If you dare wander down the snack isle at your local grocer, you will probably come out with a cart full of crackers, granola bars, and cookies, thinking you are doing good by having a cart full of healthy "whole-grain" foods. 

If you're wanting foods that spikes insulin levels, increase hunger and sugar cravings, promote weight gain, and are devoid of nutrients, you are in the right place; however, I doubt you are aiming for any of that. 

Modern-day "whole-grain" foods are not only nutritionally devoid, they wreak havoc on your blood sugars as well as reduce insulin sensitivity (this is what leads to diabetes over time).

This roller coaster of spiked insulin and blood glucose levels leads to what many of us are trying our best to avoid: weight gain (especially fat around the mid-section), low energy, and chronic disease.  

So, now what? Do we just stop eating snacks?

Absolutely not. Snacking is absolutely essential in our culture where we spend more and more time on the go, away from our kitchens.

It's often impossible for families to have time to cook wholesome meals on a daily basis so consuming high-quality, nutritious "fill-in" foods is the best way to get in your daily calories without running through the drive-thru at McDonalds for dinner. 

Here are my favorite go-to snacks that are loaded in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, fat, and healthy carbohydrates:

1. Full-Fat Yogurt Chia Bowl

-3/4 cup full-fat, plain yogurt
-1/2 chopped banana and or berries
-1 T chia seeds
-1 T pumpkin seeds (or other nut or seed)
-1 T raw cacao nibs (more antioxidants than blueberries...and hey, it's chocolate!)

2. 5-Ingredient Trail Mix

-1 cup macadamia nuts (or nut of choice)
-1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
-1/2 cup coconut chips
-1/2 cup dark chocolate morsels or chunks
-1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped

3. Pasture-Raised Boiled Eggs

Drop 2-3 pasture-raised eggs in boiling water for 5-6 minutes (softer yoke) or 7-8 (hard yoke). Season with pink sea salt. 

4. Apple with Almond Butter

Pair an organic apple with some almond or peanut butter (make sure it's void of sugar and hydrogenated oils). 

5. Primal Protein

When I'm traveling on the road or in an airport, I will just put the protein in my shaker cup with water and ice as a great source of protein and energy. At home I will make a smoothie, adding nut butter, hemp or flaxseed, cashew milk, and frozen banana to the protein powder. 

For those of you concerned about it being "whey", this particular protein powder is micro-filtered lending to extremely low levels of casein being present. In addition, the filtering creates an impressive profile of essential and nonessential amino acids. 

To end, whether you are out hiking, on a road trip, or just busy and away from the kitchen, you don't have to grab foods that lend to low-energy levels, weight gain, and a plethora of health issues. 

Reach for whole foods without labels with optimal amounts of protein and fat. 

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