A few months back I shared some of my go-to snacks that are dairy and soy free, and have learned more since then. Snacks are really important to me because they make up a huge part of my diet. When I first started my job, I would pack an enormous lunch with several items and eat all of it over my lunch hour. This meant that I would spend half of my morning starving, and in the afternoon I was overstuffed, sleepy, and usually had a terrible headache. I read an article that recommended eating small meals throughout the day to avoid blood sugar spikes and headaches. I starting spreading my lunch out over a nine hour work day and saw immediate improvement.
Over the next few years I started learning more about nutrition and began to find healthier items to put in my lunch, but my practice of eating small snacks throughout the day has remained. Of course, when I stopped eating dairy and soy, I had to readjust my snacks and find new options. My lunch typically contains one small entrée (usually leftovers) and three to four healthy snacks. I have the luxury of snacking at my desk while I work, or even in a meeting. I know this can be more difficult in some jobs, but I really encourage you to try eating a snack every two to three hours if you don’t already. It helps to keep blood sugar steady, and prevents getting too hungry which often leads to binge eating. Now that you know how important snacking is, you can read below for some great dairy and soy free options!
- Hard Boiled eggs: These can be a huge time-saver during the week. You can cook a large batch on the weekend and keep them in the fridge to eat for a quick, healthy breakfast or to throw in your lunch box for later.
- Apple Chips: These are easy to make but can also be purchased by the bag. Our Costco just started selling a large bag of organic dried apples, which are delicious and really convenient. The bag says there are about 30 apples in each bag, which makes them a bargain when you consider the cost of organic fresh apples.
- Kettle Corn: Again, surprisingly easy to make, but can also be purchased at the grocery store. Like anything, make sure you read the ingredients for dairy and soy, but you should be able to find them with four ingredients (popcorn, oil, sugar, and salt).
- Applesauce: We almost always have a jar of one or two ingredient applesauce in the house for Sweet Girl, and sometimes I bring a dish with my lunch. This is another easy and healthy snack option.
- Dates: When I first tasted a date, I couldn’t believe I had been missing out on them my entire life. They are sweet and almost have a maple syrup type of flavor – like a totally guilt free candy. Costco carries large bags of pitted, organic Delget Noor dates, for a reasonable price. A handful of these make a great sweet snack after lunch. Although they are more expensive, Medjool dates are larger and have more flavor.
- Pretzels: We have found several brands of pretzels that are dairy and soy free, so you shouldn’t have any trouble.
- Instant Oatmeal: This one can be tricky – watch out for dairy and soy. Nature’s Path brand has some flavors that are safe. This obviously requires some cooking, but is really filling and should hold you over for a while.
- Avocado: I mentioned this one already in my last post about snacks, but it is worth mentioning again. I used to eat it in slices, but now I just bring a whole avocado to work, cut it in half, lightly salt it, and eat it straight out of the skin with a spoon. It’s so easy and has the added bonus of not needing any additional packaging.
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies: You need a sweet treat every once in a while, right? It might as well have some whole wheat flour and oats. The nice thing about this recipe is that is makes a lot of cookies. You could make a batch over the weekend, have some for snacks during the week, and freeze the rest for later.