So many people have asked me what the perfect snack is. My responses was always “whatever makes you feel good about yourself when you eat it and it tastes good to you!” But then the more I thought about it that response really wasn’t enough. Here are a few tips to think about the next time you’re reaching for your favorite snack!
1. Easy to grab and prepared in the correct serving size
Many times, when we get cravings for a munch, we go to our refrigerator and stare at the contents in perplex, then end up grabbing a granola bar, bag of chips, cookies, or going and buying more food that are packed with sugar, preservatives, and leaving us unsatisfied or not feeling great about
To overcome the long stare of perplexity, make an investment in yourself! Grab Tupperware or plastic baggies and create snacks that you can easily grab when you have the munchies.
This creates portion control of healthy treats you love that will fuel and supply your body with nutritional vitamins and minerals.
2. Has all the essential elements in our Macros
When creating your perfect snack, there are three elements to think about: carbohydrates, fats and proteins; these are called macro-nutrients. When all are combined, they leave your body fueled and satisfied. Now we are all familiar with these because of all the body builders and nutritional enthusiasts out there saying “if it fits your macros.” Well this is false. Some carbohydrates are more superior than others, fats that are more available for your body to use, and proteins that support the body better than others.
When picking a carbohydrate, it’s important to pick a complex carb. A complex carb slowly breaks down in the body because of its carbon branches. This is important because you don’t get the hour later crash after your snack. Examples of complex carbs are: vegetables, leafy greens, peas, squashes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, grains, whole grains, oats, and quinoa.
When picking your fats, get a Polly saturated (PUFAs) or mono-saturated (MUFAs) fatty acid. PUFAs have multiple fat bonds, while MUFAs have a single double bond and multiple single bonds. MUFAs are found in your clean animal products, such as: red meats, milk products, nuts, and olives and avocados. Better fats are higher in their MUFAs and PUFAs, such as: almonds, macadamia dry roast, soybeans, walnuts, pecans, fish, olive oil, grilled chicken, and lean meats like ground turkey.
When picking your protein, be sure you get all essential amino acids. Eating amino acids creates a different protein bond for everything in your body, like creating the tight bonds between your cells, the nerve cell myelin sheath, muscle fiber bonds, and so much more.
3. Fits your lifestyle
Make snacks that fit the lifestyle you WANT to have. If you are vegan, pescatarian, body builder, beach body or every day joe, there are hundreds of fun snack recipes that are easy to make. It is not going to be easy at first, but your body will start craving the proteins and fats over the sugars when managing and creating well balanced snacks.
Also, if you are an on-the-go person, invest in a small cooler for your car so you can always have fresh snacks on hand. Healthy snacks don’t have to be a hassle; especially if you prepare them ahead of time. Make a conscious effort to incorporate healthy snacking into your daily regimen. Here are some examples of non-refrigerated snacks for the adventurous type, those always on-the-go and for those who have a slower pace of life. Whatever your lifestyle may be, don’t allow yourself to generate reasons not to be healthy!
Nuts About Health:
– ¼ cup of almonds (other options are: cashews, pecans, peanuts)
– Two cuties/clementine’s (one apple, ½ banana, one pear)
Fresh and Easy
– ¼ cup of hummus
– 10 whole wheat crackers
– ¼ bell pepper, diced
– Crumble feta cheese on top
Almonds All Around
– ¼ cup of almond butter
– Half of a green apple
– 3 celery/carrot sticks
-1 cup strawberries
-¼ cup chocolate
4. Makes you excited to eat
The number one thing to take away is that these recipes should make you excited for snack time! Create a combination of sweet and savory healthy snacks that are satisfying to you. When you find a snack that makes you excited, stick with it for awhile. Once you get tired of the same ol’ stuff, mix things up! One of the great things about healthy snacks is the thousands of recipes out there! What’s your favorite go-to snack?