5 Healthy Snacks to Eat While You Binge on Netflix
Written By: Mica Mackenzie
We all know it’s classic to eat Oreos and Doritos when we’re overcome by our latest television obsessions, but come on, we can’t really afford to do that long-term. I did that for about a year and do you know where it got me? Twenty-five pounds heavier than I am now. No thanks!
So this year I decided to start making healthier eating habits for myself and it’s really paying off. I get to enjoy the lifestyle I love without feeling awful and eating tons of calories. It’s not always easy to choose the healthy option, but I give myself some freedom to eat what I feel like occasionally. What’s most important is that I have established a healthy balance between eating what I want and eating what’s good for me.
Consider the amount of time people in this era spend binge-watching television shows (and usually binge-eating along with it). That’s a lot of time spent eating junk and down the road our bodies aren’t going to love us for it. That’s why small changes like ‘binge-watching’ snacks are important and can make a big difference.
I’m not going to bullshit you, I’ve tried some horrible healthy snacks over the years, but I’ve also tried some surprisingly good ones--and here they are.
Back when I was a teen I had various digestive issues and was placed on a gluten-free/dairy-free diet. I really hated those times, but these chips held me together. I ate half a bag at a time while I watched my favorite cooking shows. They may not be your classic potato chip, but I have to say that I didn’t particularly notice the difference in my binge-watching state of mind.
Insert veggie chips photo
The unique thing about these chips is that they have no synthetic colors or artificial flavors and no preservatives. Not to mention they have 30% less fat than the leading potato chip and are also GMO and gluten-free! They taste great and you don’t have to feel bad about eating them--how much better can it get?
Apples and Peanut Butter
This snack became next-level when I realized I could customize my experience by choosing different kinds of apples and different kinds of peanut butters! I love the added texture a crunchy peanut butter can bring to the table, and it’s pretty cool that you can adjust the sweetness of the snack by being specific about what kind of apple you choose. Green apples will tend to be more tart while the darker red apples are sweeter.
Don’t be so quick to dismiss smoothies as a ‘snack’. They’re a great thing to have when you’re stuck on the couch for eight hours because you cannot stop watching your new favorite series! Smoothies happen to be one of my favorite snacks, so it must be your lucky day because I’m coming at you with a triple-threat of great smoothies to have on hand to enhance your binge-watching experience.
Frozen Fruit Smoothies
If you’re down for making your own smoothie, this is your best option! I like to use frozen fruit because it takes away the need for ice in most cases. (And if you didn’t know that...well, your mind is probably being blown right now.)
My favorite frozen fruits/veggies to have in my freezer are:
*You’ll notice bananas are not on this list and that is no mistake. I actually despise the texture of bananas, so keep your bananas over there, very far away from my smoothies! Ha!*
I usually eyeball how much frozen fruit to use and I like to throw in a few spoonfuls of Greek yogurt if I have it on hand. Make sure to pour in some liquid (almond milk and orange juice are my favorites) over the fruit and yogurt until the liquid is equal to, or just covering the top of the fruit. You may need to add more liquid as you blend, but that amount of liquid should get things off to a good start.
Check out this bomb green smoothie I made the other day with frozen spinach, frozen mango, and orange juice. It was delicious and I don’t even like green smoothies!
Fresh Fruit Smoothies
The same routine goes for the fresh fruit smoothies except you’ll want to put in a little less fruit and a handful of ice into the blender before you start blending. If you don’t, you’ll end up with a milky fruit puree instead of a ‘chill’ smoothie.
Quick Interlude: If you’re serious about stepping up your smoothie game, I recommend investing in a Personal Ninja Blender because it takes all the stress out of measurements since the cup is only big enough for a single serving.
Get A Smoothie To-Go
If it’s just one of those days and you’re really not feeling like making your own smoothie, you can always rely on some great classic smoothie places like Jamba Juice or Smoothie King to be there for you!
I’d recommend the Chocolate Mood, Peanut Butter Mood, Mega Mango or Peach Perfection at Jamba Juice. For Smoothie King I unfailingly order a medium Strawberry Peanut Power Plus with almond milk instead of regular milk and unsweetened strawberries. It’s okay if you’re rolling your eyes--I know I’m one of those people.
In all realness, though, that smoothie is one of my favorite things on this planet. The first time I got it, the guy working at the Smoothie King told me it tasted like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a cup. I was disgusted until I got over myself and tried it. Just wait, it will be your next obsession, too.
Chips and Guacamole
Ah, Chip and Guac. My favorite pastime.
Actually I’m pretty sure chips and guac is a favorite pastime of many Americans, if not most of them. Maybe you’re surprised to see this classic on the list, or maybe you saw it coming, but either way I’m here to tell you that avocado is a ‘healthy fat’. And for the millions of us who love our Mexican food this is god damn great news!
Now let’s talk options. If you want the best chips and guac, you are probably going to have to know someone who can make the stuff, or you can get take-out! That’s another great thing about chips and guac (or even chips and salsa), is it’s reasonably priced as a snack and usually goes a long way.
If you’re looking for something a little more low key you can always get a bag of chips and some pre-made guacamole from your local grocery store. I just tend to find the pre-made options usually aren’t that great. However, I did recently go to Target and got a spicy guacamole that was straight fire, but of course I forgot what the packaging looked like and the brand name. Send me all the good vibes as I continue my journey in finding that guac so I can one day share its glory with all of you!
I feel like trail mix is one of the more underrated healthy snacks options. I had it off and on as a kid and really enjoyed it! My step-mom used to make a big batch of it from scratch with dried bananas, raisins, cranberries, chocolate chips, cashews, almonds, etcetera, and I could eat handfuls upon handfuls of it. It was delicious and it’s also customizable to your tastes if you’re making your own, too!
No worries at all, though, if you’re not the type of person to jump right into making your own trail mix. There are plenty of great options out there in grocery stores! My favorites happen to come from Trader Joe’s. I’ve gotten a healthier trail mix with dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, and a sweeter trail mix with cashews, almonds, and chocolate chunks.
The coolest part about these trail mix options from Trader Joe’s is they come in a big package with ten or so individual trail mix packs inside! This makes them a great option for on-the-go snacks, as well as a healthy snack for your binge-watching sessions.
If you want to know the secret of trail mix and why it works so well as a healthy snack, just look at its most common constituents--nuts. While many trail mixes have dried fruit or chocolate chunks to satisfy the need for sweetness that many people have, all trail mixes have nuts because nuts fill you up and keep you full for longer. So when you’re throwing handfuls of ‘sweet’ trail mix into your mouth you’re also eating the nuts that are filling you up without your knowing.
Let me know if you decide to try out these snacks the next time you get hooked on a great series and I’ll be back soon with more food articles to make you laugh and hopefully help you live a happier and healthier life!
Until next time,
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Mica Mackenzie is the founder and CEO of The Quiet Nonsense, LLC. She currently lives in Dallas with her boyfriend, Hunter, and their goldendoodle puppy, Ted! Her dream is to see the growth and success of her alternative entertainment company, QN. She’s obsessed with all types of things philosophical and scientific and has a huge heart and passion for those struggling with mental illness. Feel free to keep up with her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.