Easy-to-pack vegan snacks for school and work

cristina-gottardi-105347.jpgA challenge many people face when taking the dive into veganism is keeping their hunger satiated throughout the day. Snacks can be essential in helping individuals keep their appetite tamed while sticking to their plan for eating healthier and promoting a better life for the planet.

Packing Healthy on the Go

Snacks are small portions of food eaten in between meals to keep your blood sugar regulated and your body continuing to maintain a steady stream of energy. Some don’t need snacks, but for those like me, I CRAVE them. I eat snacks before working out, before setting off on a run and when getting ready to write.

During college, I packed tons of vegan-friendly snacks in easily accessible reusable containers, making my food easy to eat. These are some of my favorite foods that I like to pack, categorized by how easy each item is to pack for school, work, or a picnic. Spoiler alert! Most of my choices are sweet and tasteful fruits.

Foods that require zero preparation

Bananas have to be my absolute favorite food to snack on. I bring a bushel of about eight bananas to work every Monday and eat them throughout the week. I love bananas because they come prepackaged and can be stored in warmer temperatures. Bananas are packed with carbohydrates, potassium, fiber, vitamin B and several other nutrients essential in fueling the body with energy.

Apples and pears require washing but can otherwise be eaten with the skin on. Apples are much less likely to bruise than pears, but both fruits can be stored in a lunch bag without preparation. If you don’t mind using your teeth as utensils, apples and pears can provide several health benefits, such as improving digestion and providing the body with healthy, fiber-sealed sugars that are much more sustainable than candy.

Mangos are succulent, juicy fruits packed with tons of vitamins that help to boost the immune system. Mangos lower cholesterol levels, help to clear skin and aid in balancing the body’s pH levels. This widely popular fruit can be easily peeled when ripe, but make sure to have a napkin on hand as it can get messy.

Foods that don’t require preparation, just containers

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are easily one of the tastiest fruit groups of the bunch. While bananas can make a claim for subtlety, many berries are very sweet and tart and can be easily paired with other foods like oatmeal or non-diary coconut yogurt. These foods are loaded with antioxidants that contain anti-aging properties.

Grapes are grouped together on a vine, making it easy to cut and pack into a small container or zip-lock bag. Similar to the aforementioned berries, grapes contain unique antioxidants that make it especially healthy for blood circulation—if you needed another reason to drink wine, tell your friends and family you’re promoting a healthier heart.

Nuts contain high amounts of fat and protein, making these especially rich in calories. While not officially a nut, peanuts are one of my favorite foods to slather on sprouted grain bread or fruits like apples. A good home-made trail mix made with dark chocolate and dried fruits (think raisins or cranberries) can be a lifesaver in times when you want to satisfy that sweet tooth.

Prepared the night before for easier eating

Watermelon, melon and honeydew are all excellent choices for snacks as well, but they can often be too big for one sitting. These foods can be cut the night before and packed into small, reusable containers. Melons also generally last more than one day, making it easy to store when preparing for the entire week.

Pineapples are delicious, tart fruits that contain special properties not found in other fruits or vegetables. One serving of pineapples gives you more than your daily recommended requirement for vitamin C.

Those are just a few foods (mostly fruits) that are easy to bring with you when traveling to help you to stick to your dietary plan. I know for those transitioning to a vegan diet it can sometimes be tough to stay inspired when the company decides to order desserts from Nothing Bundt Cakes to celebrate everyone’s birthday for the month, but keeping readily-accessible snacks keeps you equipped to battle temptation and win the war against hunger!

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