The Whole30 diet can be challenging when it comes to snacking. Many popular snacks are off-limits, including chips, crackers, granola bars, and candy. However, with a little creativity, you can find snacks that are compliant with the Whole30 rules and guidelines. Choosing the right snacks will help curb cravings, sustain energy levels, and support your Whole30 success.
What is Whole30?
The Whole30 is a 30-day elimination diet that focuses on eating whole, unprocessed foods. It removes sugar, grains, legumes, soy, dairy, and certain additives from your diet. The purpose of Whole30 is to help identify foods that may be having a negative impact on your health. Many people continue to follow Whole30 guidelines even after the 30 days.
Here are the basic rules of Whole30:
– Eat real, whole foods – no highly processed or refined foods.
– No sugar of any kind, real or artificial.
– No grains, including wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, etc.
– No legumes, beans, lentils, or peanuts.
– No soy products.
– No dairy such as milk, cheese, cream, butter, etc.
– No additives like carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites.
– No recreationally consumed alcohol.
Benefits of Snacking on Whole30
Snacking on Whole30 can provide several benefits:
– Curb cravings. Snacking provides nutrients and satisfaction between meals so you’ll be less tempted by off-limits foods.
– Stabilize blood sugar. Going too long without eating may lead to dips in blood sugar, causing cravings, irritability, and fatigue. Snacks help maintain steady blood sugar.
– Increase energy. The right snacks can provide a quick energy boost when needed.
– Support exercise routine. Pre or post-workout snacks fuel your efforts and aid muscle repair and recovery.
– Achieve nutritional needs. Snacks can help provide nutrients that may be missed at meals.
– Prevent overeating at meals. Arriving overly hungry to meals often leads to less mindful eating. Snacks help take the edge off hunger.
Tips for Healthy Whole30 Snacking
Follow these tips to choose satisfying and nutritious Whole30 snacks:
– Schedule snacks. Don’t wait until you’re starving. Have snacks planned between meals.
– Combine protein and fat. The combo provides satiety and sustained energy. Examples are an apple with nut butter or hard boiled eggs.
– Portion snacks. Don’t let snacking turn into mini unplanned meals. Measure out appropriate serving sizes.
– Pack snacks to go. Bring snacks when out running errands, traveling, or at kids’ sports games.
– Stock up on staples. Keep compliant snack foods on hand like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and coconut.
– Mindful snacking. Avoid distractions and pay attention to the taste and texture of snacks.
– Watch sugar substitutes. Artificial sweeteners are not permitted, including stevia. Limit use of compliant sweeteners like maple syrup.
– Hydrate with water. Drink water to satisfy thirst that may disguise itself as hunger. Being dehydrated can trigger snack cravings.
Whole30 Compliant Snacks
Here are some of the top kinds of snacks allowed on the Whole30 diet:
All fresh, frozen, or canned fruits are allowed as long as there are no added sugars. Fruit is high in antioxidants, fiber, and nutrients. Keep fruits like apples, oranges, bananas, berries, melons, pineapple, plantains, and dried fruits on hand for easy snacking.
Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables make great snacks. They provide crunch and lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Some go-to veggie snacks are carrots, celery, bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, jicama, radishes, and cabbage.
Nuts and Seeds
These pack in protein, healthy fats, and nutrients. Stick to plain, unseasoned nuts and seeds with no additives. Snack on almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and more. Nut and seed butters like almond butter also make tasty, filling snacks.
Coconut meat, coconut chips, unsweetened coconut flakes and unsweetened dried coconut provide the benefits of healthy saturated fats. Just be mindful of portions, as the calories can add up fast.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Eggs are permitted on Whole30 and are very versatile. Hard boil a batch to have on hand for snacks throughout the week.
Plain olives of any variety make for salty, savory snacks. They provide healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.
Slice up some avocado or make mini guacamole cups for a creamy, fresh snack full of healthy fats.
Look for jerky without any off-limit ingredients. Meat or mushroom jerky can provide protein and satiate snack cravings.
Chips made from sliced plantains baked or fried in compliant oil give you crunch without the grains.
Unsweetened applesauce contains fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. It curbs a sweet tooth in a more natural way.
Brands like Rhythm Superfoods make veggie chips out of compliant ingredients like beets, kale, and carrots baked with compliant oils.
Fresh Salsa and Guacamole
Whip up a batch of tomato salsa, mango salsa, or guacamole for dipping cut up veggies or plantain chips.
Shredded chicken, pulled pork, sliced steak, or any leftover meat make simple high protein snacks.
Packets of tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, or anchovies are tasty sources of protein to have on hand.
Snap Pea Crisps
Dehydrated snap pea snacks offer crunch without grains, beans, or soy.
Nut Butter Cream Cheese
Mix nut butter into cream cheese for a protein boost. Spread on celery sticks or cucumber slices.
