Remember back in the post about how to sleep well where I talked about snacking throughout the day so you don’t over eat at dinner and go to bed with a heavy stomach? That was a tiny portion of the importance of snacks in our everyday lives. Every healthy diet plan I’ve encountered consists of 3 meals and 2 snacks (and usually a dessert), which sounds like an awful lot of eating, but isn’t so much if it’s done in the proper portions. Having healthy snacks in between meals gives you more energy and helps you with focus and performance. They’re super important to replenishing energy after a good work out or trip to the gym. Choosing healthy snacks helps to meet all of your daily requirements for various nutritional values, and are particularly a strong source for extra fiber, which so many people don’t get enough of and suffer really horrible and painful consequences from. Snacking also increases metabolism, improves glucose, and controls insulin, all of which helps reduce body weight.
Ideally you want to choose snacks with about 100 calories, and try to change things up so you can get in complex carbs, proteins, healthy fats, and vitamins. You also want to try to time your snacks to fall halfway between meals. More than 2/3 of American adults snack twice or more a day, but the problem is that when we’re snacking, we’re snacking on crap. So today’s project is to make a list of healthy snacks you can use as your go to’s, and prep some in advance to grab throughout the week so you don’t give in to the later temptation of convenience.
Remember to look at serving sizes when portioning out your snacks, but some healthy snack ideas include:
- Air-Popped Popcorn
- Apple Slices
- Baby Carrots
- Bean Chips
- Bran Muffins
- Carrot and/or Celery Sticks
- Celery with Laughing Cow Light Cheese
- Celery with Peanut Butter
- Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
- Cottage Cheese
- Dark Chocolate
- Dried Plums
- Dry Fiber Cereal
- Frozen Grapes
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Kale Chips
- Low-Fat Cheese and Whole Grain Crackers
- Multi-Grain Waffles
- Protein Bars
- Protein Drinks
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sliced Cucumbers
- String Cheese
- Sugar-Free Jell-o
- Sugar-Free Popsicles
- Sunflower Seeds
- Toasted Seaweed
- Tomato Slices
- Tuna Salad on Whole-Wheat Crackers
- Turkey Jerky
- Wasabi Peas
And for today’s “Things You’ll Need” I listed Healthy Snacks with Dip, because just because a snack is healthy doesn’t mean it can’t be luxurious too. So my trip to the grocery store to stock up on snacks included:
Fruit with Greek Yogurt to dip it in. The fruit medley I bought includes kiwi, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries, and I opted for plain yogurt, but flavors that make a good dip for most every fruit include vanilla, peach, and lemon. Obviously my fruit to yogurt ratio here is disproportionate, but I’m trying to fix a Vitamin D deficiency so I’m working on eating more dairy.
Everything Hummus, Spicy Avocado Hummus, Pita Bread, Rosemary Olive Oil Stone-Ground Wheat Crackers and Classic Round Crackers. Because hummus is amazing. It’s an awesome source of protein, and with all of that it adds up to fiber and complex carbs too. The pita bread can be torn or cut into wedges to dip in the hummus and it’s good stuff. Crudites are also perfect for hummus dipping, I’ll usually opt for baby carrots and/or cucumber slices.
Veggies and Light Ranch Dressing. Normally for me this would be broccoli and cauliflower and carrots and celery, but I wasn’t up for a crowded grocery store and hit Whole Foods, but the one by my house is closing down and the produce section is virtually non-existent, so that ended up being a trip to the salad bar and became lunch instead of snacks.
And because I have heart problems and tomatoes are heart healthy, in addition to spicy-hot being an appetite depressant I opted for chips and salsa which I would not normally deem a healthy snack, BUT if you’re going to do it, this is the healthy way to go about it. Baked chips instead of fried, sea salt instead of regular (sea salt is lower in sodium), and in addition to the tomato base of the salsa it’s also got black beans and corn, so as far as salsa’s go it’s a healthy one and not high in sugars like many are.
Those are my inspirational ideas for getting together some luxurious but healthy snacks; I look forward to hearing yours!
A word about music: We include songs for a reason. Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much. Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason. If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
MP3: Da’ Dip (Original)
Album: Controversee…That’s Life…and That’s the Way It Is [Explicit]