Thursday, March 20, 2014

MY FAVORITE HEALTHY GO-TO SNACKS

I EAT A LOT!
I eat at least 7 times throughout the day.  I have my pre-workout snack as soon as I wake up which is then followed by another snack as soon as I complete my workout.  Then I have breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, and then dinner.  I eat this often because my body needs fuel, not only in the morning when I'm working out but throughout the day as my body recovers.



MY GO-TO SNACKS
Below is a list of my go-to snacks.  Some snacks are perfect for when I'm out n' about and I need something quick and convenient while other snacks can be a little messy and may be better consumed at home.  If you ever get attacked by the munchies, the key is to think about balance.  Don't simply gobble up a bunch of fruit and assume you're doing something healthy for your body.  Fruit is healthy, but it's also full of sugar so be sure to balance that out by having some protein (i.e. nuts) with the fruit.  

BE PREPARED
If you always have healthy options on-hand (both at home and on the road), you reduce the likelihood of reaching for something that may sabotage your efforts for living a fit life.  I eat every 2-3 hours.  If you go too long between meals without eating, you run the risk of devouring your next meal (and the meal of the person sitting next to you!) because you're starving.  Avoid that situation altogether by being prepared and having small snacks ready-to-go.  

OKAY KIDS, IT'S SNACK TIME...
  • A banana (or apple) with almond butter (or any type of nut/seed butter...have you tried Artisana's Raw Walnut butter?  It's like cookie dough!)
  • Roasted chickpeas (see my recipe here)
  • A Larabar (my favorite flavor is Coconut Cream Pie and only contains dates, unsweetened coconut, almonds, cashews, and coconut oil)
  • Sliced bell peppers with hummus
  • Go Raw's Live Pumpkin Bar (again, minimal ingredients: pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, dates, agave nectar, and sea salt)
  • Go Raw's Lemon Super Cookies (another yummy option that only contains coconut, sesame seeds, dates, and lemon oil)
  • Sardines.  Yes, I love sardines!  If you've never tried them, give 'em a chance because they are really good for you.
  • Jerky (look for brands that don't contain sugar or soy sauce...or make your own with a dehydrator)
  • Dried fruit (go easy with this one...dried fruit contains a lot of sugar but it can be a healthy option for when you really need an energy boost)
  • Kale chips (roast raw kale pieces with olive oil in an oven at 275 degrees for 40 minutes...flipping halfway through)
  • Greek yogurt with fruit, honey, or chia seeds
  • Olives (an excellent source of healthy fat)
  • Popcorn (don't eat the pre-packaged kind...make it yourself by placing a handful of kernels in a brown paper lunch bag and microwave for 1 minute 45 seconds)
  • Roasted sweet potatoes (I'm totally addicted to sweet potatoes.  If I haven't already had some for breakfast, then I will have some for a snack!  I roast them in a variety of ways with either olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee)
  • Hard boiled eggs (I love eggs!)
  • Half an avocado with balsamic vinegar
HAPPY SNACKING
Remember, snacks are not meals.  Reach for a snack when you need something to tide you over until your next meal but don't go overboard.  Notice how you don't see any snacks listed above that could be found in a vending machine.  Foods in vending machines are packed full of preservatives and probably have a shelf-life longer than we can count.  Food should be fresh, even if it's on-the-go.  I always buy a ton of bananas when I go to the grocery store.  Aside from being really affordable, bananas are tasty, my kids love them, and when they become too bruised and brown to eat as-is, they become the perfect addition to a baking project.  As always, you never have to worry about eating healthy if you are prepared.  Pick a few snacks from my list and have them ready!

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