Are you a smart snacker? Here are a few of my tips to help you navigate through the snack drawer. Be aware of those processed, store-bought ‘treats’ and opt for your own homemade, nutritious snack packed with vitamins and nutrients to keep you happy and healthy all day long.
Traveling for the New Year? Pack some of my portable snacks to keep your tummy satisfied whether you’re in the car, on the plane or train… these healthy nibbles are sure to keep your taste buds happy and your belly trim… just in time for the New Year.
Happy New Years Eve!
Be Mindful of Why You Are Eating
Are you stressed? Thirsty? Not eating enough? Ask yourself these questions before you dig in. Be sure to keep healthy snack options in your office for a quick go-to when you’re in need of a quick fix. When eating your meals, plate it, sit down and savor your food… chew each bite and relax. Plating your food and sitting down will give you visual of how much you have consumed. Many of my clients eat breakfast standing up, lunch at their desks and dinner in front of the television, this will not only disrupt your digestion, but leaves you unsatisfied and yearning for more!
Know your weaknesses and your triggers. If you’re known to eat a box of cereal or cookies in one sitting-reach for your Ziploc bags as soon as you purchase these foods and make yourself portion controlled snacks. This way, when you are in the mood for cereal or cookies, you can easily reach for one bag, sit down, put it on a plate or in a bowl and enjoy your snack without mindlessly over-doing it.
Don’t Skip Meals
We all know the most important meal of the day is a hearty breakfast. Be sure to follow up with a mid-morning snack, a filling lunch, an afternoon nibble and a nutritious dinner. Do not skip meals; this will only set you up for failure. Keep your blood sugar steady and your body and brain fueled by eating a 3 balanced meals with 2 snacks each day. This may not work for everyone; many of my clients prefer to have 3 meals and a dessert or they have learned that eating mini-meals throughout the day works for them. Whatever works for you is what you should stick to – we’re all different people with different needs, therefore the is no cookie cutter way of how many meals and snacks you should be eating each day. Just be sure that you feel energized and satisfied; if you are hungry, reach for a smart, healthy option.
Decipher Between Snacks and Treats
Those ‘100 calorie’ packs that you see in the food store are not snacks — they’re treats! Take a looksy at the nutrition facts and ingredients – you’ll be surprised by the amount of sugar and additives in each little pouch. Instead of reaching for processed treats, opt for a more nutritious whole food option such as a whole grain cracker with cheese, a small Greek yogurt with apple slices or a banana with nut butter.
Don’t Wait Until Your Tummy Is Rumblin’
I encourage my clients to eat every 3 to 5 hours. If you let yourself go any longer, you can damage your day and set yourself up for an overeating fest.
Reach for Lean Protein, Good Fats, Fruits and Veggies
When you eat a snack of protein, healthy fat and produce you can achieve a satisfied feeling rather than reaching for a sugar-laden treat. Try pairing a nut butter atop celery, a few slices of cheese with an apple or a handful of pistachios and grapes.
Cook in Bulk for Easy Prep
Purchase store bought rotisserie chicken and you can easily toss it into your morning omelet, afternoon chicken salad sandwich and evening pasta dish. On a Sunday evening, try to cook up a batch of inexpensive pantry staples such as potatoes, rice, pasta and beans. Store leftovers in the fridge for the week in Tupperware containers; then when you are ready to eat, you can simply reach for these precooked foods and whip up a nutritious snack meal in no time.
Have Fun, Get Creative
Eating should not be a chore; take a look at my On-the-go-Snacks and More Snacks for healthy ideas between meals. Don’t be afraid to try new things; instead of a peanut butter and jelly white bread sandwich, opt for a whole grain bread with all natural nut butter and jelly without added sugars.
Take a look at Cooking Light Magazine’s ’10 Healthy Habits in 2010′ for some great ways to kick off your New Year on the right foot.
In The News…
Gluten-Free Menus Make Their Way to Small Towns
USDA Program Aims To Simplify Foods’ Nutritional Values
Have a safe and enjoyable New Years Eve!
Share your thoughts
Excellent information – thanks! and will check in again soon.
Thanks so much, Mike; have a great weekend.
I totally agree! It’s amazing to me how many people think that labels like “fat free,” “carb free,” or “100 calories” means you can eat as much as you want of them. Bleah, anything with a label means it’s probably not good for you.
I agree completely…labels are out and real food is in! Thanks for your comment and Happy New Year!
All of these are really great points!