Part Three of a Three Part Series: Eating Healthy During the Work Day
We’ve covered breakfast-on-the-go and healthy brown bag lunches. Let’s talk about snacks. This is probably the hardest part of the day. Whether it is before lunch snacks, mid afternoon, or satisfying our cravings when we get home, picking the right foods to eat in between meals can be a challenge.
I Have Two Goals With Snacking:
One is to not rely on the pre-packaged ‘snack’ food like granola bars, 100 calorie snacks, or chips and cracker. Too many of these foods have too much sugar and while they satisfy our hunger or craving temporarily, the feeling of satisfaction is very brief and we’re right back to thinking about what else we can eat. I don’t know about you, but with the 100 calorie packaged snacks, I usually eat two packages which is self-defeating.
The second goal is to include protein and/or veggies. I’m not anti-fruit because it does have vitamins and anti-oxidants that we need, but the sugar content is a little too high for me and I’m hungry again in a half hour.
An orange can jump-start my appetite faster than anything, so I usually eat fruit with protein. Think about adding a serving of fruit to one of the protein sources below if you want to snack on fruit. It will help slow down the sugar getting to the bloodstream.
Think Outside The Wrapper
The list of snacks below are, for the most part, whole foods or whole grains. These can be mixed and matched, but the goal is to have a snack that is nutritional and satisfies our hunger so that we’re not rummaging around for another snack before the next meal.
- Almonds – high in calories, so keep portion control in mind
- Low-fat string cheese – add a small whole wheat bagel or half of a pita
- Small, whole wheat bagel with a tablespoon of peanut butter
- Small apple with tablespoon of peanut butter – here’s an example of adding protein to the fruit
- Boiled egg(s) – great source of protein
- Carrot or celery sticks (or other veggies) dipped in hummus – if you want to make your own hummus check out the recipe from Food.com
- Whole wheat pita bread dipped in salsa
- Almond milk
- Small can of tuna
- Popcorn – the small ‘lite’ microwaveable bags work
- Cottage Cheese with tomatoes
- Single-serve veggie steamers
- Herbal Tea – sometimes we’re not that hungry but just need something
- Flavored Iced Coffee – coffee is a standard pick-me-up in the afternoon and I love flavored iced coffee. I make a pot in the morning take it with me and pour it over ice in the afternoon.
There are many more snacks that are good for you and will satisfy your hunger for ‘real’ food. I hope this list will get your thinking outside of the box, or in this case the wrapper.