Healthy Snacks for the Office

Granola popsicles are something you need in your life. 

Editor's Note: This post originally ran August 24th, 2016. The Team thought it best to bring back to the forefront of our minds, as resolutions may have fallen to the wayside and mindless snacking on the rise. Office snacks are great to have on hand for any time you're so hungry you want to bite someone and too tired to do anything more than go to the vending machine. Keep nearby to stave off disaster. Xx. 

Normally my day goes something like this: I snag a filling breakfast, scarf down a quick lunch, and then it's 4 p.m., and I am so hungry, I can't decide whether to wait until dinner and know I'll be an emotional mess or eat everything in sight until I'm bloated and uncomfortable. Sound familiar?

What do I snack on at the office or on really busy days? is a question I get from almost every client of mine. The issue usually to be solved lies in being restricted to the snacks present in the office rather than what is sustaining and nutritious. It is because of this problem that settling for a candy bar or stale chips only to be hungry 20 minutes later is more common than not. Since I am going to be working with some amazing interns soon, and having snacks at creative meetings is a must for me, I wanted to group together delicious alternatives that kick boring snacks like granola bars to the curb. 

I love these snacks because of their low sugar content, mix of healthy fats and protein, and minimally, if at all, processed ingredients. Enjoy!  

The perfect savory balance between creamy and crunchy. It's a colorful treat for your eyes and a flavorful party for your tastebuds. Using carrots, celery, peppers, or whatever vegetables you have on hand is a great way to up your vegetable intake and ensure nothing you buy goes to waste. Great Vibes Tip: Buy plain hummus and stir in extras for a change of pace (i.e. olives and oregano, parsley and lemon, pine nuts and basil, hot sauce, etc.).

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Whether you call them rice crackers or cakes, they usually are accompanied by horrified faces from childhood memories of plain, stale snacks. But, they've gotten quite the remix. What I love about these is the crunch factor you can't get from a simple slice of bread. I've shown you two ways here: one with avocado, cayenne, salt, and pepper; and the other with almond butter and banana. Great Vibes Tip: Try peanut butter with a drizzle of honey or hummus with a slice of tomato. Endless options. Delish!

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Probably my favorite of this entire bunch and one you can only really do if your office has a freezer. That being said, it is incredibly simple. Blend up one banana, a dash of cinnamon, and three (+/-) cups of coconut milk. Divide the mixture among your popsicle molds. I used an actually popsicle mold, but paper cups, old yogurt containers, or an ice cube tray works flawlessly. Place in the freezer for ten minutes. After the ten minutes are up, cover the exposed part with granola, press down gently, and then push your popsicle stick into place. Cover and freeze until solid. Great Vibes Tip: Make your own granola! Bake 3 cups oats, 1/2 cup buckwheat, and two tablespoons chia seeds on a baking sheet in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes. While baking, stir together two tablespoons coconut oil, two tablespoons maple syrup or honey, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and half a teaspoon of turmeric. After the dry ingredients have become slightly fragrant, remove from the oven, mix with the wet ingredients, and place back into the oven. Turn the oven off, and let sit for 5-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Keeps well in a glass container in the refrigerator. 

I could chat the benefits of kombucha for an incredibly long time, and you've seen me make cocktails with it here and here. I love this snack, because it is easy for on-the-go travel. It provides healthy bacteria and that sweet and savory element that satisfies almost all cravings. To make the roasted chickpeas, strain the liquid from one can, pat to dry with a paper towel, and mix with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and black pepper, salt, and cayenne to taste. Bake on a baking sheet at 395 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes, stirring every 5 or so, until crispy and crunchy. Great Vibes Tip: Don't like chickpeas? Roast cashews or almonds for a delicious alternative. 

Sometimes, nothing is going to satisfy that sweet craving except chocolate. Rather than dive into a bag of M&Ms (though that has a time and place) choose rich, dark chocolate, preferably 65% cacao or higher. The above chocolate is found at Trader Joe's with an impressive cacao content of 82 percent. Have a couple squares and savor each piece. If you still want more 10 minutes later, have another square. Repeat until satisfied. 

+What is your favorite snack here? Which one are you most likely to make?


An Honest Conversation with Shelby on Unhealthy Relationships

Shelby's experience with unhealthy relationships. 

