Surviving the Holidays with Healthy Snacking

FoodWhen people think of healthy living they automatically think of the words: diet, restrictions, and starvation, but the reality is if you’re on a path of holistic healthy living then you know that eating lots of food is part of the process. It’s all about eating the right foods, the right quantity, and at the right time. Following my last healthy lifestyle post, I was asked by one of my readers to give some specific examples of snack portion sizes, the proper combinations of foods for snacks, and when to eat them based on what I’ve learned thus far on my healthy lifestyle journey.

To expand on what I mentioned in my last healthy lifestyle post, let’s talk about snacking! When you think of the word snacking you are already probably salivating about the idea of mowing down on your favorite chips, chocolate, cake, and other naughty (yet nice) delicacies on the couch in front of the TV screen (the Holidays are a killer). After much hard work and dedication, I have now ‘trained’ my brain to think of and crave other foods when thinking of snacking.Food

Here’s a recap of some of the things mentioned in my last post about healthy eating:

-Drink a minimum of 2 L of water per day
-Eat smaller portions
-Eat 3 small meals a day and 3 healthy snacks
-Eat well rounded meals & snacks: i.e.: protein & fruit, fat & veg, veg & dairy, etc…
-Limit dairy (I only really eat Greek yogurt [unsweetened fat free/1 %], plus 2oz of cheese per day)
-Add more alternatives (i.e.: almond milk)
-Eat mostly vegetarian
-Eat lean locally raised and grass fed meats
-Switch to vegetarian VEGA based protein powder in my morning smoothies
-Avoid eating after supper (dinner as many call it)
-Drink 500ml of water with 1/2 lemon once per day
-Sleep a minimum of 8 hours (this is tough!)
-Limit carbs
-Replace the limited with gluten free ones
-Cut out juice and pop (soda as it’s called in the U.S.) and switch to only water, sparking water, and fruit infused water
-Switch from milk chocolate to 70% or higher dark chocolate- enjoy 2 squares per day!
-Cut out junk food/refined foods/artificial sweeteners/sugar and avoid whenever possible
-Limit alcohol and wine
-Limit fruit to 1 serving at a time (2-3 servings per day) and paired with a protein
-Eat more fresh raw vegetables
-Watch the ratio of the amount of sugar (fruit) and carbs eaten at any one time
-Search for healthy alternative snacks (hummus, seeds, nut butters, veggies, cheese, eggs)
-Limit nuts/seeds and cheese to one serving per day
– Ensure there is a source of protein at every meal
-Shop the outer isles
-Buy real foods and nothing you cannot pronounce

Some of the healthy snacks I think of when I want to grab a little something include, but is not limited to: natural popcorn with coconut oil, natural raw nuts, Greek yogurt, fruit, cheese, cut up vegetables, nut butter, hummus, protein shakes, smoothies, homemade healthy treats (i.e. protein bars), and last but least—dark chocolate (my favorite). It took a while for my taste buds to start craving healthier options, rather than my prior go-to unhealthy and carb loaded snacks. There is nothing wrong with eating until you are satisfied, but ensure that what you are eating is going to refuel your body. Eat endless amounts of veggies.Food

Here are some sample snacks, the portion size, and what to pair it with-

-Apple + ¼ cup of sunflower seeds
-Apple + 1tbsp. of nut butter
-2 oz. of cheese (light cheese is preferred)
-1 Cup of regular unsweetened Greek yogurt (0% or 1%) with 3 large strawberries
-Cup of baby carrots + 1bsp of nut butter
-Cup of baby carrots + ¼ cup of hummus
-½ cup or one individual fruit flavored/sweetened Greek Yogurt (0% or 1%) + 12 almonds
-2 or 3 Clementine’s/orange + handful of nuts
-Fruit Smoothie- 1/2 cup of frozen fruit blended with 1.5 cups of water
-Protein Shake- 1.5 cups of water, 1 scoop of Vega vegetarian based protein powder (with or without a 1/2 cup of fruit)
-½ piece of whole wheat pita bread with 2 tbsp. of hummus and cut up veggies

