruit

            Image Source: My Thy/Flickr

            Here’s the easiest protein-packed, travel-friendly recipe you’ll ever find: protein powder, yogurt, fruit, and nuts and seeds. This is such an easy breakfast or snack that anyone can make it. It’s also a recipe I love to take with me during travel for easy digestion and portability. I love using a non-GMO plant-based protein or meal replacement powder without sugar, or a non-GMO whey protein isolate protein made without sugar mixed with yogurt, berries, apples or pears, and some cinnamon and flax. Give it a try!

            6. Plain Unsalted Peanut Butter On Sprouted Grain Toast With Fruit

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              Image Source: Bobbi Bowers/Flickr

              If you love sandwiches but want something healthier, try this option out. Sprouted grain bread (such as Ezekial bread) is incredibly high in protein compared to processed, shelf-stable bread. Sprouted grain bread has no flour and is also very easy to digest. Spread some natural, no salt or sugar added peanut butter (or an alternative nut butter) on some sprouted grain bread with banana, apple, or some berries. Turn it into a sandwich or eat it like toast and take it with you as a high-protein snack. It will keep just fine all day long in a cooler or even in your purse.

              7. Homemade Protein No-Bake Energy Bites

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                Image Source: Isha Zubeidi/Flickr

                Homemade energy and protein bites make great travel-friendly, high-protein snacks. There are limitless amounts of recipes that exist for these, just be sure to make yours with natural ingredients whenever possible. Good ingredients to include in your bites are peanut or almond butter, raisins, oats, flax, and many people also use either banana, applesauce, or a bit of honey. Find a recipe that suits your needs and make up a batch this week!

                8. Protein Overnight Oats

                Blueberry-Protein-Overnight-Oatmeal-by-Heather-McClees-at-The-Soulful-Spoon-vegan-sugar-free-gluten-free-1

                  Image Source: The Soulful Spoon

                  Protein overnight oats are easy to make and can be taken with you anywhere. I love a mix of plant-based protein powder with rolled oats, some cocoa powder, blueberries, stevia, and some cinnamon. You can make yours any way that you enjoy, and you’ll be full for hours after this snack!

                  9. Prepared Homemade Protein Bars Or Protein Muffins

                  homemade protein bars

                    Image Source: Sarah R/Flickr

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                    Bake up a batch of your own protein bars this weekend and you can have the cleanest protein bars on hand to enjoy all week long. The benefits of making your own bars is that you’ll avoid lots of chemicals and artificial sweeteners like those at the store. Great ingredients to include in your bars are your favorite protein powder or meal replacement product, some coconut flour which is low-glycemic, some oats, oat finer, or oat flour, some spices of choice, and many recipes may or may not use additional ingredients like stevia, applesauce, bananas, or some low-sugar chocolate chips. Many also use peanut butter and almond butter. Search Pinterest for recipes that fit your needs, and always go for those without refined sugar or lots of added sugar for optimal blood sugar levels.

                    10. Hard-Boiled Eggs With Oatmeal

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                      Image Source: Victor/Flickr

                      Hard-boiled eggs are one of nature’s best sources of easy-to-assimilate protein. Eggs are also a great source of Vitamin D, B vitamins, choline to fuel a healthy brain, and the saturated fat content in eggs is quite low in terms of overall requirements for the day. Choose eggs that are organic, cage-free, and free range if possible—not just one or the other. Pastured eggs are the best choice since hens feed off grass all day long and are given free range to live as naturally as possible. Pair your hardboiled eggs with some oatmeal and fruit for a complete meal, and take it with you on the go for an optimal long-lasting and highly filling snack or mini meal. You can also take travel packets of oatmeal and buy pre-boiled eggs to make things even easier.

                      Final Tips

                      These high-protein snacks not only provide easy-to-digest sources of protein, but they are also paired with slow-digesting carbohydrates for optimal energy levels. Remember that when you are choosing a high-protein snack to take on the go, you should avoid all sources of refined sugar when possible and pair your protein with a healthy source of complex carbs for optimal muscle growth, brain focus, and to be sure you get enough fiber throughout your day.

                      If you need some high-protein breakfast ideas, these 10 options have you covered!

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                      Published on November 14, 2018

                      Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                      Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                      With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                      For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                      In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                      Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                      Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                      It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                      For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                      Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                      Symptoms of Fatigue

                      Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                      • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                      • mental blocks
                      • lack of motivation
                      • headache
                      • dizziness
                      • muscle weakness
                      • slowed reflexes and responses
                      • impaired decision-making and judgement
                      • moodiness, such as irritability
                      • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                      • reduced immune system function
                      • blurry vision
                      • short-term memory problems
                      • poor concentration
                      • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                      Causes of Fatigue

                      The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                      • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                      • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                      • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                      • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                      Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                      Medical Causes of Fatigue

                      If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                      Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                      Anemia

                      Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                      Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                      There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                      This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                      Diabetes

                      Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                      Sleep Apnea

                      Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                      Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                      Thyroid disease

                      An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                      Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                      • Lack of sleep
                      • Too much sleep 
                      • Alcohol and drugs 
                      • Sleep disturbances 
                      • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                      • Poor diet 

                      Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                      • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                      • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                      • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                      • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                      Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                      Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                      • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                      • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                      • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                      How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                      Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                      1. Tell The Truth

                      Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                      To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                      Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                      The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                      One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                      • How you feel
                      • What time of day it is
                      • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                      • How your mind and body reacts

                      This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                      2. Reduce Your Commitments

                      When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                      If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                      When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                      Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                      3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                      If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                      Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                      If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                      Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                      Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                      4. Express More Gratitude

                      Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                      It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                      Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                      5. Focus On Yourself

                      Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                      There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                      But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                      We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                      6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                      Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                      Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                      The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                      Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                      7. Take a Power Nap

                      When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                      Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                      This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                      8. Take More Exercise

                      The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                      Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                      The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                      You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                      9. Get More Quality Sleep

                      To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                      Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                      My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                      10. Improve Your Diet

                      Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                      Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                      On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                      To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                      Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                      Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                      11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                      Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                      When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                      Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                      My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                      12. Get Hydrated

                      Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                      Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                      If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                      The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                      The Bottom Line

                      These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                      If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                      Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                      [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                      [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                      [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                      [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                      [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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