Snacking is a huge part of my diet, which is an odd concept to some people as they automatically assume that dieting means no snacking, just three meals a day (at most). I’ve always been a huge snacker, mainly because I’m always hungry, but I no longer look at that in a negative way. It’s actually a positive thing. Put it this way, if I’m keeping myself full throughout the day by eating little snacks between meals, I’m not likely to overeat at lunch or dinner. Though don’t get too excited, they obviously need to be healthy snacks. Snacking on a chocolate bar or a bag of crisps is definitely not what I’m getting at here.
Seeds & Nuts
Seeds aren’t really a snack I enjoy, so instead I tend to chuck a handful of chia seeds into a recipe to get their goodness into my diet, but nuts on the other hand have become a real staple snack for me. Predominantly almonds and cashews. On a training day I try to increase my carbs and decrease my fats, so I tend to stick to a fatty snack of nuts on rest days only. This is a habit I’ve picked up from doing the 90 Day SSS Plan. 15g of almonds and 15g of cashews is perfect for when I’m sat typing away at work. I won’t pretend I feel amazingly satisfied after eating this snack, but it tides me over until lunch time and keeps my mind off running to the office vending machine.
Berries, banana, pineapple, pears, apples, you name it, I’ll eat it. I used to have 3-4 portions of fruit per day which I eventually discovered was too much. Although fruit contains good sugar, it’s still sugar, so I try to limit it to one or two portions per day. I have a banana on training days (’cause carbs), and apples on rest days, with a few berries on top of my breakfast on both training and rest days. You can’t go too wrong with fruit! If only I liked raw veg more, then I could sit and nibble on carrots or something instead which contains significantly less sugar.
This is something I only tend to have in the evenings, and admittedly not too often, but a couple of squares of the 70% Lindt Dark Chocolate is such a nice little treat for when you’ve got a craving for something sweet. A lot of people also put dark chocolate on top of yoghurt and porridge, which isn’t something I’ve not tried myself yet. I might give that a go this week. I tried putting cacao nibs on my porridge last week and quickly learned what a huge mistake that was. That was a whole lot of bitter.
There are tonnes of recipes out there, but the one I used required coconut oil, whey protein, flax seeds, sesame seeds, coconut flour, almond butter, vanilla essence and raw cacao powder. They’re fairly calorific at 100 calories per protein ball, but they’re a really yummy snack that is a great substitute for when you’re craving something like cake. Just go easy on the seeds, because otherwise it can feel like you’re eating bird food.
Not on it’s own, unless that’s your thing, but a dollop of organic peanut butter with chopped apple, or on top of a plain rice cakes, are seriously good snack options. I used to hate peanut butter, but now I rarely go a day without it. I even put it in smoothies and porridge. Meridian, Whole Earth and Pip & Nut are my three favourite brands. If you haven’t tried the Limited Edition Pip & Nut Maple Peanut Butter, get your backside down to Holland & Barratt and get a tub (or five). That peanut butter is life.
So I just touched on rice cakes, but I also eat them several times per week without peanut butter. The salt & vinegar and cheese Snack A Jacks are my guilty pleasure. It sounds weird given that they essentially resemble cardboard, but yeah, I’m a bit addicted to these bad boys. On the plan I was told to eat four in one sitting, so anything less than that now seems like some sort of sick joke. I’m basically a walking rice cake. Sorry to my colleagues who have to listen to me crunch my way through these things most days.
Grenade Carb Killa Protein Bars
Ok, so these are unprocessed and honestly not the best option to have as a regular snack, but two or so per week when you’re dying for a Mars Bar is a decision that is going to change your life. After eating the first one you’ll be like “hmm, not feeling it”, but by bar two or three, you’ll get it. Mint Chocolate and Fudge Brownie are damn good, but their new Peanut Nutter flavour is out of this world (did I mention that I love peanut butter?). Better still, microwave it for 5-10 seconds and enjoy that melty, chocolatey pile of goodness. You can get them for around £2.50 per bar in Tesco, but I get 12 for £18.99 from Amazon.
Tea & Coffee
One minute coffee is bad for you, the next minute it’s great for you. God only knows what to believe. I don’t like your standard cup of tea (am I really British?), so coffee it is. I don’t have sugar and only a little splash of milk, so it’s not too bad for me, and I try to stick to just two cups a day. I don’t think the caffeine actually has any effect on my energy levels, but it’s like a hug in a mug, and anything hot will help to wake me up. Now I know I said I don’t like tea, but the Pukka Vanilla Chai tea is an exception. I bought this on a whim, knowing full well that out of all the herbal teas that I’ve tried previously, I didn’t like a single one, but I had a good feeling about this one and I was right. I am obsessed! If it wasn’t so pricey (approx. £2.50 for twenty tea bags), I’d drink more than one per day. These aren’t snacks, granted, but they help to keep my stomach happy throughout the day.
So there you go, my top healthy snacks! Try some of these and it’ll change the way you look at food altogether. Soon I’m going to write a ‘what I eat in a day’ post, as I know there are a few people who would potentially benefit from a post like that. If you have any other posts you’d like to read, comment below or send me a message!