Snacking…we all do it. Most of us have some emotional attachment to food. This is one of the many reasons that over 100 million Americans are obese. Snacking can be detrimental to any healthy lifestyle as most snacking involves processed, foods high in fat and/or sugar. Another major issue with snacking is that many processed snacks pack on the calories quick to add to our overall count for the day. I am not saying we should be counting calories as long as you are choosing fruits and vegetables to snack on.
Many of us probably got our snacking habits from our childhood. Especially if you are a night time snacker. My husband still talks about the night time ritual at his house where is mom brought a “tray” of snacks that everyone shared. I won’t share what was on the tray! So, I get it, I know that it’s easier said than done. But isn’t that true for just about everything in life?
After following a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet for sometime my snacking craving has dropped dramatically. This happens because with eating a WFPBD your blood sugar levels are more stable so you do not have the ups and downs of your sugar level in your blood which when we get those dips thats when we feel shaky, dying of hunger etc. However, when the kids are home all summer, we are at the pool or just hanging a the house those snacks are so much more tempting. Not because I am hungry or my blood sugar level is low but because my routine has changed.
The first thing I tell my clients is to always make sure you know what triggers your “snacking”. Mine is when I am stressed for sure. Sibling rivalry and the fighting that goes along with it, Ughhhhh. The other big one for me is TV. I love to watch the food network (I know you are so surprised) but when I see them make or taste something delicious it’s hard not to head into the kitchen to grab something.
Snacking if done right, is not necessarily a bad thing if you follow these rules:
#1 Make sure you are actually hungry (you would be surprised how often this is not the case)
#2 Make sure you are hungry enough to eat something healthy!
How do I know if I am hungry, thirsty or just bored? I always try to have something to drink before I grab something to eat. Drink a cup of herbal tea, coffee, or water. Wait 5 minutes then if you are still feeling hungry then go for it!
Here are some of my favorite healthy snacks!
Aimee’s Top 10 Whole Food Plant-based Snacks
- Raw/steamed veggies of any kind with 2 tbsp. hummus (homemade is best but boughten will do) My favorite that I always have on hand: cucumbers, pepper strips, carrots or lightly steamed green beans or broccoli. Another favorite homemade Kale Chips
- Fruit (fruit is not bad for you, fruit is a natural way to calm those sweet cravings you may have) Remember the saying if your not hungry enough to eat an apple then you probably aren’t hungry!
- Broth (watch the sodium). This is a great way to satisfy a hunger pain without adding a lot of unwanted calories. My favorite broth is a Miso broth that Trader Joes carries.
- A handful of nuts/seeds. Count them don’t eat out of the can/bag. Set aside a serving and stop when they are gone.
- Steamed Edamame with a little soy sauce
- Toasted Chick Peas
- A few sticks of celery or apple with almond butter
- Fruit Smoothie
- Chai Pudding (sometimes you just need that sweet delicious treat)
- Trail mix (boughten or Homemade)
What are your favorite go to healthy snacks? Do they make the cut?
I recommend to my clients that if they need a snack either late morning and then again late afternoon to grab something from the list above. This helps folks not over eat at dinner and lunch. I do discourage snacking after dinner. This is a great time for a cup of non-caffenetiated herbal tea.
If you want to take your healthy lifestyle beyond snacking I can help! I offer face to face consultations/coaching, meal plans to take the worry out of planning, and cooking classes both for large groups and in your home! I can help you get to a healthier, happier you!
Happy & Healthy Eating!