Autoimmune, Celiac, Gluten, Snacks

Gluten Free SNACKS!

Who loves snacks? Ummm who doesn’t?? I am one of those moms that ALWAYS has snacks in her bag. Sometimes I feel like my handbag is Mary Poppins’ bag. Band-Aids, Neosporin, nail clippers, Ibuprofen, tissues, floss, Wet Ones, baby wipes, paper clips, Legos, mini cars, stainless steel straws. I mean you name it; I probably have it in my bag. Might explain why my husband is always rubbing my shoulder to get the painful knots out. Anyway, my bag rarely has money but always lots of snacks! And they’re not just snacks for the kids. Even before my diagnosis, I always carry this iconic Batman zipper bag packed with snacks (pictured above haha!) to mainly hold snacks for my boys but also me too. All my closest friends know this is Tracy’s snack bag! The perfect size to hold Larabars, applesauce pouches, raisins and pretzels. If I or the kids start to get hangry, I will save the day with my trusty Batman snack bag! Maybe this year Santa will bring me a prettier one haha! After my diagnosis, this bag was even more helpful for me! Now, I always make sure I have protein bars and pretzels that can hold me over until I am home to make a full meal.

I am one of those that eats constantly. I eat every 3 hours. 250-350 calorie small mini meals 5-6 times a day. I wake up with a growling stomach. When I wake, I immediately take my Synthroid (for my hypothyroidism) with a 16oz glass of water. Hydration has started for the day! Now, my body is so used to eating right away that I wake with my stomach yelling at me to feed it. I have breakfast right away and then I eat every 3 hours after that. Mid-morning is usually a protein shake after my morning workout. I’m not sure I’d ever be able to join the intermittent-fasting crew.

I am constantly on the search for new snacks/mini meals to add to the mix as my go to’s can get old after a while. If you are gluten free out of necessity or just curious to try some new foods, I want to share a few of my favorite gluten free snacks that you MUST try! Okay let’s go over my top 10 snacks I currently enjoy regularly:

# 10: PRETZELS!! Crunchy, salty and gluten free! What more is there to say? I have tried a few gluten free pretzels and was underwhelmed. My favorite brand right now is Snyder’s. They are not listed as being made in an exclusively gluten free facility however, I have not had any problems with them. They are amazing on their own or I like to dunk them in hummus!

# 9: POPCORN!! Another salty, gluten free snack! I’ve tried a lot of different brands and right now my go to is Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Real Butter Popcorn or their Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn.

# 8: LARABARS!! If you have not enjoyed a Larabar, head to Target, Publix, Whole Foods or Sprouts right this moment and grab one. Most of the flavors are zero added sugar. NOW, there is still sugar, however the sugar is from the dates and any fruit they add. Unless you get a dessert one with chocolate then there is added sugar. I usually avoid those “candy bars.” The fruity ones have great fiber and vitamins. My favorite flavors are Lemon, Coconut Cream Pie and Blueberry Muffin. What are your favorite flavors?

# 7: GOMACRO BARS!! These little protein bars are FABULOUS!! They are certified gluten free. About 250 calories and about 10g of protein. The protein is mainly sprouted brown rice protein and pea protein but some of the flavors have almond butter also. They have soooo many flavors that I have not had the chance to try them all yet. I really love the banana + almond butter bar but my current favorite flavor is the Maple Sea Salt! I wish I could stock my entire pantry with all these bars!

# 6: BANANAS WITH ALMOND BUTTER!! Bananas are one of those fruits that pack some great nutrition for your body! Vitamin B6 to help produce red blood cells and maintain a healthy nervous system. Yes! Potassium that is good for your heart health and blood pressure, woohoo! I mean this one is so easy and simple. I have a few almond butters that I love. If I am home, then I will have a scoop of MaraNatha Natural California Almond Butter. I love it because it is exclusively almonds. Nothing else. If I am on the go, I will grab a banana and pair it with a packet of Barney Butter. My favorite flavor is Almond Butter Smooth. This one does have a tiny bit of sugar, but they do carry one without added sugar. I like the little bit of sweetness to this packet. This is an easy-to-travel-with packet that I always keep in my trusty Batman snack bag!

# 5: HUMMUS!! Oh my, I sure do love hummus. Almost all flavors! Sprouts Brand-Everything Bagel flavor, WHAT?! Amazing! My ultimate favorite flavor though is Ithaca Fresh Lemon Beet! A few months ago, two of my very good friends and I got together to have an after-school hangout. The kiddos swam and played while the mamas made and devoured our homemade charcuterie board. On it, my sweet friend added pink hummus. I thought it looked strange. She added my favorite crackers (that I pair with my #1 snack on this list) Simple Mills Fine Ground Sea Salt Almond Flour crackers and I had tasted my new favorite hummus. That is now a staple in my refrigerator. If you want to try it, I have only been able to find it at Publix. Let me know if you have found it in other grocers!

