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25 Healthy Snacks for Work: Decrease Hunger and Increase Productivity

25 Healthy Snacks for Work: Decrease Hunger and Increase Productivity

Snacks are awesome. They bridge the gaps between our meals, provide us a little mental reset, and can oftentimes lead to a healthier weight.

How does this magic work exactly? Well, let me tell you:

Incorporating snacks into your mid-morning and mid-afternoon can balance out your blood sugar, preventing those dreaded spikes and crashes. A proper snack can also lead to sustained energy by providing you with energy all day long.

Remember, food is fuel. So without adding gas to your tank, you will quickly run out leading to decreased productivity and a crabby mood.

What about the healthy weight you may ask? When you provide your body with proper fuel throughout the day, you don’t meet meal time with starvation. You have more control when you dinner plate lands on the table, leading to decreased portions and less chance of over-eating. In fact, oftentimes I recommend snacks to most of my nutrition clientele.

The perfect snack follows a simple formula: Protein + Produce. This will give you carbs for a quick energy bump combined with fiber and protein for sustaining that energy. This snack duo also lends itself to be quite portable. A no fuss approach to feeling better throughout the day is always welcome.

Here are some healthy snacks for work to sustain your energy, keep your focus locked in, and promote that healthy weight:

1. Cucumber Sandwiches

    Cucumber sandwiches follow that perfect snack combo of protein + produce. The light and refreshing cucumber “buns” are a great delivery system for the protein-rich turkey slices.

    Cucumbers are also a great source of hydration as they are made up of mostly water! And, yes, you can eat your water.

    ~ Get the recipe here!

    2. Tuna Salad Cucumbers

      Cucumbers again?! Yup, these little fruits (not even a veg) are so easy and friendly for all snackers.

      Creating open-faced tuna salad sandwiches is a great way to have snack that will keep you going until your next meal. The tuna provides you with healthy fats that pairs nicely with the crunch of the fibrous cucumber.

      ~ Get the recipe here!

      3. The Classic: Trail Mix

        This classic combination is a tried and true method of snacking for a reason. It’s super easy, fun to mix up, and provides a nutritious punch.

        Check out this list of some great trail mix variations and ideas! Be sure to go for low-sodium nuts and no sugar added dried fruits to keep unwanted empty calories at bay.

        ~ Get the recipe here!

        4. Apple Cookies

          You can call these dessert nachos or apple cookies. But either way they make one heck of a snack!

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          Easy to pack and prepare, these apple cookies are loaded with delicious fuel for your mid-morning pick-me-up. And as a bonus, these are very simple to customize to whatever flavor combinations you fancy!

          ~ Get the recipe here!

          5. Banana Hemp Seed Sushi

            Hemp seeds are great! In case you don’t know why, hemp seeds are loaded with vitamin E, iron, and healthy fats.

            Pair these little powerhouse seeds with the power of peanut butter and a nutrient dense banana, you have the perfect combination for a snack! Thinking back on perfect snack formula of protein + produce, this snack follows that to a T!

            ~ Get the recipe here!

            6. Almond Butter and Banana Open Sandwich

              Another classic as it should be; but with a twist. In order to save time and shave off a few extra calories, use your banana as your delivery system. Top it with extra goodies and eat with a fork and knife or dive in to make it finger food!

              This recipe is great to have all the ingredients for in your desk drawer!

              ~ Get the recipe here!

              7. Baba Ganoush

                Baba Ganoush is like hummus’s forgotten cousin. It’s delicious and in my book, doesn’t get enough recognition! This eggplant based dip is a great source of fiber, copper, and vitamin B. You can use carrot sticks or seeded crackers to much this perfect snack down!

                ~ Get the recipe here!

                8. Blueberry Pudding

                  Chia seeds are little protein packets. And when soaked, they make a delicious pudding.

                  Bump up that pudding with fresh fruit and you have the perfect sweet treat to keep you going until lunch-time!

                  ~ Get the recipe here!

                  9. Cowboy Caviar

                    Cowboy caviar is a typical Sunday football food, however, have you ever thought of making a little extra for the week’s snacks? With all the beans and veggies, it is loaded with sustaining energy.

                    Pack this in a small to-go container with your favorite chips and you are all set from lunch to dinner!

                    ~ Get the recipe here!

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                    10. Greek Yogurt & Crushed Almond Banana Popsicles

                      Greek yogurt and crushed almond banana popsicles are the perfect snack swap for when you are feeling something sweet. Much better for you than the vending machine but they are just as indulgent!

                      In this snack recipe, the Greek yogurt and almonds provide the protein that covers the banana (aka produce of course).

                      ~ Get the recipe here!

