Had another one of those days when you’re running from a workout to a meeting to the office to an after-work event — then back home? While you might feel like you’re moving as fast as Steph Curry down the court, you’ll quickly lose your drive if you don’t fuel properly. And we’re not talking about grabbing a high-calorie, high-sugar prepackaged snack.
Eating clean is as simple as taking a few minutes a day (or the night before) to prep easy snacks that’ll keep you far from starvation mode. And first you want to figure out which snack ideas will not only fill you up, but also satisfy your cravings. For help, we turned to the people who know busy schedules best: fitness instructors with back-to-back classes and clients (not to mention families, side hustles and other day jobs). Steal their secrets to staying 100 all day, without reaching for the junk drawer. Goodbye hanger; hello better foods and moods.
10 Snack Ideas to Get You Through Your Busiest Days
1. Eggs, Made Ahead
“When I have a full day of training and being a mom 24/7, I always make sure I have snacks prepared and on hand,” says Krystal Dwyer, a Daily Burn 365 trainer and Flybarre instructor. She boils eggs every night for her family so they have a quick bite of satiating protein. She often pairs two of those with sliced avocado and tomatoes to munch on midday. Another go-to: pre-cut fruit, often mixed with Greek yogurt and pre-bagged granola sprinkled on top.
2. All About Bars
No, we’re not talking happy hour. Don Saladino, celeb trainer and founder of Drive Studios in NYC, loves the Garden of Life sports line, particularly the plant-based protein bars. Made of clean ingredients that are gluten-, dairy- and soy-free, they help repair and rebuild your muscles after a workout. His favorite flavors include peanut butter chocolate and sea salt caramel.
3. Greens, Nuts, Bars, Oh My
Dara Theodora, a trainer for Daily Burn 365 and The Fhitting Room in NYC, is a huge fan of veggies, especially carrot sticks and snow peas dipped in a homemade Greek yogurt dip with a splash of hot sauce. She also loves her Nutribullet. “I make shakes with banana, blueberries, a healthy fist full of dark leafy greens, nut butter — my go-to is Nuttzo — and almond milk,” she says. Theodore also never leaves home without a banana, apple and a bag of properly portioned nuts. Occasionally, she’ll pack a Kind Bar, too. “I choose the flavors with the least sugar,” she says.
4. Low Sugar, High Protein and Fat
“I always steer clear of as much sugar as possible and go for protein and a little fat,” says Cheri Paige Fogleman, an instructor on Daily Burn 365. Fogleman makes her own granola, filled with oats, hemp hearts and flax, chia, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds. For more protein, she grabs an Epic Bar made of bison or smears sunflower butter on a gluten-free granola bar, like Go Raw Buckwheat. “Sun Butter makes cute little grab-and-go containers for sunflower butter, but for those not chained down by nut allergies, try Justin’s nut butter pouches,” she suggests.
5. Pumped Up Desserts
If you have a sweet tooth but want some protein to fuel you, take a cue from Keith Lawrence, head coach at NYC’s Tone House. His two must-haves include: Lenny and Larry’s Protein Cookie (with 16 grams of protein, low sugar and still tastes like dessert), and Natureworks Protein Carrot Cakes. “These are a great way to satisfy my craving for baked goods, while also having a healthy option for protein between meals,” he says. Count us in. (Try these protein-packed cookie recipes for more options!)
6. Pre-Packaged Protein, Plus Fiber
A choice mini meal for Daily Burn 365 instructor and registered dietitian, Nora Minno, RD: Quest Bars, which are high in protein, yet low in calories (under 200). She also enjoys Blue Diamond’s 100-calorie nut packages. “They are super easy to travel with and non-perishable,” she says. “It’s important to get that protein and healthy fat while on the go.” Minno almost always carries around individual protein packets, which she can easily mix with water. Plus, she often has a piece of fruit, like an apple or orange, for a quick hit of fuel, fiber and vitamins.
7. Homemade and Healthy Muffins
One of the best portable snacks out there — that’s also super easy to make — is muffins. For a low-sugar option, CeCe Marizu, Daily Burn 365 and Equinox fitness instructor follows this recipe:
3 cups oat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of cinnamon
1 scoop of Vega protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)
1 tablespoon of organic maple syrup
3 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 cup of Greek yogurt
Bake ‘em for 14 to 16 minutes at 375 degrees. “I add blueberries from time to time too and bake a little longer,” she says. Even better: Spread some almond butter between two and enjoy them with coffee. Basically the perfect feel-good snack.
8. PBB and Better-for-You Pudding
The classic PB&J was due for a remix, and Phoenix Carnevale, MMA expert and Daily Burn 365 instructor, does it like this: “I make a peanut butter and banana no bread ‘sandwich,’ where I take a smear of peanut butter and two slices of banana and put them together,” she says. You get protein, fat, potassium and fiber in one low-carb combo. To satisfy a sweet craving, Carnevale also mixes chocolate protein powder with Greek yogurt and two chopped strawberries. Or she just drizzles a little chocolate right over a bowl of strawberries.
9. Melon, Almonds and Energy
Summertime is the perfect time to kick up your intake of water-filled foods like cucumbers, celery, cantaloupe and watermelon — Rumble boxing instructor, Bradley Rose’s preferred option. To keep him fueled between punch combos, he has a cup of melon, a handful of almonds (those healthy fats and protein fill you up) and a cup of nitro coffee. Because there’s nothing like caffeine for a serious performance boost.
10. Fruit, Smoothies and an Emergency Bar
Erika Shannon, Daily Burn 365 and Soul Cycle instructor, always has bananas and raspberries on hand. “I can eat raspberries by the pint,” she says. She also makes smoothies to take on the go with frozen berries, fresh spinach, a banana, water or almond milk — and occasionally avocado if she wants it extra creamy. For the times she feels a bout of hanger coming on, Shannon keeps a stash of RX bars in Coconut Chocolate flavor. “I don’t make a habit of eating lots of bars, but the RX bars are so great and have simple ingredients,” she says.