Monday, June 10, 2013

Amanda's Healthy Snack Guide for Residents, Medical Students, and Busy People in General

      It took me less than a week on my surgery rotation as a med student to realize that eating, sleeping, and using the bathroom are necessities of the weak. Just kidding! I DID realize, however, that there was not a lot of time to run down to the coffee shop or cafeteria for a meal, let alone a snack, and that there was no way that I was going to disappear to do so. I did not want to be the medical student that the residents could not find when they actually needed me (probably to do something that they themselves did not want to do, but still, they needed me). I had to bring my food, or I had to starve. Disclaimer: This advice generally applies to those rotating/working at hospitals in the NYC area, and not hospitals in other areas of the country that have a Starbucks in the lobby and a Whole Foods next door (clearly I am jealous of the individuals at the particular hospital I am speaking of). Anyway, I am not the type that can function all day on two meals alone, so I absolutely had to bring snacks to the hospital with me.
      My snack requirements were fairly simple. The snack had to be portable, healthy, not processed or full of sugar (that would make me hungrier and defeat the purpose), filling, nutritious, and require minimal effort on my behalf to bring everyday. As I said, SIMPLE, EASY requirements. Essentially, they had to be grab and go snacks. Below you will find my list of favorites:

1.) Mini packs of olives: These olives are dry-packed, European style, and full of heart-healthy monosaturated fats to keep you full between meals. You can order them online at: Olive Snack Pack.

Nutrition: 50 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1 gram of fiber, 0.5 grams of protein.

2.) Mini packs of pistachios: I prefer pistachio packs to other nut packs because they take longer to eat, and have fewer calories per ounce. They are also packed with good fats to keep you full, as well as a decent amount of protein and fiber, making them the perfect grab and go snack. These are readily available in stores, but you can also order mini packs here: Pistachios.

Nutrition: 120-130 calories (depends on the brand), 9 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein.

3.) Mini Kind Bars: A great snack to curb hunger between meals (especially if you feel that the 200 calorie full-sized bar is too high of a calorie price tag for a snack). It is also full of good fat, protein, fiber, and tastes amazing. I have not found one flavor that I do not like. They are all natural and the perfect midday pick me up. They sell these in many stores, but to make your lives easier, you can also buy them online here: Mini Kind Bars.

Nutrition: 110 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein.

4.) Already sliced organic apples + individual 90 calorie pack of almond butter: Clearly I am too lazy to slice apples myself, which is why I am so obsessed with these delicious pre-sliced apples from Trader Joe's (you can buy sliced apples at pretty much any supermarket if you do not have a Trader Joe's near you). There are SO many things that you can do with them, but snack wise, I like to bring them in a ziplock bag and eat them with a perfectly portioned pack of almond butter (perfect for me, because I love it and will eat the entire jar if I do not control myself). This snack is filling, full of fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins to help you make it through your day. You can purchase the individual packs of almond butter here: Almond Butter.

Nutrition for the apples: 1.5 cups is 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber, 0 grams of protein.
Nutrition for the almond butter: 90 calories, 7.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein.


5.) Baby Carrots: I love any type of pre-sliced/tiny vegetables (again, I am lazy and won't even take the time to slice them myself) and carrots are the easiest to buy in miniature. They are crunchy, filling, full of fiber, and antioxidants. I put them in a zip log back and pair them with a mini hummus or mini light ranch dip to make the perfect snack.

Nutrition: 3 oz are 35 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber, 1 gram of protein.

6.) Mini packs of hummus : (the two brands I have seen that offer this are Sabra and Tribe-I prefer Tribe)- I absolutely love hummus, but once again, if I am left with an open container, I will eat the entire thing, and it is no longer a healthy snack. Because of this, these pre-portioned packs are perfect for me, and perfect to throw into my bag to bring with me to work to eat with my carrots. Hummus is rich in protein, monosaturated fat, omega 3 fatty acids, and contains a substantial amount of B6, manganese, copper, folic acid, as well as multiple amino acids.

Nutrition: (for the Tribe brand) 130 calories, 9 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein.

7.) Mini packs of light ranch dip: Another perfect thing to bring to eat with my sliced veggies. The brand I use is T. Marzetti, and it can be found in certain supermarkets. Clearly, I am not a plain vegetable type of girl. The pack is low calorie, pre-portioned, and makes the perfect grab and go snack for work.

Nutrition: 90 calories, 7 grams of fat, 0 grams of fiber, 1 gram of protein.

8.) String Cheese: It can be light, full-fat, whichever you prefer. I eat both types. String cheese is portable, full of protein, good fat, and is fun to eat. It can easily be thrown into your bag without too much thought, making it the perfect work snack. There is not really one brand that I prefer, and the light vs. full fat varieties typically only vary by about 10 calories and 2-3 grams of fat.

Nutrition: (For Stringsters Reduced Fat) 70 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein,

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