Thursday, May 19, 2016

Healthy Snacks

Recently, I heard that was looking to start a conversation about healthy snacks.  I love snacks and I love to keep them healthy, so I was all for this.

“Healthy snacks are one of the keys to diet success.  Snacking can help to keep you full, balance blood sugar levels, provide energy between meals, and even boost overall nutrient intake.  However, what you choose to snack on and how much you are snacking can really make a difference.”
Do you snack?  Why or why not?  I like to eat veggies or fruit plain, or paired with some 0% plain Greek yogurt or some mozzarella cheese for the most part. 

Do you workout?  Do you refuel post workout?  Why or why not?  I do, but it’s usually my breakfast which could be a whole grain, low calorie cereal with cashew milk or some eggs with sriracha.  Those are my 2 go-to breakfasts right now.

The key to snacks is that they are NOT meals.  They are intended to be small servings to help you a) make it through the afternoon between lunch and dinner, b) refuel and recover post-workout, and c) medical purposes like controlling blood sugar.

There is a huge variety of options that you can choose from for your snacking pleasure.  Let’s go over a few of them. 

Say you’re at the movies.  What do you normally get to snack on?  A large popcorn with extra butter?  A king size box of candies?  A nacho and hotdog combo?  The best option is to stash some fresh fruit or veggies, raw nuts/seeds, dried fruit, jerky, or even some prepopped/half-popped popcorn without all the add-ons in your purse (or your mom’s, if you’re younger, or girlfriend/wife’s purse if you’re a guy).  Also, skip that giant soda and go for the bottled water.  You can refill it at the water fountain for free!
For fitness, snacking is an entirely different animal than just regular snacking.  For fitness, you snack with not just a purpose but a PURPOSE.  Not only are you trying to make it between meals and keep your blood sugar balanced, but you just burned off 300-who-knows-how-much calories during probably intense exercise.  Your body is now in serious deficit.  You literally want the most bang for your buck.  You want a high protein with a little bit of carbs and some healthy fat.  Great options would be celery with peanut butter, toast with peanut butter, apples with peanut butter, avocado with whole grain crackers, tomatoes with mozzarella cheese, whole grain crackers and cheese, raw nuts or seeds with cheese.  You can also choose your favorite from numerous commercially marketed protein and workout recovery shakes.  The options are various.

When deciding on what would be the perfect snack for you, you have to think about what kinds of food you like.  Do you like sweet?  Do you like savory?  Share your favorite snacks in the comments.

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