Welcome to our 4th installment of #HolidayDetox! Today Sophia from NY FoodGasm and I are sharing our tips on having healthy snacks. This is a tough one for me because when 3pm comes and I walk in the door from work, the first thing I think about is a snack. If I have a light lunch, like a plain chef salad, I am starved and the first thing I reach for is chips, cookies or whatever is just easy to grab and stuff it in my mouth. That is horrible and once I eat something not very healthy, I can’t stop and then I blow my dinner, not to mention my diet. This is something I struggle with, but I am trying my darndest to be better and make more rational decisions and I have to say I have been pretty good.
So what I have done is come up with a few things to make snack time easier and healthier for me. The biggest thing is to have a bigger lunch, that way when I get home I am not starving. I have been having a nice salad with chicken on it. The protein fills me up and the vegetables and fruit give me fiber. It’s a win, win for lunch. So when I come home from work I can relax a bit and if I do reach for something to eat, I grab vegetables that I have already cut up and dip it in a yummy hummus or a yogurt dip. It’s light enough for me to eat and the veggies give me a nice crunch and the dip gives me some awesome flavor.
Another kind of snack I like to have is yogurt with fruit and peanut butter. Oh boy this is a snack I can eat everyday. It’s full of protein, calcium and just darn good. I always buy plain greek yogurt and add fresh fruit in it and of course a dollop or two of peanut or almond butter. It’s like having a healthy dessert. Plus you can really make it anyway you like!
You know those days when your sweet tooth is calling you, yah, I know you know what I’m talking about. I’ll have something like a fruit smoothie or I’ll take banana’s and strawberries and blend it in the food processor to make ice cream. The key thing is to eat food that is natural without added sugar. Eating natural whole foods, your body will be able to process it and you will get all of the nutrients that your body needs, plus natural foods won’t store fat like processed foods.
This year, I have really made an effort to clean up my eating habits and I think I have done a pretty good job. One of the key things to help me from snacking so much, is finding something else to do outside of the kitchen. Eating, can be an emotional thing and for me it’s boredom and habit. So what I do when I come home from work is put on my exercise clothes and go outside with the dogs. The fresh air does me good and I get in a little bit of exercise chasing the dogs around. Do I still snack, you bet I do, but I will eat something like apples with peanut butter. My dogs are crazy for this snack and I share it with them. Plus another thing I have done, which may sound weird, is at 4pm (danger time for me), I put on Dr. Oz. I just started watching the show and I enjoy it, so I march in place through the whole show (keeps me out of the kitchen). By the time it’s over I have completed my 10,000 steps and it’s 5pm, time for me to make dinner. I made it through the 3-5pm with only one healthy snack and not a bag of endless chips. That is what I have been doing and it seems to work for me, you just need to find something to work for you.
So what about snacking in between meals? After all snacking is a good thing if it’s done right. I’ve read eating every 2 to 4 hours keeps your metabolism going, after all your body needs to fuel to keep it humming. I personally have a snack between breakfast at 10am and another around 3:30pm just to keep me satisfied till the next meal. A great snack is nuts! Nuts give you energy, fiber and protein all in one little nut, plus it’s healthy for you. Just be sure to have one serving of nuts because it’s still fat, but a healthy fat. If I am exhausted; I may walk to Starbucks and get a tall skinny, non-fat latte to give me a caffeine boost. It’s only 90 calories and the milk fills me up, plus it has protein.
I have to admit I am truly a snacker. I could probably just snack all day and be happy with that, then having a full meal, but with snacking you can over do and eat way to many calories, especially if your mindless snacking. Mindless snacking is dangerous!! My advice is to be aware of what you’re putting in your mouth! I know snacking can be hard and what do you come up with to eat? I have made this little chart for you with 20 healthy snacks to have between meals. All the snacks are under 200 calories.
There are some other things I do to make snacking easier for me without effort. One big thing is plate your food! If you must have chips, count them out and put them on a small plate and go sit down and eat them. Don’t eat over the kitchen counter or directly from the bag. That can lead to over eating. Or if I am having that dreaded sweet tooth week, you know the week I’m talking about, I will make a big batch of healthy raw, cookie dough balls or granola bars. I like to batch cook these kind of things on a Sunday and store them in the freezer. Placing them in the freezer keeps them out of site and I have to let them defrost for a few minutes, so when I do eat them, I savor every bite.
I am on a roll with the charts, but I made another one for you. This one is how to snack the right way, well at least the way I do it. Oh and one last thing, try not to snack after dinner. I know, I know it’s hard, but really if your hungry have some decaf tea or fruit if you must. I truly found that if I don’t snack after dinner, the weight starts to melt off, plus I sleep better too and its better for your digestive system. I know that’s a hard one and some days it’s just plain tough, but your strong, you can do it!!
I hope you like today’s edition of #HealthyDetox. I know snacking is a tough issue for a lot of us, especially for me, but I have been able to keep to these rules all month and you know what? I’m not hungry, I don’t feel overstuffed, I don’t feel guilty and I just feel better! Oh and I lost a couple of pounds too! Bonus!
Be sure to check out what Sophia’s thoughts are on snacking!
Have a super healthy day!
Recipes from above: