Snack Attack

Sorry for the brief hiatus.  As I mentioned before, I’ve been busy studying for the GRE’s which I am taking next week.  I was also training for the 10k portion of the Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon, which I competed in this weekend. It wasn’t my best time, but I finished and our team improved from 297th place last year to 199 out of 426.  Anyway, I’m hoping to have a little more time to keep up with the blog, and will definitely be able to devote more time after next week.

A lot of people have mentioned that they want to know about healthy snacks and what to eat to get them through the work/school day.

It’s a common misconception that snacking is a bad thing, that it will sabotage weight loss and/or ruin a healthy diet.  This is false! Strategic snacking helps to keep your metabolism up and prevents binging and overeating at later meals.  Some things to keep in mind when snacking are to:

  • Make sure you are eating because you are physically hungry.  Mindless snacking when you’re bored, emotional, etc is not good.
  • Pay attention to how much you are eating.  Portion out your snacks, don’t eat out of the bag, box, whatever shape container.  Try to keep snacks around 200 calories or less. What 200 calories looks like (note these are not all healthy foods, I just thought this was interesting)
  • Choose snacks with protein and fiber to feel fuller longer.  Aim for at least 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and less than 12 grams of fat.
  • Like with meals in a healthy diet, pick raw, whole foods over processed foods whenever possible.

Want sweet?

  • Fruit!  Have an apple, banana, 1 cup berries/grapes/cherries, etc.  Dip your apple or banana in a little peanut butter for added protein.
  • 1 cup/container of plain yogurt + drizzle of honey or handful of berries, or if you choose a flavored yogurt add a handful of cereal for some extra fiber and crunch

Want salty?

  • 3 cups of popcorn (try all-natural, 94% fat-free, air popped, etc.  Avoid movie theater butter, extra buttery flavor, etc) only 1 cup if buttery
  • ~1/4 cup of nuts (20-24 almonds, 14 walnut halves, 16-18 cashews, or 45-47 pistachios)
  • Handful of corn chips + salsa

Want crunchy?

  • 1-2 cups Raw veggies + 2 tbsp hummus
  • Kashi TLC Crunchy Granola Bars (better choice over Nature Valley–more protein and fiber, less sugar)

Other ideas

  • Make your own trail mix.  Mix 3/4 cup of cereal, 1 tbsp of nuts, 1 tbsp of chocolate chips and 1 tbsp dried fruit
  • String cheese
  • Luna Bars, KIND bars, Clif Kids Z-bar
  • Hard boiled egg
  • 2 rice cakes + peanut/almond butter
  • 1oz Pretzels (handful)
  • You can never go wrong with raw fruits and veggies

My go to snacks are fruit, baby carrots/carrot sticks + peanut butter, cucumber slices + hummus, greek yogurt, and granola bars.  I am a creative of habit with my snacks, but if you are looking for something different lots of creative snack ideas can be found here and here.

What’s your favorite snack?