Smutty Fitness: Healthy snacking
Long story short: I'm focusing on my physical fitness to help my mental fitness. With the warmer weather, I'm more active but I need to improve my nutrition as well. I've embraced the "small changes" attitude you suggest: a smoothie in the morning before my coffee and toast, planning for and packing a healthy lunch (usually tuna or hard-boiled eggs over a spinach salad and some fruit) and a hearty but balanced dinner with the family in the evening. But I feel the need to eat every couple hours and my usual go-to snacks (a granola bar or Ryvita crisp breads) are getting boring. I find myself tempted by coffee-shop cookies and brownies. Help! Do you have any quick, no-fuss snack ideas for those on the go?
Time to throw away your granola bars as they are packed with sugar, and your Ryvita crackers, unless you are dressing them up, taste like cardboard. I had a chat with a local natural nutritionist, Carly Mendes, and asked her for her recommendations for a healthy snack.
I know you are already eating fruit with your lunch, but she says fruit makes the best, and most convenient, snack with energy that can last for hours, as long as you are balancing it with some form of protein. She suggests cutting up an apple and topping it with some tahini and cinnamon. Or try packing a few grapes to pair up with a handful of almonds, or a banana dipped into some almond butter. For something a little sweeter, perhaps for dessert, she recommends topping frozen blueberries with coconut milk. I am a huge fan of Babybel cheeses and I throw one into my bag of snacks daily. I am a cheese addict and if I have blocks of cheese in my fridge, it will be devoured within days. Babybel cheese, because they are individually wrapped, stops me from doing that, preventing the inevitable cheese coma.
Try spicing up your dry, cardboard like crackers with some hummus, sliced cucumbers and chicken breast or hardboiled eggs, with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. And if you absolutely cannot break away from your granola bars, try eating it with a serving of plain Greek yoghurt.
I also recommend to my clients using leftovers from dinner the night before as snacks, or mini meals, and packing a Larabar in their lunch bag to nibble on throughout the day. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated, preventing those midday dehydration headaches, and start your day out with a nutritious breakfast as doing so will set you up to make healthy food choices throughout the remainder of your day.