5 Protein Packed Snacks + Enlightened #Giveaway

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Giveaway for ENLIGHTENED Crisps and ENLIGHTENED Ice Cream at the end of post, read on!

Eating snacks with protein can help keep the "hangries" away.

Whether filling your tank before a gym session or taking a snack break to ward off the dreaded midday energy lull, small, protein-rich meals are tasty ways to keep on going—and going. You’ve been hearing me talk about the protein challenge and aiming for 20 – 30 grams of protein per meal or snack.  It’s not that fruit, whole grains, or even the occasional indulgent treat don’t have a place in the well-rounded diet, but, gram-for-gram and ounce-for-ounce, protein-packed snacks provide longer-lasting energy than their burn-and-crash high-carbohydrate counterparts.

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In addition to regulating blood sugar and moderating hunger, protein-rich snacks play a vital role in the recovery diet of an athlete. After an intense workout, race, or competition, it is imperative to top off taxed muscles with foods plentiful in protein. Well-timed protein intake employs amino acids to rebuild damaged muscle tissue while encouraging the hormone activity needed to stimulate muscle growth. A study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that 20 grams is the optimal amount of post-workout protein to maximize muscle growth.

Power of Protein InfographicThis focus on protein isn’t strictly for strength athletes. While runners, cyclists, and other endurance athletes have long known that eating carbohydrates during and immediately preceding hard efforts helps to replenish energy-providing glycogen stores, newer research shows that combining these carbohydrates with a wallop of protein nearly doubles the insulin response—meaning even more energy can be stored in the body along with all the muscle-making perks. The general wisdom from sports nutritionists is to consume a 1:3 to 1:4 protein-to-carbohydrate mini-meal within a 30-minute window of exercise.

So, to help you pump up your training diet, I’m sharing five of my favorite protein-packed snacks—one for every day of the workweek. Each option is easy to make, free of meat-based protein, and completely portable. Just toss one of these snacks into your gym bag, backpack, or mini-cooler and get after it. There’s a hearty, healthy, and protein-packed reward at the end of your efforts. Your taste buds will thank me while your muscles will thank you.

Eating snacks with protein can help keep the "hangries" away.Check out these protein-rich snacks I developed for a feature in Austin Fit Magazine last spring :

1) Garliky Chili Chickpeas

2) Lucky Lime Black-Eyed Pea Hummus

3) Greek Yogurt with Hemp Hearts & Berries

4) Blueberry Flax Microwave Mug Muffin

5) Chocolate Java Almond Truffles

Enlightened Ice Cream makes a sensible dessert - it's low in sugar , under 100 calories and has extra protein!

Often, there aren’t enough minutes in the day to make a homemade snack. That’s why I have a few go-to food brands that share my mindset for healthy, tasty and protein-rich snacking. One favorite is Enlightened from Beyond Better Foods – they don’t just make snacks that are better in a “less bad for you” way, but actually ARE better. Their ice cream bars found ME one day when I was walking down the frozen aisle – normally I eat Greek yogurt sweetened with stevia for dessert to get the extra protein and skip out on the sugar, but the creamy and delicious ENLIGHTENED Ice Cream makes a sensible treat – each flavor (think Fudge, Coffee, Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl) has under 100 calories and just 3 -5g sugar and 7 – 8g protein. I just finished off a box of Sea Salt Caramel bars and they were pure heaven.

Enlightened Crisps are made from broad beans for healthy protein.Just recently, the company put out a new snack item that I’m really excited about – ENLIGHTENED Crisps.  These savory, crunchy morsels are actually made from broad beans (aka – the fava bean which is actually a legume) and come in awesome flavors like Sriracha, Garlic Onion, Sea Salt, BBQ and more. Each bag has just 100 calories, lots of fiber and 7g protein – plus they are free of gluten and soy. You can’t go wrong eating beans (well, unless you go overboard)! Beans are loaded with fiber, folate and magnesium, and research has shown these legumes can actually help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of certain cancers.

So, who’s ready for some ENLIGHTENED snacks?! Five of my lucky readers will win a sample pack of the ENLIGHTENED Crips as well as free product coupons to pick up ENLIGHTENED Ice Cream at your local market. Just enter in the Rafflecopter App below!

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54 thoughts on “5 Protein Packed Snacks + Enlightened #Giveaway

  1. Hard boiled eggs, deli turkey meat, and a handful of almonds are some of my favorite snacks 🙂

  2. My favorite protein snack is hardboiled edamame mixed with cottage cheese and some cherry tomatoes. Don’t forget to sprinkle with some pepper!

  3. I had no idea the Protein 30 was even a thing… but I am already doing it! Yay, me! It’s a challenge I’ve started this year. My focus is to make sure I get protein (20-30 grams) in at every meal… all the other macros seem to fill in themself after that. I’ve gotten so much stronger and less jiggly, JUST by making this change! Love the snack ideas!

  4. My fave protein snack has been beef jerky lately, but I will always remain faithful to my first and always love- hard boiled eggs!

  5. I like peanut butter and love to put it on different things like celery, pretzels, apples, etc..

  6. I like Quest bars and dry-roasted edamame. These new snacks sound really yummy!

  7. Pingback: #ProteinChallenge #ProteinPartners Style Week 3 » Then Heather Said

  8. I love to have a protein shake in the afternoons. Even better if I can make it in a blender and mix in a banana and a bit of ice!

  9. I like the single-serve packages of flavored tuna (hickory smoked, etc.) and carry those with me.

  10. My favorite protein snack is a hard boiled egg it is the perfect snack food

  11. Just plain ol’ roasted peanuts! I love the little peanut snack packs. You can bring them along anywhere, and they are great for a boost of energy

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