In November I moved to New York City and lived in an empty apartment for about two weeks. During that time it was much easier to order an Impossible burger on Postmates than grocery shop and make something healthy. I told myself that after the holidays were over I would get back on track, and here we are. On January 1st, I committed to making positive changes to my lifestyle by working out three to four times a week (something that’s important to me but I’ve slacked off on recently), drinking more water, transferring my plant-based meal delivery service from L.A. to NYC, and snacking healthier. I’ve traded the delicious crumb cake from the cafe downstairs for things that are good for me. In between snacking on fresh veggies and hummus, I have a few quick bites that I enjoy when I’m on the go or when I need energy before my workouts. Here are five junk food alternatives that are made with only natural ingredients, and most of these are vegan.
Two summers ago when I left L.A. for the East Coast, I ordered a snack box on Amazon since I wouldn’t have a Whole Foods to shop at. Inside were these delicious tasting, sort of potato chips, sort of rice cake type snacks. I devoured them and actually snapped a photo so I could remember them exactly to buy in the future. Months later when I searched my camera roll, the photo I took was MIA and I didn’t know where to begin in my search to find them. All I remembered was the colorful metallic bag had an image of a galaxy on it. After spending hours on Google and doing more searches than I care to admit, I found them! Nova Crip’s are made from Cassava root and they’re air-popped and never fried. So while they may taste like a potato chip, they’re a healthy alternative. They come in four flavors: barbecue, cheddar cheese, salted, and sweet onion and all but the cheddar are vegan. They’re also made with only natural ingredients, they have no trans fat and they’re low in calories!
What do you get when you combine nuts, fruits, and exotic spices? Delicious Sahale Snacks. These thoughtfully sourced nut mixes are made from high end ingredients and they’re dry roasted to get their toasted taste and texture. I’ve tried most of the options and while all flavorful, if I had to pick a few that really stood out I’d go with the pomegranate vanilla cashews, tangerine vanilla cashew macadamia mix, berry macaroon almond trail mix, cherry cocoa almond coconut mix, and the sea salt bean and nut mix.
You may have heard of Sakara’s meal program where you can order chef prepared and customized meal plans straight to your door. They base their philosophy on a plant-rich diet, good fats, no calorie counting, and eating colorful fruits and veggies. Aside from the pre-made breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, they also have a clean boutique that’s filled with tasty snacks, drink mixes, vitamins, and gift kits. This past fall I was looking for a healthy snack that would boost my stamina so I could get the most out of my workouts. I decided to try their Energy Super Bar which has 10mg of plant protein. Amazed at how much it helped raise my energy levels, I try to eat one of these chocolate nut bars before every workout.
Billy introduced me to Vega when he brought home a jar of their plant-based protein powder. The flavor was chocolate, and he mixed it with almond milk and frozen strawberries and then blended it. It tasted just like a chocolate milkshake so it was hard to believe this was vegan and healthy. I researched the company and saw that not only do they carry a wide range of protein powders, they also have a variety of bars, snacks, and pre-made drinks. I’ve tried a handful of their products and seriously, they’re all delicious. As much as I love their powders, I prefer their protein bars because of their convenience. Their 10mg bars are ideal for eating on the go or for a quick breakfast. My favorite is the Blueberry Oat. I also enjoy snacking on their 20mg Crispy Mint Chocolate Sports Bar which I’ll have post workout. It’s made with 3.5 grams of BCAAS which help with muscle recovery. I love how both of these are full of flavor and taste nothing like a protein bar.
I was looking for something salty and crunchy to snack on but I didn’t want a bag of unhealthy potato chips. After trying Hippeas, I may never eat chips again! These organic chickpea puffs come in five tasty flavors: white cheddar, nacho, barbecue, Sriracha, and Himalayan, and they’re all vegan. They also make tortilla chips, which I can’t wait to try.
- Larabar – favorite: chocolate chip cookie dough
- Kind Bars – favorite: dark chocolate nuts & sea salt and caramel almond sea salt
- Quest Protein Chips – favorite: spicy sweet chili
- GoMacro Vegan Bars – favorite: double chocolate + peanut butter chips
- Youtopia Snack Packs – favorite: bananas for chocolate and espresso obsesso
- This Saves Lives – favorite: dark chocolate hazelnut
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