Healthy Snacks for the Office

Granola popsicles are something you need in your life. 

Editor's Note: This post originally ran August 24th, 2016. The Team thought it best to bring back to the forefront of our minds, as resolutions may have fallen to the wayside and mindless snacking on the rise. Office snacks are great to have on hand for any time you're so hungry you want to bite someone and too tired to do anything more than go to the vending machine. Keep nearby to stave off disaster. Xx. 

Normally my day goes something like this: I snag a filling breakfast, scarf down a quick lunch, and then it's 4 p.m., and I am so hungry, I can't decide whether to wait until dinner and know I'll be an emotional mess or eat everything in sight until I'm bloated and uncomfortable. Sound familiar?

What do I snack on at the office or on really busy days? is a question I get from almost every client of mine. The issue usually to be solved lies in being restricted to the snacks present in the office rather than what is sustaining and nutritious. It is because of this problem that settling for a candy bar or stale chips only to be hungry 20 minutes later is more common than not. Since I am going to be working with some amazing interns soon, and having snacks at creative meetings is a must for me, I wanted to group together delicious alternatives that kick boring snacks like granola bars to the curb. 

I love these snacks because of their low sugar content, mix of healthy fats and protein, and minimally, if at all, processed ingredients. Enjoy!  

The perfect savory balance between creamy and crunchy. It's a colorful treat for your eyes and a flavorful party for your tastebuds. Using carrots, celery, peppers, or whatever vegetables you have on hand is a great way to up your vegetable intake and ensure nothing you buy goes to waste. Great Vibes Tip: Buy plain hummus and stir in extras for a change of pace (i.e. olives and oregano, parsley and lemon, pine nuts and basil, hot sauce, etc.).

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Whether you call them rice crackers or cakes, they usually are accompanied by horrified faces from childhood memories of plain, stale snacks. But, they've gotten quite the remix. What I love about these is the crunch factor you can't get from a simple slice of bread. I've shown you two ways here: one with avocado, cayenne, salt, and pepper; and the other with almond butter and banana. Great Vibes Tip: Try peanut butter with a drizzle of honey or hummus with a slice of tomato. Endless options. Delish!

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Probably my favorite of this entire bunch and one you can only really do if your office has a freezer. That being said, it is incredibly simple. Blend up one banana, a dash of cinnamon, and three (+/-) cups of coconut milk. Divide the mixture among your popsicle molds. I used an actually popsicle mold, but paper cups, old yogurt containers, or an ice cube tray works flawlessly. Place in the freezer for ten minutes. After the ten minutes are up, cover the exposed part with granola, press down gently, and then push your popsicle stick into place. Cover and freeze until solid. Great Vibes Tip: Make your own granola! Bake 3 cups oats, 1/2 cup buckwheat, and two tablespoons chia seeds on a baking sheet in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes. While baking, stir together two tablespoons coconut oil, two tablespoons maple syrup or honey, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and half a teaspoon of turmeric. After the dry ingredients have become slightly fragrant, remove from the oven, mix with the wet ingredients, and place back into the oven. Turn the oven off, and let sit for 5-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Keeps well in a glass container in the refrigerator. 

I could chat the benefits of kombucha for an incredibly long time, and you've seen me make cocktails with it here and here. I love this snack, because it is easy for on-the-go travel. It provides healthy bacteria and that sweet and savory element that satisfies almost all cravings. To make the roasted chickpeas, strain the liquid from one can, pat to dry with a paper towel, and mix with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and black pepper, salt, and cayenne to taste. Bake on a baking sheet at 395 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes, stirring every 5 or so, until crispy and crunchy. Great Vibes Tip: Don't like chickpeas? Roast cashews or almonds for a delicious alternative. 

Sometimes, nothing is going to satisfy that sweet craving except chocolate. Rather than dive into a bag of M&Ms (though that has a time and place) choose rich, dark chocolate, preferably 65% cacao or higher. The above chocolate is found at Trader Joe's with an impressive cacao content of 82 percent. Have a couple squares and savor each piece. If you still want more 10 minutes later, have another square. Repeat until satisfied. 

+What is your favorite snack here? Which one are you most likely to make?


Five Go-To Smoothie Recipes

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It is no surprise how fond I am of smoothies (exhibit ABC). They are cheap to make if you shop smart, they take moments to whip up, and they are just as great for breakfast as they are for a snack or dessert. Plus, when it comes to sneaking greens into your daily routine, there's nothing better than a chocolate smoothie with spinach - can't even taste it, promise.

