One of the most common concerns I hear about switching to a predominantly whole food, low sugar lifestyle revolves around deprivation. But believe me when I say there is life after processed junk food and soda. You will not need to live on a diet of twigs and leaves (at least not entirely!). In fact, there are a wide variety of delicious and nourishing foods out there just waiting to be eaten that will boost your energy level and improve your health.
Snack food is of particular concern for many people and certainly was for me when I made the leap to a healthy diet. I once relied on soda and simple sugars in the form of granola bars and even the occasional snickers bar to give me that extra jolt to make it through a morning or late afternoon.
One key to weight lose and energy gain is to eat more frequently. Yes, you heard me correctly: eat more and weigh less. However, the key to this wonderful insight (and it is wonderful!) is to eat the right food; real, whole food rather than processed, refined sugars and grains. It is important to balance your food intake throughout the day to help maintain normal blood sugar levels and decrease the chances of binging when hunger rears its nasty head. Eating small amounts on a regular basis lets your body know food is available and it is ok to burn energy rather than to conserve and store it as fat.
So, let's get your healthy snack on! Here are some examples of whole food snack ideas to help you maintain your blood sugar and ward off those nasty sugar binges:
- Apple or banana with natural nut butter. This snack is one of my favorites. You can use any number of nut butters such as the old favorite peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter or more. Just remember to keep it natural. Look for nut butters with simple ingredients (nuts and salt should be the only ingredients) or buy it fresh ground at places like Lucky's Market and Whole Foods.
- Avocado with lemon or lime juice. Just scoop out the avocado and squeeze a half lemon or lime on top. If you are feeling crazy sprinkle on just a touch of sea salt. Avocados are a wonderful source of healthy, omega 3 fats. Let's be clear, fats should be a healthy part of your diet. The body utilizes fat for energy, health of your hair, skin and nails, vitamin absorption, and other bodily functions. Omega 3 fats protect against heart disease, cancers, and Alzheimer's, among others.
- Hummus (Roasted Red Pepper Hummus recipe) with cut veggies. Hummus is a wonderfully filling and delicious snack made from Garbonzo beans and tahini.
- Granola with plain organic yogurt or almond milk. I love regular granola (Homemade Granola recipe) or paleo granola that is basically just nuts and seeds (Cranberry Walnut Paleo Granola recipe). You can also buy granola but look for versions with ingredients you can pronounce (look in the gluten free section of the grocery store).
- Dark chocolate. A couple of squares of dark chocolate really hits the spot when I need to satisfy a sweet craving. It is loaded with antioxidants and should be considered a guilt free, healthy snack. Just remember to eat dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa content.
Let me know if you have a favorite snack! Share your ideas and recipes here!
To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with me to discuss your snack challenges, contact me today!