Michelle Obama once said “Sometimes, it's just easier to say yes to that extra snack or dessert, because frankly, it is exhausting to keep saying no. It's exhausting to plead with our kids to eat just one more bite of vegetables”.
Isn’t this true for all of us? We go steam rolling through life, trying to get all the items on our to-do list done, including managing family commitments and eating meals; that sometimes we feel that energy is dropping or that light headed / empty leg feeling you get when your blood sugar is low. So, what do we do, we reach for the snacks. To be honest, I will automatically reach for a chocolate bar or biscuit / cake first. Only to feel guilty about it later.
When it comes to being healthy and eating healthier, we also have to be strong and, sometimes, have brass plated will power to stop ourselves. Can snacks be healthy? Yes, they can. Let me show you. Strangely enough, you can have the odd treat and snack and yet still feel virtuous afterwards. Healthy snacks don’t have to taste like cardboard or be boring. You can even do these for your children too as they are all low sugar, full of good for you vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein and healthy fat.
Whilst we have to be mindful about saturated fat, we also have to be mindful about sugar. At the end of the day, it is just bad. Not only does it cause us to get a quick energy rush, but this rush isn’t sustained and we end up crashing. Furthermore, once our body has used the sugar it needs, it will turn the rest to fat and store it in our cells, just in case it is required. Our bodies are good like that on the ‘We may need it later, just in case’ front.
Remember, there is no overnight success when it comes to Diet and Nutrition. When you first start a campaign to eat better and more healthily you will get cravings, but be strong and keep going. Over time, you will notice that your taste buds start to change, the cravings get less and less, and even eventually you start to automatically reach for the healthy snacks to begin with.
Remember those muffins from the breakfast blog. You can have those as a snack too. So, if you have had overnight oats or maybe a healthy omelette or hash for breakfast, these muffins could serve as a snack.
Popcorn – Yes popcorn. Purchase a bag of popping corn kernels with your weekly shop and make at home. They are not expensive and actually it works out cheaper as you get more. Just put a little oil into the bottom of the saucepan, put in a measure of corn, put the lid on, turn on the heat and away you go. Low fat and a good source of magnesium, protein and fibre. You can be creative with herbs and spices and mix these through for different flavours. Remember, herbs and spices do not add any calories, but they are full of beneficial phytochemicals that are beneficial to our health and contribute to disease prevention.
Hummus – Hummus is great as a snack and makes vegetables sticks and rice cakes much more interesting. Furthermore, now you can get different varieties that are still good for you and low fat versions such as roasted red pepper. Full of healthy fat and, more importantly, chickpeas contain tryptophan, which is a protein key for serotonin production. So, good for your mental health too.
Chocolate. There will be times when you fall off the healthy eating wagon. Don’t worry, we all do it. After all, we are all human. Just remember, take a deep breath, count to 10 and climb back on the wagon to keep going. Don’t be too hard on yourself. When it comes to Chocolate, go for dark chocolate as there are more cocoa solids and less fat and sugar. Why not melt some dark chocolate and mix it with the popcorn and dried fruit for a snack.
Nuts and Fruit. If you are not allergic to nuts, these can prove to be useful as snack food. Make up your own trail mix almonds, brazil nuts and walnuts with dried fruit and coconut. Nuts are good sources of selenium, zinc, omega 3 and vitamin E and magnesium. Again, for your physical and mental health. Keep this on the side in the kitchen and reach for this when you feel like a snack craving hitting. Almonds are known to help lower cholesterol too.
Yogurt with Mint mixed with vegetables. Mix some natural low fat yogurt with fresh mint and mix with carrot and cucumber for a snack. Just remember to check the yogurt label carefully, some low fat yogurts tend to have sugar added. Make sure you get one that doesn’t have sugar added!
The picture at the top is a home-made dairy free ice cream that I have made for my kids and they hoovered it up. Here is the recipe for you to try at home yourself.
Prep Time – 5 minutes
Cooking Time – none. Once made, leave in the freezer for a minimum of 4 hours.
Makes 4 lollies or put into a left over ice cream container (1 litre size). Scoop out and serve with cones
Calories – 370 for all of it.
You will need a blender for this recipe.
Peel and roughly chop 2 bananas and put them in a blender.
Peel and roughly chop the avocado and add this to the blender. Turn the blender on and mix the banana and avocado together. Yes it will do a strange green colour.
Take the tops of the strawberries and add these to the blender with 1 tsp of maple syrup and blend again.
Once it is all blended well, pour into 4 lolly moulds or an ice cream container and freeze.
You can make these with the kids. Why not get your kids to choose some different fruit to the strawberries?
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