Let's face it, though. Sometimes it's easy to get stuck in a rut. In fact, I feel that way right about now! I thought I would dig through my personal files, draw out my favorite combos I've made in the past, and put them together for you in a handy dandy post. This is a preview of a 14-Day Smoothie Challenge coming your way in May. Interested? Stay in the loop by clicking below!

 

Let's get started with five go-to smoothie recipes you don't want to miss!

A couple notes first:

1. For creamy, thick smoothies, freeze berries or bananas beforehand. Best way to freeze bananas? Peel, slice, and lay bananas flat on a baking tray. Place in the freezer. Transfer to a bag and use when needed.

2. The liquid measurements (i.e. 1.5 cups of almond milk) are just estimates. Use more or less depending on desired thickness of smoothie.  

3. Ice is always optional. 

4. If these aren't sweet enough, have no fear! Add in an all natural sweetener like maple syrup or honey to satisfy your need. Start at 1 teaspoon and increase to taste. 

4. Top them with the good stuff! I often put toppings on my smoothies (i.e. granola, chocolate shavings, coconut, almond meal, fresh berries, soaked nuts, etc.) to make these into nourishing and complete meals. Everyone has a unique diet and these recipes are perfect bases for getting all the necessary goods. Don't be afraid to limit the liquid, make it more thick like a frosty, and top it with yummy goodness for a great smoothie bowl. 

Okay. Nowwwww let's get started ... 

Almond Banana Smoothie
great for protein needs and sweet cravings

Ingredients::
+ 1 cup ice
+ 1.5 cups almond milk
+ 2 bananas
+ 2-3 tbsp almond butter
+ Optional: 1 tsp cinnamon & nutmeg
To make:
Throw all ingredients into a blender, send for a whirl until combined, pour into a glass, and enjoy!

Berry Detox Smoothie
great for bloating or indigestion

Ingredients::
+ 1 cup ice
+ 1 cup fruit juice or non-dairy milk of choice
+ 1 cup frozen berries
+ 1 cup spinach or kale (fresh or frozen)
+ 1/2 cup bananas (already peeled, sliced, & frozen)
+ 1 tbsp chia seed
+ 1 tbsp flax seed

To make:
Throw all ingredients into a blender, send for a whirl until combined, pour into a glass, and enjoy!

Anxiety Kicker Smoothie
great for headaches, stress, or anxiety

Ingredients::
+ 1 cup ice
+ 1.5 cup non-dairy milk of choice
+ 1 cup frozen berries
+ 1 cup spinach or kale (fresh or frozen)
+ 1/2 cup oatmeal
+ Optional add-ins: 1 tbsp chia seed, 1 tbsp flax seed, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp tumeric

To make:
Throw all ingredients into a blender, send for a whirl until combined, pour into a glass, and enjoy!

The Creamy Goodness Smoothie
great for belly bloat or fatigue

Ingredients::
+ 1 cup ice
+ 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice
+ 1 cup frozen mango
+ 1 half of an avocado
+ 1/4 cup oats
+ 1 tbsp chia seed
+ 1 tbsp flax seed

To make:
Throw all ingredients into a blender, send for a whirl until combined, pour into a glass, and enjoy!

PB (or AB) Cup Smoothie
great for chocolate cravings or protein needs

Ingredients::
+ 1-3 cups ice
+ 1.5 cups of non-dairy milk of choice
+ 1 frozen banana
+ 1 cup spinach or kale (fresh or frozen)
+ 1 tbsp (or more) cocoa or cacao powder
+ 1 tbsp organic peanut butter or almond butter

To make:
Throw all ingredients into a blender, send for a whirl until combined, pour into a glass, and enjoy!

And there you have it! Make these your own by changing up the fruits you've used, asking questions, and finding a recipe that makes you happy dance all around the room. 

Cheers to Great Smoothie Vibes! Xx. 


What is your favorite smoothie?

Tag @yourfriend_em on Twitter or Instagram when you make any of these recipes. Share this with people who could use some smoothie in their lives. Hashtag #thegreatvibesguide to spread the Great Vibes! Xx


P.S. Get a free 8-page Guide to Great Vibes filled with recipes, tips, and tricks to the lifestyle and body of your dreams.  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Mexican Cold Chocolate

Chocolate with a bit of a twist courtesy of yours truly (Emily, here!). I've been free from sugar for the last couple of weeks (read here, here, & sign up for the free teleseminar here), and man oh man, were the cravings hitting me hard for delicious chocolate. But, nixing the sugar habit has brought on a desire for richer, more complex flavors, and I wanted something yummy that still made me do a happy dance around my room. So I started mixing a little of this and a little of that, added a dash of this, messed up the recipe, started all over again too many times, and was left with a creation that filled all of my requirements.

