My Top 5 Health Hack Snacks

Happy National Nutrition Month friends!!! This is seriously my favorite time of year because I get to talk about all things nutrition without people thinking I’m nuts. I was so excited this year that I even gave a way free supermarket tours to friends and family. This years theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”. This can mean so many things to so many people.

National Nutrition Month 2016

When I hear the word “Savor” I immediately imagine fresh garden veggies and sweet juicy ripened fruits. Mmmmm my mouth is literally watering now! While I’m huge proponent of keeping my meals and snacks as fresh and natural as possible, the fact is, sometimes you need to get inventive to keep your diet as healthy as possible.

I attempt to keep balance in my life between fresh and prepackaged convenience foods. For instance, I prepare all my weekly lunches and breakfast meals early in the week so that I have easy access to healthy homemade meals to avoid eating out. There are days however, that breakfast just doesn’t always quite carry me to lunch and I find myself pulling into the gym parking lot with a rumble in my tummy. These are the days handy prepackaged snacks are prefect!

Here are a few of my favorite snacks and healthy hacks to help tide me over when I don’t have any broccoli in my purse.


Manitoba Harvest – Hemp Heart Bars
These bars are seriously delicious! They come in three flavors: cinnamon, chocolate and vanilla. My favorite way to eat them is with a cup of greek yogurt for breakfast. It’s especially delicious if you break the bar up and mix it with yogurt and raisins. YUM! Each 45 gram bar contains 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of omegas, which are the heart healthy fats, I also find these bars great as pre-workout snack and keep one or two in my gym bag just in case I need that little something before my workout.

Emerald Nuts Breakfast Blends and Planters Nut-rition
Nuts are always a great snack because again they’re packed with protein, fiber, as well as magnesium and potassium which makes them very heart healthy. Did you know that people who eat nuts as part of a heart-healthy diet can lower their LDL or “bad” cholesterol level in their blood? High LDL is one of the primary causes of heart disease. Be careful when choosing packaged nuts. While I love Emerald Nuts Breakfast blends, some of their flavors can be a little high in sugar. Their chocolate covered coffee bean blend, for example, is sinfully good! I reserve that flavor for when I have a real sweet tooth.  Also, be careful when buying seasoned nut mixes. It’s best to go with plain roasted or lightly salted to avoid added sodium or fat. I try and keep a few bags of roasted nuts in my purse at all times. I’ve literally got them stashed in the car, my gym bag, my desk drawer at work….everywhere!

Skinny Pop Popcorn or Smartfood Popcorn
These brands in particular are my favorite because they are sold in small 100 calorie (or less) packs and are available at most major grocers such as Walmart and Albertson’s. Did you know that popcorn is actually a whole grain? Its recommended that we make at least half of all our grain whole in order to stay healthy. I’m always cautious with popcorn because its very easy to over eat or mindlessly snack. That’s another reason I love Skinny Pop and Smartfood, they pre-portion the packages! They are also delicious! Skinny Pop is lightly salted and Smartfood has flavors such as white cheddar and kettle corn all under 100 calories. I tend to get a little “Snacky” around 3pm and a small bag of Smartfood’s kettle corn it like H-E-A-V-E-N.

Flavored Carbonated Water
Now this is trick I learned a few years back when I was trying to give up sodas. There are those days that I just don’t want plain water. Sometimes I just want a fizzy soda but I don’t want all the sugar and calories that go along with it. On these days I pick up a La Croix or make my own flavored carbonated water. I like La Croix because its naturally sweetened and doesn’t contain any of those artificial sweeteners like aspartame. If I don’t have any on hand, I make my own. I keep these little drink enhancers at the house for the kids. I like the great value brand from Walmart because again, the contain no artificial sweeteners and come in a wide range of flavors. I’ll mix a few squirts of the drink enhancer into a glass of Perrier or other plain sparkling water and voila! Soda hack without the sugar or calories!

If you follow me on social media you might already know that I’m a Nuun fanatic! In fact, I’m part of Team Nuun 2016 as well as a field hydration specialist. I started drinking Nuun when I started running as a means of hydration in the hot Texas summer months. Nuun is an effervescent hydration tablet. They offer several different tablet options to meet your needs. They have Nuun Active which has a higher electrolyte concentration to replenish lost stores due to sweating from physical activity but they also offer Nuun All Day and U Natural which both have lower electrolyte concentrations for everyday drinks. They’re motto is “Make your water count” I keep a tube a Nuun in my desk at work and also in my purse at all times. You never know when you’re going to need more than  just water. Gatorade and other sports drink contain way too much sugar and can really wreck havaac on your diet if consumed everyday. Nuun is great alternative with just 10 calories  and 1g of sugar or less.

So there you have it friends! Savoring the flavor of eating healthy can sometimes mean getting inventive with you snacks and drink. The struggles is real! I hope some of these health hacks will help get you through those hard days.  If you’re interested in sampling the Hemp Heart Bars, Manitoba Harvest is running a photo contest. (Details here). You can also use the discount code hhbarlaunch1015 for 15% off your next order! (Expires 4/31/2016)

Happy Running!

