8 Healthy Spring Snacks + Superfoods for Active People
A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune of connecting on Twitter with @Healthy_Chicks. Over the course of a few tweets , I got to know the Certified Health Coach behind this terrific blog about healthy food and active lifestyles – Rachel Chemerynski. From suggestions on diet and exercise to inspiring stories of overcoming body image issues, Healthy-Chicks.com is a great resource for women seeking advice and motivation–not from narcissistic celebrity fitness instructors but from real women like Rachel. FYI – Rachel’s appearance on this blog is not an endorsement of her health coaching. I just really like her blog and I think she brings a lot of great ideas to the table.
Wednesday, March 20th officially marks the first day of spring. Soon will be gone the days of extreme winter sports, hand-warmers, hot cocoa and hibernation (you know who you are), as we welcome long walks, hiking, biking, running and all our favorite seasonal activities. Whatever your exercise of choice may be, here are some quick ‘n’ easy snacks to keep you healthy this spring.
1. Seasonal Fruit Salad: What better way to get your daily dose of antioxidants (and tame your sweet tooth) than by eating fruit in its purest form? Some of my favorite spring fruits include kiwi, mangoes, lime and cherries. Toss the fruits together in a big bowl, and top with cinnamon or shredded unsweetened coconut for an extra crunch.
2. Green Smoothie: Green smoothies are the perfect way to start your day, or give you that extra boost you need during those long afternoons at the office. Choose seasonal veggies—like kale, spinach, or even chives—and blend with 1 c. of nut milk (I like coconut or almond), ice, and fruits of your choice. I also like to give my green smoothies a kick by adding superfoods (see below!) I make all my green smoothies in my high-speed Vitamix blender, a kitchen gadget I couldn’t go without.
3. Raw Veggies & Hummus: Raw veggies with creamy hummus give you a protein and nutrient boost, perfect for at-home and on-the-go snacking! Look for hummus brands that have all-natural ingredients, or even try making your own at home in the food processor. Check out these creative recipes from Whole Living to get you started. Choose seasonal veggies for dippers, such as sugar snap peas, zucchini and squash, or stuff in lettuce leaves, kale or red & green chard for a healthy finger-food.
4. Homemade Trail Mix: Great for hiking or mid-day slumps, homemade trail mix gives you an energy jolt without extra additives, sweeteners or “fake” ingredients. Choose raw nuts like almonds, cashews and walnuts and mix with dried fruit, unsweetened shredded coconut, cinnamon, rolled oats, and dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs. If you prefer savory, skip the chocolate and roast the nuts in garlic, sea salt and spices of your choice (like cayenne pepper or cajun seasoning). Check out one of my favorite blends below!
5. Greek Yogurt: Buy your favorite brand of Greek Yogurt, rich in good-for-you probiotics and protein, and top with chopped nuts and berries. Just be sure to eat mindfully, especially if you have sensitivities to dairy.
6. Edamame: Boil up a bag of edamame, and then pop the beans out for quick and easy snacking. They taste great dipped in tamari, a gluten free soy sauce, too! Take it one step further by roasting the beans with sea salt to take with you on the go.
7. Local Cheese: Hit the farmer’s market or your local health food store to buy some high-quality, local organic cheese. Pair hard cheese with fresh fruit like apples and pears, and stuff soft cheeses in celery, endive or on whole grain crackers for a savory delight.
8. Roasted Seaweed Snacks: Are you getting your fair share of seaweed? Not only do these crispy snacks taste great, but they’re also packed with minerals straight from the sea. Go for an all-natural variety, such as Annie Chun’s Seaweed Snacks, which come in a variety of flavors.
Superfoods to Lookout For
These superfoods are nutritional all-stars, great for boosting energy, mood and your overall health & wellness.
- Pure Honey: Rich in digestive enzymes with natural antibiotic properties, honey is a win in my book! Look for unprocessed, raw varieties for maximum benefits. Honey is also great for quick, natural energy during a long run or hike as opposed to some of its unnatural, sugar-packed, artificial alternatives. Or, simply add a dollop to your afternoon tea!
- Maca Powder: This superfood is known to enhance energy, endurance and stamina, perfect for amping up your green smoothies!
- Cacao Nibs/Powder: Rich in antioxidants, this Amazonian seed is also known as raw chocolate. Cacao is packed with nutrients like magnesium and iron, and is known to increase energy levels naturally.
- Gogi Berries: These naturally sweet antioxidant-rich berries are a complete protein, high in B & E Vitamins and trace minerals. Plus, they’re utterly delicious! Add them to your homemade trail mixes for a touch of sweetness.
Healthy Chick’s Energize-Me Trail Mix
- 1 c. raw almonds
- 1 c. raw walnuts
- ½ c. shredded organic coconut, unsweetened
- ½ c. dark semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ c. cacao nibs
- ½ c. raw gogi berries
Rachel Chemerynski is a Certified Health Coach and freelance writer living in Boston, MA. She is the founder of Healthy Chicks, a wellness community dedicated to inspiring twenty-something women to live happier, healthier, more satisfying lives.