Oct. 10. 2016
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

I hear a lot from clients and readers that they’re bored of eating raw fruits and veggies by themselves, so today I’m sharing 5 healthy, simple combinations of whole foods to snap you out of your snack rut and keep you balanced and energized for your busy life. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated and it can be really delicious which is what NS is all about! Keep reading for 5 healthy and simple snack combos to keep you from feeling hangry (hungry + angry) during that afternoon slump.

Snack attack!

To get very literal and nutrition-y, snacks are smaller portions meant to keep hunger at bay until your next meal.  A healthy snack will give you a boost of energy without leaving you feeling lethargic or wanting the next quick fix to bring you “back up”. Food items that are highly processed, refined, contain additional sugars, artificial colorings, artificial flavorings, preservatives and the like will cause your blood sugar to spike then drop. (I’m looking at you candy, sugar, caffeine, coffee, carbohydrates, and chips!)

To keep your blood sugar stable (read more on that here), aim to choose real, whole foods that nourish your body down to the cellular level. These foods not only help nourish, repair, and rejuvenate our bodies, but they also won’t cause a blood sugar spike that will leave you feeling sluggish and grumpy an hour or so after eating them. A healthy snack will also avoid foods that are too heavy for your digestive system  (i.e. very high fat, processed, or containing many combinations of foods). Digestion already takes enough of your energy, so give your digestive tract a small break by eating foods that are simple and quick to digest like raw fruits and veggies.

To liven up whole foods and raw fruits and veggies, I’m sharing 5 of my go-to combos for healthy snacks that taste delicious and will keep you away from the convenience machine.

No. 01


Bananas have complex carbohydrates that will take your body longer to break down, i.e. giving you lasting energy. Bananas are ideal for active individuals and athletes looking for a higher calorie fruit with electrolytes, carbohydrates, and convenience. The addition of 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds will give you added plant-based protein, 48% of your DV of magnesium (important for muscle recovery), and healthy fats like omega-3’s and omega-6’s that will help keep your hormones balanced and help prevent an insulin level spike (more on that here).

No. 02


This one is my play on the “Ants On a Log” snack your mom might have made you in elementary school. You remember – the one with peanut butter on a celery stick with raisins. Snacking on carrots will give you added fiber to keep your digestive system happy. Fiber takes longer to digest which helps our body slowly absorb sugars found in the carbohydrates that we consume. Carrots also supply you with 428% DV of Vitamin A and a host of antioxidants. Subbing almond butter for peanut butter gives you a boost of plant-based protein, plus almonds have healthier fats than peanuts so you’ll get that added bonus as well. Bee pollen is very nutrient dense as it’s about 40% protein, contains almost all the B-complex vitamins plus a host of other vitamins and minerals.

No. 03


Energy Balls are my personal favorite go-to for a healthy snack because they’re so easy to batch cook in advance! I’ll keep an airtight glass container of Energy Balls in my fridge and will pop 1 or 2 in the afternoon when I need an added boost to keep me on track until dinner. They’re also great for throwing in a lunchbox or bringing along while you travel. My general formula is healthy fats + protein + a binding agent like dates or prunes. Try any one of my Energy Ball recipes below:

Sesame Seed Prune Balls

Almond Butter Energy Balls

Coconut Cashew Energy Balls

Spirulina Energy Globes

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Truffles

No. 04


Beets are one of my favorite veggies, but they can be a bit time consuming since you typically have to wash, peel, and bake beets for at least 30 minutes before eating them. To get all of the goodness of beets in a quick and simple snack, I’ve been eating beet “chips” that are raw beets that have been dehydrated for a chip-like crunch. You still get fiber, 37% DV of folate, Vitamin C, and a host of other vitamins and minerals. Add mashed avocado on top for a delicious creaminess and the added benefits of insulin-stabilizing and hormone-balancing healthy fats. I added a bit of sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and parsley on top for some extra flavor.

No. 05


Raspberries are my absolute favorite berry because they have some serious nutrient content, fiber, and are lower in sugar than most other fruits. Just 1 cup of raspberries has 8 grams of fiber and over half of your daily value of Vitamin C. For an added treat and an extra boost from my favorite healthy fats, I added coconut whip to the berries. I’ve been loving this CocoWhip from SoDelicious because I can treat myself to whipped cream without the effects that dairy gives me. If you know my story, then you know that dairy is not my friend so anytime I find a delicious dairy-free substitute like whipped cream I’m one happy girl. You can sub raspberries for your favorite berry including blueberries, strawberries, mulberries, or blackberries, which you can find the nutrition information for here.

Any favorites?

Do you have any favorite healthy snack combos that we should try? Share ’em in the comments! And if you try any of these at home let me know what you think about them by sharing in the comments below or sharing with #nutritionstripped on Instagram. Happy healthy snacking!

xx McKel

p.s. Want a personalized meal plan for snacks and every other meal? I’m accepting new coaching clients in November, so learn more about how I work 1-1 with clients to develop personalized nutrition and wellness plans here.