One of the keys to success in transitioning from a diet that may be heavy on wheat, grains, sugar and processed food to a more primal way of eating is to make sure you have snacks on hand for those times you're too hungry to make it to your next meal. Since chips and donuts are out of the question, it's best to stock up on snack items that you can bring with you to work.
For Primal baon with minimal to no preparation needed, I recommend the following:
1. Nuts and seeds
Almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, macadamias, pili nuts…..there are tons to choose from at groceries and convenience stores. Opt for raw versions or those roasted in coconut oil (not vegetable oil). Also, take the time to read the ingredients list because several brands add things like cornstarch or corn syrup. Go for the ones that have just nuts or nuts and salt (or other spices).
2. Nut butters and Coconut Butter Help yourself to a heaping spoonful or spread on a slice or two of apple or keto bread! I usually get my almond butter from either S&R or Healthy Options, and coconut butter at the weekend farmers' markets. These are great sources of healthy fat that you can add into your smoothies, too!
3. Vegetable Sticks or Veggie/Kale Chips
Celery, carrot or cucumber sticks can be good on their own or great with cheese or nut butters! If you can get hold of dehydrated vegetable chips (which are typically a mix of carrot, zucchini, sweet potato and the like), grab a bag or two! Not all veggie chips are the same so avoid those that may have sugar or are fried in vegetable oil. Kale chips are also becoming more easily available at farmers' markets, specialty stores and places like Salad Stop, so knock yourself out!
4. Protein Bars
Not just any will do so check the ingredient list and the carb content. Anything more than 20g of total carbs is a little much. I also haven't seen many brands available in Manila that stick to Primal-approved ingredients, so if you're seeing the words "corn", "rice", "syrup" or multi-syllabic chemical-sounding words in the ingredient list, treat it as a one-time emergency snack.
If you can tolerate lactose, then have a few cubes (or slices or strips). Make sure you're eating REAL cheese and not "processed cheese food" like QBB or Eden. Any dairy product that comes in a box and can be stored outside the refrigerator for several months should be regarded with suspicion.
6. Nori chips
These are easy to find at Korean or Japanese groceries or convenience stores. Choose the kind that doesn't have breading!
7. Chicharon, fish skin and chicken skin
Typically these are fried in their own lard, but some specifically say they're cooked in vegetable oil, so read labels! Beware MSG, too. R Lapids and Dolores both claim to use only natural ingredients, so I buy a bag of bucheron and chili salt pork chicharon with the backfat (!) whenever I see these at the market.
8. Dark chocolate
I'm not talking about Hershey's Dark here. Aim for at least 70% (65% is forgiveable when desperate), and help yourself to only a few squares at a time. There are some fantastic local selections available such as the chocolates from Auro, Malagos and Theo and Philo. Healthy Options also carries shelves full of 70+ options.
1. Ask yourself if you're REALLY hungry or just craving something. You have to be able to tell the difference.
2. Be mindful of serving sizes. Read labels or pre-portion your snacks.
3. Drink water! Sometimes what you mistake for mid-day hunger is a lack of hydration.
Have you seen any other great options out there? Do share!