My Top Ten Favorite Healthy Snacks as a Busy College Student (Vegetarian & Dairy-Free!)

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Being a busy college student, I’ve experienced a lot of days where I’ve had to rely on snacks to get me through the day. Between super long lines for food and a schedule packed with club/organization meetings and back-to-back classes, sometimes it can be really hard to find time to wait for something. To all of you students who go to a big school for college or have a crazy busy schedule, you can probably relate!

Anyway, over the past three years as a college student and a busy gal in general, I’ve been able to discover so many snacks that have been able to sustain me up until my next meal that are both satisfying and healthy! I’m also vegetarian and dairy-free so for those of you who are on the same boat or are just looking for some more snack ideas, I’d love to provide some suggestions!

Here are some of my all-time favorite healthy snacks that never fail to satisfy me:

Nuts

Almonds, pistachios, cashews, you name it! Nuts are incredibly satisfying and always give me the boost of energy that I need to move forward during a busy day. They are packed with healthy fats and protein and are so convenient and easy to bring around with you. Just make sure to be cautious of how much you are consuming in one serving!

Hummus & Carrots

Of course carrots aren’t the only option to dip in hummus. The list is endless! You can use pretzels, celery, pita chips/bread, etc. Hummus is so easy to locate in grocery stores and not to mention there are different flavors of hummus as well. Carrots and hummus are great when you want something healthy as well as to satisfy your craving for something crunchy!

Popcorn

Ever since I was little, popcorn has always been a huge favorite of mine, especially the ones that can go right in the microwave. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered that sometimes, less (ingredients) is more! I love Skinny Pop as well as Trader Joe’s Air-popped popcorn the most at the moment! They are both light, low in calories and have a great flavor.

Apples/Bananas with Peanut Butter

This combo has been my go-to snack for the past week or two. This is the perfect snack if you are craving something sweet. Slice up some apples or bananas and use about a tablespoon of peanut butter to dip your fruit in. It is quick and easy to prepare and tastes so amazing. You can even play around with a new fruit & PB combo.

Protein Bars

I was never a huge fan of protein bars growing up, but I’ve learned to realize that it’s all about finding the right one. My favorite brand at the moment is Larabar because they are dairy-free and are SO simple in terms of ingredients. I love the chocolate chip cookie dough and banana chocolate chip bars the most! I definitely have to try some new flavors.

Crunchy Chickpeas

For an excellent source of protein, crunchy chickpeas are a must! Now, crunchy chickpeas are something that can easily be prepared and made by yourself, but if you don’t have time to make them, my favorite brand to buy is World Cuisine Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas (Sea Salt). I just discovered these last month at Whole Foods and swear I can finish the entire bag in one sitting if I could!!

Edamame (Shelled or Roasted)

Believe it or not, edamame is so satisfying and so fun to snack on! You can roast them for a more crunchy and savory snack or you can eat them shelled with a bit of sea salt. These things are packed with fiber and are so versatile. When I’m not eating it for a snack, I love to sprinkle them into my salads and buddha bowls.

Popcorn Cakes

If you are a popcorn-lover like me, another thing you need to try are popcorn cakes! Similar to rice cakes, popcorn cakes are simply just made with popcorn instead of rice. Skinny Pop sells both regular-sized and mini popcorn cakes making them an excellent alternative for chips. They taste amazing with guacamole or hummus on top!

Pretzels Dipped in Chocolate Tahini

For the perfect combination of sweet & salty, you need to try this. On a grocery trip to Whole Foods a few weeks ago, I came across a brand that was giving out samples of their chocolate tahini spread! The brand is called Soom Foods and their chocolate tahini spread tastes just like nutella, except so much better. They are dairy-free, nut-free, vegan and kosher! As with many spreads, you can play around with how you’d like to consume this!

Nut Butter Stuffed Dates

I hate to admit this, but I just tried dates for the first time last month. I can’t believe it took me so long to try them because they are so sweet and taste like a chewy, caramel candy. A quick recipe that I’ve come across many times online involves slicing open dates and filling them with a nut butter of your choice. It is so yummy!

What are some of your favorite snacks? Whether you are a college student or not, or you’re just constantly on-the-go, I’d love to hear!

 

Group Fitness Classes That I Love & Why You Should Too!

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetHappy New Year! I hope everyone’s 2019 has been off to a wonderful start. If 2018 was a rocky year or you didn’t achieve all that you had  planned, 2019 will be your year and you will achieve any and everything that you set your mind to!

I know a lot of us have 2019 goals/resolutions and many of them include getting back on track in terms of health and fitness especially after the holidays. I know mine do! It’s always hard to jump back into working out especially after a bit of time, but for me I’ve found this to be a lot easier with group fitness classes.

Today, I’m going to share some of my favorite group fitness classes that you should give a try this year if you haven’t already.

Let this be a year of trying new things! Finding a workout class that works for you is an amazing starting point to ease your way back into a successful fitness journey.

Zumba

If you like to dance, love music, or simply like having lots of fun, you must try Zumba! If you’re not the biggest fan of working out, I highly suggest doing Zumba because rather than working out, it feels like one huge dance party!

Dancing burns an insane amount of calories and I never fail to feel energized and amazing after one of these classes. Not the greatest dancer? You don’t have to be! As long as you are moving and having fun that is ALL that matters. Along with that, I don’t think I’ve ever had an instructor yet who didn’t radiate positive, fun energy!

Barre

Barre is something that I tried for the first time last year and I must say that this class is the epitome of the saying, “looks can be deceiving.” Don’t let the tiny movements that look and seem easy, fool you. You will leave your first barre class feeling the burn but in the best ways possible. This is an excellent class to try if you are looking to lengthen, strengthen and tone your body quickly especially before spring break, the summer or throughout the year in general.

Kickboxing

In the summer of 2017, I tried my first CKO kickboxing class and quickly became hooked. Not long after, I ended up getting a membership at my local CKO kickboxing gym and went twice a week for the remainder of that summer!

Kickboxing was something that I had always wanted to try, but I was so hesitant to start it because I didn’t think I was strong enough or fit enough for it. It took me the longest time to convince myself to give it a try, but after starting I realized, that’s the whole point! With every kickboxing class you feel yourself getting stronger and stronger. Every punch and kick gets becomes more powerful and your body starts to adjust to the intensity of the exercises. Aside from that, kickboxing is an excellent way to let out any pent up frustration, anger or stress.

Yoga

It was during my junior year of high school that I first got into yoga. I joined a yoga club with my best friend and it was amazing for so many different reasons. Not only was it helping me cope with the stressful load of junior year, I noticed a difference in my strength by the time the quarter was over. My arms and abdomen got more toned and strong, I became more mindful and coped better with stressful situations, I connected so well with the other students in the class and I learned a lot about myself and the core principles of yoga.

Cycling

After years of wanting to go to a cycling class, I finally dragged a friend along to do it with me a few months ago at my school. Cycling is INTENSE, but after one class it is so easy to understand why people continue to come back. While my legs may have been sore for what felt like weeks, I developed an urge to want to come back and push myself even harder. Not to mention, I’ve learned that instructors can get really creative with their playlists used in the class. There’s nothing better than a workout class with great music because it makes the class feel a little less painful!

What are your favorite workout classes? I personally love going to group fitness classes because I love having an instructor who can tell me exactly what to do as well as make sure that I am constantly in proper form. I love discovering new classes and am curious as to what the next hottest one is going to be this year!