Living with an autoimmune condition is challenging for anyone, whether you're fighting a minor case of psoriasis or a crafting an empowering cancer-fighting lifestyle. Many people have discovered that the Paleo diet and the AIP (auto-immune protocol) variation of paleo have provided a healthy-feeling body and improved results in fighting auto-immune conditions.
Challengingly, you only realize just how auto-immune triggering the modern food selection really is once you start trying to avoid foods that make your condition worse. The sheer amount of refined flours and sugars alone is astounding. Shopping and cooking with care can help you enjoy a delicious paleo breakfast, pack an AIP-perfect lunch, and plan for full-course autoimmune fighting suppers. But the afternoon is the time when we all face temptation. Those late-afternoon cravings that help you make it through the last part of your shift at work or power through your kid's evening activities can often lead us to stare longingly at a snack machine or reach unwisely for that package of cookies.
Today, we're here to help you plan for those afternoon (and late night) cravings before they strike with 15 different delicious AIP snacks you can make at home. You can even find some of these pre-made in stores, believe it or not. Ready? Let's dive right in.
Citrus Fruit Salad
Fresh fruit is your best friend when it comes to AIP snacking. Keeping a fresh banana or apple in your lunch cooler can really help to quell a craving when you need it. But if you're looking for a special treat, mix yourself a fruit salad and pack it up before work. Pick your favorite AIP-friendly fruits and then use a splash of pineapple, lemon, or orange juice to keep the cut fruit pieces fresh and add a delicious citrusy tang to your salad mix.
Homemade Crackers or Cookies
We all crave crackers and cookies sometimes, but the stuff they sell in stores is hardly an AIP snack. Instead, you can make your own baked snacks at home using nut flours and AIP-friendly ingredients to whatever balance of salty or sweet you like best. Keep these in a plastic bag in your desk and enjoy a crunch snack when you need it most.
Hummus and Baked Pita Chips
Store-bought hummus is not an AIP snack, but you can blend up alternatives at home with the same delicious mix of spices and enjoy them baked paleo pita chips for a high-flavor, high-protein snack that will carry you through the late afternoon.
Bacon Avocado Fries
Bacon is off every diet but paleo and AIP so you can enjoy bacon-wrapped baked veggies with a satisfaction that defies all other dieters in your workplace. AIP-diet adherents swear by wrapping your avocado slices in bacon and turning them into crunchy-creamy delicious fries you can eat out of a tupperware with pride.
Berry Juice Popsicles
You don't have to consume a cup of refined sugar to enjoy a delicious popsicle that gets you through a hot afternoon. Make your own popsicles with pure fruit juice or even pureed smoothie-cicles for the perfect AIP snack. If you love a cold snack and are at home near your freezer, these little treats can really make your day.
Baked Veggie Chips
Sauteed, boiled, and stir-fried veggies are great for lunch or dinner. But when you want a salty crunch afternoon snack, those same AIP-friendly veggies become a fantastic replacement for the common potato chip. Slice any veggie you like thin and lightly oil, then lay them out on a pan and season with salt, turmeric, and your favorite spices. You'll be amazed how tasty this simple snack can be.
Avocado and Cassava Bread
Cassava bread is one of the very few types of store-available bread that is an approved paleo and AIP snack because it does not include refined flours. Instead of reaching for the butter or bacon, try spreading some creamy avocado over this high-energy afternoon snack.
Carrot and Cinnamon Fries
You may not know this, but carrots are surprisingly delicious when paired with powdered cinnamon. If you've been craving fries, but know better, try lightly oiling and cinnamon-powdering some carrots cut into fry-like strips. Bake to your preferred crispiness and amaze yourself with this surprisingly powerful combination of flavors.
Professionals have been turning to salads for afternoon energy for as long as there have been office fridges making this possible. Put together your favorite combo of AIP-friendly veggies and leafy greens and drizzle on a powerful vinaigrette or a homemade AIP-friendly ranch and dig in.
You can't go wrong with natural unsweetened apple sauce. This is one of the rare instances where you can buy single-serving snacks at the store that actually adhere to paleo and AIP rules and can be found in almost every grocery store in the country. Unopened jars or cups of apple sauce also don't need to be refrigerated so you can safely keep a few in your desk or bag.
Canned Salmon, Tuna, or Mackerel
The other example of straight-from-the-store AIP snack are canned meats. Canned tuna, salmon, mackerel, and even sardines if you're into that can be cracked and enjoyed with a fork straight out of the can. Or you can add these canned meats to a salad to pack your leafy greens with afternoon-empowering proteins.
Natural Fruit Smoothies
Sometimes a smoothie is exactly what you need to get you through a sluggish afternoon. The cold will wake up your brain and the sweet delicious fruit will give you the calories and nutrients you need to feel energized. You can pack your own homemade smoothies or work with a local smoothie shop where you can see the fresh fruit (not syrupy fruit-cocktails) go into the blender and request no unapproved additives.
AIP Trail Mix
Trail mix is one of those wonderfully flexible options that everyone can DIY and enjoy. Make your own trail mix from the nuts, nut-flour crackers, dried fruits, and dark chocolate that you enjoy most and snack freely throughout the day. Some AIP professionals make an entire canister of AIP-friendly trail mix to keep secretly in your lowest desk drawer.
Freeze-Dried Banana Chips
Almost any health-food aisle in the world features freeze-dried fruits, and banana chips in particular. Just be careful to avoid the banana chips that have been dusted with refined sugar.
Baked Apple Chips
Apples bake into amazing snacks in a number of ways. You can make stewed cinnamon apples without the Boston Market syrup or you can slice your apples thin and bake them on a cookie sheet for an astoundingly delicious crunchy snack. Pick a tangy apple for that nice bite-back when you crunch into a homemade apple chip.
Here at Paleo Angel, we know how tough it can be to resist the late-afternoon cravings for those unhealthy and triggering vending machine snacks. If you're dedicated to an AIP diet and are planning for the future, these quick snack options can help you stick to your healthy diet and beat those cravings while enjoying a variety of flavors your twinkie-eating coworkers have never dreamed of. Contact us today for more great tips, tricks, and recipes for living the paleo lifestyle and enjoying AIP snacks for every possible situation!