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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  • Found this #blackbeanpasta at @albertsons today and couldn’t help but buy a few boxes. We typically only eat #wholewheatpasta or #spaghettisquash but recently I have been sampling #plantbased pastas like this. .
I couldn’t believe @explorecuisine had spaghetti with only 19g CHO and 25g PRO 😳 Not to mention 11g Fiber! 😁 There was no way I was going to pass up trying this one!
Happy to report this was a WIN at dinner. The noodles are a bit more chewy than standard pasta but the flavor is delicious! It’s perfect for our newbie vegetarian @a_askew12 and has more protein than a scoop of protein powder for @_joseph_a_ .I’m happy to say, this will be a repurchase FOR SURE and a mom win for me.
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  • Did you know that February is American #heartmonth? ❤️ On Feb. 1, we #WearRedAndGive for the ones we love the most. Help us spread awareness! Join us tomorrow and WEAR RED and together we can beat heart disease and stroke. #WearRedDay #heartmonth #healthyliving #hearthealth #hearthealthy #livelonger #nutritionchat #hearthealthynutrition #hearthealth #heartdiseaseprevention #strokeprevention #raiseawareness #womenshealth #goredforwomen #americanheartassociation
  • Raise your hand in the comments if you like chocolate! 👇
Say bye-bye to restrictive diets that demonize foods and instead look for ways to include all foods that bring enjoyment - like chocolate 😋. There’s something about chocolate 🍫that makes people smile and it can absolutely hold a position in a healthy diet. I love @enjoylifefoods and use their chocolate regularly in my meal plan recipes - here is a fun spin on a subscriber favorite that is sure to kick start your day with a smile! - #eatfreely
Coconut Chocolate Chip Pancakes
✅1/2 cup coconut flour
✅1/4 tsp baking soda
✅1/8 tsp salt
✅1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
✅6 eggs
✅2 Tbs maple syrup
✅1 tsp vanilla extract
✅2 Tbs cup ENJOY LIFE DARK chocolate chips [ Coupon code: ]
✅Preheat griddle or pan to medium
✅Whisk together the eggs, coconut oil and maple syrup
✅Stir in the coconut milk and vanilla extract
✅Whisk in the coconut flour, baking soda and salt until just combined
✅Spray griddle or non-stick pan with oil
✅Using 1/4 cup measuring cup, add a little batter to the pan
✅Pancakes will not develop bubbles like traditional style so watch carefully. You'll want to flip gently once undersides are browned
✅Press on top to determine doneness - once they spring back they are done.
✅Serve with fruit and additional chocolate chips
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  • Another #mealprepsunday in the books! I’m feeling prepped and ready for the week ahead. We’re even going to bed early tonight after a full day of vegging out 😂 Some weekends I feel like I need a weekend from my weekend and others, I feel like it was a two day vacation. This weekend was the latter of the two. Time to put in WORK this Monday. .
The ANF newsletter launches tomorrow! 📧 If you’d like FREE delicious recipes plus nutrition tips to keep healthy and motivated be sure you’re sign up! The link is in my bio 😉
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  • Did you know January is #NationalSoupMonth 😋 🍲 I just looooove soup on cold winter days! It’s so warm and soothing. Plus, when made with fresh and wholesome ingredients it can be incredibly healthy. You can pack so many vitamins and minerals into one recipe too!
This is a Kale and Sweet Potato Curry with Quinoa from my Anti-inflammatory meal plan. It’s one of my favorites. I added a bit more water and vegetable broth to turn this recipe into a wonderful soup. It contains kale, edamame, quinoa, red curry paste, sweet potatoes, and unsweetened coconut milk to make it creamy and delicious!
Do you have a favorite soup? .
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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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