Snack time doesn't have to be complicated. Easy to prepare and very portable, just grab and go...

1. Sliced bell pepper, dipped in two tablespoons of hummus

The Middle Eastern chickpea spread is an easy, protein-rich snack that fights hunger and balances blood sugar levels — and a little goes a long way. Baked pita chips aren't the worst thing you can eat, but substituting some veggies can make a bigger impact than you think. Hummus boosts energy because it contains iron, and bell peppers are high in vitamin C, which helps to utilize and absorb the iron from the hummus. Follow this easy recipe for plain hummus by throwing 1 can of chickpeas in a blender with a dash of ground cumin, garlic,  sea salt, extra virgin olive oil, and splash of lemon juice. Keep a few batches in the freezer so all you have to do is thaw.

ryvita and nut butter

2. 1.5 tsp of nut butter spread on 1 Ryvita cracker

What is a RYVITA cracker? The classic RYVITA® crisp bread is a  “Tasty wholegrain rye and very little else, its simplicity is what makes it so perfectly versatile.” Each Ryvita contains: 35 Calories, 0.3 g Sugar, 0.2 g Fat, 0.05 g of sodium.  Check out Ryvita website for flavors available:

melon and cottage cheese
3. 1 cup of chopped melon in ½ cup of non-fat cottage cheese

One cup of cantaloupe delivers 100 percent of the daily recommended values of vitamins A and C, which is precisely why this melon qualifies as a "beauty fruit." The orange flesh is packed with beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body and helps promote healthy skin by thinning the outer layer of dead skin cells that can clog pores and cause blemishes. Studies also show vitamin A may help protect skin against damaging UV rays and ozone. Cantaloupe may even prevent wrinkles, since studies suggest low doses of beta-carotene an improve elasticity and premature aging of the skin.

Vitamin C, on the other hand, can help with a number of things: cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and the common cold! And bananas don't have anything on cantaloupe—one cup of this melon contains as much potassium as one medium banana (around 12 percent of the daily recommended value).

almond raisin choco chip
4. Trail mix made of four chocolate chips, eight almonds, and one tablespoon of  raisins

Some people have been hesitant to eat nuts fearing the high fat content could cause significant weight gain. The Adventist health study proved this theory to be flat-out untrue. The study found that nuts provided increased satisfaction to a meal and that those who frequently ate nuts were actually leaner than those who didn't eat nuts.

Almonds are rich in phytochemicals - plant components that may provide protection against heart disease, stroke, and other chronic diseases. Just one serving (one ounce) of raw almonds is a leading source of vitamin E and magnesium and offers protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and iron. The combination of the healthy fats, fiber, and protein will make you feel full longer, so you’re less likely to overeat.

And the health benefits don’t stop there. Nuts are naturally low-glycemic foods, which means they won’t raise your blood sugar levels as quickly as other foods can

5. 3 squares of dark chocolate

There is considerable evidence that cocoa can provide powerful health benefits, being especially protective against cardiovascular disease.

But of course, this doesn’t mean people should go all out and consume lots of chocolate every day. It is still loaded with calories and easy to overeat on. No more than 3 squares after dinner and try to really savor them.

Be aware that a lot of the chocolate on the market is crap. You need to choose quality stuff… organic, dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content.

Dark chocolates often contain some sugar, but the amounts are usually small and the darker the chocolate, the less sugar it will contain.

There are of course other benefits to chocolate that we have not mentioned… such as the awesome taste.

What do YOU think?

What is your favorite "grab and go" snack?

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