A huge part of following the five to six feedings a day philosophy as discussed in the Starters section is enjoying two to three snacks per day. Many of these snack recommendations are very portable, making them easy to take along to work or school, on an afternoon of errands or even in your travels on the road. Those not prepackaged or otherwise ready-to-eat are still very fast and easy to prepare.

A diverse selection of snacks everyday will equate to a wide array of nutrients and a more even-keeled appetite when it's time for a Sit-Down meal. Snacking is also equally important for both gaining and losing weight (as discussed in great detail in the book).

Action Step:

Enjoy two to three Rock-Solid snacks per day


Step One: Check out your Rock-Solid Snack options below and take note of the ones that seem most appealing and/or accessible.


Step Two: Go to the grocery store or health food market (or, if necessary, order Online) and load up on a variety of these snack ideas.


Step Three: Enjoy at least two of these snacks per day, between meal times.


A Few Practical Suggestions

Have a few snacks ready to go each morning, right near your keys or belongings so you won't forget them.

Have a small stash of non-perishable snacks in your desk, locker, car or "gig bag" (musicians know all about this one) so there is always something to eat.

Try to space out your snacks throughout the day so that you're consuming something (a meal, snack or smoothie) every two to three hours.



The key to success with this component is accessibility. A little advanced planning is all it takes. Before long, you will just do these things without even thinking about it. This minor lifestyle adjustment will play a critical role in your lifelong Rock-Solid regimen.


Rock-Solid Snack Ideas


In the Rock-Solid Fitness book, I'll present even more Snack options. But for now, here are a number of ideas to get you going:

The Best

The best snacks to eat are those where you can identify and envision each individual ingredient as if it were just plucked from the earth. Here are a few examples:

Fruit - Fruit is a nutrient-dense, high fiber snack that can be enjoyed anytime. Plus, there are so many delicious varieties available, any of which you probably haven't had in way too long. Just with apples alone, you can usually find at least a half-dozen different kinds at most any grocery store. And this is to say nothing of the various kinds of berries, pears, grapes, melons and tropical fruits out there.

Where to Find: Look for a local farmer's market. You will freak out at how much better produce tastes from these places. Otherwise, most health food markets and every grocery store will have fruit. Go organic on everything when possible.


Dried fruit - This could include mango, papaya, apricot, pineapple or, of course, grapes (raisins), among others. Go for the brands of dried fruit that are free of added preservatives and refined sugar. No need to have to sweeten them any more than they naturally are.

Where to Find: Most health food markets and many grocery stores.


Nuts or seeds - A handful or more of almonds, pistachios, walnuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, etc., (or some combination thereof) can really hit the spot as a nutritious snack whenever you're feeling hungry during the day. Raw is best, although some blends might include roasted. Just be sure there are no added sweeteners or processed oils. (This means nothing with the Planter's peanut guy on the label!)

Where to Find: Most health food markets and many grocery stores.

Are Nuts and Seeds Fattening?

While they do typically have a high fat content, they are not fattening in the way that animal products or saturated oils are. The unsaturated fats and high fiber content in nuts and seeds make them more easily assimilated. At the same time, they are dense foods, so a little bit goes a long way. And if you're in a situation where you're having to watch your overall caloric intake, try enjoying these foods from their shells. The extra time it takes to access the nut or seed will result in you actually eating fewer of them.


Trail mix - There are many varieties of trail mix available, with each type usually containing some combination of nuts, seeds, and/or dried fruit. This is another great anywhere/anytime snack. But again, always pass on brands that use added sweeteners and oils.

Where to Find: Most health food markets and many grocery stores.


Dehydrated Veggies/Fruits - Dehydration is a different process than the usual drying that occurs in dried fruit, making for a healthy, crunchier snack. And while the notion of "dehydrated produce" usually doesn't send folks running out to the health food store to try it, you will be surprised at how good a lot of this stuff tastes.

Parched Pulse is one of several an excellent snack products from Braingarden
that uses dehydrated veggies.


Just Tomatoes, Etc. features a variety of dehydrated fruits and veggies.
Some are just the individual item (like the corn on the left)
and some are combos of either veggies (in the middle) or fruits (on the right).

