You remember recess, right? After painful hours of spelling lessons and confusing geometry, you all but shot out of your seat to eat the snack your mom packed for you or to dig out a quarter to buy a soft pretzel. Despite the fact that you spent the last 15 minutes running around the schoolyard like a man who hadn't seen the sun in years, you went back to your desk focused and ready to finish out the morning. Recess wasn't just a merciful gesture that your teachers bestowed on the class; it was a chance to refuel, so to speak. So, why has "snack time" gone out the window in adulthood?
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Even with a good night's sleep and breakfast, you may find your head start to dip in and out of consciousness before or after lunch. Though your body cries for fuel to burn, you're hesitant to saunter over to that god-awful vending machine loaded with sugary, fatty aberrations disguised as snacks. Don't settle for diet-busting foods; instead, pack a snack with some punch.
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There are plenty of foods out there for your body to quickly process as usable energy that you can easily tote to work and stash in your cabinet or in the office refrigerator. Keeping these near your desk will not only satisfy your hunger, but it will keep you focused and ready to seize the afternoon when motivation is scarce.
Credit © Sxchu/Intuso4Citrus Fruits
Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, and more are not just tangy, sweet fruits to munch on. These treats are fortified with natural sugars like glucose, fructose, and sucrose to keep your body moving. Plus, they hold a lot of natural fluid to keep that full feeling longer.
Perfectly Packable: Love all of these fruits, but fear the sticky mess they might leave on your desk? Try mixing them all in a zesty fruit salad in a reusable container. If thats still too much of a risk, slice and squeeze a wedge of citrus fruit in your water and drink up the citrus will perk you up with each sip.
Credit © ItemmasterDark Chocolate
You might have missed including this important (and exciting) addition to your must pack snack list. A square of this decadent treat will not only tickle your taste buds, but it will also increase your productivity. Loaded with antioxidants to aid in everything from weight control to diabetes, dark chocolate can also increase your productivity it has a dose of caffeine to give that extra kick. (It may also be the sweet savior that prevents you from totally losing it on a mundane day.)
Perfectly Packable: If a single square isn't intriguing enough, try melting a portioned size of chocolate, dipping your favorite fruit in it, and chilling it to take along to work.
Credit © ItemmasterPopcorn
Don't take this as a cue to gorge on movie theater popcorn - one serving of that stuff can pack as much as 1,500 calories - but consider packing it for the perfect pick-me-up. The high amounts of fiber found in popcorn will keep you nice and full. Because it comes from whole grains, its also a healthier choice than some vending machine snacks. Better yet, it provides energy from carbohydrates, and comes at almost no cost of high calories.
Perfectly Packable: The great news is that microwaveable popcorn is available in individual servings, so you can eat a whole bag guilt-free. But to ensure the healthiest consumption, whipping up a bag of air-pop popcorn at home and sprinkling your own seasonings is an easy personal touch to the food on your desk.
Credit © Istock/emyersonRaisins
This shriveled, sweet, dried fruit should never be underestimated. Aside from a healthy dose of antioxidants to aid digestion and combat bad cholesterol, a cup of raisins is equal to one daily serving of fruit. Raisins are an ideal food for energy since they provide a carbohydrate distribution of about 36 percent fructose and 32 percent glucose, both of which the body easily converts into fuel.
Perfectly Packable: If raisins alone aren't enough, they can act as a scrumptious accent to most snacks. Peanut butter and celery dotted with raisins makes a tasty childhood favorite of ants on a log, and its an energy double whammy, combining the powers of peanut butter and dried fruits.
Credit © ItemmasterTuna
The chicken of the sea will soon become the apple of your eye when you hear what a serving of tuna can do for your body. Though canned tuna should be enjoyed in moderation, a few bites of this lunchtime favorite could refresh you in no time. Since your body looks to protein for energy when carbohydrates aren't available, a serving of tuna's low-fat protein and high amount of vitamin B will help convert these nutrients into energy.
Perfectly Packable: Don't destroy the taste of tuna with regular mayo. Opt for low-fat mayo and use it sparingly, ditch it altogether and mix it in a leafy salad, or use it as a spread on whole-wheat crackers.
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- Lauren Gordon, The Daily Meal
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