grab my *free* Starter Kit:

3 daily habits that improve
leaky gut and autoimmunity!

I want it!

My Favorite Midday Snacks as a Nutritionist

Filed Under:

These balanced midday snacks are my ultimate favorites. You can enjoy them separately or combine them to make your own balanced afternoon meal.

My Favorite Midday Snacks as a Nutritionist

Reading Time: 12 minutes

We’ve all experienced that 3 pm crash. You know, when your energy dips, your brain feels foggy, and you reach for an afternoon cup of coffee and chocolate bar. Yep, we all know it. Most days, it hits like a brick and is hard to deny. Luckily, I have a proven way to avoid this midday crash and it involves my favorite healthy snacks. 


There are several factors that contribute to the 3pm crash, one of them being decreasing cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that is released by your adrenal glands in response to stress. Cortisol follows your daily rhythms – a high energy morning, and slowly decreasing in energy as the day progresses. 

Blood sugar dysregulation can also be a contributor to why you may feel tired in the afternoons. After meals (aka lunch) blood sugar levels can spike as your body works to release insulin to help convert your food into energy. When your body releases a large amount of insulin to metabolize this food (especially carbs), your blood sugar then drops off, making you feel fatigued. Finally, the simplest of all, is being mindful of the sleep you are getting (or maybe not getting). Your body follows what is called a circadian rhythm. This is the biological, subconscious clock that your body follows to know when to be awake and when to rest. Your circadian rhythm naturally dips a bit in the afternoon, and it can feel even more drastic when you aren’t getting the 7-9 hours of sleep needed to restore your body each night. Paying special attention to these three areas can help those afternoons not feel so drowsy. 

Who should have a midday snack

As a nutritionist, I’m often asked, “Should I snack throughout the day or eat 3 square meals?” Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-fits-all answer. However, I will say: a midday snack supports healthy blood sugar and energy levels. So, if you fall victim to the 3 pm crash more days than not, including a midday snack might be your saving grace. 

Personally, I eat 4 meals per day and encourage my clients to do the same. My midday snack, around 3 pm, usually serves as my 3rd meal of the day, making dinner my 4th and final meal. 


When we are tired and hungry, our brain often tells us it needs carbs. This isn’t the best solution though if we truly want more energy during this dip in the day. The key is to make sure this midday snack is balanced with protein, fat, and carbs (think a mini meal) so that we can feel our best. 

Ideally, it’s best if we can figure out the root cause of fatigue mid-day if this is a constant pattern. This may mean looking into hormone levels, our sleep pattern, daily activities, what we eat for breakfast and lunch, etc. If you know a midday is snack is really just something you enjoy and you feel it will help 

My Favorite Midday Snacks as a Nutritionist

These balanced snacks are my ultimate favorites. You can enjoy them separately or combine them to make your own balanced afternoon meal.


Coconut yogurt is great for those who need to stay away from dairy products and Greek yogurt is loaded with protein (just make sure it is low in sugar). I love Anitas and CoYo brand coconut yogurt and I always opt for the plain varieties and will add my own natural sweetener if needed. For Greek yogurt, I get mine from a local farm in the A2 protein form so that it is easier to digest and break down. It is tough to find this at a grocery store, but you can try to find a farm near you who sells A2 dairy products through FarmMatch

Granola is a classic topping for yogurt and adds a nice crunch. However, most traditional granola recipes and products are filled with inflammatory oils, sugars, and gluten. To make granola a healthy and well-balanced snack, look for grain-free granola that is made with unrefined sugar (coconut sugar, honey, molasses) and healthy oils (such as coconut oil). My go-to granola products are Purely Elizabeth and Paleonola! You can also try making it yourself! 

To naturally sweeten your yogurt, I recommend adding fresh fruit, such as berries. Blueberries are my personal go to because of the gut healing benefits. They are also fantastic for your brain and loaded with antioxidants that support inflammation. You can read more about the many health benefits of blueberries specifically here. If you like blueberries, these are an excellent addition to your yogurt snack. 


Avocado is packed with anti-inflammatory fatty acids, which are known to boost physical and mental energy. Himalayan sea salt offers essential minerals to regulate electrolyte stores and boost mineral levels. Together, these powerhouse foods make for the perfect brain boost. Serve up half an avocado with a sprinkle of sea salt and enjoy! 

