Sunday, 1 February 2015

Healthy Snacks

I don't know about you, but I snack A LOT when I study. And with midterms coming up so fast, I've been eating more even when I'm not hungry. There's been days when I hardly have supper because I'm already so full on snacks from afternoon study sessions. Not good...
Studying on campus helps a lot. I am able to concentrate more and get less distracted by eating or thinking about food.

Nonetheless, studying at home is convenient, and I do it a lot. For any of you that have the same problem snacking, here are some delicious snacks that are also nutrient-dense. I figure that if I'm eating, I better be consuming lots of healthy anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Pecans and pumpkin seeds
1. Nuts or seeds.
My favorites, since I'm avoiding almonds due to an allergy, are: pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and cashews. Just keep in mind that nuts and seeds pack a lot of energy - pour a bowl, don't eat from the bag/container. This is a great tip for any snack.
Nuts and pumpkin seeds are absolutely delicious roasted in an oven or on a dry frying pan for a bit, until fragrant. Beware of burning. For truly raw nuts and seeds, it would also be worthwhile to soak and then toast to increase digestibility.

Delicious organic figs (from Costco)
2. Dried fruit
High in fiber and nutrients, this is a great snack option. My favorites: figs, medjool dates, & raisins.
However, beware sugar-sweetened craisins and other dried fruit with added ingredients like sulphites. Also keep in mind that even non-sweetened dried fruit has a lot of naturally occurring sugars - so keep portion sizes small, and consider them a treat.

3. Combine dried fruits and nuts for a delicious, homemade trail mix!

4. Hummus with veggies.
Mmm hummus. With lots of garlic. Makes any vegetable taste heavenly! The classic trio of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots works well for this snack and is very affordable. You can even make quick homemade hummus if you have a food processor around! (I don't recommend a Vitamix for hummus or other spreads.)

5. Cereal.
A bit on the sugar-y side, especially if you choose mainstream cereals. But some brands use truly whole ingredients and are also really healthy. Read the food label ingredient list!
Bonus: super quick and always available.

Roasted chickpeas with honey, oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cocoa glaze
6. Roasted chickpeas
Unfortunately there's a wait time for this snack, but it's well worth it! Chickpeas are high in fiber and a good source of protein. You can make them sweet, spicy, herb-y... whatever you feel like! All you need is a can of garbanzo beans, some oil, and spices. Google roasted chickpeas for lots of recipe ideas.

Mary's Organic Crackers with lemon & dill tuna
7. Crackers with toppings
I just love Mary's Organic Crackers! They go well with a chocolate almond spread for a sweet tooth, and I also like them with cream cheese and other savory toppings.

8. Rye crispbread with honey
A simple yet satisfying snack: Wasa light rye crispbread with unpasteurized honey. Just sweet enough for your sweet tooth but without danger of a sugar high.
Crispbreads have a lot of healthy fibers. They're obviously meant as savory snacks - but are often versatile enough for sweet treats as well (depending on the brand and flavors).

9. Fresh fruit or vegetables
An obvious nutrient-packed snack - my favorites include: avocados, kiwi, apples, broccoli, carrots and cherry tomatoes. If you have the time, a quick salad is always a satisfying snack.

10. Vega One All-in-one nutrition shake
Quick & easy. However, it's not my first choice since it is processed to an extent...but Vega One is great brand & delivers a delicious product. One scoop with water, shake, drink! I usually have this snack after workouts.

Happy snacking!
<3 Jessica

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