Frozen Grapes or Bananas
Freeze grapes or sliced bananas for a sweet cold treat.
|Category||Examples of Compliant Snacks|
|Fruit||Apples, oranges, bananas, berries, melon, pineapple, plantains, dried fruit with no added sugar|
|Vegetables||Carrots, celery, bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, jicama, radishes, cabbage|
|Nuts & Seeds||Almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds|
|Plant-Based Crunchy Snacks||Plantain chips, beet chips, vegetable chips, snap pea crisps|
|Protein||Hard boiled eggs, jerky, canned fish, nut butters, leftover meats|
|Dairy Substitutes||Coconut flakes, nut butter cream cheese|
|Frozen Treats||Frozen grapes, frozen banana|
Tips for Preparing and Portioning Snacks
– Wash and chop up veggies and fruit so they are ready to grab and eat.
– Portion nuts and seeds into baggies or small containers to avoid overeating.
– Bake plantain or vegetable chips to have a healthy snack on hand.
– Boil a dozen eggs at the beginning of the week for easy high protein snacks.
– Whip up a batch of salsa, guacamole, or nut butter cream cheese and store in the refrigerator.
– Fill reusable pouches with apple sauce or nut butters to throw in your bag.
– Prepare your own trail mix with approved nuts, seeds, and unsweetened coconut flakes.
– Freeze grapes or bananas on a baking sheet then store in bags for ready to eat frozen fruit.
Examples of Balanced Whole30 Snacks
When snacking, combine fat, protein, and fiber to satisfy hunger. This makes your snacks more balanced and sustaining.
Here are some examples of balanced Whole30 snack combinations:
– Apple slices with almond butter
– Carrots with guacamole
– Celery sticks with nut butter cream cheese
– Hard boiled egg with olives
– Frozen grapes with unsalted nuts
– Turkey jerky with mango slices
– Leftover chicken with sliced avocado
– Banana with sunflower seed butter
– Plantain chips with fresh salsa
– Bell pepper strips with hummus
Portable Whole30 Snacks
When you’re out running errands, traveling, or on-the-go, you won’t always have access to the fridge or pantry for snacks. Here are tips for portable snacks:
– Pack nut butter packets and apple sauce pouches in your purse, bag, or car.
– Keep coconut flakes, nuts, nut butter packets, or beef jerky in your glove box.
– Make little baggies of snap pea crisps, unsweetened coconut flakes, and unsalted nuts to keep with you.
– Take sardines, tuna packets, and olives in your work or gym bag.
– Make egg cups by greasing a muffin tin, cracking an egg into each cup, and baking until set. Pop them out and bag them to eat cold later.
– Put together little containers of carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, olives etc. the night before to grab in the morning.
– Make frozen grapes or bananas to keep in small lunch bags with cold packs.
Avoiding Snacking Pitfalls on Whole30
It can be challenging to avoid certain snacking pitfalls when doing Whole30. Here are some common traps and how to prevent them:
– Sugar cravings – Eat more protein, fat and fiber at snacks and meals. Stay hydrated. Go for a walk or do an activity instead of snacking when a craving hits.
– High carb cravings – Increase consumption of healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut, and olives. Make sure to eat enough protein and veggies.
– Office vending machine – Bring your own approved snacks so you aren’t tempted.
– Hangry between meals – Don’t go longer than 4-5 hours without eating. Keep portable snacks with you.
– Emotional snacking – Identify triggers and find new ways to cope, like calling a friend or going for a short walk.
– Night time snacking – Brush teeth right after dinner. Stay busy in the evenings and limit screen time.
– Kid’s snacks – Provide plenty of approved kids snacks like apples, bananas, vegetables, eggs, jerky, and nuts.
Making Your Own Whole30 Snacks
One of the best ways to ensure compliant ingredients is to make snacks at home. Here are some recipes to try:
Baked Plantain Chips
2 green plantains, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, toss plantain slices with oil. Arrange in single layer on sheet and sprinkle with salt.
3. Bake 15 minutes, flip and bake 10 more minutes until browned and crispy.
No-Bake Energy Bites
1 cup pitted Medjool dates
1 cup almond butter
1⁄2 cup sunflower seeds
1⁄4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
1. In a food processor, blend dates until a sticky paste forms.
2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until thoroughly combined.
3. Using hands, roll mixture into balls about 1 inch wide.
4. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week.
Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chickpeas
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried
2 tbsp avocado oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Toss chickpeas with oil, lemon juice and zest, rosemary and salt on a baking sheet.
3. Roast 25 minutes, shaking pan occasionally, until browned and crispy.
4. Let cool before eating. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.
Snacking on Whole30 does take some additional planning, prep, and creativity. But with delicious nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, proteins and fats to choose from, you can piece together satisfying snacks that will keep you energized, curb cravings, and support your Whole30 success. Focus on combining foods that offer a balance of protein, fat and fiber. Prep snacks ahead of time. Stay vigilant of potential snacking pitfalls, and opt to make your own snacks at home when possible. With some simple strategies, snacking can actually become an easy, enjoyable part of your Whole30 routine.