We recommend trying not to snack, actually. Yes, for years we’ve all been told to eat 5 small meals throughout the day, but it turns out that’s only true for people who lack metabolic flexibility, and are getting all their energy from carbohydrates. That’s not ideal, we’d like to see you mostly converting fat into energy (it’s more efficient), and keeping insulin down throughout the day. So, we generally advise eating 2 – 3 larger, more nutrient-filled meals each day. But, everyone isn’t up to that yet, and when you do need to snack, you want to grab something that’s going to feed your cells something they can really use! Here’s a list to get your started thinking creatively and healthfully about those quick little snacks to take the edge off when dinner’s not for another 3 hours:
Nuts! If you’re not allergic to them, nuts pack a big nutritional punch in just a handful. If you’re opting for roasted nuts, pick dry-roasted rather than oil-roasted. The oils used to roast them are generally unhealthy. Advanced users might go for activated nuts, which are crunchy and delicious.
Celery. While not especially flavorful on its own, celery makes a lovely vehicle for things like hummus, nut butter, or other dips. Crunchy and hydrating, it’s a great option to satisfy hunger pangs.
Other crunchy veggies with dips. Baby carrots, sliced cucumbers, broccoli, snap peas in the shells, whatever your favorite vegetable might be with a little something extra flavor-filled is always a good option. Various dips and dressings tend to be filled with dubious ingredients. Look for brands who offer tasty organic stuff without excess carbohydrates like Primal Kitchen, or make your own! Here’s a bunch of simple recipes.
Avocado. It comes in its own bowl, and once you’ve removed the pit, you can put one of those great dips or dressings in the space left behind. A personal favorite with avocado is this Salsa Macha from Atlanta’s own Pulp.
Olives. So many types from which to choose! Mix some of your favorites up with some extra virgin olive oil and cubes of feta cheese, maybe some roasted peppers, and fresh herbs – get creative!
Apple. Be sure to reach for organically grown apples; conventionally grown apples are one of the most highly sprayed crops in the country – gross. Apples are a good source of vitamins and fiber, but they’re high in fructose, so enjoying one with some added fat will ease the stress of digesting it. Try an all natural (no sugar added) nut butter or maybe some cheese from grass fed animals.
Hard boiled eggs. Get crazy, devil those eggs!
Meat sticks. The name, while helpfully descriptive, does leave something to be desired. But, these can be a great source of protein and fats which will help provide a much better energy boost than anything sugary! Speaking of sugar, lots of companies pack their meat sticks with the stuff, so look for a brand that’s offering well-sourced meat and low sugar.
Whole fat, plain yogurt. Mix in some nuts, seeds, and spices to your taste. You want the whole fat and plain stuff because once they start reducing the total fat or adding toppings for you, you end up with a lot of sugar in that snack.
That list is intended to get the ball rolling for you. What are some of your favorite things to snack on? Can you think of ways to make your old standards more nutritious? Do some planning before your busy work week begins, so you’ve got healthy things ready to go when the need strikes!