A while ago I put out a call to you on Instagram and Facebook to find out what you would like me to talk about. Thanks to all of you who responded with ideas! A couple of people ask about snacks: snacks that will give a boost of energy and sustain that energy, and filling snacks in appropriate portions. So, here’s a guide to how to snack smarter!
First of all, let’s talk about the purpose of snacking… From time to time I’ll meet a client who doesn’t snack simply because they don’t get hungry between meals, but most often clients tell me definitely DO feel hungry between meals but don’t know what to choose. If you fall into the second camp, then you’re in the right place! 🙂 We don’t make wise food choices when we’re famished, so planning to have a mid-morning snack and a mid-afternoon snack can come in very handy for many of us, so we don’t arrive at our next meal feeling ready to gnaw our own arm off! What should you choose, though??
To snack smarter, choose foods that will give your body the nutrition it needs AND sustain your energy AND keep you feeling full and happy until your next meal. To achieve that, I use the easy equation of fruit (veg) + protein. This combo gives you a snack that’s sure to fill you up and keep your energy levels high for a couple of hours. Here are ten easy examples:
- A sliced apple + 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
- 1 cup grapes + 1-2 hardboiled eggs (depending how hungry you are)
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries + 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (put both in a container, let thaw overnight in the fridge, and stir!) (or Daiya’s non-dairy Greek Yogurt Alternative, if you do don’t dairy)
- An apple and 1.5 oz cheddar cheese (1.5 oz of cheese is about the size of two white erasers – remember those from when you were a kid?)
- A banana + 1/4 cup nuts (my favourites are cashews, pistachios, and almonds)
- An orange + 1/3 roasted chickpeas (you can either make your own or buy them, like these)
- Cucumber slices, baby carrots, and cherry tomatoes + 1/4 cup hummus
- 1 cup frozen peach slices + 1/2 – 3/4 cup cottage cheese
- 1 cup frozen mango chunks + a homemade protein bar (Stephen and I have been LOVING this recipe lately! I use Epicure’s protein powder and do just a sprinkle of salt instead of the full amount.)
- 6 dried apricot halves + 1/2 cup pistachios (once you shell the pistachios, it works out to about 1/4 cup of the actual nuts)
A final note… It’s great to want to snack smarter, but in order to actually do it you need a PLAN:
- Decide what you want to have for snacks for the week.
- Check to see what you already have at home and be sure.
- Add the rest to your grocery list.
- Prepare and pack your snacks. I like to prepare snacks two days at a time (to save time and effort I make the same things for the two days)- ie. oranges, frozen mango, and 1/4 cup almonds/cashews Monday + Tuesday; grapes, frozen raspberries, and 2 energy bites Wednesday + Thursday; and cantaloupe, strawberries, and Daiya Greek Yogurt Alternative Friday + Saturday. (I usually have a fruit as my morning snack and a fruit + protein as my afternoon snack. Please adjust this based on how hungry you are- if you have breakfast at 8am and lunch at 11am, chances are you don’t need a morning snack; if you have breakfast at 6am and lunch at noon, you likely need more than just a fruit.)
There you have it: a straightforward guide to snacking smarter! What are your favourite snacks? What do you do to make snacking smarter more convenient? Comment below!