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.).

Rice Cakes.jpg

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!


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


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

+ 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

+ 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

+ 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

+ 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

+ 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

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Beat the Afternoon Slump: 3 Natural Alternatives to Coffee

So, that above statement is truer than true, am I right? As a proud coffee addict, this was never a post I imagined writing. It's coffee coffee coffee all day every day. Even as I edit this, I'm drinking my morning cup, so why would I be looking for alternatives?


This past week, I found myself extra anxious having my afternoon cup. I found myself easily overwhelmed and worried over things which normally I'm pretty chill about. When I was sick a few weeks ago, I didn't even want coffee (serious gasp) and since then, I've been hyper aware of how it's affecting my system. Thus, today's post. Lately I am all about alleviating anxiety a kind and natural way, especially since I wrote last week about 5 ways you might have anxiety and not know it. But, and this is a huge but, I have trouble avoiding my love in the afternoon.

I recognize my mental health - and thus my overall health - is far more important than my traditional cup, but there's something so lovely about my afternoon tradition. In high school, I always shared a cup of coffee with my mom, chatting about my day, and taking a moment away from work to energize and refocus. Serious nostalgia for those laughs and memories, and every day I have a cup of coffee around three, I'm reminded to take a deep breath and settle into my afternoon workflow. Coffee is definitely part of my identity -- you'll never see me without a coffee mug (ceramic or travel, I don't discriminate); I'm always scheduling meetings and dates at coffee shops; and my new favorite shirt says, "all I need is coffee & mascara". Coffee is life. My life.

But while researching all kinds of greatness for a guide coming to The Shop next month, I stumbled across several alternatives to coffee. Curious, I tried them, knowing I could always follow them up with the ol' standby worst case scenario. Surprisingly, I was elated to find they were just as energizing, equally delicious, and still provided many great health benefits.

Without further ado, here are tried-and-true alternatives to coffee that provide lasting energy and beat the afternoon slump. Think: no spikes or jitteriness!

1. Apples

If you know me personally, up about as high on the totem pole as coffee is my love for apples. An apple a day keeps me happy, and lately I'll even admit to having two! Apples are composed of natural sugars, which the body quickly digests and turns into energy. Because apples are high in fiber, they’re absorbed by the body more slowly, which results in a continual stream of energy (a.k.a. no spikes or crashes -- heck yeah). I was intrigued by my favorite food when I read apples can give you a better energy boost than coffee.

2. Peppermint Tea with Honey

This is definitely my new favorite. In fact, I'm kind of obsessed - emoji with heart eyes - over this drink. Peppermint is naturally stimulating. It supports healthy digestion and has a sweet, strong taste all on it's own. Adding honey, though, really kicks it up a notch. Low on the glycemic index, honey is nature’s version of a quick energy shot, giving you a steady stream of energy to tackle all you have on your plate. Honey also has a whole host of other amazing properties, but we'll save that for another day. This mix is especially good before or after a workout. I've been drinking it mid-morning through work and in the late afternoon to tame my sugar habit and beat the slump and it's doing wonders.

3. Chia Seeds

So chia seeds have/had/will always have a moment in my life. They are probably the best addition to my plant-based diet ever. They are full of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and protein, meaning they tick off some serious nutrient necessities and keep you satiated. A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning concluded that consuming chia seeds enhanced exercise performance for 90-minute workouts the same way as an energy drink would, but without all the extra sugar. The recipe below takes the natural, energizing benefits of fruit sugars combined with these nutritional powerhouses to create a delicious, tastes-like-desert, afternoon snack seriously capable of kicking the afternoon slump.

Chia Seed Pudding:
+ 1/4 cup chia seeds
+ 2 cups almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice/ water also works)
+ 1 banana
+ Optional: 1tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, and tumeric

If you have a blender, grind the chia seeds, add the banana and liquid, and blend it all together. If you're running low on time or don't have a blender/grinder, mash the banana with a fork, add the milk, and stir in the chia seeds. Let sit 45 minutes or longer in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Note: The chia seeds absorb 10x their weight in water, making a deliciously creamy pudding. By letting them sit for a length of time, the flavors combine and the recipe thickens, but if you are short on time, don't stress. It's still really good. Once the mixture reaches desired consistency, let your afternoon slump be gone!

There are some pretty great finds if I do say so myself. While I am definitely making these swaps, I'll be honest, sometimes I just want the quiet nostalgia of drinking coffee in the afternoon. Anxiety is real and sometimes kind thoughts and memories handle it better than diet, but these three alternatives are amazing. When I have them, I don't feel jittery or shaky. I haven't felt out of my skin or unable to process what is happening around me or to me. Instead, I feel stable, able to handle what's being thrown my way. I'd say nutrition for the win!

What is your favorite afternoon pick me up? Let's chat in the comments below?

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