It doesn’t require too much effort to avoid the biscuit barrel or chocolate bar!
I spend a lot of time with clients working on their diet…what they eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks. I am a great advocate for variety. I think the more variety of foods you can get into your day the less chance of missing out on vital nutrients, getting bored with food or overdoing one food group to the exclusion of others.
And chances are if you don’t have the health and vitality you desire we need to look at what you are doing including your current diet.
I wrote in earlier blogs about the importance of breakfast and provided some breakfast ideas to stimulate your imagination. Now it’s the turn of snacks. You know what it’s like…you have an attack of the munchies, you are at work or out of the home and your next meal is a few hours away. Your energy is going down along with your mood. You need to eat something fast but if you don’t have something healthy nearby, you’ll be tempted by a chocolate bar, a cake or biscuits, another coffee or an energy drink, a packet of chips or lollies. As a general rule these do not have the vitamins and minerals your body needs to work at its best so if you must be tempted try to save them for special treats.
7 Delicious and filling snack options largely based on unprocessed foods
Yes, some of them may require a little bit of planning ahead (but not much) but the little bit they lack in convenience they more than make up for in healthy, nutritional value.
If you’ve been in my clinic you will know I keep a jar of mixed, unsalted nuts on my desk. I mix them myself and take enough to work to last me about a week. If you are on the go, keep some zip-locked bags or small containers ready to grab as you head out the door.
Seeds and dried fruit
If you want even more variety with your nuts, throw in some pumpkin or sunflower seeds and a small amount of dried fruit eg. sultanas, goji berries, apricots, apple, mango etc
Fresh or dried fruit
Have pieces of fruit ready to grab each day or take enough to work to last you the week so it is there when you need it. Apples, pears, mandarins or even a punnet of berries makes a delicious snack with good amounts of fibre. (Tip: try some sliced apple with a dollop of nut butter)
Dried fruit can work too. Just be careful about the quantity as the drying of fruit concentrates the sugar content. However a couple of dried figs for example can be very filling without going overboard.
A small tub of plain yoghurt (add some fruit if you want a little sweetness) will help fill you up.
Whole soy beans (which you peel like peas) are a yummy snack and they are portable and a good source of protein.
What about the good old hard-boiled egg (by itself or on crackers). Cook up a couple and they will keep in the fridge for a few days. Quick, easy and very filling.
Vegetable sticks with your favourite topping
Carrot sticks (or baby carrots if you don’t want the hassle of slicing carrots) with hummus. Try the different coloured carrots you can get now for even more variety.
Celery sticks with peanut butter (make sure it is the 100% peanut variety with no added salt or sugar)
Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list but hopefully it has sparked your imagination. Remember the aim is to vary and maximise your intake of nutrients (with the added benefit of avoiding the excess calories and sudden spikes in blood sugar that often come with the less healthy snack options).
If you have a favourite healthy, quick snack idea please share it in the comments below. I’d love to add it to the list.
So if you find yourself dipping into the biscuit barrel or reaching for the “charity chocolates” set yourself up with a few of these options and see how you feel at the end of the week.