                      11. Roasted Garlic Kale Hummus

                        Hummus alone should be on everyones list of superfoods! And this one is blended with kale for an extra nutrition bump. The roasted garlic provides a great flavor without making it too spicy.

                        I highly recommend this hummus with your favorite whole grain crackers or cut veggies!

                        ~ Get the recipe here!

                        12. Avocado Deviled Eggs

                          Deviled eggs always feel so fancy to eat. Now add whipped avocado into the mixture and they are indulgent! Another great example of creating a snack that follows the winning formula of protein + produce.

                          As a bonus, the avocados provide a hearty dense of good for you fats and flavor!

                          ~ Get the recipe here!

                          13. Peach Caprese Skewers

                            This snack couldn’t be simpler to make and take! You can keep them in skewer form or throw all the ingredients into your Tupperware container to eat as a salad.

                            Be sure to slice a ripe peach as the sweetness of the peach pairs wonderfully with the creamy mozzarella, fresh basil, and the acidity of the tomatoes!

                            ~ Get the recipe here!

                            14. Hard Boiled Egg and Avocado Bowl

                              Eggs are an excellent source of protein, packing 6 grams in each large one. This seasoned snack bowl is great for an afternoon break or morning nosh. Plus the red bell peppers not only add flavor but also a great dose of vitamin A, C, and B!

                              ~ Get the recipe here!

                              15. Protein Packed Oatmeal Cups

                                You can probably go ahead and call these muffins, but they are healthy muffins!

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                                Using your favorite protein powder, these protein packed oatmeal cups are fully customizable to your liking. You can add fruit (yes, please!), nuts, spices, and a bit of sweetener.

                                The oatmeal base gives you a nice dosing of fiber that will help these muffins last you until you get to sit down for your next meals.

                                ~ Get the recipe here!

                                16. Salmon Avocado Toast

                                  One man’s Sunday brunch order is another’s power snack. To keep from getting too out of control with the calories, opt for a thin slice of toast and 1/4 of an avocado. Top it with high-quality smoked salmon to bask in the Omega 3 healthy fats!

                                  ~ Get the recipe here!

                                  17. Kale Berry and Acai Power Smoothie

                                    Smoothies are a wonderful invention. No time to eat? No worries, drink your snack!

                                    This kale berry and acai power smoothie is chockfull of nutrients, fiber, and protein creating a winning combination!

                                    ~ Get the recipe here!

                                    18. Vegetable Quinoa Chickpea Salad

                                      This is a great snack that can be made in bulk for the whole week. With the chickpeas and quinoa paired with the cucumber and other veggies, this is a light salad that does a wonderful job of bridging the gap between meals.

                                      ~ Get the recipe here!

                                      19. Apple Chai Energy Balls

                                        These are so perfect for those cozy days when you are stuck inside working. These apple chai energy balls are packed with fiber, antioxidants and protein.

                                        Be sure to use old-fashioned oats for more nutrient dense energy balls.

                                        ~ Get the recipe here!

                                        20. Peanut Butter Smoothie

                                          Everyone loves peanut butter. This peanut butter smoothie is the perfect combination to make it a great snack! Pour yourself a small glass and sip away the hanger!

                                          ~ Get the recipe here!

                                          21. Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies

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                                            Is this permission to eat brownies for a healthy snack? When they are made of black beans it is!

                                            The best part about these brownies is that you can’t tell they are healthy at all. The beans provide the protein that compliments the antioxidants of the chocolate and nuts.

                                            ~ Get the recipe here!

                                            22. Chipotle Lime Edamame

                                              Edamame are whole soy pods that are excellent covered in any flavor combination you can think of! You can make these little guys right at the office with a bag of frozen edamame heated in the company microwave and then topped with all the ingredients.

                                              Simple, easy, and beats that weird buttery popcorn smell that floats down the hallway on Friday afternoons.

                                              ~ Get the recipe here!

                                              23. Cheesy Spinach Quinoa Cups

                                                These are great for on the go and freeze really well! That means you can make them in batches to last you weeks at a time!

                                                The spinach and cheese creates an indulgent snack that won’t cost you tons of calories and hold you over to make it to that 4 o’clock meeting.

                                                ~ Get the recipe here!

                                                24. No Bake Sweet and Salty Granola Bars

                                                  These bars are loaded with good-for-you nuts and seeds. Keeping these in your desk drawer will help curb those hunger pains and afternoon 3 pm slump we all know so well.

                                                  ~ Get the recipe here!

                                                  25. Fancy Rice Cakes

                                                    Rice cakes can be bland on their own, but when you top them like this they are anything but!

                                                    These rice cakes are transformed into delicious snacks that will have you rushing to the break room!