The recipe is worthy of honor because it's ...

less than 10 ingredients
rich
chocolatey
high in nutritional goodness
sweet
spicy
filling

With a frosty-like consistency, this is spoonable greatness. In only the best way possible, spices take over the initial sweet spoonful with enough of a kick to keep you coming back for more. The high nutritional profile gives you all of the body-revving benefits within a sinfully delicious bite of chocolate. Really, could it get any better? I've really outdone myself with this one - see my smoothie of love, the training wheels smoothie, & smoothie bowls - so take down the ingredients & get to whirling this goodness up. If you don't, I promise you'll be missing out. Why take that chance?

What is it we love so much about this recipe? There are so many bennies, it would be exhausting, so a quick recap. Bananas are added for potassium, fiber, and the sweetness addition. Mangos are high in vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K, a great source of others minerals like thiamine and magnesium, and contain antioxidant phenols and beta-carotene. Cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, and cayenne come together in a sickness-fighting power team. Cinnamon is a great manganese source and good holder of calcium, contains antioxidant anthocyanidins and is no stranger to cold and flu remedies all over the world. Tumeric is high in manganese, iron, a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, and has been attributed to it's antiseptic and antibacterial, medicinal properties. Since turmeric has been touted for it's efficacy in helping digestive disorders, I pop it into a lot of my recipes - more to come to the site - and it has been a surprising yet awesome find. Cayenne comes in for the one-two punch, neutralizing acidity in the body, stimulating circulation, and acting as a great anti-agent for inflammation, colds, and other illnesses, besides just adding a whole other dimension to my new favorite recipe.

Recipe and steps after the jump ... 

Mexican Cold Chocolate

+ 1 Banana (frozen)
+ 1/3 c. Mango (frozen)
+ Almond Milk (1/2 c. +)
+ 2 tbsp - 1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder (to taste)
+ 2-3 Dashes of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Tumeric
+ 1 Dash of Cayenne (a little goes a long way)
+ Featured: Coconut Butter (recipe coming next week) and Hulled Hemp Seeds
+ Optional: replace part of liquid with coconut water or if neither is on hand, just use water; add 1/3-1/2 c. of spinach; if you need more sweetness, try adding honey or maple syrup

Throw all of your ingredients, minus the liquid, into a blender. Fill with your choice of liquid to just below your ingredients - this helps with the frosty consistency, but if you accidentally add too much liquid, just toss in more frozen banana or mangoes, and it's all fixed. Give it a whirl, pour it into a bowl or big mug, and top with your choice of additions. Some that I like that aren't featured above: granola, toasted buckwheat groats, chocolate brown rice cereal, i.e. the options are endless. Enjoy! Xx.

+ what's your take on spicy foods that are 'supposed' to be sweet?
Tell me your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook. 


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Foods I Take to Wake: Third Edition

Spinach, Bananas, & Almond Milk

 Welcome back to Foods I Take to Wake. I’ve (Emily, here!) received a lot of questions around how I eat on campus and survive my days of being a gluten-free vegan without dying of lack of protein (doesn’t happen, folks) or only eating cardboard-flavored foods. I promise it’s not impossible. The food I eat is tasty, delicious, and absolutely INCREDIBLE. I love food, and I love sharing my passions with you. Every other week, I’ll be dishing out three of my go-to foods for everyday life, especially when I’m away at school. Let’s get to it!

Note: I am not affiliated with Trader Joe’s & as such, my words reflect my love for the product, for my health, & not at all about money. I must really love them…

P.S. Today’s foods are my favorite. Without them, I wouldn’t survive on campus. Seriously. As long as I have these three ingredients, I’m never hungry or nutrient deprived. See my training wheels smoothie to build the base!

P.S.S. If you haven't already, check out post I & post II.


SPINACH

Spinach blows my mind sometimes. Besides helping pregnant woman have enough folate in their diets, it’s a superfood with a lot of amazing benefits. It helps regulate blood sugar, can help with asthma, as been linked with cancer prevention, packs  a punch with vitamin K for strong bones, gives you healthy skin and hair, keeps you regular, and is packed with fiber, phosphorous, is a great source for non-heme iron, and is high in beta-carotene. Raise the roof! Woot woot. Okay, that’s lame. I’m still a foodie geek through and through.


