Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane to January. You probably made some kind of mental (or maybe even physical) list of resolutions promising yourself that 2019 was going to be the year you stopped procrastinating and destroying your body with your less-than-perfect diet. You probably were doing great for a few weeks, occasionally slipping up once or twice, but then spring break came along all of a sudden. You might have thought that a “treat yo’ self” week wouldn’t do any kind of serious harm, so you gave yourself a break and spiraled down an old habit rabbit hole.
Returning to campus was a shock to the system for plenty of reasons, but especially because it dawned on you that you’ve officially entered the final stretch of the semester. With this in mind, you most likely felt tempted to give in to all of your vices to ease the stress. NO, you are stronger than that! In this hectic part of the year, it’s so important that you take care of yourself a little extra, inside and out, so here are some healthy snack options for the lowest of moments when all you want is to bury yourself in a bag of potato chips.
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These sweet little trail mix packets from Target are the perfect on-the-go snack. It’s got all of the best nuts and dried fruits, so you don’t even have to strategically avoid anything like raisins. Pro Tip: Always keep one of these handy in your backpack for those times when you feel like the entire classroom can hear your stomach grumbling.
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If you’re more of a savory person, who considers any kind of chip like kryptonite, then roasted and salted chickpeas should be able to satisfy your cravings. Chickpeas are a great source of protein and fiber, plus they have a great nutty flavor. Eat them by the handful or impress everyone in the dining hall by sprinkling them over a salad as a nice crouton alternative.
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Granola bars can sometimes by an unlikely enemy to your diet. A lot of bars contain ridiculous amounts of fat, sugar, gluten, as well as a lot of nasty chemical preservatives. Who would’ve thought that these lunchbox classics could be so menacing? Fortunately, there are some companies out there that have successfully created granola-based snacks that are all-natural and gluten-free. These granola bites from Made Good are amazing since they taste great, and they even contain the same amount of nutrients found in one serving of vegetables. Consider yourself a food pyramid BOSS.
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Picture this; it’s a Friday night around 11:45 p.m. You decided to have a chill night in to catch up on all of your favorite shows (s/o to Jane the Virgin), and then all of a sudden your stomach begins to make strange noises. We all know that midnight snacking is not the best for us, but sometimes you’ve just got to live a little and let bygones be bygones. Instead of reaching for the Tostito’s Hint of Lime chips, you make the healthier decision to pop open a fresh bag of organic popcorn seasoned with a little sea salt and olive oil. Popcorn is a great alternative to chips since it’s low-calorie and it’s a great source of fiber. This variation from Trader Joe’s has the added benefit of an olive oil drizzle, which is a great healthy fat that also makes you feel a little fancy.
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Apple chips are the flavor of fall in snack form. These delicious baked, not freeze-dried, chips by Bare Fruit are all-natural and gluten-free, so anyone can enjoy them. They come in all kinds of apple varieties, from Fuji to Granny Smith, as well as a ton of fun flavors including cinnamon which tastes like, you guessed it, apple pie.
Photo Credit: Inka Chips
You heard it here first, folks; plantain chips are the new tortilla chips! These thick and crunchy snacks are made of plantains, palm oil, and a bit of sea salt to enhance the earthy flavor of this staple cooking banana found in many tropical regions of the world. The savory kind tastes amazing with guacamole and salsa, while the sweetly flavored chips taste great on their own.
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Cuties were a childhood favorite for so many reasons, but we all know that the most important one is because they were so easy to peel. These perfectly sweet itty-bitty citruses have always been the best quick and easy snack. They’re also friendly on the wallet too since a 3 lb bag is typically around $4.
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For those of us afflicted with a serious sweet tooth, healthy snacking can be SO difficult. The phrase, “everything in moderation,” comes in handy in regards to eating foods that aren’t the best for you, but also aren’t the worst. These dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s will satisfy your sugar cravings without totally ruining your health streak. Dark chocolate has actually been found to be an antioxidant-rich superfood, so that’s one less reason to feel guilty about munching on one of these cups. Seriously, one of these rich morsels will do just the trick and you won’t feel any need to stuff yourself. Move over Reese’s because there’s a new delicious candy alternative in town.
If you have a ton of unhealthy snacks in your dorm, consider this a wake up call to clean out your shelves and drawers of all of the foods that are stopping you from achieving those resolutions you made all the way back in January. It is spring after all, which means sprucing up is probably somewhere on your to-do list. Consider a snack cleanse just another spring cleaning checklist item. Just think that if you surround yourself with the right snacks then you won’t feel as bad when you find yourself with your hand in a bag of sea salt and olive oil popcorn during finals week.