I am well known for my love of snacking. In university I remember my French teacher stopping mid-lecture "You're eating again?!"
Every job I have, no matter what the circumstances are, I find a way to eat well.
I wasted many of my younger years denying my body proper nutrition. Now eating well is an important act of self love and care for me. It also keeps me energized, mentally alert, calm and happy. When I forget to eat throughout the day I'm often plagued with mood swings, anxiety and fatigue.
I've started working on nutrition plans with different women, and one thing I often find is they are not eating enough. A big complaint is lack of energy, focus, and anxiety. All of our bodies have different requirements, but ensuring you get enough food and protein throughout the day can keep your energy, mood, blood sugar levels, and the “hunger hormone” ghrelin stable.
Most women who don't eat enough through the day end up over eating in the evening and then feeling physically and emotionally unwell.
The solution? Some solid meal prep and a purse full of healthy snacks. Here are my favourites and why:
Hard boiled eggs
Hard boiled eggs are my gold standard for snacking. They are a great source of inexpensive, high quality protein full of vitamins and minerals, cholesterol, fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. Wait, cholesterol is a bad thing right? Although eggs contain cholesterol, this is “dietary cholesterol”—different from the “blood cholesterol” in your body. There's no evidence that eating eggs will increase your blood cholesterol levels. I call eggs my good mood food, because they contain a beneficial blend of omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, B vitamins, and iodide, nutrients that work together to battle fatigue and reverse bad moods.
Hummus and veggies
I love having some veggies and hummus mid day. It provides you with protein and a number of essential vitamin and minerals. While it can be high in fat, it is mostly heart-healthy unsaturated fat. Bonus points if you make your own! I like to make a simple blend of chickpeas, hummus, tahini and apple cider vinegar.
I was recently sent these adorable Wild Garden Hummus Snack Packs that come with a variety of gluten-free chips and crackers including some really delicious sea salt quinoa and veggie chips and multispeed crackers. I love that these boxes don't need to be refrigerated and can be easily stored in cupboards at work, or thrown into your bag for the day. The packaging kept everything super fresh and the little squeeze tubes of hummus we're the perfect size.
I'm a huge fan of the Kirkland seaweed packs hat tyou can buy in bulk at Costco. Not only are they salty, crispy and delicious, they're a superfood! Seaweed is a great source of iodine which is critically important to maintaining a healthy thyroid, a gland in your neck which helps produce and regulate hormones. Some claim Japan's high seaweed consumption is responsible for the country's conspicuously low incidence of the diseases . For the same reasons, seaweed may also help to control PMS (men, rejoice!) and improve female fertility issues. And many studies have shown seaweed is an extraordinarily potent source of antioxidants and also helps prevent inflammation, which can contribute to a host of ailments that include arthritis, celiac disease, asthma, depression and obesity.
Greek yogurt and berries
Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and calcium, top some berries on there for an antioxidant boost and you're good to go. You can also add hemp hearts, chia seeds, cacao nibs, or even stir in some almond butter and maple syrup for a special treat.
Protein bars bars: Quest + Vega
Protein bars are my guilty pleasure. Most are fairly processed and far from natural, but they taste like candy bars and the protein gives me a good stable, lasting energy. I like Quest bars as they're low in sugar, high in fibre, and taste seriously delicious (cookie dough, smores, and Oreo all the way). Vega bars can be fairly high in natural sugars, but the overall they make a well balanced treat.
Fruit and nut bars: Larabar and Cliff organic trail mix bars
If you're doing well on your protein quota for the day, you can dig into some healthy fats and sugars with a Larabar or Cliff Organic trail mix bars. These bars make a great pre-workout or midday treat with sweet and salty flavours.
Build your own trail mix
Store bought trail mixes tend to be full of unnecessary sugars. I love building my own with raw almonds, seeds, goji berries and cacao nibs for a super satisfying low sugar blend. These days I've also gotten back into dried prunes as I need to up my fibre a bit.
People either love or hate sardines. I seriously love em. Like eggs, they're a super cheap, healthy, and delicious protein. They're also full of vitamins, minerals, and Omega-3 fats. I'm a huge fan of sardines in mustard sauce!
My coconut protein muffins
My secret recipe for moist, delicious, coconut banana protein muffins can be found in my Guiltless Gourmet Ebook. They are super high in fibre, healthy fats and protein.
Snacks don't have to be traditional! I like to break up my meals into smaller portions and snack on chicken and asparagus, turkey meatballs, salmon burgers, or whatever leftovers I have on hand. This ends up being healthier and more delicious than any pre-packaged snack!
What do you like to snack on throughout the day?