Snacks are a great way to keep your metabolism running smoothly, give you an energy boost throughout the day, and let’s admit it, snacking is just fun to do! But not all snacks are created equal. Today I’m going to talk to you about healthy snacking, and give you some ideas so that you can enjoy your food without putting on the pounds.
When most of us think of “snack” foods, we think of cookies and milk, chips, dips, soft drinks, cupcakes, puddings. We seldom associate snacking with healthy food. That’s because ever since we were children, snack time was like a reward for good behavoir, and most of the time our snacks were everything I just mentioned. If ever your parents packed you some carrot sticks, you probably threw them out and shared cookies with your friends. I know I did (sorry, ma!). This is true for many of us even now in adulthood! When we’re hungry and we think of grabbing something on the go, it is usually a bag of chips or a candy bar. When we snack on these fast and convenient foods, we usually “forget” about them and let them pass freely through our minds. When we’re hungry, we’re hungry NOW and we usually don’t have healthy food on hand (or in mind).
Well not anymore! No more mindless snacking. I assume by now you’ve made the concious desicion to become a healthier and cleaner eater, and candy bars and chips have no place in your snacks. OF COURSE you can enjoy these foods on occasion. OF COURSE you shouldn’t feel guilty for indulging in a little exotic snacking every now and then. If you’re pretty clean with your diet about 80% of the time, the other 20% can be a party! But everything in moderation, my friends. A cookie or two once a week is not going to undo all your hard work, but every day it will. So be smart!
As I have said in previous posts, it is imperative that you eat every 2-3 hours, which could be 5-6 times a day, maybe more depending on your individual caloric needs. Not all of these mini-meals will be a lunch or a dinner, a few of them will indeed be snacks. These snacks need to be full of nutrients and vitamins and energy to refuel your beautiful body. Just because they are healthy doesn’t mean they can’t be delicious! Here are some ideas for snacking that I love!
– a home made whole fruit smoothie
– an apple and a tbsp of nut butter (or PB2)
– a banana and a tbsp of nut butter (or PB2)
– a cup of grapes
– any piece of fruit
– any vegetable cut up (I especially LOVE red peppers!)
– carrot sticks and a tbsp of hummus (or any bean dip- store bought or home made)
– a small salad with oil & vinegar
– a handful of raw, unsalted almonds (approx 12)
– a handful of raw, unsalted walnuts (approx 10)
– 3/4 cup of high-fiber, fruit juice sweetened cereal (I like Nature’s Path) with 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (I like Silk)
– a cup of nut milk
– a protein bar (I like VEGA & P90X bars)
– some low-fat cottage cheese & raisins
– a fruit juice sweetened yogurt (nut milk of your choice)
– low-fat string cheese
– a packet of plain instant oatmeal (add in whatever dried or fresh fruit you want!)
– a protein shake
– unsalted rice cakes
There are endless options of healthy snacks available to you, and the combinations are what make them special and fun! A lot of these are easy to carry with you in your purse, backpack or car. If you know you’ll be out for a long period of time, think ahead and pack a few snacks. This way, when hunger strikes (and she will, no doubt about that), you will have the ammunition to stop her in her tracks! You will no longer need to pass by a corner store or a drive-thru because you’re just SO hungry. With a confident and beautiful smile on your face, you will reach into your bag and pull out your apple and your almonds and know you’re making a healthy choice. It’s that simple!
Have a great Saturday guys and dolls, happy snacking!