Leaving him was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

He was my best friend, my first love, and ours was a whirlwind kind of love. We met volunteering — he was artsy and charming, he painted on canvas and was in a band. The second day I saw him, he was covered in paint; it was streaked on his cheek, and my heart slammed hard in my chest. I showed him all the places I loved most in my town. Our first kiss tasted of tacos. We slow danced to records in his living room. It was three months of perfection until it suddenly wasn’t perfect anymore.

We had moved in together, we talked about marriage, we held hands and danced everywhere and took thousands of pictures together. But I also sobbed countless times as he screamed at me for something as small as a facial expression. I ached physically to be perfect for him, to be what he needed. He was being destroyed by a diagnosis -- rapid cycling bi-polar disorder -- he refused to treat. I spent a year sacrificing my own mental health to try and cure his. I went to work exhausted from staying up until 3 a.m. fighting and crying. I’d come home from work, my entire body in physical pain from being on edge. I was in a constant state of fight-or-flight. I told my closest friends we were fighting but I didn’t tell them the extent of it.

He never physically hurt me but his words marked my soul. 

The hardest part was I never stopped loving him. So much of the darkness was his untreated mental illness which didn’t mix at all well with my own depression, anxiety, and PTSD. After countless conversations with my best friend, I knew I couldn’t allow myself to suffer any longer. He and I talked about his moving out, that it would save our relationship to have our own spaces. He did move, but as he was packing, I knew I would be letting him go. 

It was a gradual un-tying.

I couldn’t just rip the band-aid off. We went back and forth for several months, sometimes everything was pure bliss, other times it was the same cyclical hell. The difference was I could leave; when he wanted to fight, I could just walk away, and eventually, I stopped returning.

It has been a year and a half since things were really over, and in all honesty I still miss him often.

We tried to maintain a friendship, but it only hurt us both. He has since received help and bettered his life. I’ve had moments where I wanted to go back, but my best friend reminds me every time of the darkness I experienced. 

There are many times where I think “Oh man, I wish I could tell *L* about this.” And I question constantly if he’s doing okay. It’s been a process to recover and there are times I question if I ever want to release my heart to be in a relationship again.

And that’s where I still struggle - I gave all of my heart to someone, and then suddenly they weren’t there anymore.

It is really hard feeling like I lost a best friend in this process. Knowing it enabled him to finally seek help, knowing it made me an even stronger person, and knowing I made the wisest decision I could, there are still moments of lingering grief.

It is a daily practice of personal growth to not transfer these fears and hurts onto other relationships. I’ve gone on first dates and not been able to go on a second, because something they did reminded me of him. I’ve made disclaimers about my actions or words in fear of setting someone off and created confusion when I placed his hurts on them. I do feel like I’m truly in a healthier place now, but I’ve only reached this place in the past couple months, and I know there is still more healing to go.

- Shelby  


Editor's note: small edits have been made to the original for readability or understanding; *L* is to preserve the anonymity of Shelby's ex

Tuesday Vibes

After a forced week away, we're feeling all things TGVG. Here are our favorite inspirations this week. 

This week, it feels like Tuesday is Monday, and all we want to be is sitting in the sun somewhere reading a good book. To combat our wishing-it-were-weekend mood, we're sharing our inspirations to get us through the week, whether it's a book we're finishing reading (Em's new obsession) or the food we're craving. Have a look, click the links to read more, and let us know your thoughts in the comments. 

+ What are you inspired by this week? 


An Honest Conversation

We're tired of not being honest. 

This is a new series on The Guide, An Honest Conversation, where we talk about things we've been dying to express our opinion on for far too long. It might be topics of relationships (i.e. sex, unhealthy behavior, etc.) or personal matters (i.e. feeling like a failure, getting out of sync, etc.) or some plain, interesting ideas (i.e. how do you leave a party, where do you want to travel (or not), etc.). It's all about saying a little more than you might at a cocktail party and actually having a damn opinion.

Up first? Unhealthy relationships. Set to debut last week around V-Day, we wanted to break the stigma around staying in sucky relationships. Sometimes it's out of necessity, sometimes you've already packed up and left, and sometimes it's so messy, you don't know which way is up. Three women, three perspectives, three totally different experiences. We'll be popping them up throughout the week, but you can check in on this page to read them all (and all of our later conversations as well). 

Enjoy! Xx.