My Goodness started by making healthy, whole food, handmade snacks for people who want to make decisions towards achieving a healthier lifestyle, and that is a still a very large part of what we do. There are so many myths and rumours about healthy snacking... should you do it, shouldn’t you... Like everything there are lots of arguments for and against. I think snacking is a great way for you to power through the day and live to your full potential without the energy dips, curbing any unhealthy cravings, keeping your body (and your mood) happy so you don’t go crazy at your next meal and it gives you an extra hit of the nutrients your body needs for top performance... when done well. So this post is a few tips on how to snack well! I hope you find it helpful.
Keep it fresh, Keep it whole: A lot of these packaged snack options are highly processed and full of hidden sugars, preservatives and chemicals. Even the snacks that are covered with “HEALTHY” branding. You would be amazed what goes into our food and we have no idea. The best is having something whole and homemade. A few slices of avocado on rye bread, Carrots and hummus, a handful of almonds, a cut up apple with peanut butter... all great whole food options for a healthy snack, however this leads me to my next point…
Read the labels: We don’t all have time to make our own crackers and nut butters... and that’s ok. Just make sure you read the labels! Nut butters are a great source of proteins but these days they can be full of added sugars, salts and palm oil, which is bad for your body and terrible for the environment. When buying Nut Butters, try and go for one which is 100% nuts and nothing else. Look out for tricky words like ‘Hydrogenated oils’ which is basically code for ‘trans fats’. If I don’t recognize an ingredient, I generally stay away from it. Look for nuts and dried fruits that aren’t covered in salt or sugars... keep it natural.
Avoid Mindless Snacking: If we snack when our minds are preoccupied, we’re most likely going to miss the “I’m full” message, and we end up consuming way more than our bodies need. Unfortunately, even with healthy snacks there is such a thing as too much. For example: a handful of dates and nuts to boost our energy is great, a whole packet of dates... not so great and your tummy will be telling you about it later! My mother installed this into me a little girl and dried fruit was always my favourite thing and I would always want more dried apricots... Be purposeful with your snacks. Prepare them, take them to work in the portion size and avoid “eating out the bag”.
Make it personal: We all have different lifestyles and therefore different needs from our nutrition. For example, After an intense spinning class or a crazy HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session, my favourite post workout snack is a banana and almond butter smoothie, made with maca powder, coconut water for the natural electrolytes and a 3 dates for the simple carbohydrates. This is really filling and my body wouldn’t need it if I was sitting at a desk all day, if this was the case I would go for a piece of fresh fruit, or maybe some veggie sticks with homemade hummus. Healthy looks different for everyone, so find what works for you.
Stay hydrated: sometimes we think we’re hungry when we’re dehydrated. so make sure you drink plenty of water. I also find if I’m craving something sweet a yummy fruit tea really satisfies your craving without shooting your blood sugar levels sky high with refined, processed sugars.
So here are some of my favourite snacks: