I’m a snacker.
I graze like a cow, except I’m fairly certain I don’t eat nearly as much.
Some people call their snacks second breakfast or second lunch. Others get numerical and call them Meal 1, Meal 2, Meal 3, etc.
Whichever way you slice it, snacks should be part of a healthy diet because they help keep your blood sugar balanced and keep your metabolism moving.
How long is it between lunch and when you finally get home and make dinner? Five or six hours? You should be eating about every three to five hours to keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel.
Besides, if you haven’t eaten for several hours, you’ll probably be pretty ravenous when you get home, which seriously decreases the likelihood that you’ll take the time to make dinner. You’re probably much more likely to take the time to order some take out. And we all know that’s not so great for you in the long run.
And you already know the importance of managing that blood sugar. Just to recap, keeping your blood sugar levels in check will help keep your mood and weight in check, stave off sugar cravings, and maybe even help you keep a limb or two.
But how about that metabolism?
Eating on the reg helps keep your metabolism revved rather than stalled. If you’re going too long without eating, your body will naturally slow down your metabolism to protect itself during what it perceives as a famine. It’s going to hold on to that fuel for dear life.
Kind of like you hold on to Sunday night for dear life.
The right snack can also up your nutrient intake, help you concentrate, and help you fight off fatigue.
So, what is the right snack? Some general guidelines:
- Between 150 and 300 calories
- Loaded with nutrients
- A combo of protein and carbs, paired with some fiber and fat
- Low in sugar and salt.
All right, friend, here’s the truth: Snacks are easy. Don’t overcomplicate it.
You can DIY and make your own snacks, or you can throw together some store bought and/or pre-packaged ingredients to make a yummy snack. Your snack doesn’t have to be perfect, and it definitely doesn’t have to be Instagrammable.
If you’re hungry, have something to eat and opt for the best option you can get your hands on.
That definitely means avoid that vending machine or that cookie platter. Sure, your office might be fancy and have one of those new-fangled vending machines that has healthier options in it. But, when faced with the choice between an apple and a bag of chips, about 90% of people are going to snag those chips. (Totally made up stat, by the way.)
Besides, how do you know that apple is fresh? Like, how long has it been sitting in there? Does someone come and clear those rotten apples out on a daily basis or does that shiny apple look so shiny because it’s got some chemicals sprayed on it?
Asking for a friend…
Yes, we’re meal prepping again. But most of these are super easy and can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes. And then you’ll have a healthy option all week.
- Trail mix
- Snack balls
- Granola bar
- Roasted chickpeas
- Kale chips.
Store Bought/Pre-packaged Snacks
- Toast with avocado
- Dates + nut butter
- Veggies + hummus or salsa
- Dark chocolate + tea.
Make no mistake: Even though these are “pre-packaged,” they are still whole food options made of real food. I buy a five-pound bag of Medjool dates, and the one and only ingredient is Medjool dates. And when I’m buying a nut butter, you better believe the only ingredient is nuts (or seeds when I’m feeling the sun butter) and maybe some salt. (Ummm, check your labels.)
And about that chocolate. When I say dark, I mean dark. Like at least 80% chocolate. And with minimal added ingredients. My favorite is Theo, which is 85% dark chocolate, organic fair trade, kosher, gluten free, and soy free. In other words - magical.
I’ve got some exclusive recipes for you in this week’s freebie. Get it below!