                                                    ~ Get the recipe here!

                                                    Final thoughts

                                                    Snacks are an essential part of balanced eating! It is so important to keep our bodies fueled with good ingredients to keep them working as proficiently as we need them to.

                                                    Adding snacks to your day will help you meet deadlines, improve productivity, and not fall asleep on your keyboard each afternoon.

                                                    Featured photo credit: Roman Rodriguez via unsplash.com

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                                                    Julia Whelan

                                                    Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist

                                                    13 Brain Healthy Foods That Keep Your Brain Sharp Naturally 25 Healthy Snacks for Work: Decrease Hunger and Increase Productivity 17 Power Pressure Cooker Recipes for Rushed Weeknight Meals How to Drink More Water Easily When It Seems Like a Major Chore

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                                                    Last Updated on August 28, 2020

                                                    How to Quit Drinking for a Healthier Body and Mind

                                                    How to Quit Drinking for a Healthier Body and Mind

                                                    Drinking alcohol is a big part of the social fabric of many cultures. Drinking is a way to celebrate, to relax, to socialize, and to fill time. However, if an occasional drink goes to being a daily drinking habit or alcohol addiction, you may want to learn how to quit drinking in order to improve your body and mind.

                                                    If you’ve made the decision to stop drinking, you’re already on the right path. Once the decision is made, it’s time to take action.

                                                    Here we will look at the consequences of drinking too much and some steps you can take to quit drinking.

                                                    How Much Is Too Much?

                                                    This is a great question to ask in our discussion of how to quit drinking for a healthy body and mind. Let’s look how much drinking is too much and when it can become a problem.

                                                    A recent 2018 study of nearly 600,000 alcohol drinkers found that those who drank less than 100 grams of alcohol per week (about 6 glasses of wine) had the lowest levels of mortality[1].

                                                    The study suggested that those who drink more than 100 grams of alcohol per week had increased risk of stroke, heart disease, heart failure, fatal hypertensive disease, and fatal aortic aneurysm.

                                                    Occasionally going over 100 grams of alcohol a week likely won’t do lasting harm, but if you find that you’re consistently passing this threshold, or that you can’t go more than a couple of days without a drink, it may be time to learn how to quit drinking.

                                                    How to Quit Drinking Alcohol

                                                    When you want to quit drinking, it’s all about changing habits. Here are some steps to help you get started.

                                                    1. Admit You Have a Problem

                                                    Awareness is the first step in wanting to change any situation, and it’s just as true here. This is often the most difficult step as your brain wants to continue on the familiar path it’s on. If you can overcome this and admit that you want to change, you’ve done a great thing.

                                                    When you find yourself thinking more and more often that drinking is creating problems in your life, it’s probably time to admit you have an issue with drinking too much.

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                                                    There is no shame in admitting it. Many people have issues doing too much of lots of things.

                                                    2. Think About Why You Should Quit

                                                    When we think about the long-term effects of drinking too much alcohol, such as cirrhosis of the liver, it’s not usually enough to make us quit. The reason is because it’s not real yet.

                                                    Think about the very real, short-term effects drinking has. If you drink four drinks at a time, three days a week, and each time it takes two hours, you’ve “lost” six hours a week to drinking. Add in the cost of the alcohol, say $30 a week (and that’s being generous), times 52 weeks a year, and you realize you’re spending over $1500 a year on alcohol.

                                                    When you toss in the things you miss out on by drinking, it becomes much more real.

                                                    It may help to make a list of your motivations to quit drinking. That way, you can go back to it when you start finding it difficult to quit drinking.

                                                    If you’re not sure how to find your “why,” check out this article.

                                                    3. Change Your Environment

                                                    This is a tough step. You have to change multiple things that have been central to the way you live your life.

                                                    You’ll need to shift your social life by not going to happy hours or other similar get togethers. You’ll most likely have to cut certain people out of your life, as well as alter the places you go.

                                                    If you know that you will inevitably drink when you go see a specific friend, it’s time to have a talk with that friend. If they’re not willing to support your decision, it’s time to spend more time with other friends who will.

                                                    If you know you won’t be able to resist a drink if you go to your coworker’s birthday party, you may need to excuse yourself until next time, when you’re more prepared to being around other people who are drinking.

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                                                    4. Adjust Your Attitude

                                                    When drinking is a big part of your life, it’s difficult, under the best of circumstances, to quit.

                                                    You will get mad at people who think they are “helping” you. You will most likely get down on yourself and beat yourself up internally. You might have trouble falling asleep, and your mind will think about drinking a lot.

                                                    Keep pumping yourself up and know that you are working towards a goal that you know is right for you.

