How many times have you found yourself ravenous mid morning or mid afternoon? And next thing you know you’re raiding the vending machine or the office candy jar or stopping at the convenience store. It’s hard to say no to cookies and chips during that mid afternoon slump. BUT it’s a whole lot easier when you’re armed with an array of healthier alternatives.
Snacks are particularly key when you’re busy. Having one or two healthy snacks a day can help prevent bingeing on unhealthy options at the last minute. So while some of us devote time, thought, and energy toward meal preparation, it’s important not to forget the little guy.
SUSTAIN ENERGY THROUGHOUT THE DAY!
Think of a snack as fuel that contributes to feeling energized and well, and to making you more in charge of overall food intake throughout the day. When fueling up, be sure to include protein and limit sugar and simple carbohydrates. While protein sustains energy for up to 2-3 hours, high-sugar and high-carb snacks will only stave off hunger for a mere 30-60 minutes. By adding healthy power snacks to your diet, expect to reduce sugar cravings and build mood stabilization. Eating every 3 to 5 hours will keep your blood sugar steady and decrease overeating at mealtimes.
KEEP HEALTHY SNACKS WITHIN ARMS REACH!
Those of you who know me know I recommend always carrying an emergency snack kit. At the very least I throw a small bag of Trader Joe’s raw almonds and a fruit into my car when I’m on the road. I also keep healthy snacks visible and reachable in my kitchen to limit the snack foods that I know won’t help me. You definitely reach for what you have!!!! So keep your refrigerator stocked with cut-up veggies and small plastic containers of hummus or all-natural nut butters for dipping, and keep beautiful fruits and veggies within visibility.
Check out these snack options below:
- Closed handful of roasted garbanzo beans: A great alternative to munching on nuts. Have fewer calories per ounce than many nuts and are high in fiber, folic acid, zinc, iron, and magnesium.
- 1/2 Can of wild salmon with cut up veggies.
- Energy bar: Be sure to choose a bar where you can see and pronounce the ingredients. Look for 10 g or less of sugar per serving. I like Lydia’s Organics, Bliss Bar, KIND bar (with 5 grams of sugar or less), Elemental Superfood and Evo Hemp.
- Hard-boiled egg: Though not everyone enjoys a hard boiled egg, it goes down well and fuels the body with 6 grams of protein as well as an array of vitamins and minerals. To pack a tasty punch, add some Sriracha sauce. Or try chopping the egg and spread it on 5 whole grain Mary’s Gone crackers.
- Closed handful of nuts and seeds: I like to mix walnuts, pumpkin, sunflower and goji berries. Rich in protein and healthy omega – 3 fats, nuts and seeds are portable, don’t require refrigeration, and are convenient to keep on you. Try to go lighter on nuts and heavier on seeds for a less calorie dense option. Or, whip up your own homemade trail mix. You can choose from foods like unsweetened coconut flakes, slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs and sea salt.
- Whole grain brown rice cake with 1 tablespoon of raw almond butter. Add small slices of strawberry or ⅓ banana to sweeten it up.
- Deli turkey: For a healthy wrap option, try rolling 2 slices of deli turkey in butter lettuce leaf and top it off with mustard and tomato. As an alternative, try this delicious treat with hummus.
- Celery sticks: spread with 1 tbspn of almond butter or hummus or cottage cheese, or homemade cashew cream cheese. Or use Kale chips.
- Small apple (or pear) and 2 tsp. nut butter (I like to keep Justin’s Nut butter individual packets) or 10-15 raw nuts.
- Plain low fat organic Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds and cinnamon, or mix it with apple butter for a dash of sweetness.
- Baggie of cut up veggies (cucumber, celery, tomatoes, green beans) with sprinkled feta cheese and pomegranate seeds.
- 1 glass of green juice with apple for sweetening
- Easy Coconut Lemon Energy Bites (See recipe)
- Smoothie: protein powder, ½ cup berries, closed handful of spinach and almond milk.
- 1 Prepackaged container of unsweetened apple sauce mixed with a small closed handful of nuts and/or seeds
To schedule a consultation on how to incorporate healthy eating and snacking into your daily diet, feel free to call me at 310-650-2825. For more information, visit my website.