Priscilla Askew, NDTR

Priscilla is Dallas/Ft. Worth based nutritionist and blogger.


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  • Resolutions of good health shouldn’t have to wait for the New Year. The best decisions are life changing and happen all year round. Commit to it and you can achieve it! Ditching diets can be hard and scary, but if you’re willing to commit to diet after diet without results then why not just commit to a life of healthy habits  and sustainable change? #healthyeating #ditchthediet #nondietapproach #nutrition #healthyliving #mealprepsunday #healthyrecipes #healthyfood #newyearsresolution #mealprep #nutritionist #whatsonmyplate #womenfortri #teamnuun #nuunlife #sportsnutrition #dinnerideas #mealpreprecipes
  • Made #butternutsquash chips for the first time! 😂 Well just say they’re Cajun 🤪 #healthysnacks #bakingfail #burned #healthyliving #crunchysnack #healthylivingblogger #foodie #foodiefail #teamnuun #womenfortri
  • Who’s ready for cold 😷 & flu 🤒 season? This gal! 😁 Stocked and ready to go with @nuunhydration Immunity! With 16 #antioxidantes #vitamins and #minerals my #immunesystem is READY to fight the yuck 🤢I hate getting sick and I’m already seeing strep, respiratory infections and colds take everyone around me down. Not me! Not today! 😆🚫 #nuunlife #nuunlove #teamnuun #makeyourwatercount #stayhydrated #stayhealthy #trilife #trilife365 #triathlon #swimbikerun #marathonseason #coldandflu #immunebooster #sweatpink #fitapproach #womenfortri
  • Anyone else using this holiday week to get caught up on blogging? 🤔 It’s a bit late, but I finally posted my #ironmanwaco703 #racereport 🎉 🎊 🤗 (link is in my bio) I had so much fun at this race even though the run was totally unexpected. It’s definitely going down as. A redo in my future race calendar!! Did you post a race report for Waco? If not, what are your blogging about this week? I’d love to read it! #womenfortri #whywetri #ironmantri #halfironman #triathlon #trilife #trilife365 #mytimetotri #equallyinspiring #swimbikerun #teamnuun #nuunlife #sweatpink #fitapproach #dallasblogger #triathlonblog
  • #mealprepsunday 👏🏼 Ok! Back at it this week after a nice (and MUCH needed) break. 😁 I’m excited to finally focus on some off-season goals the next few months. There may be a Turkey Trot and a winter #halfmarathon on my “fun” calendar 😆 I’m not making any promises though! I’m in desperate need of strength & conditioning, and maybe some flexibility training. Cause this girl is feeling stiff and OLD! 👵🏼 One thing is FOR SURE #mealprep will be a staple through the remainder of 2018 and into 2019. I didn’t have prep last week and literally found my self in a panic when it was time to eat 🤣 #mealpreplife #healthyliving #healthyeating #mealprepideas #healthylunchideas #healthybreakfastideas #nutritioncoach #sportsnutrition #realfood #fitfam #trifuel #trilife #trilife365 #swimbikerun #triathlete #runnerfuel #teamnuun #nuunlife #womenfortri #sweatpink #fitapproach
  • This one ☝️ is for #selflovesunday 🤗❤️ a few glorious miles with out looking at my #Garmin once! Today’s run was about having fun and getting back to what I love most. (Swipe left to see today’s theme song) .
It’s been a while! I’m finally back after #ironmanwaco703 and feeling fresh and rested! The last couple of weeks I’ve done nothing. I mean zip! No meal prep, no swimming biking or running and perhaps just a little too much 🍷 🤪 but hey! Who cares?!
Today’s run got me thinking 🤔 have I been kind enough to myself recently? When was the last time I let myself RELAX? Training and racing are awesome. I mean, truly they keep me sane, but sometimes a break is good. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone out on a run only to look down at my Garmin and see that my pacing is off or my heart rate is too high and it just zaps all the fun out of it. I want to be a better athlete just as much as the next person but sometimes we have to take a step back and just be proud of ourselves for where we are RIGHT NOW. .
Today was that day for me and it seemed like a good time for it too! I’ve just come off 70.3 training and I killed my race with a PR. The weather is changing and it’s perfect for running season! My nutrition has been GREAT all race season and I feel GREAT! Why shouldn’t I go out and have some fun? .
Y’all this song by @dualipa came on and I was in heaven! I mean a true runners high. I could have been in Z4 and pacing for a heart attack but I didn’t care one bit. I was having fun. There was no agenda for this workout. No splits, no Z2 for 60 min @ 10 min insert Z4 for 5 min @ 1 min rest.  Triathletes YOU KNOW IM TALKING ABOUT!!! 😂
I was my own best friend today for this run and it felt nice. So my question for you is, when was the last time you had some fun for yourself? Do you need a little #selflovesunday? .
#womenfortri #whywetri #mytimetotri #runner #runnersofig #trilife #triathlon #tritraining #swimbikerun #trilife365 #offseason #marathonseason #teamnuun #nuunlife #sweatpink #fitapproach

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  1. i love popcorn too…and lately for hydration, i have been making infused water with mint, cucumber, and strawberry – sooo good!

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