To balance this snack with a small amount of carbs, I suggest aiming for 15g of carbohydrates from fresh seasonal fruit. You can rotate based on what you have on hand and even prep this the day before. My go to fruits in the summer months are usually fresh cherries, strawberries, peaches, pineapple, and melons. In the winter, I choose a small apple or orange most of the time. 15g will vary based on the fruit you choose but this typically looks like a small piece of fruit or ½-1 cup of berries, melon, pineapple, etc. 


This combo might sound really weird but hear me out! Bone broth is a nutritional powerhouse for the gut and contains the ultimate trifecta–glutathione, glutamine, and gelatin. This trio not only supports intestinal permeability and promotes a healthy microbiome, but it also helps aid in digestion and detoxification. I recommend a good quality bone broth, such a FOND. You can get creative with your bone broth and add grass fed butter or ghee for extra healthy fats that will help keep you full and satisfied until dinner. One cup is all you need to reap the benefits of bone broth. Not only is it incredibly healing, but it is so soothing and calming, especially in the winter months and one of my favorite afternoon rituals. 

You can read more about the healing benefits on bone broth here.

Now why the seaweed!? Surprisingly, seaweed is rich in nutrients that support mineral balance. It’s especially abundant in iodine which is necessary for healthy thyroid function and can be helpful in those with thyroid disorders (those with autoimmunity typically need more iodine but check with your practitioner first). Look for seaweed snacks that include sea salt or himalayan salt, instead of conventional salt. In addition, the oil used to roast the seaweed should be olive oil and not safflower or sunflower oil, which would make this snack more inflammatory. 


Guacamole, made from nutrient-rich avocados, provides the same brain boost as an avocado + himalayan sea salt. Most grocery stores carry pre-made guacamole packs, which are a great on-the-go snack option. I get organic guacamole packs from Costco and they are the perfect portion for a midday snack. 

You can pair guacamole with carrot, celery, and/or jicama sticks! For some extra protein, you can even add a small amount of fresh salmon or sardines to support brain function and energy. 


If you haven’t tried this combo, you need to put this on your list! Cottage cheese is packed with protein and provides calcium and other minerals and nutrients to help you stay full and satisfied until dinner. The key with cottage cheese (and all dairy) is to find a quality brand. Personally, I get my cottage cheese from a local farm and opt for the raw form so that it is easy to digest and anti-inflammatory. If you don’t have a farm near you to buy raw cottage cheese, Nancy’s is a great brand you can find at most grocery stores! 

There’s so many varieties you can try with cottage cheese. You can add fresh fruit and honey for a sweet treat or something more savory like tomato as an example. I love adding organic cherry tomatoes for some extra lycopene which is an antioxidant that supports cell division. You can add a pinch of sea salt and some balsamic vinegar or a reduction glaze to it to really knock it out of the park. You can even add fresh basil if you are feeling extra fancy! 


When I was pregnant with my first son, this became a staple in my diet in the third trimester (more on why here) and it has stuck with me ever since! This sweet and salty snack is just what I need on most afternoons. It satisfies my sweet tooth and keeps my tummy satiated! Sometimes I’ll swap dates for apples or sunbutter for tahini. This is a great way to increase diet variety and keep your tastebuds happy!

Dates contain fiber which supports digestion and healthy elimination. Cinnamon is one of the best spices to add to your dishes to support blood sugar levels due to the chromium content. Many women are low in chromium so adding cinnamon is a simple way to improve levels and regulate blood sugar. 

Another variation of this that I often do for some added protein is layer the date with coconut or Greek yogurt, a drizzle of nut butter, and sea salt. Let me just say this tastes too good to be healthy and one or two of these is enough to keep you full and satisfied until dinner! 


Let’s be real here, sometimes you just need a quick on the go snack. Although many jerky options are far from healthy, and most definitely not nutritionist-approved, there are many protein-packed, healthier options available. Look for jerky that is free of sugar and gluten (ie. soy sauce, seasonings, etc). My go-to selections for jerky are salmon jerky or Paleo Valley turkey or beef meat sticks. They are pasture-raised and grass fed and they are so juicy compared to any other meat stick on the market! 

