I received the following message from a friend this week… “I’m curious what you eat and what you snack on. I need my snacks.”
We all need our snacks and those snacks can get the best of us! I will admit that I struggle with snacking as well so hopefully this week we can help each other. As a mother to two young children I have the normal processed foods that kids like to snack on and it takes considerable will power to not take a handful for myself when I am fixing them a snack. I admit that I do have some at times, I’m not perfect! Some of you struggle at work with the mid-morning munchies and mid-afternoon slump. There’s always the vending machine or someone’s candy jar that you can swear is calling your name. How do we overcome that?
To overcome the temptations it is important to have snacks with you. This will require some pre-planning. If you work outside of the home or you are on the go this means packing snacks to take with you. If you are at home most of the day, you need to make sure you have healthy snacks on hand that are easy to get. I am type A planner person so when I make my grocery list I plan out all my meals and snacks for the week and I get all the food I need. I recommend picking a day (probably the day that you grocery shop) and preparing all your snacks for the week at one time so as you go through your week you just grab it and go.
So the big question is what to eat? I get stuck in a rut easily on my snacks. My morning snack is easy because that is when I workout. After my workout I have a whey protein shake made with water, a scoop of greens powder (easy and tasty way to get your vegetables in) and a tablespoon of healthy fat oil (right now I am using walnut oil, but I have also used almond and hazelnut). I also have a banana. On the weekends I usally have a shake for my morning or afternoon snack.
Here are some other snack options for morning or afternoon:
- protein bar – You can’t get any easier than grabbing a bar! There are so many on the market, something to be aware of when you are buying these is the amount of calories, sugar and carbohydrates. I eat Isagenix IsaLean bars and love them. I’ve tried lots of different brands and these are by far my favorite and taste the best in my opinon. They are also all natrual and organic. If you want to make your own, there are lots of recipes online to try.
- plain non-fat Greek yogurt (good source of protein) with fresh fruit and granola (this is my favorite, especially with berries coming into season!). Greek yogurt has a tart taste. If it it too tart for you, put a little bit of honey in it to sweeten it up. I don’t recommend the yogurt with fruit on the bottom as it has a lot of added sugar, better to get your sugars naturally from fresh fruit.
- an apple with a handful of almonds (put your almonds in bags in the proper serving size, don’t eat out of the bag they are sold in or you will eat more than you intend/need!)
- other options to have with an apple include low fat cheese sticks or all natural peanut butter (watch your serving size, be sure to have an apple with peanut butter, not peanut butter with an apple!)
- if you like cottage cheese this is great with fresh fruit as well. I can’t get past the consistency of cottage cheese, lol!
- if you are a dipper, another option would be mixing non-fat Greek yogurt with vegetable dip seasonings and dipping your carrots, broccoli or other veggies. Greek yogurt has the same consistency as sour cream and can easily be substituted.
Bottom line when you are snacking, try to have a source of protein and a carbohydrate at minimum, this will help fill you up and get you to your next meal. Oxygen Magazine sometimes has meal plan articles that give you two weeks worth of sample menus that include two snacks for each day.
If anyone has any healthy snack options that you want to share, please leave a comment! We can all learn from each other!