Monday, March 26, 2012

What can I eat for Snacks?

 First, I think it should be said that once your system adapts to Paleo eating and you become, in Mark Sisson's words, "a fat burning beast", you will find that your desire for snacks will greatly diminish.

Because you body is now running on your stored body fat rather than relying on carb sources, you will be able to go for hours without even thinking about eating. And when you look up from whatever you're doing, you will be surprised to see that you might even have worked right through lunch.

Yes, I know it seems impossible if you're just starting, and I felt exactly the same way.  I was sure it would never work that way for me, but miracle of miracles it actually did.  Now I don't even think about snacks.  Just remembering to eat at least a couple of meals a day is enough.  Crazy, but true ... and oh so freeing!

However if you haven't gotten to that stage yet, then you need to know what snacks to keep on hand for when those hunger pangs hit and you want something to nibble on, so here is a list that should keep you going. Let's start with the easy ones that you can buy and eat as is :


Nuts are full of healthy fats and very satisfying.  Macadamia nuts are probably the best if you can get them, but almonds or walnuts or any other nuts will work as well, as long as you stay away from peanuts. (Not really nuts.) The one thing to watch is not to overdo.  More than a handful a day is not recommended unless you're trying to gain weight.


Olives are also a great source of fats and, for those who like them, a great addition to a vegetable plate or just on their own. I like to mix several kinds in a jar, cover with olive oil, and add a hot pepper and a couple of sprigs of rosemary for a really delicious snack. The taste just gets stronger the longer you keep them. It's best to keep these refrigerated (even though they are covered with oil) just to be safe.

Vegetables ( alone or with dip )

Vegetables can give you that crunch that you are missing.  Organic baby carrots, celery sticks, and broccoli and cauliflower are all readily available and you can just open a bag when you want a snack. And it only take a minute to slice a cucumber or clean a few radishes.

You can use a bit of home made mayonnaise with garlic for a dip, some home made creamy salad dressing, or even nut butter - but be careful not to overdo the dip part. The platter above from is fancy enough for any party.


If you eat dairy then having a bit of cheese cut into spears or chunks in the fridge will be a good snack as long as you limit yourself to just an ounce or two.  And don't eat it every day.  Stick to older firmer cheese like Cheddar or Gouda.

Beef Jerky

Beef Jerky is also readily available now, you just need to make sure you get the kind without tons of preservatives.  Health food stores and meat stores carry great versions of this snack.

These next two are great for giving you a bit of something sweet :


When you can get organic berries these are great to keep in your fridge.  Just a small handful once a day can be very satisfying, especially if you eat them one at a time.  And if you really want to be decadent, a little dollop of whipped cream sweetened with a bit of honey or maple syrup won't hurt once in a while.

 You can also have fruit when it is in season. A fresh just picked peach or pear is a treat you don't have to forgo as long as you make it an occasional indulgence.

Dark Chocolate

This is actually more of a treat item and should not be an everyday snack, but when you really have a craving for some chocolate, this is a good choice.

Keep to dark chocolate that is at least 65% cocoa solids and 70% or 80% is even better.  It might take you a bit of time to get used to this if you have been eating a lot of sugar in the past, but you will find over time that it really satisfies that craving for chocolate and you don't need anywhere as much as with the sweeter stuff.  A square or two is more than satisfying.

You can also easily make some snacks once a week to keep in your fridge :


 Hard boiled eggs are a great snack.  They are portable and if you boil up a pan of eggs and then keep them in a bowl in your fridge they will be handy for whenever you want them.  Maybe to make ...

Devilled Eggs

There are lots of variations of this recipe.  The basic version is just eggs cut in half, yolks removed and mashed, then add a little mayo, salt and pepper, and maybe a touch of mustard if you like it, mix all together and stuff back into the egg whites.  These are best made just before you want to eat them.

Variations include :
  • Mix in some curry powder instead of mustard for curried eggs
  • Mix with mashed avocado instead of mayonnaise
  • Mix with salsa or hot sauce for a spicy filling
  • Mix in a bit of crumbled bacon
  • Mix in a little chopped smoked salmon and top with a bit more ( as in the photo version from
Shrimp cocktail

Does this look great or what!  Presented the way they did at this dish will really make you feel spoiled ... and it's so easy to put together.

Ready cooked shrimp are available just about in any freezer section of any major grocery store.  You will probably need to hunt a bit to find a sugar-free ketchup, but you might find this in the specialty section.  If not, you can easily order some online.

Then all you need to do is pick up some horseradish, (which is often refrigerated in jars near the meats) mix as little or as much as you like with the ketchup, and you've got a reasonably Paleo cocktail sauce for your shrimp.

The only sort-off drawback is you need to remember to thaw some shrimp first, but you can always get around this as well by just putting them into a sieve and putting into a bowl of hot water for a couple of minutes.  They thaw very quickly.

And Lastly, leftovers are always a good snack.  I don't really recommend processed meats unless they are from a butcher you trust who makes his own and you know what goes into them, but cold chicken, cold roast beef with a bit of horseradish, or a slice of ham wrapped around a dill pickle wedge as done by all work very well.

This should give you a lot of ideas, and I'm sure there are some that you can think of that I've left out.  Always keep some of these options available at home and at work, and you won't be tempted by any of the junk. And remember, there WILL come a day, believe it or not, when you won't even want snacks any longer.

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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