Let’s talk snacks
I love me some snacks. If you ever read one of my What I Ate Wednesday posts, you know I eat snacks all day long.
Some people swear by the no-snacks-between-meals theory. They argue that snacking between meals means that you take in extra calories. As a result, some claim that snacking can lead to weight gain.
Snacking must be done mindfully and picking snacks must be a calculated decision, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be done. I can’t make it in between meals without a snack. I get full very fast at meals, and burn through my calories rather quickly. For me, healthy, frequent snacks are essential.
So what do I look for in a snack?
Nutrition, Size, and Convenience.
Nutrition: I want a snack that will help me move closer to a healthy life, not farther away. I like snacks that provide vitamins, protein, healthy fats, or complex carbs. I do NOT like snacks that provide sugar, processed carbs, and wasted calories. I seriously love Oreos, but they are a treat, not a snack.
Size: A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is not a snack, it is a meal. Peanut butter and crackers is a snack. When I think size, I think about how much the snack will fill me up and how many calories it contains. For example, crackers with 2 TB of nut butter is very filling, but a few carrot sticks is not that filling. Depending on my hunger level and time before my next meal, I choose a snack that fills me up appropriately.
Convenience: Let’s be honest, this is hugely important for me, and probably you. I would love to snack on yogurt and green juice all day, but I am on the go and cannot always haul around a cooler with me. And while I try to prep fruits and veggies each week, sometimes life gets in the way and I don’t have time to wash, peel, and chop veggies for a quick snack. We have all had that hunger moment that ended in a cookie or muffin the size of our head. Not so good. Keeping convenient, but healthy, snacks on hand keeps me from running into Starbucks and eating something I will regret later.
So what are some of my favorite snack options?
On my trip last week, I kept a bag of almonds with me at all times. I frequently pulled them out to munch on and they were a life saver. Before I left, Nuts.com shared this awesome infograph with me, which made me feel even better about snacking on them.
If you don’t like raw almonds, or you are trying to change them up a bit, here are my go-to almond snacks:
- Homemade almond butter. I serve this on crackers, with veggies or apples, or on toast. I also put it in my oatmeal in the morning.
- Homemade granola bars. I love this recipe for cherry, almond, and quinoa bars. So so easy and fantastic.
- Homemade granola: This recipe for chocolate-almond granola is the BEST and I serve it with almond milk or yogurt. AR likes to walk by and pick out all the almonds to eat by himself. He some how doesn't believe that he could open the pantry and get out the container of plain almonds instead :)
- Smoothie made with almond milk, fruit, and leafy greens. If I want to bulk it up, I add in a scoop of protein powder or a spoonful of nut butter.
Nuts can be expensive, so I like to buy in bulk. You can order them from Nuts.com for an awesome price, as well as purchasing a variety of other snacks. They have organic baking goods, dried fruits, tea, coffee, and tons of snacks. I've been eyeing some of their candy for a candy bar for my wedding (not a healthy snack, but it is my wedding :) ) Keeping healthy snacks on hand prevents mindless eating and makes a healthy life-style so much easier!
What are your go-to snacks?
How do you like to use almonds?
Nuts.com provided the info graph for this blog post, but I was not compensated in any way. All opinions given are my own!