You can snack—or you can snack with purpose. Rachelle Robinett, herbalist, holistic health coach, and host of Plant-Based, has a snack for every scenario. Switching up the recipes for your pick-me-up snacks to include some herbalist-approved ingredients is a great way to give your body the boost it needs to get through the day.
Robinett has a recipe for something to boost your energy before a workout, something to calm you down before bed for the best sleep of your life, and even something to combat brain fog. Here are the best pick-me-up snacks she has to offer.
The best pick-me-up snacks from an herbalist
1. For a calming effect: Dark chocolate bark
Not only is cacao loaded with magnesium, which is great at helping you relax and feel less anxious, but it’s also very calming overall. “I’m a huge fan of cacao and dark chocolate before bed,” says Robinett. “Try cacao when you want to calm down and see how you feel.” This homemade dark chocolate recipe is made with cacao butter, maple syrup, cacao powder, and a few other ingredients.
For a midday pick-me-up: Bliss balls
There’s a secret mood-boosting ingredient in this bliss ball recipe. “The dopamine in these bliss balls comes from mucuna pruriens, which is a legume native to tropical Asia and Africa,” she says. “It can raise our mood a little bit and give us a little bit of energy.” Robinett says these bliss balls are great in the morning for breakfast, or midday as a little pick-me-up.
2. For energy: Adaptogenic anytime bars
If you need a little help getting through your afternoons, try an adaptogenic anytime bar. “It can help with energy. If you’re low, it can help pick it up. If you’re too high, it can help calm it down,” she says. “It’s great if you’re physically active, and it’s great if you’re mentally active.” It’s also naturally sweet, making these bars taste even better.
3. For a mood boost: Berry bark
Berry bark with a side of happiness? Yes, it’s one of the best pick-me-up snacks around. “The mood-boosting benefits of the bark come from a couple of herbs that we’ve infused into the recipe: albizia, lavender, and grapefruit,” she says.
4. For stress relief: Squash dip
This squash dip contains ashwagandha to help with daily stress. “This dip is something I make often for myself,” she says. Aside from helping managing stress, ashwagandha can also help with anxiety, insomnia, and chronic fatigue.
5. For sleeplessness: Chamomile nice cream
A great way to calm down before bed is making yourself a bowl of chamomile nice cream. “Chamomile lends itself really well to use after meals because it’s great for digestion and before bed for its relaxing, sleep-inducing benefits,” says Robinett. “It’s something we can rely on as a gentle sleep aid—not one that’s going to cause a hangover or too much drowsiness.”
6. For fighting brain fog: Nootropic trail mix
Sometimes your brain needs a little boost, and that’s where this nootropic trail mix comes in. “This recipe is designed for those times of the day when you want something to snack on and you’re also feeling this sort of lethargy or brain fog,” she says. “The brain-boosting benefits that come from this trail mix are primarily in the form of rosemary and cordyceps.”
7. For pre-workout energy: Trail mix bark
This trail mix bark contains cacao and rhodiola—two things that will help give you the energy you need to get through a workout or a work day. According to Robinett, cacao is a natural energy-booster. And rhodiola is great for any kind of mental or physical exertion, be it test-taking or running.
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