Once you decide to clean up your lifestyle in every way, shape, and form, it can feel overwhelming! There are so many different foods, soaps, drinks, moisturizers, etc., to choose from.
Since many of you have asked which brands and companies I trust, websites I use, and skincare products I recommend, I decided to create dynamic, ever-evolving posts of my favorite things. I will update all of the lists frequently, so check back for new links and suggestions!
Ideally, we’d all walk around snacking solely on vegetables. However, sometimes we just
need want to eat something that comes from a package. When those times occur, it’s still possible to choose gluten-free, grain-free, low-sugar, vegetable oil-free, and/or dairy-free options. Enjoy my list of favorites below!
My Favorite Packaged Snacks:
Jackson’s Honest brand (find them at natural food-centric grocery stores and on thrivemarket.com: https://thrivemarket.com/brand/jacksons-honest-potato-chips)
- Why I like these: First of all, Jackson’s Honest chips are absolutely Delicious (yes, with a capital “D”!) Aside from that, they’re free from all vegetable oils; the company only uses organic coconut oil–one of the healthy fruit oils–to make their chips. Look up the ingredients of their competitor Terra Chips’ products. Terra Chips contain canola oil. Yuck!
- Why I like these: Siete chips are super tasty and grain-free, non-GMO, dairy-free, and soy-free. They’re perfect for dipping into one of my other favorite healthy snacks…guacamole!
- Why I like these: All Jilz crackers are sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, corn-free, soy-free, dairy-free, vegetable oil-free, preservative-free, artificial coloring-free, non-GMO, and contain no trans fat. And, as an added bonus, all of the ingredients are organic! In my opinion, the crackers taste a little bland on their own, but they’re excellent when topped with cheese! (Really, what isn’t…?)
- Why I like it: Field Trip’s jerky is nitrate-free, grass-fed, minimally processed, and composed of only quality ingredients. Note: If you choose to snack on jerky, just be mindful of its sugar content.
- Why I like these: EPIC’s pork rinds are absolutely addicting–in a great way! When you’re craving protein, grab a handful of these and rest assured knowing they’re made with organic and antibiotic-free pork; they’re also gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, and include only the most wholesome ingredients.
Many brands are great, but make sure they are “raw” or “dry-roasted” and do not contain harmful vegetable oils. (Also, remember peanuts are not nuts…they’re legumes!) My favorite brand of dry-roasted macadamia nuts is Now Foods (Find them at natural food-centric grocery stores and on thrivemarket.com: https://thrivemarket.com/p/now-foods-macadamia-nuts-roasted-salted)
- Why I like them: As previously mentioned, they’re dry-roasted and don’t contain any harmful vegetable oils. They’re simply dusted with salt! Yum!
85%+ Cocoa Dark Chocolate
Theo Brand (find it at natural food-centric grocery stores and on thrivemarket.com: https://thrivemarket.com/p/theo-chocolate-organic-dark-chocolate-85-cocoa)
- Why I like it: Theo’s ingredients are organic, fair trade, and pure (just cocoa beans, sugar, and ground vanilla beans). A lot of chocolate brands include lecithin and other emulsifiers, which are completely unnecessary!
Chomps brand (find them at many natural food-centric grocery stores)
- Why I like them: Chomps Snack Sticks are made of 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef that is non-GMO and antibiotic-free. Also, they don’t add a lot of sugar to their products; many competing brands do.
EPIC brand (find it at natural food-centric grocery stores and on thrivemarket.com: https://thrivemarket.com/p/epic-mountain-medley-beef-jerky-trail-mix)
- Why I like it: EPIC makes trail mix with a twist! Their trail mixes are a combination of nuts and meat, and they’re all in convenient grab-n-go packages. As mentioned above, all of EPIC’s products are made with organic and antibiotic-free pork; they’re also gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, and include only the most wholesome ingredients.
- Why I like it: Purely Elizabeth’s granolas are all organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free; some are even grain-free! You won’t find any sneaky preservatives or emulsifiers in these products. Note: If you choose to snack on granola, just be mindful of its sugar content.
Almond, Cashew, Pecan, and Walnut Butters
- Why I like these: Each of Artisana Organics’ nut butters is made with organic raw nuts only. Many competitors add unnecessary additives, like honey and palm fruit oil.
Abraham’s Natural brand (find it at natural food-centric grocery stores)
- Why I like it: Abraham’s hummus is gluten-free, non-GMO, and filled with only excellent ingredients. Many competitors (like Sabra) add unnecessary additives, like potassium sorbate and soybean oil.
My Step-by-Step Process in Determining the Packaged Snacks I’ll Eat
Clearly, there are other respectable brands that could make this list. As the nutrient-conscious public (like us!) demands products that are higher-quality, existing companies and entrepreneurs step up to the plate! If you can’t find the above snacks in your local grocery store and do not want to join *Thrive Market, consider adopting the step-by-step process that goes through my head when weaving your way through supermarket aisles. Here it is:
- I look at the item’s nutrition facts and zone in on the sugar content. If one serving has more than 5g of sugar, I automatically put it back.
- I read its list of ingredients. If it contains any of the following, I put it back: flour (“whole wheat” included! It’s a shame, but at this point most grains are so highly processed that they’re no longer beneficial to our health), artificial flavors, trans fats (anything “hydrogenated,” “partially hydrogenated,” “mono,” or “diglygeride”) artificial colors, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives (easily identifiable because I can’t pronounce the dang things!), vegetable oils (canola, corn, sunflower, safflower, palm, soybean, peanut, rapeseed), MSG, artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, neotame, etc.) and/or “natural” flavors.
Generally, if an item is low an sugar and has fewer than five ingredients that you can actually identify and pronounce, you’re good to go! From my experience, a lot of today’s healthiest options are made with ingredients like almond flour, coconut flour, apple cider vinegar, and coconut oil. So, if you see those ingredients in a packaged snack, you’re likely on the right track!
*If you do want to join Thrive Market, enter the code http://thrv.me/biohackingwithbrooke when you sign up. You’ll save 25% on your first order!
Remember: Your diet should only comprise a small percentage of packaged snacks. It’s always best to snack on whole foods that are nature-made (not processed) like avocados, hard-boiled eggs, raw veggies, etc. Happy snacking!
In each blog post, I aim to bring you food for thought (pun intended. Note: my day job is teaching English), but don’t take my word for it! Click on and read all of the links above to become your own expert on this topic; knowledge is power. The more you know and understand the “why” behind each biohack, the easier it will be to stick to it and realize you can’t live without it!