Your body needs good food a few times a day. It is your fuel, whether you have a fun or exhausting job or whether or not your work day ends whenever you want or runs into the evening hours. Even if your job is at home or on the road, an occasional snack is needed. Often times people feel guilty for snacking during their work day, for fear of packing on pounds and the sound of healthy snacking turns off both kids and adults alike.

To get the physical and mental benefits of snacking during the work day, you have to look at smarter snacking options. First of all, it’s better to buy snacks whenever you’re grocery shopping on the weekends and put them in your bags in the mornings. You not only save money this way, but you’re avoiding the lunchtime rush where you grab whatever comes to mind, which is most likely your guilty pleasure and most likely, not good for you. Fitness professionals call this problem mindless eating. We’ll call the solution smart snacking.

Smart snacking will help control your blood sugar levels and keep your hunger level to a minimum. Your three meals may not have all the vitamins you need for daily functioning so snacks may provide that supplement. Not to mention, they’re a great source of energy. If you ask around, most people feel that they need some level of sugar or caffeine intake to get their days started and to keep them moving. This is not necessarily the case. Most of the time we don’t get enough sleep and that sets off the following day on the wrong foot, but that’s another blog post.

So what can you eat? The fries, chips and cookies are the easiest to grab and go, but they’ll have you back to tired mode in a matter of minutes. Fruits, salads and whole wheat grains sound boring, but you definitely won’t be a bore keeping them nearby. They provide fiber and iron among the other nutrients that keep you alert and energized. Hard boiled eggs, bananas, almonds, plantain chips, avocados, raisins, even low-salted pretzels; these are all the kinds of things you should keep within reach at your desks, in your bags, in the car, at home, to ensure that you turn onto the path of smart snacking. While you’re at it, replace the sentence-long Starbucks orders for herbal tea, mineral water, caffeine-free coffee and 100% fruit juices.

As with anything else, you have to make it a habit to see the difference. For instance, pretend you were a nail biter and have always admired those with naturally long nails. Your nails won’t grow back the very next day you decide to stop biting them. But they will grow in a fair amount of time and you won’t even feel the need to bite them again. The same principle applies with your daily food intake. Snack smart. It’ll make the day go by so much easier.