As I’ve gone from a high schooler who played sports to a college student and then a full-blown adult with a big-girl job, I’ve found I most definitely can’t eat like I used to without repercussions. Most of the time I don’t usually want to eat some of the snacks I did in high school (I do crave a spoonful of Nutella every now and again, which was 16-year-old me’s fav snack after school), but I’d rather eat something that I know is good for me and makes me feel better. Don’t get me wrong, I do sometimes indulge in some popcorn when I go to the movies or Crumbl when Michelle and I go on a work field trip, but for the most part, I try to keep it healthy.
I’ve also not eaten red meat since 2019 (except when my boyfriend dared me to take a bite of my brother’s Big Mac this summer for $100, obviously I had to do it, because why wouldn’t I take $100?! I felt pretty awful afterward because my body had no idea how to process red meat anymore, but it was worth it. Like taking candy from a baby!) so some of my choices automatically have become healthier (like eating lean ground turkey). Here’s a list I’ve come up with, of not only healthier options for foods but ones that actually taste good because I’m most definitely a foodie at heart:
- Protein shakes
- They’re so easy for in the morning when I’m running out the door and they keep me full until lunchtime!
- Sometimes I mix my chocolate protein shakes with some cold brew and make a sort of “protein mocha” which is about 500 calories (and I’m not exaggerating) less than a mocha from Starbucks.
- Turkey bacon
- This is one of those foods that I started eating solely because I couldn’t eat regular bacon anymore, but still wanted some protein in the morning. It’s less greasy, fewer calories and less fatty than regular bacon, and it’s close enough in taste that it always hits the spot.
- Broccoli tots
- Instead of just regular fries at dinner, we love either broccoli or cauliflower tots. They’re especially a good way for me to get my boyfriend to eat anything green since he’s like a toddler when it comes to vegetables (except for peas, he loves peas, which is so weird to me, I hate peas).
- Low-calorie bread
- Regular bread is about 120 calories a slice, but we’ve found a good alternative (Lewis Bake Shop Healthy Life) for when we do make a sandwich – for only 35 calories a piece. It tastes the same as regular bread so I don’t know what they’re doing, but I’m not complaining!
- Ice cream
- Ice cream is pretty much my favorite food (other than cheese and crackers) but a pint of Ben & Jerry’s is like, 1,000 calories and has a billion grams (this time I am exaggerating) of sugar, so I really wanted to find an alternative. However, some of the low-calorie ice creams didn’t even taste like ice cream at all and being as it’s my second favorite food, I didn’t want to settle. Eventually, I found Favorite Day, Reduced Fat at Target and found that it actually tastes like real ice cream! My favorite is the Mocha Cold Brew one, the Chocolate Peanut Butter is pretty good too!
- Rice cakes
- For dessert, I’ll have some chocolate rice cakes and put peanut butter on top; it always cures my dessert cravings. If I want a salty snack, my favorite is the white cheddar rice cakes and my boyfriend is a big fan of the everything-seasoning ones.
- Protein balls
- Protein balls are another super easy snack to take on the go. There are some that I make that sort of taste like cookie dough, which is another great way to fill my dessert cravings. I also really like to bake and so this is a way for me to sort of do that but not bake a dozen cookies that are full of sugar and not the best for us.
- Pickles have virtually no calories, so if I’m really craving a snack, especially at night, pickles are my go-to!
- Chocolate-covered blueberries
- These still have a good amount of sugar in them, but they’re better than cookie dough bites or Reese’s pieces so this is the “candy” I usually bring with me either to the movies or for a movie night at home.
- Skinny Pop
- Another movie night staple is some white cheddar Skinny Pop. The serving size is huge and it’s only 120 calories. I’m a Skinny Pop stan!
Some of these might not be the best things you could ever have, but I’ve found that they’re good alternatives to things that I could be eating instead. I try not to restrict myself too much because I know myself and it’ll become too much where eventually I break and just eat whatever I want. You guys are all better than me with your eating habits though, so I’d love to hear some of your tips, whether it’s more healthy snack alternatives like these or just eating habits in general!