Snack Foods for Scrub Pockets

On the spectrum of eating healthy, I'm hovering around an 8.5/10.  I eat TONS of fruits, veggies, and good protein/healthy fats.  But working in medicine (especially with heavy hours during residency) I have to make food choices that are sometimes more practical than healthy-- and I'm totally ok with this!  I am not immune to an occasional raid of the patient pantry for cookies and juice to avoid a hypoglycemic hangry meltdown. My natural habit is to eat frequently, thus requiring snacks throughout very long days in the hospital.  On a normal day I'm running around, eating while walking/talking with little time to sit down with a tupperware and fork. My snacks aren't perfect, but they do fit in a white coat or scrub pocket without causing a mess :-)  Here's a few of my favorites:

PROTEIN BARS-- Some might scoff at bars because they're "processed" and "full of sugar" but this just means you're probably not eating the right ones!  There are plenty of options out there that, while not necessarily a "whole food" still have some pretty impressive nutritional value without leaving you still hungry.  My favorites in pictures: 

>> The mecca of whole food bar,  RXbars are literally made of like, 4-5 ingredients.  They're filling, have great nutrition, and taste pretty good!  The downside is they're incredibly chewy.. I once had a patient call me out for having food stuck in my teeth and it was definitely dark chocolate sea salt RXBar :-P  [gluten free | dairy free | whole 30 compliant ]

Ok, Oatmega bars are straight up delicious.  The flavors (especially mint chip and lemon) are unique and really satisfying!  They have omega-3 fish oil added for a little nutrtional boost.  They've got a few more added ingredients than I'd prefer, but definitely a better alternative than gram crackers from the patient pantry..   [gluten free]

So, Kind bars aren't exactly protein bars, but they are wonderful for a quick and satisfying snack.  I exclusively buy the low sugar flavors (4-5g/sugar per bar.. the other ones can be upwards of 13-14g/bar!)  The taste is just as good, I promise!! [ vegan | gluten free | dairy free ]

And last but not least, Orgain bars! These are fairly new and I just started eating them recently.  The flavor is amongst my favorite of protein bars and the ingredient list is awesome!  The only drawback is they are sweetened with erythritol, which I know for many people can cause abdominal discomfort. I'm not personally bothered by this and if I could, I'd eat one every day!  [ vegan | gluten free ]

NUTS- Might I remind you, don't fear the fat!  Stop the nonsense of avoiding nuts as a snack because they're too high in calories or fat content. Fat is satiating, and good natural sources provide a tremendous amount of micronutrients.  Nuts are magical, and if you don't believe me, read the NY Times summary of a recent meta-analysis study on nut consumption and health HERE.

FRUITS/VEGGIES (pocket safe): Nothing is more satisfying that eating lots of fruits and veggies throughout the day -- you just feel so great!  But it's hard when you have to transport your food around.  Plus, veggies and fruit aren't that filling in isolation, and can hold me over for about 30 minutes (#alwayshungry.)  BUT prepackaged veggie and hummus packs can do the trick, and it's nice to have fruits (with skins) on hand for a refreshing little treat.  I usually roll deep with a tangerine in one pocket and a protein bar in the other, let's be honest :-)


HEALTHY-ISH CHIPS- So, this is probably my least utilized snack (probably because any type of chip magically disappears in my house...) but it's not a bad option if you pick the right kind.  My absolute favorite is the parsnip chips from trader joes! It's literally just parsnips, oil, and salt as the ingredients and I'm obsessed.  Other options are lentil chips or veggie chips (although I caution you to read the ingredients for vegetable chips.. often they're just potatoes lightly dusted with veggie.)  Here are my two favorites below:

So there you have it! How to not go hungry while zipping around the hospital (or whatever your workplace may be) and still remain relatively healthy.  Hope you enjoyed these ideas and that they were useful! Comment below if you have other snack ideas to share with everyone :-)

All my love,

Shanny, D.O.