One of the most common questions I receive pertains to healthy snack ideas. At one point or another, we have all dealt with those pesky in between meal cravings The pitfalls of quick and convenient snacks can have a huge detriment to your health and fitness goals. Much like many things in life, success comes through preparation and consistent action towards your goals. The fitness and wellness journey you are on is neither a race or a marathon but rather a lifelong commitment towards taking care of your vessel, your body.
When working with my coaching clients, I utilize a food journal to help visualize and track eating trends. Journal entries for snacks are often easily forgotten for a multitude of reasons. Despite having the best of intentions, our brain quickly discards the memory of our trip to the vending machine or the croissant we inhaled during a coffee break. The first step is to do an assessment and take note of the times throughout the day that your body routinely craves a snack. For example, my day typically starts with a small protein dense breakfast at 5:30am before starting work at 6. I have experimented with many different breakfast protocols however, I am routinely famished by 9am. Recognizing this pattern helps me to plan accordingly and not derail my goals before mid-day.
The second part of the assessment is to analyze the activity you are engaged in when hunger arises. If you are performing a repetitive, somewhat menial task or simply sitting at your computer, hunger can arise out of sheer boredom. I used to subconsciously snack heavily when I had an outside sales job requiring me to be in my car for 8-10 hours per day. I am the first to admit the reality of “brain food”. Often the subtle stimuli from snacks can help conjure creativity. What is your gut telling you? Are you really hungry? Would you eat a salad at that moment or are you simply craving potato chips because, well, let's admit, chips are created to taste amazing and the salty crispy-ness will actually curb your feeling of satiety causing you to consume the entire bag.
So where do we start? Here is how to create 3 healthy snacks in 1 hour! Later we will discuss my favorite choices for snack bars but for starters, I implore you to make an effort to prepare real food. Even the healthiest of snack bars can stunt our success. Too much of anything can be bad and only eating convenient snacks speaks volumes to your commitment to achieving your fitness goals. Diets do not change lives. Lifestyle upgrades produce tangible and lasting results.
In a previous post, I presented my Psuedo Pasta Salad. This serves as a frequent mid-afternoon snack for me. Click here for recipe.
Another go-to snack for me that I prepare in bulk is my albacore tuna salad. This offers a well balanced blend of protein, carbs and healthy fats. The tuna can be eaten as a stand alone snack or atop a small bed of spinach. When buying canned tuna, don’t bother with the small 5oz can. Head to Costco or any other bulk retailer and purchase the larger 9oz can. Unless they are on sale, save yourself the time of having to open multiple cans.
Here's how to make tuna taste epic….