Sunday, August 8, 2010

Healthy Snacking

(Pic: wild blackberries picked on Block Island - note the bracelet on my right wrist)

I received a question from a twitter follower last night about healthy snacking and I thought it would make a useful blog post for my adoring fans.

The question:

What are some healthy snacks I can choose when I start to get brain-dead, tired, and restless around 3pm? A piece of fruit doesn't do it for me anymore and I've fallen into the habit of getting an ice cream instead
.

Answer:

1) Your lack of energy could be a hydration issue. One of the first things that happens when we start to become dehydrated is a decrease in energy. We don't actually feel thirsty until we're dehydrated so its important to keep drinking water to avoid feeling thirsty. Also, our brains often misinterpret our body thirst signals as food cravings.

Step #1 to wake yourself up at 3pm... "do a little dance and take a sip of water" -Red Hot Chili Peppers

2) Also, when you crave a snack try deconstructing that craving and identifying the specific qualities of the food in mind. Are you craving creamy or cold food when you get ice cream? Can you find something healthier to have instead, like a creamy and cold smoothie? Or a blended frozen banana? Most people tend to crave certain types of foods all the time. Identify the common qualities and come up with a list of snack ideas that have these qualities.

3) Another way to increase your energy in mid-afternoon is to move your body. Try going for a short stroll, doing push ups, a 5-minute core workout or a few yoga stretches. Any yoga pose that inverts your head will refresh your energy. Try a standing forward bend or a few sun salutations.

4) Create your own healthy snack list. Try making a list of healthy snack ideas based on 4 categories: crunchy, creamy, salty, sweet. Here is an example to get you started:

crunchy

apples
frozen grapes
carrots with hummus
celery with peanut butter

creamy

fruit smoothie
yogurt
frozen, blended banana
avocado

salty

olives
peanuts or other nuts
pickles
steamed veggies with tamari

sweet

wheat grass
baked sweet potato or other root veggie
apple with almond butter
dark chocolate chips

Feel free to leave comments with the snack ideas from your own healthy snack list!


1 comment:

Snack-Girl said...

Great post! My favorite website for healthy snack ideas is http://www.snack-girl.com/