When I decided to start eating healthy my main meals were not a problem. Eating a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner was easy, delicious and nutritious. There are so many good and healthy options for these meals that I never really craved the burgers and pizza of yesterday. However, I found that in between meals I was often peckish. I couldn’t help but visit the local shop and get a chocolate bar or pack of biscuits to tide me over to the next meal. All my good work was being undone. That was when I decided to research healthy snacks that could see me through those tricky hours. Here is what I found:
A smoothie is a healthy and surprisingly filling option. It is something that feels right at any time of the day and you can change up the ingredients a lot to keep it interesting. The way I look at it is that you have three options with smoothies. If you just want something sweet you can go for all fruits. A banana, mango and pineapple smoothie will smash any craving for sugar that you might have. Of course it has high sugar content as well so be careful.
If you need something more filling, adding oats is a great way to increase the full feeling while keeping it healthy and sacrificing none of the taste. If you want to focus on the health aspects then there are great options in the green smoothie department. Spinach and Kale are fantastic smoothie ingredients and pack powerful nutrients.
Fruit and Nuts
Eating dried fruit and nuts is a slippery slope. They are so tasty that you throw them back like sweets but they are high in sugar and fat. They are a fantastic snack but you must be careful not to overdo it. I have a jar of almonds at my desk at all times but I limit myself to six almonds between meals. I admit that I sometimes break that limit but it is a good number to have in mind.
Having some dried apricots and almonds is a powerful snack that is high in vitamin E, C, magnesium, iron, calcium, and carotene. If you have a handful of both you can have a great little snack for around 100 calories.
Yogurt to the rescue
One snack I found myself turning to again and again was yogurt. Whether I had time to sit down and enjoy my snack or I was in a rush to go somewhere, yogurt was quick and easy and incredibly versatile. If I wasn’t really hungry but just wanted to snack, a small pot of yogurt was the perfect treat. If I had done a workout that morning and was feeling I needed something more I would throw some fruit and oats with the yogurt in a bowl and would have a great meal.
You have to be careful with what yogurt you purchase of course. Many yogurts have too many additives and artificial flavorings. Avoid anything with too much flavor. A plain Greek yogurt is the best option and if you want to add some fruit to it then go ahead.
The final snack I often relied on was nut butter. Most people love peanut butter but any variety is a good option. They are relatively healthy, high in protein and a great snack. If i was rushing to a meeting I would often grab a banana and put some nut butter on top. An incredible snack that would postpone my hunger until my next meal. I often ate this before a workout as well.
These were my four favorite snacks when I started to eat healthier. From there I started to branch out into a range of combinations and flavors. This is a great place to start but after that let your imagination and tastes dictate where your healthy snacks go.