If you’ve just switched to a Paleo diet and you find you’re being overwhelmed with cravings for bread, soda, alcohol or other junk, never fear! Pretty much everyone who transitions to Paleo from the Standard American Diet goes through a period of cravings and energy crashes.
- 1 Paleo Snacks Under 200 Calories
- 2 Paleo Snacks To Fight Those Cravings
- 3 Paleo Snacks You Can Eat On the Go
Paleo Snacks Under 200 Calories
You’ve given up grains, but you can still enjoy muffins. “Most snack options are made of grains or contain sugar,” writes dietitian Aglaée Jacob, a registered dietitian and paleo diet advocate in Canada. “Fruits are an option, but not if you are trying to limit your carbohydrate intake.” A healthy alternative? Omelet muffins, says Jacob. Simply mix your favorite omelet ingredients such as eggs, veggies and diced lean meat together, then distribute the batter evenly in a nonstick muffin tin. Once baked, you’ll have a batch of protein-rich, grain-free muffins to snack on for several days. One standard-size omelet muffin contains under 90 calories.
Natural Trail Mix
Considering their calorie density, nuts and seeds may not seem diet-friendly, but they provide hefty amounts of fiber, protein and healthy fats, making them more satiating than processed foods. In a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2009, researchers analyzed the nut intake of 51,188 women ages 20 to 45 over 8 years. Women who reported eating nuts twice or more per week actually had a slightly lower risk of gaining weight or becoming obese compared to women who seldom ate nuts. One-quarter cup of trail mix containing fruit, nuts and seeds provides about 175 calories. Whether you make your own or purchase prepared trail mix, make sure the ingredients are devoid of added sugar.
Meat And Avocado Lettuce Wraps
One-half of an avocado provides 5 grams of satiating fiber and other essential nutrients, including B-vitamins, potassium, unsaturated fats and vitamin E. Ginger Calem, CPT recommends wrapping avocado slices and deli meat (gluten-free) in crisp romaine lettuce leaves for a nutritious paleo-friendly snack. “This just makes me think of sunshine and happy summer days for some reason,” she said. Wraps made with 1/2 of an avocado, 2 deli meat slices and several large romaine leaves provides about 170 calories. For added flavor and nutrient variety, incorporate other veggies, such as diced tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers.
Fruit With Coconut Milk
If you’re craving ice cream or a healthy, hydrating sweet, top fresh fruit, such as berries, melon cubes and mango chunks, with coconut milk. The fat in the coconut will enhance satiation and help you better absorb fat-soluble nutrients, including the vitamin A in mangoes and the vitamin E in blueberries. One cup of mixed berries topped with 1/4 cup raw coconut milk provides about 195 calories. Coconut milk is a great paleo-friendly alternative to replace other sources of saturated, like whole milk and heavy cream.
Eggs With Veggies
Ginger Calem, CPT described “speedy eggs with greens” as the quickest-to-make paleo mini-meal. “I scramble an egg or two and then fold in some spring mix lettuce,” she said. “When heat hits those greens, it really brings out a fabulous flavor.” You can make your own rendition by scrambling eggs with whatever veggies you have on hand. Diced tomatoes and red bell peppers add a kick of the antioxidants lycopene and vitamin C. For added satiation, incorporate fiber-rich veggies, such as cooked kale, broccoli and carrots. Herbs and spices, such as garlic, basil, sea salt and black pepper, can add ample flavor while contributing no calories. Two eggs with 1/2 cup fresh vegetables contains about 150 calories and 12.5 grams of protein.
Paleo Snacks To Fight Those Cravings
Fruit is an obvious snack for when you’ve got those cravings. Sure, your diet might restrict fruit, particularly in the beginning, but what’s worse: eating a fresh fruit salad or that chocolate donut that you really want?
Nuts and Seeds
If you’re constantly craving chocolate, you might be deficient in magnesium. In fact, Mercola says approximately 80 percent of all Americans are deficient. If you find you crave chocolate, it’s very likely you need some magnesium. Almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds are all great sources of magnesium, as are green leafy veg like Swiss chard and spinach.