                                                    Try participating in positive activities, such as a group sport, meditation, or an online class. These things will help you refocus your attention and feel good about the things you’re doing.

                                                    5. Get Help From Rehab or Support Groups

                                                    Many people are not able to quit drinking on their own. Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are serious illnesses, and if the addiction has been in charge of your life for quite a while, your brain will have a particularly hard time giving it up.

                                                    If you find yourself unable to quit drinking on your own, it may be time to check into a rehab treatment facility. Another option is joining a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous. The support of a group of people with a similar problem will help you feel like you’re not alone.

                                                    There are a variety of support groups and rehab facilities that can help you if you want to learn how to quit drinking.

                                                    6. Keep Going

                                                    If you decide to remove alcohol from your life for good, it will be an ongoing process. Once you get through the initial stage and become a non-drinker, you will have to work on it as long as you want to stay away from alcohol.

                                                    This isn’t as bad as it sounds though. This is really true of any situation you want bad enough.

                                                    If you want to be in great shape, that takes ongoing commitment to exercise. If you want to make a million dollars, that takes consistent and ongoing hard work and hustle.

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                                                    Any major life improvement is constant, hard work. Keep reminding yourself why you’ve made this change and how it’s benefiting you. Find friends and family members who will continually support your struggle in case you have days where it feels particularly difficult.

                                                    If you need more motivation to keep going, you can check out the benefits you’ll receive when you learn how to quit drinking alcohol.

                                                    What Happens When You Quit Drinking

                                                    Here are numerous negative effects of alcohol, and many  ways your body and mind benefit when you decide to quit drinking. Here are just some of them.

                                                    How to quit drinking: What a month off drinking does for your body

                                                      You Will Sleep Better

                                                      This benefits both your body and your mind. Many people believe that alcohol helps you sleep because it makes you feel tired, but one scientific review found that alcohol consumption “increases the quality and quantity of NREM sleep during the first half of the night,” but that it disrupts sleep during the second half, which is when your deepest sleep occurs[2].

                                                      When you quit drinking, your body will rest better, which will improve your energy levels, concentration, mood, and mental performance.

                                                      You’ll Lose Weight

                                                      Alcohol is full of empty calories. An average beer contains approximately 150 calories. If you are a weekend drinker and typically have five beers on Friday and 5 beers on Saturday, that’s 1500 calories saved in a week. That’s pushing a full days worth of calories right there.

                                                      Your Skin Will Look Better

                                                      Since alcohol is a diuretic, you urinate more when drinking on a regular basis. This causes you to be less hydrated than you should be. When you quit drinking, you’ll be more hydrated, and this shows up on your skin in a positive way.

                                                      You Will Be Able to Concentrate More

                                                      Several studies have suggested that your concentration levels can improve up to 18% and your work performance can go up by 17% after a month of not drinking any alcohol[3].

                                                      That’s a substantial boost to your mental health!

                                                      Your Immune System Will Improve

                                                      Heavy drinking makes you more

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                                                      susceptible to serious infections like tuberculosis and pneumonia because alcohol suppresses both the innate and the adaptive immune systems.

                                                      One study specified that “alcohol’s combined effects on both innate and adaptive immunity significantly weaken host defenses, predisposing chronic drinkers to a wide range of health problems, including infections and systemic inflammation”[4].

                                                      When you quit drinking, your body is much better at fighting off infections because the immune system is no longer suppressed.

                                                      You Will Feel More Alert

                                                      Alcohol can disrupt the way neurotransmitters work in your brain. You chalk up the foggy brain to a hangover, but there’s more happening than that.

                                                      Your neurotransmitters aren’t working as well, especially if you’ve been a heavy drinker for a long time.

                                                      After you’ve put alcohol in the rear view mirror for several months, your head will feel more clear than it has in a long time.

                                                      Your Muscles Will Thank You

                                                      If you are someone who works out and enjoys staying in shape, your muscles could benefit if you quit drinking. For one thing, you put a lot of hard work into building up muscle and staying in shape.

                                                      Drowning your muscles in beer and wine only helps add empty calories. There has also been recent studies that suggests that alcohol my decrease the production of human growth hormone, which is a key part of muscle building and repair[5].

                                                      The Bottom Line

                                                      We’ve taken a look at how to quit drinking for a healthier body and mind. It’s readily apparent how much alcohol is woven into the fabric of our society. Like most things in life, you can control whether you pick up a drink or not. It’s not impossible to stop!

                                                      If you decide that drinking isn’t for you, you are on your way to a healthier body and mind.

                                                      More on How to Quit Drinking

                                                      Featured photo credit: Zach Kadolph via unsplash.com

                                                      Reference

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