BANANAS

B-a-n-a-n-a-s … had to go there. The whole banana is a magical entity, curing indigestion for some and acting as a shoe polish for others. The banana wears many hats. I’m serious about that polish trick. All jokes aside though, bananas are awesome. They help stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the body, while also helping to guard the sensitive lining of the stomach i.e. for ulcers. Bananas are full of fiber and help poor digestion. They control blood sugar and help stave off cravings. They’re great in smoothies, brownies, as ice cream splits, eaten with almond butter slathered on top, or baked with a little almond milk for a creamy sugar-craving elixir. They were my best friend when I was training for a half marathon, and they’re still #1 in my life helping me kick bad habits as well as not starve on campus. Love them!


ALMOND MILK

Ahhhh Almond Beverage. How can I explain my feelings quite so productively. First of all, it ROCKs. Thank god Almond milk exists. Let me just celebrate Trader Joe’s though. Finally a non-dairy milk that isn’t chock full of quite so many impossible to pronounce ingredients. One day, I’ll be able to make my own almond milk, but until then, she’ll have to do and boy is she a star. Almond milk is the perfect liquid for my smoothies, it’s excellent as the base for my oatmeal, chia seed pudding, added for corn bread or used to dip cookies in. But why do we love almond milk? It packs 30% DV of calcium (vegan = not hard to get nutrients). It’s packed with vitamin E — hello, glow. It keeps your digestion on track, supports healthy blood sugar, and helps with muscle strength and restoration. You know how good chocolate milk is for you? It actually is I swear. Imagine cacao almond milk as being the best cure-all for recovering athletes, healthy adults, and women on lady’s holiday. Food for the win.


+ what are your favorite foods that you couldn’t live without? share below or on facebook!



Be sure to tune into my snapchat (@efriend216) or follow me on instagram or twitter (both @yourfriend_em) for my adventures and foodie finds! xx


Foods I Take to Wake: First Edition

Avocados, Carrots, & Hummus

Welcome to another new series (don't you love them?)! I've (Emily, here!) received a lot of questions around how I eat on campus and survive my days of being a gluten-free vegan without dying of lack of protein (doesn't happen, folks) or only eating cardboard-flavored foods. I promise it's not impossible. The food I eat is tasty, delicious, and absolutely INCREDIBLE. I love food, and I love sharing my passions with you. Every other week, I'll be dishing out three of my go-to foods for everyday life, especially when I'm away at school. Let's get to it!

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AVOCADOS

Avocados are incredible. Forget the outdated, fats-make-you-fat idea, because it does not apply to healthy fats like what's packed into these bad boys. Monounsaturated fats are not an enemy. Nope. In fact, they actually help regulate belly fat, carving and toning that belly from the inside out. The majority of the fat is oleic acid which reduces inflammation and has beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer. Did you know avocados have more potassium than bananas? Say goodbye to cramping. They are loaded with fiber, too, which is great for digestion, contributing to weight loss, and reducing blood sugar spikes. Also, notice how there is no cholesterol or sodium making these additionally amazing. Eat your avocados, okay? Okay.


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CARROTS

Carrots aren't only good for purifying and stepping up the eye sight -- courtesy of the vitamin A and carotenoids content. Thanks to being rich in antioxidants -- alpha and beta-carotene, anthocyanins, vitamins, and minerals, carrots are anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and have cardiovascular benefits worth bragging about. I love this root vegetable and eat it so much that sometimes my skin turns orange on my palms - no joke; this is totally normal also. In addition to Vitamin A, they also rock out in the vitamins and minerals department with vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B8, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese.


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HUMMUS

Hummus is a serious babe. Chock full of protein, healthy fats, heart-aiding benefits if made with certain oils (like olive oil), hummus can be an ideal snack with the aforementioned carrots or with a sliced apple. It's also great in Avocado Toast or stirred into a stir fry or pasta to make a creamy yummy goodness. Garbanzo beans, a main component of this hummus you see above, are packed with fiber, helps regulate fat levels in the body, and lowers levels of LDL-cholesterol. They also help regulate blood sugar levels, too! They pack a punch in terms of vitamins and antioxidants: vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, as well as concentrated supplies of antioxidant phytonutrients. I add hummus wherever I can. Seriously. It's too good not to!

+ what are your favorite foods that you couldn't live without? share below or on facebook!