If you just crave sweets in general (not an easy craving to fight off), you could be low in a number of nutrients, namely, sulfur. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, bok choy, kale, rutabaga, collard greens, turnip (root or greens), maca, radish, and wasabi, among others, are great sources of sulfur, Vitamin C and fiber. They’re also great for fighting off cancer cells.
If you’re craving toast or bread, you probably need more nitrogen. You can get that from high protein meats and fish. Don’t think of meat as a “snack”? Make some jerky. Even if you don’t have a dehydrator you can still make jerky. All you need to make jerky is a bit of time, some mild heat, and a dry environment. If you’ve been buying jerky, save yourself some loads of cash and make it yourself!
A Big Salad
If you crave soda, you might be low in calcium. The best source of calcium is in your leafy greens. Make yourself a big salad out of spinach, kale, watercress, turnip greens, some broccoli, and sesame seeds. If you do dairy, throw some cheddar in there, too. Top it all off with some homemade Ranch dressing or a nice oil and vinegar dressing. This snack will not only help increase your calcium intake, it’ll also fill you up and leave no room for that soda you want to drink.
Dried apricots are high in potassium, which you might need if you crave alcohol. Each half-cup of dried apricots will provide approximately 22 percent of the daily recommended intake. You should either dehydrate your own or buy some that are sulfate-free.
Paleo Snacks You Can Eat On the Go
If you’re looking for a fresh fruit alternative, look no further than fruit leathers or fruit strips. This product can be found at most pharmacies, grocery stores, and even gas stations, but be careful because not all fruit leathers are good Paleo snacks. Check the list of ingredients on the back of the box carefully before purchasing. Your healthier fruit leather options will be those will minimal ingredients, like fruit and water. Stretch Island Fruit Co. makes great all-natural fruit leathers in a variety of flavors, like raspberry and strawberry, that Paleo bloggers and chefs love.
If you’re craving pasta, veggie noodles, also known as zoodles, will be your fix. Veggie noodles are basically just vegetables, most often zucchini, squash, and sweet potato, that are cut or spiraled to create a noodle-like texture and shape. Since Paleo is such a big health movement right now, veggie noodles can be found at most supermarkets, but Whole Foods has pre-spiraled and prepackaged options that make for a quick low-stress meal. Vegetables are a main staple in the Paleo diet and for good reason. They are full of vitamins and leave you feeling satisfied.
Energy Balls and Bars
Our markets today are saturated with all kinds of snack and protein bars. After a glance at the ingredient list, you may find yourself shaking your head at the thought of these bars being considered a “health” food. You may not even be able to pronounce some of the ingredients listed on the nutrition label. Granted, a handful of bars are considered to be Paleo-friendly; however, the price tag that accompanies many choices is considerable. Some of the simplest and tastiest Paleo snack recipes fall into the category of energy balls or bars. Set aside a little time and make a batch or two of these goodies to eat as a great on-the-go snack for you or pack for your loved ones.
You may not be a stranger to the world of muffins, but your former idea of a muffin is no longer a healthy snack consideration. While you can no longer go to your favorite coffee shop and order one of their giant, bakery-style muffins, as tempting as they may be, you know how detrimental those sugar-laden baked goods can be to your health. Fortunately, there are a number of amazing Paleo muffin recipes that are low in suagr and high in nutrient content.
Yes, dark chocolate can be Paleo, and yes, many Paleo experts actually recommend dark chocolate in moderation when it comes to healthy snacks. (Dark chocolate is even included in our 50 best healthy eating tips of all time because it’s packed with antioxidants and has been proven to boost brain health and curb cravings.) But not all dark chocolate meets Paleo snack standards. Look for unsweetened dark chocolate or baking chocolate with 80 percent or more cocoa. EatingEvolved and Primal Kitchen both make dairy-free and certified organic Paleo dark chocolate bars.