If you’re a morning exerciser like me, you find yourself hungry for a second breakfast around 9:30 a.m. (Well, if you’re even more like me, you’re hungry at 9:30 no matter if you work out before or not). Unfortunately, I rarely have the time or the equipment to make myself a delicious or well-rounded snack – either because I’m already at the office, or I’m chasing after a toddler. Given that I can’t function if my belly is rumbling, I usually have the following stashed away at my desk in the office:
- Oatmeal (yes the instant kind) – Sometimes, instant is the way to go. Unlike coffee (sorry, a bit of a coffee snob here), oatmeal tastes just as good whether you have instant or regular old fashioned. Sure if you have the time, steel cut is the way to go. But some instant apple cinnamon oatmeal is all I need to feel satiated around that 9:30 a.m. mark. Also, as a bonus, it’s a decent source of protein and iron. Win-win!
- “Smoothie” – When I’m at home, I can run the blender to my heart’s content (unless I have a napping toddler), but at work, it’s not quite practical to whip out the blender, nor considerate to my colleagues. While not quite the same, as the fresh fruit variety, there are some great powdered and ready-made recovery drinks. Vega makes great mixes and the Naked smoothies don’t overload on the sugar or artificial “juices.” Filling and rehydrating . . . I love when my food multitasks.
- Trail mix – The beauty about this is that you can customize it to your heart’s content, pack it in advance, forget about it, then discover a little present when searching your bag for munchies. My go-to components include, almonds, dried cranberries, pretzels, cashews and just enough chocolate chips. You get the sweet and savory all in one, plus enough protein to make the most hardcore endurance athlete recover.
- Good ol’ fashioned string cheese – I might be biased because my office carries string cheese in bulk, but it’s typically the first thing I’ll go for during that mid-morning snack time. It’s surprisingly low calorie, but a good source of calcium and protein. And then I’ll have a second one.
There are countless others that you can bring, but these are the ones that I find the most satisfying and quickest to prepare. What are some of your favorites?