It’s not hard to eat healthy when you’re at home and have a fridge at your disposal, but what about when you’re at work and stuck at your desk? We’ve all had times at the office where we’re hungry, stressed, and tempted to eat something unhealthy. Some store bought snacks have just as much salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats as items you’d get out of an office vending machine, which might leave you frustrated as to what you should eat.
The good news is, there is a happy medium. Instead of reaching for something that will leave you bloated, tired, and feeling “blah” the rest of the day, keep your desk drawers stocked with some yummy (and healthy) vegan staples that make great grab-and-go snacks. Best of all, they require no refrigeration and can easily be thrown in a tote bag to take with you anywhere else too. Just remember to hide them somewhere safe since your colleagues are likely to be a bit jealous!
1. Individual Packs of Nut Butter With Crackers
I’m a huge fan of the individual packs of raw nut butters that you can buy at Whole Foods. For one, they’re easy to take with you and they keep portions in check. I like to pair these with some healthy, flour-free crackers like Mary’s Gone Crackers, which are full of whole grains like brown and wild rice, quinoa, amaranth, and flax. They taste amazing with the nut butter and are the perfect replacement for vending machine crackers. This is the perfect gluten-free, high-protein snack that is sure to satisfy your afternoon cravings.
2. Edamame Crisps
Endamame crisps or dry roasted edamame are both healthier versions than chips and come in a variety of brands and flavors. They’re basically baked or dehydrated endamame (soybean) pods and they have the exact crunchy crispiness most people crave mid-afternoon. Some varieties have salt, while others have none, so find a brand that works for you. You can also find many brands in different flavors and most are available at all supermarkets. Just be sure to look for non-GMO varities since soybeans are often genetically modified.
3. Seaweed Snax
These have become quite popular lately and it’s no wonder. They’re nothing more than dehydrated seaweed strips that are surprisingly full of a nice, salty flavor. You can eat them alone or with another snack since they’re low in calories and have no added fat or sugar.
4. Vegan Protein Bars
There are a variety of vegan protein bars on the market you can choose from to keep at your desk. I do suggest watching the sugar content on these, since some have as much as 20-30 grams of sugar, which is definitely not optimal. Try to select a bar with no more than 8 grams of sugar and that has at least 10 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber for the healthiest, most filling option. If you have 20 minutes on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, make up a batch of your own for the whole week and enjoy them all week long!
5. Kale Chips
Though they’re not cheap, store bought kale chips make a great item to store at your desk because they’re high in nutrition, raw, low in calories, and packed with flavor. You can find a variety of different brands but if you really want to save money and get creative, make your own kale chips at home and bring them with you!
6. Trail Mix
I’m a huge fan of making my own trail mix with raw almonds, goji berries, raw cashews, raw walnuts, raw pumpkin seeds, and raw cacao nibs. You can use any nuts, seeds, and dried fruit you want to make your own. Other great ideas are coconut strips, sunflower seeds, pecans, raisins, dried frigs and dried apricots. A 1/4 cup serving will provide you with roughly 8-10 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, and 8 grams of sugar (depending on the ingredients you use.) You can also buy trail mix at the store but it’s best to buy brands that have no added sugar or salt for the healthiest option. You could also make your own energy bites instead of trail mix for another healthy option too.
7. Raw Almonds
Want to really keep things simple? Keep some raw almonds at your desk. Twenty almonds provides you with healthy fats, protein, no sugar or salt, fiber, and plenty of magnesium to conquer afternoon stress. Pair them with an apple for a mini meal as an even better option.
Fruits like apples, bananas, pears, oranges, tangerines and grapefruit can all be kept at your desk for a week without spoiling. They’re great to toss in your bag and are easy enough to eat on the go. You might need to keep some plastic silverware on hand in case you need to cut some of the fruits open, but overall, these are very convenient options to give your body raw, plant-based nutrients it needs without much fuss at all.
9. Shelf Stable, Single Serving Non-Dairy Milks
In case you haven’t noticed, you can now buy individual shelf stable containers of almond, coconut, and soy milk. These are great to keep at your desk when you want something other than water but don’t want a full-fledged meal. Look for varieties without added sugar so they don’t spike your blood sugar and consider pairing them with a piece of fruit or some trail mix for a more filling option.
10. Vegan Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a fantastic option to keep at your desk. Look for vegan varieties that have at least 85 percent or higher cacao content as the healthiest option. It’s even better if they’re raw, fair-trade, and organic. Just remember to stick to one or two ounces since chocolate’s easy to overeat, especially when you’re stressed. While a little is healthy, too much might leave you with a tummy ache.
Be sure to eat a healthy lunch full of veggies, leafy greens, plant protein, and healthy fats so you stay energized all day long and aren’t relying on snacks all day to get you through. If you have access to a company fridge, all the better. Store carrots, hummus, individual cups of salsa or guacamole, sugar snap peas, celery sticks, soy or coconut yogurt, grape tomatoes, and other whole food snacks so you can grab these before processed options.
What healthy vegan foods do you keep at your desk for snacks?
Image source: How to Make Sugar-Free Vegan Protein Bars