Where to Find: Some health food markets or through a Braingarden distributor.


"Veggie tray"/regular veggies - These could include raw carrot and celery sticks, broccoli, sliced bell pepper or cucumbers, etc. While many folks enjoy the texture and flavor of these raw veggies as is, try experimenting with different spreads (from the refrigerated section of the health food store) to dip them in. (Check out all natural peanut butter with celery sticks. Excellent!)

For the truly hardcore, don't forget about plain baked potatoes or baked yams, or even the notion that cucumbers and bell peppers can be eaten whole and raw like apples.

Where to Find: Look for the veggie tray-style pre-cut veggies at most grocery stores and many health food markets. Or, if you're so inclined, buy locally (from the farmer's market, health food or grocery store) and start slicing and dicing. Potatoes and whole veggies are, of course, everywhere.


The Bars

Whether you go to a grocery or health food store, you will usually find several isles packed with a staggering amount of "health," "sports" or "diet" bars. The majority are replete with sugar, hydrogenated oils and animal products. In other words: candy bars posing as something healthy, and not recommended under any circumstances.

Fortunately, however, there are a few that are Rock-Solid enough for us to eat sparingly. The criteria? No refined sugars, no funky oils and definitely no animal products of any kind, including whey, egg whites, non-fat dry milk or honey.

These "Rock-Solid" kind of bars remain among the most convenient snack foods we have. They are non-perishable, travel well in a suitcase or computer bag, can be eaten anytime and are easy to carry around or store places (like a gym bag or desk). And while we don't want to live off of these things, there will be times when they will save your life, believe me. Here are a few faves:

Lara Bars - This is one of the cleanest bars around. They have minimal ingredients (usually between three and six), and no added sweeteners or oils. They are also surprisingly delicious. Check out the Cashew Cookie (in the orange wrapper).

Where to Find: Hit or miss at most health food markets and some of the hipper grocery stores.

Click on the Lara Bar Store Locator to find a retail outlet in your area.


Organic Vegan Food Bar - From an ingredients, manufacturing and taste perspective, this is an excellent choice. They also have one that features Omega 3's, another that features Active Greens and yet another that has both almond and flax in it. These four, at last look, are all vegan. Avoid the others.

Where to Find: Hit or miss at most health food markets.

E-mail the company for info on where to find them in your area.


Bars from the Clif Family

The Clif bar empire just keeps getting bigger...at least as far as their diversity of types and flavors of bars are concerned. This is good news for those looking for Rock-Solid snacks. While the different kinds of bars they offer vary in their "Rock-Solidness," at least they are all vegan except for their Honey Roasted Peanut Mo-Jo bar (which should be left on the shelf). They are also some of the most prevalent in the market place. Here's the overview:

Click on the Clif Bar Store Locator to find a retail outlet
in your area for any of these five bars.

Clif Bars - The old standby. Clif Bars have a chewy texture and pretty sound ingredients across the board. There have got to be at least a dozen different flavors by now. And yes, they have saved my ass on more than one occasion!

Where to Find: Most health food markets and grocery stores, as well as a lot of convenient stores, Super Stores like Wal-Mart, and even some truck stops.


Luna Bars - Although Lunas are marketed to women, I've definitely had my fair share of these through the years. These are based on more of a Rice Krispy treat kind of texture, often with some kind of coating, making them uniformly sweeter than Clif Bars. The flavors Dulce de Leche and Nutz Over Chocolate (as well as a few others) taste pretty much like candy bars...but without all of the bad ingredients.

Where to Find: Like Clif Bars, they are at most health food markets and grocery stores, as well as a lot of convenient stores, Super Stores like Wal-Mart, and even some truck stops.


Builder Bars - This is Clif's answer to the ultra-dense, high protein sports bar. 20 grams of protein and they taste unbelievable...which could be a bad thing! Enjoy sparingly.

Where to Find: At a number of health food stores and some grocery stores.


Mojo Bars - Combining mixed nuts, rice crisp and even small organic pretzel fragments, Mojo Bars have more of a chewy, yet crunchy, texture and are both sweet and salty tasting.

