Everyone needs something to get them through that time between meals. I know I am especially partial to a savoury sometimes sweet bite to eat to keep the hunger pangs at bay and energy levels high.
We are told to have three square meals and to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep hydrated. However a lot of us find ourselves reaching for the cookie jar for that 2pm afternoon slump or that post dinner still need something before bed munch.
Over the last few years I have tried very hard to change my eating habits and lifestyle. I don’t believe in diets and the whole counting calories culture.
The key to healthy eating at least in my case is everything should be in moderation and balanced.
So when it comes to snacking I have a few basic guidelines that I try and follow.
Plan and organise
A lot of the times when we need a snack we tend to go towards something that is quick, cheap and easily available (crisps, cookies and chocolate) basically whatever we find closest to us. Planning ahead and bringing your own snacks can not only save money but also help you take control of your food. So when you are doing that weekly grocery shop think about what you could take to Work/ School/ Uni that can be easily carried. Or even something that you can easily whip up at home without slaving over a stove. I tend to carry a bag of nuts or an Energy bar. Plan your meals ahead and try and cook in batches ahead of time. Sundays are my batch cooking days and also when I tend to prepare any snacks that I need to carry with me to work.
Give Junk Food the Boot and switch to Fruit
I know a lot of people tend to avoid eating fruit, due to the high sugar intake but to me anything that is natural cannot be bad for you. I am pretty obsessed with fruit in fact you will always find an apple or banana in my handbag on any given day. Find a fruit you like most and just go with that – for me strawberries, blueberries and mangos but I know my husband is not such a big fan of mangoes so I tend to give him an alternative like kiwi’s. Fruits tend to also be full of fibre, high antioxidants and vitamins.
Vegetables are our Friends not Foe
I think vegetable’s are so underrated up until recently I used to categorise them as being boring but oh how wrong was I. You just need to figure out a way of adding them to your diet. Vegetables are so vast and versatile. I tend to have carrots with hummus or munch on a stick of cucumber by itself. Another new discover I have had is how to snack on long stem broccoli by sprinkling with soy sauce and sesame seeds Yum Alert!
Did you know most of the time when you are feeling hungry, you are actually thirsty. I know drinking water can be so boring but there are many ways you can make this easy for you – drop a flavoured Tea bag/ Lemon or Lime or even some mint leaves with cucumber. Carry a water bottle with you always its a good way to keep hydrated and know how much you are drinking. Although, the only down side I have found with drinking vast amounts of water is you end you running to the toilet a lot but hey at least you are cleaning out your system. Smoothies and juices are also a great way to help release energy slowly and get healthy. Also a great way to get your fruits and veggie’s in your diet – hey if you cant eat them they drink them away.
Go Nuts for Nuts
High in Omega 3 fatty acids, supports immunity, protects heart function, strengthen bone structure and many more benefits that can be found in nuts and seeds. There are so many types the most common – pistachios, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and many more. Carry them in a bag with you or even just pick a small pack from supermarket.
Now to say that I am following the above 100% of the time would be wrong, I also have my off days where nothing will do other then a packet of Walkers Salt and Vinegar crisps, However, like I have said everything needs to be in moderation. If your body is craving something don’t deny it. .
I hope the above has helped and if so please do share your ideas on how you have snacked the right way.