By Dr Laurie Teitelman, ND
Many studies show that eating the right foods regularly and throughout the day will help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight for your body type. To reach your goals, it is important to incorporate healthy snacks into your daily meal plan. Eating healthy snacks between meals will help decrease your hunger at mealtime, increase your energy levels throughout the day, and boost your metabolism. Keeping healthy snacks readily available may help you stay on track when you are in a bind and help you stick with your health goals.
With our busy schedules, it is easy to skip a meal (especially breakfast). It is also easy to not eat anything all day and then gorge ourselves during the evening – our culture has it all backwards! The ideal way to eat is like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch and a popper at dinner. A great tip for times you are caught in a late night meeting or an after-hours dinner is to always make a to-go bag: this will ensure you are eating a good portion size and will also provide you with some delicious leftovers for the next day. Double bonus! Another great tip is to stock healthy snacks at your workplace, in your car or in your bag, which will allow you to grab the perfect snack when you realize that you don’t have time sit down for a formal meal.
Here are some delicious and easy-to-make suggestions for creating the perfect snack:
• Sliced and diced Fruits and Vegetables: apples, oranges, grapefruit, bananas, kiwi, pears, grapes, berries, melon, baby carrots, pre-cut celery, peppers, grape tomatoes, cucumber, sugar snap peas, etc. These taste delicious on their own or you can dip them into your favorite humus or nut butter for added protein!
• Low-fat organic dairy products: try plain yogurt or yogurt smoothies sweetened with raw honey, fruit, granola, raisins, cinnamon – get creative!
• Roll a pickle and/or organic cheese in antibiotic and hormone-free organic turkey or chicken sliced deli meats
• Make your own trail-mix with a small handful of your favorite raw, unsalted nuts and dried unsulphured-fruit
• Brown rice cakes or a piece of fruit with all natural nut butter (almond, cashew, macadamia, etc.) or with humus
• Unsalted raw nuts and seeds (if watching your weight, do not exceed ½ cup of nuts in one day)
• Dried unsulphured fruits: figs, prunes, dates, apricots, raisins, pineapple, mango, apple, etc.
• Baked kale chips seasoned with olive oil and your favorite seasonings, such as garlic powder, salt and pepper
• Use your favorite vegetables to create a unique blended vegetable juice: try ginger, any of your favorite greens, green apple, carrots and beets to sweeten, etc.
• Try organic corn tortillas dipped into homemade guacamole, which uses fresh tomatoes, onions, lime juice all mixed together and seasoned perfectly, or enjoy with salsa
• Sweet tooth? Indulge in a square or two of 85% dark chocolate jam packed with antioxidants (I like my chocolate cold and straight out of the freezer!)
Be creative, try some new combinations of your own and feel free to share with us and the world!