It’s late July and I’m over summer. After the Fourth of July, summer is dead to me. It’s too hot, it’s too humid, it’s too dry, and it’s too much of the same. There are no fun holidays to look forward to and no place in the entire United States of America to escape the heat.
I have started dreaming of crisp fall mornings and, most detrimental, fall foods like casseroles, roasted chickens, and chili.
September 22nd is the official first day of fall, and where I live hot temperatures can last well into October. This means I can not go off my summer eating schedule just yet.
I’ll have plenty more days by the pool and summer BBQ’s to attend with no way of explaining why I am wearing a fall sweater to cover up my winter bulge. So, to keep on track, I want to share five pre-packaged on-the-go snacks I keep around to fight off cravings and keep me steady for the rest of summer.
1. Powerful Yogurt Protein Drinks. These bad boys clock in at 20 grams of protein and 160 calories per can. The chocolate and mocha double espresso are lowest in sugar, with only nine grams per serving. Just make sure you only get the mocha double espresso if you want caffeine. It is the only shake that is caffeinated. Also, try these drinks frozen. They are an excellent granita. To do this, pour the shake into a shallow dish or bowl. Freeze until solid, and then flake with a fork or spoon.
2. Oh Snap! Dilly Bites. These are individually wrapped pickles. You might be saying to yourself, “I could put pickles in a bag and just eat them.” You could. But will you? At 75-cents a bag, the convenience is worth it for me. This snack is purely for cravings and convenience and has no nutritional value whatsoever. They have 0 calories, 0 sugar, 0 carbs, and 0 protein. They do have 320mg of sodium, so if you are watching your salt intake, beware. These are perfectly crisp, salty and briny, and they help me kick my crunchy salty cravings. I can eat chips and salsa like it’s my job, so I always have these babies around. Oh Snap! Also makes other varieties of pickles and pickled veggies.
3. Wonderful Pistachios Individual Packs. These come in a box with nine individually portioned packages. Why nine and not 10 or 12, I do not know and it bothers me almost so much that I have considered not buying them, but i’m working through it. These pistachios come with the shells on. I love that because it takes me more time to eat them. When I have a 100 calorie pack of almonds, I can eat them in one chomp. I feel more satisfied because I am eating slower and I’m more engaged in the process. These packages are 120 calories, six carbs, and five proteins.
4. Perky Jerky. I am not a jerky lover; however, I love the turkey perky jerky. The entire bag is 160 calories, and 20 grams of protein. As with most jerkys, if you are watching your sodium intake, find a different snack. I like the turkey jerky because it is not chewy and, as an added bonus, it is super low in fat; only half a gram per serving. Hot and bothered is my favorite flavor with original being a close second. I also prefer this brand over others because it is nitrate free, gluten free, and MSG free.
5. Halo Top Ice Cream. This is not one that I keep on hand very often. I am not a sweets lover and therefore, don’t really crave sweet food. On top of that, ice cream is not a weakness of mine. Pasta? YES. Pizza? YES? Chips and salsa? HELL YES! But on the rare occasion a sweets craving hits, this is a good go-to. They have 17 different flavors ranging in calorie count from 240-360 calories per pint. The consistency and texture is very similar to ice cream and the taste is delicious. They use a combination of three sweeteners including erythritol, an all-natural sugar alcohol, organic cane sugar and Stevia which keeps the calorie count down. They also add prebiotic fiber and milk protein concentrate to crank up some of the nutritional value. Overall, this is a MUCH better choice than eating real ice cream if the craving hits.
There you have it. Five of my favorite go-to snacks to keep cravings in check and make that summer body last a little longer. We’ve got about eight more weeks of sweating, so let's get to it.