I love Siete Family Foods products because they are made with quality ingredients from a family who started their brand due to wanting to naturally support an autoimmune condition. Siete tortilla chips are made with cassava flour, which makes them grain-free and a great alternative to corn tortillas for those who are following an autoimmune-friendly diet. They even make these in single serving snack pack portions which makes it really nice if you have a hard time portioning these out yourself (I’m right there with you if this is you). 

Adding guacamole adds a healthy fat source to this snack and is a nice condiment to pair with the chips. This quick combo is balanced with protein, fat, and carbs and really adds a nice amount of macronutrients so you feel satisfied until dinner. 


If you ask me, Brazil nuts are highly underrated. These rockstar nuts are loaded with high amounts of selenium, which is essential for proper detoxification abilities and thyroid support. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your cells! Selenium also serves as support for your immune system, helping defend your body against infection. Finally, for women specifically, selenium is linked to boosting your reproductive health, and supporting your hormone balance! Friendly warning – you won’t want to eat more than a few per day. ADD

Research shows that eating only 2 Brazil nuts per day gives you your daily requirement for selenium. Whenever I see a client with low selenium on a micronutrient analysis, I always suggest Brazil nuts first over a supplement because it is a really easy way to improve these levels. 

Now raise your hand if you love dark chocolate as much as I do (which is a lot). Dark chocolate serves as more than a delicious sweet treat. It’s packed with minerals like magnesium, antioxidants like polyphenols, and even has anti-inflammatory compounds. It is even helpful for the gut microbiome! Dark chocolate contains prebiotics (like insulin) which is the happy bacteria for your gut. Additionally, dark chocolate constraints polyphenols and flavonoids which are plant compounds that have incredible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to help support a healthy balance in your gut !

To get all the healing benefits of dark chocolate, aim for .5-1 oz per day. Always opt for chocolate that is made of 85% cocoa and without refined sugar or dairy. My favorite brands include Alter Eco, Primal Chocolate, Green & Blacks Organics, Taza, and Hu


Homemade Chia Seed Pudding is an excellent snack. It’s filling, delicious, and nutritious. Make your favorite chia seed pudding recipe with coconut yogurt for a healthy dose of anti-inflammatory fatty acids and top it off with fresh, organic berries to add a little sweetness!


Sometimes, the smallest little ingredient can have a myriad of benefits to your body and health! Chia seeds are no exception to this. First, chia seeds are SO good for your heart health as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This helps reduce inflammation, and even help support optimal cholesterol levels! Across the board, if you struggle with any sort of chronic inflammation, especially in the gut, chia seeds will get to work serving you with its anti-inflammatory properties. Chia seeds contain powerhouse vitamins that are ESSENTIAL to your body like calcium, magnesium, and even phosphorus. Finally, these seeds are an EXCELLENT source of fiber, and help promote healthy digestion and even weight management.

All you need for this one is chia seeds and your favorite milk of choice. You can use nut milk or raw milk as an example. You will want to add 4 tablespoons of chia seeds for every cup of milk. You’ll add the mixture together in a jar and let it sit overnight. The next morning, you’ll see the chia absorbs the liquid and is in a nice thick pudding. At this point, you can layer with fruit and your favorite yogurt (or just have it plain without it). It is really satisfying and delicious! 


Energy Fat Bombs are as delicious as they sound. Better yet, they’ll provide your brain and body with energy to have a productive afternoon! Fat bombs typically contain coconut butter and natural sweetener for a quick pick me up. Here is one of my favorite fat bomb recipes below! 

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Lemon Blueberry Fat Bombs

  • Author: Nikki Yelton
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 18 servings 1x


Try out these delicious healing fat bombs packed with healthy omegas!



1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup raw honey

1 cup coconut butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 lemon (juiced, zested)

1 cup blueberries


  1. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the coconut oil, honey, and coconut butter. Add the vanilla extract and whisk until well combined.
  2. Pour the mixture into a mini silicone muffin tray or muffin cups. Top each cup with lemon juice, zest, and blueberries.
  3. Refrigerate for about one hour or until set. Enjoy!


Leftovers: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days, or freeze for up to three months.

