Spry editor Lisa Delaney is one of the rare souls who know what it’s like to be an “after.” This journalist and author of Secrets of a Former Fat Girl shed 70 pounds—and six dress sizes–and has kept it off for 20 years. She answers your questions here each week.
I’m sort of a snack simpleton: As you can see by my list of favorite weight-conscious nibbles, I’m all about the basics. Rarely do I go to the trouble (or expense) of buying packaged snacks. And frankly, much of the stuff out there is over-hyped and underwhelming (to the tastebuds, in particular). But lately, I’ve discovered a few healthy snacks that are worth my hard-earned dimes and dollars. What I love about them, in addition to the taste—each has a relatively short list of ingredients, all easily pronounceable. Here’s what this healthy snack sleuth has uncovered lately.
iheartkeenwah’s almond quinoa clusters. Now, don’t get me wrong—I don’t believe that quinoa is the miracle food some people make it out to be. But I do love knowing that this one little whole grain is a great vegetarian source of protein, which can help keep blood sugar regulated and your appetite in check. These honey-sweetened snacks are crunchy—sort of like peanut brittle—and surprisingly filling. I munch on a few of the ½-inch squares before a workout for a healthy source of fuel. Oh, and by the way—they’re gluten free (if you care about such things).
Kind Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan bars. I am LOVING these chewy, spicy, chocolaty bars of goodness as an afternoon treat/snack. They’re super-low in sugar—only 5g per bar, half as much as a Powerbar Harvest Trail Mix. Kind bars aren’t low-cal, though—they set you back 200 calories (mostly from nuts and dried fruit), so they should be considered a substantial snack. They’re great to pack for travel or for a hike.
Kitchen Table Bakers Sesame Parmesan Crisps. Yet another gluten-free offering, these crisps are made entirely of cheese (and, in this case, sesame seeds)—no flour to bulk them up or bind them. The result is an intense Parmesan flavor tempered a bit by nutty sesame, just the snack to go with a nice glass of wine before dinner. I’m thinking I might crumble some on a salad for a bit of crunch. 80 calories for three crackers (all you’ll probably want, due to the aggressive flavor), with an impressive 6g of protein.
Almondina Cinnaroma cookies. Think of these as biscotti on a diet: These super-thin, super-crunchy, low-fat cookies have been around since 1979, but the recent introduction of a variety of new flavors, including the cinnamon/almond/raisin-spiked Cinnaroma, caught my eye. A perfect post-meal companion for tea or coffee, four cookies cost you only 130 satisfying calories.
Clif Builder’s Snack Size bar. On the subject of bars … I have always been a fan of Clif products, but I’ve shied away from their high-protein Builder’s bars because of their hefty calorie count—270 calories is just too much for a snack in my book. These new snack-size versions weigh in at half that (or less), and are a great size for a pre- or post-workout nibble.
Lisa Delaney is editor of Spry magazine and Spryliving.com. Ask her your question here.