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What Healthier Snacks Do You Enjoy When The Ultra Hunger Roars?

During those mid-morning and mid-afternoon hours, the ultra body can gently suggest or maybe event start roaring for food.

Runners expect a lot from our bodies, shouldn’t we expect a lot from our snacks as well? I think so. Instead of just empty calories, I like to choose snack with some nutritional punch.

Here are my top three snack that I have recently been enjoying when the Lion roars.

1. Hummus and Rice Crackers

Hummus is predominately ground up chickpeas (Garbonzos) and sesame seeds (Tahini) mixed with a bit of oil (This Pita Pal uses Olive Oil) and some seasonings. Besides being subtly tasty, it provides a nice protein punch at 3 grams per 2 Tablespoons. Hummus is also available in a variety of “flavors” which will provide more zing for the taste buds.

Rice crackers contain basic ingredients. The round, subtle tasting, crunchy crackers are also low-fat, gluten-free (the pictured brand), and a great partner for the Hummus.

We purchase both the Hummus and crackers at Costco because of the solid pricing. Our favorite flavor is the roasted red pepper and garlic. You could fairly easily make your own Hummus as well (we haven’t done it yet). If you want to explore that route, you can check out a variety of simple Hummus recipes at

Health Benefits Insight:

2. Nuts and Raisins

A small handful of almonds (or mixed nuts) with some raisins simply satisfies a whole collection of cravings from fat (the nut), a little bit of salt, and sweet (the raisins).

You can take this little mix to the next level by adding a few dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

This also makes a nice snack at work. Bring with a little container/baggie with the mix. When you hear the roar, instead of walking to the snack machine (which contains very few healthier items), enjoy a bit of the healthy ultra mix.

Health Benefits Insight:

3. Fresh Fruit Plus Nuts/Seeds

Pretty tough to beat fairly fresh fruit. To provide some yang with that yin, I like to include a few nuts or seeds. The added healthier fat from the nuts/seeds help sustain that full/happy feeling versus simply eating the carbohydrate-rich fruit.

Our family favorite fruit this summer was watermelon. We probably ate close to 10 of them. We would cut it into cubes and place in the fridge. After a run in the heat or an hour playing at the park, one bite would have you saying ahhhh. Plus Griffin loved showing me the watermelon juice dripping from his chin. 🙂

Health Benefits Insight (couple examples):

Note on Apples: Apples are #4 on the list of fruits/veg with the highest pesticide contamination. If possible buy organic or from a source you can verify their growing methods. During the Fall/Winter months you can usually get organic apples at Costco at very competitive prices (a little over $1 a pound).

What about you?

I would love to hear what healthier snacks you eat when the Lion roars. Please share in the comment link below.

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

(Photos: Courtesy of Abhijit TembhekarGreencolander, and Tambako the Jaguar)

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

2 Responses to “What Healthier Snacks Do You Enjoy When The Ultra Hunger Roars?”

  1. on 07 Oct 2010 at 2:27 pm Dan

    It’s easy to make your own Lara-type bars, and these include many of the ingredients you mention above. All you need is a food processor, a bag of Medjool dates, any other dried fruit (apricots, cranberries, etc.), a mix of nuts (almonds, cashews, etc.), and spices (cocoa powder). By making them yourself you can control the type and quality of ingredients (e.g., organic) as well as save some money especially if you buy in bulk. Google homemade Lara bars for tons of recipes that explain exactly how to make them. I eat them both on the trail and at work!

  2. on 08 Oct 2010 at 8:54 am David Hanenburg

    Hey Dan – Great idea! Thanks for sharing.