Anyone who has Celiac, or any dietary restrictions, will know the importance of the purse snack! And since going gluten free I have been working on mastering the art! I never go anywhere without food in my purse because I just never know where I’ll end up or how long I’ll be out. When you have dietary restrictions it isn’t easy to just stop by Tim Hortons or Subway to pick up a quick lunch. It is important to always be prepared! And you don’t have to be on a special diet for this to be useful knowledge for you…what if you’re just trying to eat healthy? Or maybe you’re trying to stick to a budget? When you have to stop for an unplanned lunch or snack break you aren’t going to be making the smartest health choices, you’re going to be looking for something quick and cheap.
So let me share some of my purse snack wisdom with you!
The criteria for a good quality purse snack are:
- Durable. My purse has lots of stuff in it and I don’t want to throw a piece of banana bread in there and then pull it out a few hours later to find it is completely broken into many tiny pieces. That just isn’t appetizing.
- Purse Sized. Sometimes it is appropriate to bring a lunch bag with you when you go out but there are many times when bringing a big lunch just isn’t practical. The benefit of a purse snack is that you can have it on you without everyone knowing and without adding extra weight to your bag!
- Healthy. At least as much as possible.
- Protein/Sugar. If I’m going to be out for a few hours, I want protein because the snack needs to fill me up when I eat it. Or sometimes I just need a little sugar kick to give me a boost of energy!
- Delicious. Obviously the most important.
Depending on your dietary needs, there are TONS of things that will fit this criteria but I’ll share some of my favourites with you!
Pumpkin seeds are delicious, healthy, full of protein and easy to quickly munch on a handful when you’re starting to feel that grumble in your stomach. Eden Foods also makes spicy pumpkin seeds, which are amazing too!!! I have stopped eating them recently because they have garlic on them (high-FODMAP 😦 ). They also have lots of other perfect purse sized trail mixes, nuts, seeds, and berries too. They come in a conveniently sized package that fits easily into any bag! I buy them at Noah’s but I have seen them at almost every health food store.
I LOVE these cookies!!! I can’t say they really satisfy the protein requirement but they are perfect for a little pick-me up if you’re starting to feel the light-headedness of hunger at the end of a long day. They are also a yummy treat after dinner if you’re out somewhere that doesn’t have a gluten-free, dairy-free dessert for you (which is sadly, basically everywhere). These cookies come in two flavours: chocolate chip and orange mango. Both flavours are great. Not only are these cookies gluten free but also dairy free and egg free (AKA vegan!). They are also super convenient because they each come individually wrapped so it is easy to pop a couple in your purse without any hassle!
My new favourite discovery!!! One of the most challenging things I have found about my diet is finding a protein/energy/granola bar that fits my needs and tastes good! There are SO many options but all of them have something I can’t eat in them. I was starting to lose faith and give up all hope of ever finding that easy, convenient, delicious granola bar I am always craving on a long day away from home. But then I found the Macro Bar! And I am so happy with them! They are made with brown rice protein (instead of soy or whey, both which I can’t tolerate), it doesn’t have any agave or honey (high-FODMAP sugars that seem to be in most other gluten-free, healthy granola bars), they have a variety of flavours, and they are all great! Also, the different flavours have different amounts of protein vs. sugars so you can choose a bar based on your needs for that day! More protein for more of a meal replacement and less for just an afternoon or morning snack.
Also they are organic, non-GMO, and vegan!
My favourite is by far the peanut butter chocolate chip and it is high in protein, which I appreciate because I can take it with me to replace a meal if I need to! I have also tried banana and almond butter, peanut butter, and sunflower and chocolate and they were all really tasty! I also had the almond butter and carob. It still tastes good but it has a stickier texture and I didn’t like it quite as much as the others. The only issue with these bars is their price…they are quite expensive but they are worth it!
Some other good granola bar options that I have tried and would give my stamp of approval to are: KIND, the Simply Bar (soy protein so it won’t work for everything but I love the flavours!), Lara Bars (not a protein bar but great for a boost of energy and very yummy!).
Ones I haven’t tried but have heard good things about are: NuGo (not all of their bars are gluten free but they have a good selection. They also have rice protein options, which I love!! The only thing keeping me from trying them is the agave – high FODMAP), Elevate Me (I have heard amazing reviews of these bars too but sadly they are made with whey protein, which I’m staying away from right now), and Krono Bars. I recently noticed these at the CCNM store and they look delicious! I haven’t had a chance to try them yet but the ingredients look pretty good, it is brown rice protein, and they are vegan and gluten free! Sounds like they’re worth a try to me 🙂
As for where to find granola bars, most grocery stores are starting to carry the most popular ones, such as KIND and Lara. Most of the other ones should be at any health food store. The macro bars are harder to find but I have found them at both Whole Foods and Noah’s. Whole foods has an amazing granola/protein bar section with TONS of options!!
Those are some of my favourite snacks to have in my cupboard and throw in my purse but there are LOTS AND LOTS of options!! Rice crackers, veggie sticks (carrots, celery, cucumber), roasted nuts (such as these candied pecans), rice cakes with nut butter, etc. You can also make homemade muffins or protein bars and they will fit in a purse pretty easily too! It may take some time to get used to packing a snack before you leave the house but, once you have these options in your cupboard, it only takes a few minutes to throw them in your purse before heading out for the day!! Easy as pie!
Let me know if you have any favourite snacks that you never go anywhere without 🙂
p.s. my blog has reached 1000 views!!!! I’m so grateful to everyone who has read my blog and for all your support!!