# 4: APPLES!! What’s the saying? “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well I have had an apple a day for years and years however, I saw more doctors in the 15 year search for my diagnosis than some people see in their whole life so I suppose that saying didn’t work for me BUT I believe apples are soooo good for you! They are packed with very-good-for-you fiber (if you eat the skin!) and a good source of vitamin C hence the doctor away saying.

# 3: Favorite Protein Shake…. ORGAIN ORGANIC PROTEIN PLANT BASED PROTEIN POWDER in CREAMY CHOCOLATE FUDGE!! Okay sometimes it can be obnoxious having to make this shake instead of grabbing a protein bar on the run (I know get over it right!) but I try and make a point to make this AMAZING protein shake after each of my workouts to repair my muscles. This recipe is written on their protein powder container, so I am NOT AT ALL taking credit for this recipe. I just had to share how delicious it is! Their “Orgain Power Smoothie” calls for one frozen banana (I use a regular banana and add ice instead), 2 scoops of the protein powder, 12oz of almond milk and 1 tbsp of almond butter (I use the MaraNatha Natural Almond Butter I mentioned in #6). I also add 2 handfuls of ice to make it extra cold and delicious. Blend it all together and my oh my do you have a delicious drink that is PACKED with protein and is perfect for those crazy workout-addicted folks like me!

# 2: Favorite on-the-go protein bar…. THE GFB BAR!! Yep that is what it is called. The company is from a town very close to where I grew up, Grand Rapids, MI. They are certified gluten free and made in a gluten free facility. When I purchase processed gluten free foods, I try to find foods where the products were made in a gluten free facility to avoid the risk of cross contamination. This bar is also soy and dairy free which for those with celiac and most auto-immune diseases, is a huge bonus. I will go over this in very thorough detail at another time, but with Celiac the body can sometimes think the molecules of dairy and soy are the same as gluten. The molecules are very similar in structure so sometimes the body thinks they are also invaders and most people will have to remove dairy and soy along with the obvious gluten. These GFB bars are also Non-GMO which is another characteristic I like to see in processed foods I purchase. They are also vegan if that is something you are looking for. One bar contains 240 calories and is packed with 12g of protein. The protein comes from brown rice protein and pea protein. My FAVORITE flavor is the Cranberry + Toasted Almond…YUMMMM!!! I may or may not have one of these a day.

# 1: Okay are you ready for my TOP, TOP, TOP snack of all time?!…. CHERRY TOMATOES, MOZARELLA, BASIL SNACK WITH CRACKERS!! Okay clearly, I need a better name for this snack. If I could have this every day for my evening snack I would. I told you I eat every 3 hours, so my last “meal” is usually around 8:30/9pm and it is usually this wonderful plate of deliciousness. I cut cherry tomatoes into pieces, but first I squeeze out the tomato guts. They freak me out. Then with the cut tomato pieces, I add pieces of fresh mozzarella. I mean FRESH! The kind that looks weird as it sits in the container of cloudy water. That is the fresh delicious stuff. And to be honest, it’s the only kind of cheese that hasn’t caused me problems. Like I briefly mentioned above, most people with Celiac must also remove dairy from their diet as the body sometimes mistakes dairy as gluten and causes the same or similar symptoms. So far, fresh mozzarella has been okay with me. Okay so now you have diced tomatoes and diced fresh mozzarella. Next, I drizzle some healthy fats, EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). I’m talking a very light drizzle. Then I sprinkle a light dusting of garlic powder and a healthy sprinkle of dried basil. If I remember to swing by my friend’s house to steal some of her fresh grown basil that she has proven to have a way better green thumb than I do and has graciously said I could have basil whenever I want, then I will add fresh basil to this snack instead of dried and it elevates this snack to be one of the BEST snacks ever! I pair it with Simple Mills Fine Ground Sea Salt Almond Flour crackers and my snack wish is complete!

There you have it. My top 10 favorite Tracy snacks! I want to hear from you!! What is your favorite gluten free snack? Have you tried any of the items in my list? Hopefully you’ve at least had an apple at some point in your life 🙂 I’d love to change up my snack list and I love to try new foods so let me know what you love and I’ll do a fun review of all the new snacks I try and let you know my crazy thoughts!

Happy snacking!!

“Never allow anyone to take away your sparkle. Be kind and laugh and love often.”

Cheers! Tracy

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