When I set about doing Whole30 last month, I knew one very real thing: I was going to need to snack, snack and snack some more!
I know that the original program actually doesn’t really encourage snacking. Technically, you should be eating good enough portions that have plenty of calories and good fat. All of that food should be completely satisfying to the average person doing Whole30 – but I’m a bit of a unique case.
You see, I had a gastric bypass back in 2009 which allowed me to lose 100 pounds. It’s great, but one major thing that this surgery has done is that my stomach is much smaller than most people. A LOT smaller!
Couple that with the fact that me and Adam were also planning to do a pescatarian Whole30 (since, you know, the boyfriend was a vegetarian up until that point and had just barely talked himself into eating fish again), I knew that snacking was going to be monumental.
First of all, we needed the added calories. Me because I wouldn’t be able to eat decently sized portions and him because he would need to compensate for not having as much protein to support his continuing muscle growth. Fortunately (or unfortunately?), he’s one of those people with high metabolism who was pretty skinny his whole life. He’s currently finally at a weight he’s happier with and continuing to exercise. But that all requires LOTS of protein, and he couldn’t really have any protein shakes during Whole30.
Secondly, we both would also need more healthy fats. Since I wouldn’t be getting most of my animal fat from meat, pork and poultry (just fish!), I needed to step up on compensating for that. I know that, when I tried Whole30 in the past, eating good fats was really important to keep me full and satiated. Again: why snacking would was SO important!
Even though it’s not actually encouraged during Whole30, making sure I always had good and healthy snacks around is a must-do in my life. Plus, getting into the habit of these kind of snacks helped to set me on the path for continuing healthy snacks after we were done with Whole30.
So what did we indulge in? Here’s the list!
1. Baby Carrots & Guacamole Cups: This is one that I actually discovered through my career as a food writer, and it’s something that has served me QUITE well. It’s a snack that I had back when I first tried Whole30 in January 2015, and the boyfriend absolutely LOVED this one. Basically, it’s about a cup of baby carrots wth a Wholly Guacamole mini. It’s a really easy snack that we have continued since then. And it’s DELISH! The best is that the guacamole is pre-made but totally Whole30-friendly. I actually bought big packs of this guac, too, for topping meals occasionally. It was definitely a win-win type of situation.
2. White Grapes and LOTS of Berries: One of our other strategies for snacking, while not necessarily filling us up with calories or healthy fats, was always having fruit around. This was an especially good snack around the mid-afternoon slump. Sure, some people may yell at me for having sugar, but the little pick-me-up with fiber was exactly what I needed around that time of day. Personally, white grapes were my favorites for this and they were a particularly easy snack because it’s hard to eat an entire bag of them. This strategy also served us well when an after-dinner snack was needed too.
3. Granny Smith Apple with Cashew Butter: This one was a PARTICULAR favorite of Adam’s. He was pretty used to having peanut butter as a snack or as an additive to his post-workout smoothie, but peanuts are legumes and therefore not allowed on Whole30. Bringing in some more nutrients, though, is almond butter – but an even taster alternative (in my humble opinion) is cashew butter. Personally, I love cashews more than almonds, so cashew butter was a pretty easy change for me. While Adam indulged in this snack almost daily, I left mine for the weekends. SO good!
4. Bananas, Bananas, and MORE Bananas: This one needs very little explanation, and it’s actually one that my friend Chris turned me onto when we attempted Whole30 last time. He found that a banana as a mid-morning snack often did wonders to lift his mood, and I agree. I’ve always loved bananas, in fact, and they have continued to be a staple in our house and in our fruit basket.
5. Bags of Almonds & Walnuts: When I found the 100 calorie bags of almonds and walnuts, I almost JUMPED for joy. I must have bought at least 5 or 6 of these boxes during Whole30. We snacked on these all throughout our time on Whole30, and they were absolutely great. They were necessary to bring to the movies, to keep in my purse when a random hunger bout struck and we’re nowhere near the house… and just about any other time too. We still have some of these around, and I’m really thankful for the healthy snack that I can keep in my bag for whenever.