Warning: Avoid the Honey Roasted Peanut flavor Mojo Bar; it contains stolen bee vomit...I mean honey. Seriously, honey is not a Rock-Solid ingredient and should be avoided at all cost!

Where to Find: At a number of health food stores and some grocery stores.


Z-Bars - Yet another bar from the Clif gang, but this one is marketed to kids (as a junk food alternative) and sold individually wrapped in boxes of six. The bars are a little smaller than the rest of the lines, and they're close to Clif Bars in texture but even more candy bar-like.

Where to Find: At a number of health food stores and some grocery stores.


Odwalla Bars - These are similar in size and texture to Clif bars, but definitely with their own vibe.

Where to Find: Hit or miss at most health food markets and some grocery stores.


Oskri Coconut Bar - Imagine a Mounds candy bar without the chocolate (or refined sugar). That's what these things taste like. Pure coconut heaven, people. These are hard to find, though. You might have to order them online. They come in plain Coconut, Coconut/Mango and Coconut/Strawberry. All are kickin'.

Where to Find: It's hard to say, actually. I've seen them at one particular gas station convenience store but hardly anywhere else! Check their web site at Oksri Organics. They do have online ordering there and, if you like coconut, it would be worth ordering some.


Health Valley/Barbara's/Nature's Choice (or comparable) snack bars, fruit tarts or cookies - There are tons of these kind of healthy snack/dessert items out there for the occasional snack or treat. These kinds of goodies are okay in small doses, but again, don't go ape-shit with them. And be on the lookout for things like nonfat dry milk, whey or egg whites and avoid those products.

These Cereal Bars from Natures Choice make for a delicious, "pop tart" kind of snack,
although you don't actually toast them. They tend to be moist, chewy and flaky and are really sweet.
I like blueberry and cherry the best. Enjoy occasionally.

Where to Find: Most health food markets and many grocery stores.


Easy on the Bars...

Remember, however, that while these are excellent as transition foods (to replace a lot of the junk health bars and regular candy bars out there) and acceptable in moderation on the long-term Rock-Solid Fitness nutrition program, most of these bars do involve a fair amount of processing and should never be held with the same regard as food that's more direct from the earth. So enjoy on occasion, but don't go crazy.


Some Others

Muffins - Muffins run the full gamut from the worthless, enriched white flour kind that you see at 7-11, to whole wheat, multi-grain, or oat bran/flour types. Unfortunately, almost every kind you see will ultimately not be Rock-Solid because they will usually have some combination of refined sugar, some kind of dairy product, eggs or egg whites, or unhealthy oil in them. This is often even the case with health food store muffins, by the way. So always check labels carefully.

Zen Bakery makes some of the best vegan muffins around. There are at least a
half-dozen different kinds and every single one that I've tried has been excellent.

Click on the Zen Bakery Store Locator to find a retail outlet in your area.

Where to Find: A "Rock-Solid" muffin will be hit or miss at most health food markets and rarely, if ever, at a grocery store.


Vegan Jerky - Yes...they even have jerky substitutes nowadays. Here are a few favorites.

All three of these brands have their own distinct vibe and offer a variety of flavors.
My personal favorite is the Spice of Life Meatless Jerky on the left.

Where to Find: Hit or miss at most health food markets.


Pretzels - Another old stand-by. Go for unsalted and organic when possible and, again, watch for the addition of preservatives, refined sugar or hydrogenated oils. You can usually find Snyder's "Old-Fashioned" type in most stores.

Where to Find: At most health food markets and any grocery store.


Toast - An old stand-by...provided that you opt for the absolute right kind of bread and, if you like, jam and/or vegan margarine. Ezekial is my favorite and, specifically for toast, I dig their raisin bread. Many of their other styles are good, although I believe they have opted to use honey in a few versions. Check the ingredients closely and avoid any one of their breads that have honey. Otherwise, they bake some mean bread; pure and dense - the antithesis of God-forsaken Wonder Bread. I would suggest storing it in the refrigerator. Without all of those preservatives, its "shelf life" is greatly diminished.

Where to Find: At most health food markets and some grocery stores.


