As a kid snacks were one of the highlights of my day. Break time at school meant tucking into Jaffa Cakes and hoping the pack contained 6 instead of the standard 5, home time was an opportunity for post school crisps and biscuits.
I grew up with snacks being starchy, sugary, grab and go prepackaged foods, so when my body began to change and react to these foods, I assumed snacking was a no go. Little did I know that was a whole plethora of healthy, wholesome, delicious snack options waiting to be discovered and devoured.
Some people feel snacking is unnecessary, believing that you should eat all that your body requires at meal times. I disagree. I think that if you’re genuinely hungry, you should eat. I believe in listening to my body; am I bored? thirsty? or actually hungry? If i’m hungry between meals i’m not going to make myself miserable by denying myself food.
Secondly, if you work out a lot, your body will be burning calories not only during the workout but often afterwards too (‘afterburn’), so you need to keep your body adequately fuelled and your metabolism working efficiently.
When those hungry pangs begin don’t turn to the biscuit tin, try some of these wholesome, nutritious and filling snacks. These are my go to snacks, things I always try to have in the cupboards (or hidden under my bed because I live in a household of thieves).
1.Nuts & Seeds
My favourite nuts are roast pistachios. It’s worth cracking all those shells to get to those delicious vitamin and mineral packed treats. In my opinion they taste like the cheese savoury crisps I used to eat. Also in my cupboard are vitamin E loaded almonds and mineral rich, heart healthy cashews.
I also like seed/nut/fruit bars. Sometimes I buy them, most often I make them to save money. Be warned that the nutritional value of these bars varies greatly. Many are pitched as ‘healthy’ but are actually jammed packed with processed sugar. As a rule of thumb look for a short ingredient list consisting of things you actually understand.
With all these nuts and seeds I am aware I am starting to sound like a bird.
Nut butters are a source of protein and healthy fat, which aids heart health and reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. I personally find pure peanut butter too salty, so opt for this peanut & 3 seed mix which I either spread on a couple of rice crackers or paste on some apple slices.
[Note: Nuts and seeds are high in fats, and fruit in sugar, although they are healthy they should be consumed in moderation.]
As well as nut butter, I like to mash up and spread ¼- ½ an avocado with a squeeze of lemon & a pinch of Himalayan pink salt on a brown rice cracker. Alternatively, try spreading tahini or hummus.
4.Vegetable Sticks & Hummus
1 of your 5 a day + healthy fat + a little protein=a seriously good snack. For my vegetable sticks I generally pick carrots, bell pepper or cucumber, slice them up and dip them in. Spoon out a couple of table spoons of hummus into a separate bowl, nobody wants double dipping.
I usually coat pre soaked chickpeas in the same anti-inflammatory spices that I use on my Spanish style spiced chips and bake them in the oven at 220°c for around 30 minutes. You could also try tomato and basil chickpeas or cheese (nutritional yeast) and chives.
Oh Alpro yogurt, how I love thee (especially when you’re on offer). Containing plant protein, vitamin D, B12 and calcium, this silky smooth delight makes the perfect accompaniment to fruit, granola, toasted seeds or my personal favourite: raw vegan desserts.
If i’m honest there is not a day that goes by without me eating chocolate. As a snack i’ll whip up a small batch (coconut oil, cacao, maca, cinnamon & honey) and slice up some fruit like strawberries, orange or banana. Or i’ll make a raw shake. Unless I have bought some raw bars, then I won’t be able to resist eating some of them. These are my favourites: Ombar Centres, Ombar Bueberry & Acai, Conscious Chocolate Lions Raw, IQ Peppermint & Loving Earth Lemon Cheesecake.
Hungary and thirsty? Kill two birds with one stone. I generally opt for either a chocolatey smoothie or a green one. Cacao: 1tbsp cacao, 1 banana, 1tsp maca, 1tsp acai, 1 cup almond milk, ½ cup coconut water/water. Green: 1/2tsp greens powder, 1 banana or small handful of pineapple chunks, handful spinach, 1 cup almond milk, ½ cup coconut water.
Nom nom nomasté x