I’m one of these people who once I get even a little bit hungry, I have to eat right away or else I feel like I’m starving!
One of the easiest ways to fall into the trap of eating poorly is when the hunger strikes and you have nothing healthy at hand.
Planning for healthy eating is really easy, in fact it’s just a habit that anyone can develop. At the beginning of each week I usually make bliss balls and granola and stock up on raw nuts and fresh fruit so that there’s always something I can quickly grab when I get hungry. I even sometimes will make a bit extra when I make my breakfast smoothie so that I can have a mini smoothie during the day as a snack. There are so many things you can make into healthy snacks and also have them portable so you always have something on you. When I was working at my corporate job, I would always carry muesli bars with me thinking that was healthy, and I now know they are mostly highly processed and loaded with sugar.
The main thing to look for with snacks is that they are small portioned and protein based with (optional) healthy fats.
Here are my go to snacks that I eat pretty much each week:
- Bliss Balls – 1-2 of these delicious balls will keep you energised! These take me 15mins to make and last at least a couple of weeks (except if my husband gets into them!). If I don’t have time to roll the balls I simply press the mixture into a square baking tray and cut them into brownies when they’ve set – too easy! The recipe for these are in my free eBook.
- Raw nuts and seeds – nuts and seeds are little powerhouses of nutrients and full of essential minerals, healthy fats, flavonoids and protein. They help regulate blood glucose levels and are known to reduce cardiovascular disease and harmful inflammation in the body. The best ones are almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and sunflower seeds. Pop a few goji berries into the mix if you’re craving something sweet. Portion control is key here – a handful is a serving size (approx. 8 nuts).
- Spirulina Cashew Balls – yes, this is another one of my recipes from my free eBook (just sign up and get it!) These are fructose free and soooo yummy!
- Delicious Fruit Free Granola – I have this for breakfast sometimes, or sprinkle some on full fat unflavoured yoghurt (non-dairy for me, but choose what you prefer) as a snack. Delicious and filled with nuts, cinnamon and coconut oil to keep you feeling full and nourished. In winter you can pop some warm milk on it as a warming snack.
- Hummus or avocado dip and vegie sticks – either make your own hummus (recipe in my free eBook – sorry to be banging on about this but just letting you know…) or buy it from your local market, just make sure it’s natural (no added sugar and no numbers). You can use a fork to whip some avocado and lemon juice together for a simple and tasty alternative to hummus. You can chop up some carrot, celery, cucumber, capsicum, snowpeas, whatever you prefer and then it’s ready to eat whenever you like.
- Hard boiled egg – easy to transport, so good for you. Please only use verified free range eggs.
- Home Made Cookies – yes, really! My Yummy Breakfast Cookies are a great snack as they are refined sugar free, have protein and complex carbohydrates to keep your energy up without spiking your blood glucose and making you feel hungry again. For a snack portion, I break these in half as they’re quite generous.
- Mini Smoothie – a snack sized smoothie, such as making a half recipe of my PB & Berry Smoothie is a brilliant mid afternoon pick me up! This can be made in the morning and taken to work as well.
- Home Made Granola Bars – I made these cos I was so addicted to commercial muesli bars and I really missed having them in my life. These bars have a chunky texture and they’re yummy but not sweet. Packed with nuts, seeds, oats and healthy fats, they are a great little snack that’s very easy to make.
I would LOVE to hear your suggestions for your favourite healthy snacks. Just pop a comment below or email me – I’d love to hear from you.
Yu, Z. et al. (2016). Associations between nut consumption and inflammatory biomarkers. American Journal of Nutrition. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.134205