Crackers - If you can find the right kind, crackers make for a decent snack choice. The main challenge will be to find some without refined flour. Also, many "health food" companies still feel compelled to add all kinds of animal products (like egg whites or honey) and hydrogenated oils in their crackers, taking them out of Rock-Solid range. For this reason, pickings can be slim for a good cracker, even in some of the bigger health food markets. Be ready to read some labels.

Where to Find: At most health food markets and some grocery stores.


Rice Cakes - Let's be honest: Rice cakes have been the proverbial redheaded step-child of the health world for quite awhile now...and probably for good reason. They do taste rather plain by themselves, unless you can find a good brand with some kind of added flavor. You might want to eat these with some kind of topping (see below). Look for rice cakes made from brown rice.

Where to Find: All grocery stores and most health food markets.


...with Almond or Peanut Butter and/or Jelly or Jam- For an added dimension to your toast, crackers or rice cakes, try adding some peanut or almond butter. This makes for a very filling snack. Just make sure there are no added oils or refined sugar. (This will reduce the options immensely, believe me.) In either case, you can add a little jelly for the classic PB&J vibe. Or, if you want something a little lighter, just use jelly or jam, where you will be looking for "100% fruit" on the label. Rock-Solid jellies or jams have no added sugar. You don't need it.

Where to Find: Most any health food market or grocery store.


Pita and Hummus - Although not as easily portable as other snacks listed, this is a fantastic option. Pita bread is kind of like a thicker version of a tortilla, and hummus is a delicious, tangy spread (made from chickpeas) from the Middle-Eastern tradition. There are usually a variety of flavors available with hummus, like roasted red pepper or garlic, although plain is very tasty, also. Just dip your pita bread into the hummus and you're off and running. Make sure that your pita is of the wheat or multi-grain variety, as opposed to the refined white flour kind.

While I personally would never bother with such a nice presentation, this gives you an idea
of how well pita bread and hummus work together. (For a quick snack, just pop open the plastic
hummus container, tear off a piece of pita bread and start dipping.) Also, notice the veggie slices?
Hummus is one of several delicious spreads that works great with fresh veggies.

Where to Find: Most health food markets and some grocery stores, in the refrigerated section.


Cereal - For a cereal to be in the Rock-Solid category, it must be made from some kind of unrefined grain and be completely devoid of refined sugar and animal products. This will preclude almost every popular brand from the grocery store isle. However, most every health food market and many grocery stores now have a designated part of some isle for healthy cereal, many of which will be Rock-Solid. But still, many of these even have hidden ingredients that you have to be on the lookout for, like honey and various dairy products. As usual, scope out the label.

There are two ways you can enjoy cereal as a snack: Either with soy milk by the bowl, or dry, right out of the box. I've even found that many brands work well as a portable snack. Just put a few handfuls in a plastic bag and you're ready to roll.

For specific recommendations, check out the Breakfast Features part of the Sit-Down Meals Section

Where to Find: Any health food market and most grocery stores.


Soy milk - While it's delicious to drink as a snack by the glass or right out of a small carton, I would mainly suggest using it for cereal or anywhere you need to swap out milk in a recipe. Also, keep in mind that many brands taste radically different from each other, so if you don't like one brand, be sure to try another, keeping in mind that any brand's Vanilla will taste sweeter than their Plain. (Also, many brands offer chocolate soy milk, which is another snack option.)

Where to Find: You can find soy milk in two places in most any grocery or health food store. Unrefrigerated in an aisle, or refrigerated in the dairy section.


Bolthouse Farms Perfectly Protein - Here is a delicious, low fat, soy protein and green tea/chai beverage. Sweetened with vanilla, it's like dessert in a bottle.

Where to Find: Hit or miss at most health food or grocery stores. Go to the Bolthouse Store Locator to find a retail outlet in your area.


Power Dream soy protein drink - Here's a super convenient soy-based drink that requires no refrigeration, making it ideal for long trips or extended time away from the fridge. I would recommend trying X-treme Chocolate or Vanilla Blast (gotta love those names!) and avoiding Java Jolt because of its caffeine content.

Where to Find: Hit or miss at most health food or grocery stores. Go to the Imagine Foods Store Locator to find a retail outlet in your area.




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