Smart and Healthy Snacking

Smart and Healthy Snacking

Done right, healthy snacks can keep hunger at bay, keep energy levels on an even keel and provide a great source of health-boosting nutrients. Done wrong, snacking can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and hungrier than before. The key is taking a smart approach to snacking.

Are you the one that never was able to understand how anyone could stand measuring out half a cup of this and four ounces of that? I get you. If a woman has the time to do that she's not busy enough—and that may be why she's overweight. It's a lot easier just to buy the foods that are fairly low in calories and to cultivate a taste for them. And have a little of each kind of essential food during the course of a day. The operative word in that bit of advice is 'little.' Raw nibbles, bouillon, and dill pickles always stop the hunger pangs until the next small meal is served.

If you’ve ever forgotten to defrost the chicken for dinner—and ended up ordering a pepperoni pizza instead—you know that healthy eating often requires planning. And yet snacking is largely about spontaneity. Having a game plan, however, can turn those grab-and-go moments into opportunities to eat well, conquer our worst urges, and pump up our energy.

When we eat, we encode information about a meal, including the flavors, the textures, and how satisfied we feel, which is called a meal memory Just because you always grab a granola bar and coffee at 10 a.m. doesn’t mean you should. Don’t snack because it’s part of your daily routine; do it when you’re a little bit hungry. Also, don’t multitask when you eat; simply enjoy the flavors of the food.

Keep in mind that not all calories are created equal. A small avocado is about 200 calories, but so is a small bag of nacho cheese-flavoured corn chips! Some nutrition-dense foods like nuts and eggs do double-duty with protein and fat, making them snacking superstars.

One of the best ways to bring that healthy and energized spirit into your eating is to bring light and laughter into your kitchen. 

Let’s do the pasta test and see if there’s a shift in our moods.

  1. Get everything ready to make this dish and take note of how you’re feeling–if you’re preoccupied about something at work, feeling rushed because of an evening activity, what have you.
  2. Now look at your kid–or at yourself in the mirror–while holding a piece of dried pasta and say the word “fusilli” 10 times fast. Just try not to smile or laugh. I dare you.
  3. Now … check in and see if your mindset has lightened or changed, and how that shift affects the rest of your dinner.

Did it work ? Yes? No? Ok, just get some dark chocolate which always works. But still, today’s tip for you will be; try not to eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.