Serving Size: This recipe was made in a mini muffin tray. One serving equals one fat bomb, approximately 1-inch (2.5 cm) deep.

More Flavor: Add cinnamon or nutmeg to taste.

Additional Toppings: Add sliced almonds, crushed pistachios, or coconut flakes.

Instead of fat bombs, you can also try a few collagen bites in its place (which is similar to a homemade protein bar). Collagen helps improve intestinal permeability (leaky gut) and strengthens hair, skin, and nails. You can read more of the specific benefits of collagen here. I recommend this brand for its quality and potency. 

These Collagen Protein Bites below are a delicious, convenient way to get your daily serving of collagen. It’s one of my favorite ways to incorporate collagen. Plus, it’s filled with many other macro and micronutrients. Check out the recipe below so you can try them for yourself! 


Snack platters are SO much and you can add just about anything to it. Pasture-raised eggs are a natural source of healthy protein and fat. It’s a 2-for-1 deal! ADD Pasture raised eggs tend to have higher nutrient density as compared to conventional eggs. They contain higher levels of vitamins (especially Vitamin D, when the chickens are exposed to adequate sunlight), minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Also, pasture raised eggs typically have less exposure to hormones or antibiotics, experiencing fewer chemical interventions that that of conventional raised eggs. Finally, let’s give a round of applause to our friendly chicken friends. When pasture-raised, their welfare is typically much higher and much more humane (plus, it’s better for our environment!) 

Hard-boiled eggs are a perfect snack because you can make them ahead of time and enjoy a few as a snack throughout the week. To complete your snack platter or board, pair hard boiled eggs with ¼ cup of nuts and seeds such as roasted organic almonds, pumpkin seeds, or walnuts. You can also slice up half an apple and sprinkle it with cinnamon and sea salt. The possibilities here are endless! I sometimes add black olives too for extra antioxidants and color. 

However, it is worth mentioning that if you’re dealing with active autoimmunity or GI distress, I recommend limiting your egg consumption, as they can further aggravate these issues until you are able to get to the root cause of your imbalances. 


Increasing your daily protein intake is one fail-proof way to improve energy levels. You can add a perfect balance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein in a simple easy to make smoothie when you are in a rush or on the go. The key is to make sure you have a good balance of each so that your energy is stable and you don’t make the midday crash worse. Here’s an example of how to build a balanced smoothie.

It is important to note for this snack option that all protein powders are not created equal. Look for a high quality protein powder that is made with well-sourced ingredients and is always third party tested. For a list of the best protein powders I recommend for gut health and autoimmunity, check out this post here

My Favorite Midday Snacks as a Nutritionist

As a nutritionist, I’m passionate about helping my clients (and you) make the best nutritional decisions. Opting for nutrient-rich snacks can often feel overwhelming and confusing. But, with these delicious, nutritious snack options, it no longer has to be! Let’s be honest with each other, eating healthy too often than not can offer some not-so-yummy choices. Though worth it for how it benefits our health, it can make “eating healthy” a not as enjoyable experience.  My heart through this blog is that these snacks actually bring you HOPE that eating well can actually be, dare I say, FUN and enjoyable. It can be good for your body AND good for your mind. Striking that balance is possible, and when found, can reap a world of benefits.

I would love to know if you try these snacks and if you see improvements in that dreaded midday crash. Let me know in the comments below if you try some of these options and which ones were your favorite!

My Favorite Midday Snacks as a Nutritionist

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

"When it comes to balancing our body, healing the gut, reversing autoimmunity, and achieving optimal health—we are a lot like a car that won’t run right. In order to fix the problem once and for all instead of relying on jumper cables, we must get underneath the hood, run the diagnostics, and replace the battery so that it runs good as new."

-Nikki Yelton, RD

a note from nikki:

If you are ready to stop wasting precious time, get off the never-ending hamster wheel, and finally surrender trying to figure things out on your own—this is your moment. 

You don’t have to settle for just getting by and hoping tomorrow is a better day. We both know you are a woman who deserves better and are made for so. much. more.

are you ready?

Ready to resolve your GI distress, reverse autoimmunity, and live your extraordinary life?


start your journey

I believe every woman can take back their health

hey there!