But remember, as I’ve been told by a holistic dietitian, limit fruit to 2 servings per day (as fruit turns to sugar, sugar turns to fat, which then gives the body a response to the insulin). Limit cheese/nuts or seeds to only once per day as its made up of mostly fat. As in, choose between nuts/seeds or cheese each day having only one serving of one OR the other. Not one serving of each per day. Food

These are just a few examples of the healthy snacks I like to enjoy. Every now and again when I eat the “treats” that I used to once enjoy, I’m reminded that I don’t actually like them anymore. They’ve become sickly sweet, extremely salty, or might even upset my stomach. It’s crazy how much your taste buds adapt. You soon realize that the things you used to think you needed as a reward are no longer tempting or satisfying.


28 thoughts on “Surviving the Holidays with Healthy Snacking

      • Honestly, you have much more knowledge in that than I do have. I simply know that fruits and vegetables today don’t contain enough vitamins to reach the recommended daily dose. That’s why at least over the winter months whole family takes dietary supplements. The kids get a vitamin complex. I discovered Moringa. That’s a plant grown in the Canary Islands (google that). This plant has a multiple dose of vitamins, trace elements, and also second messengers which bring all the active substances almost completly inside the system. It acts cell regenerative and regenerates the whole body. It is healing and pain-relieving. I was dealing with high blood pressure since the year began. I was checked from head to toe but no reason was found. I took antihypertensive drugs – only half a pill and then it was done for 2 or 3 weeks. But since I take Moringa I did not have to take any pill. That is 2 1/2 months ago. Really cool. You need to check the internet. That’s all I can add 😉

      • Supplements in the forms of vitamins and minerals are a great way to help support our dietary needs. The Vega protein & greens powder that I use gives me the recommended amount of protein (per serving) and greens (for the day) that I need. 🙂

    • It takes so much discipline! You are correct. However, the work pays off because I feel good when I eat good. When I get slack with my eating habits I often feel rotten. Do you have any tips to add? 🙂

      • Try to eat only natural foods. No man made foods eg processed foods. Also no sugar. I am about 80% good but this time of year my will power is bad

      • You got it right girl. If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t eat it. If you can’t pick it, peel it, pull it out of the ground, or crack it open (just a few examples) it’s probably not good for us.

      • Recently made toasted pumpkin seeds. They were great. I have started using pumpkin as vegetable in casserole instead of potatoes or noodles. Don’t know why I never did it before. Very filling and nutritious. Freezes and cans well, too. Very cheap and plentiful after holidays, too.

      • I am not a big pumpkin fan (although I want to be), but I sure do love pumpkin seeds. Great ideas! I am trying to incorporate more and more things I didn’t used to eat.

  1. I would add that eating nuts that are in their shell helps to limit the amount consumed. This time of year, I love having a large bowl of mixed nuts like almonds and walnuts, along with the nutcracker to break them open.

    Christmas food has never agreed with my system, so I dread eating this time of year. Last night my husband told me to stop cooking food I can’t eat, for goodness sake! I know, it seems so logical but it’s hard not having the tradition foods like tortiere and baked goods around. I can’t eat turkey, so my version is a large stuffed salmon. At least I can look forward to that for my Christmas dinner.

    • Yes, cracking nuts out of their shell would definitely take some time. I’m not very good at that. I always end up pinching my fingers in the process.

      Your husband is right…cook only the foods you can eat too. I’m getting better about this. Stuffed salmon sounds amazing. What do you stuff it with?

      • White bread, one chopped onion, melted butter, lemon juice and dill. Stuffed the salmon, wrap it in foil, bake for 35-60 min at 375f, depending on the size. Unwrap at the last minute. I serve it with a lemon dill sauce, warm or cold. I love salmon!!!

      • I love butter, lemon, and dill with salmon. Such a treat! It would taste amazing hot off the bbq’d. You are lucky you don’t have problems eating gluten or white bread. A lot of people do.

      • That gives me an idea for a blog post on my version of what I would eat for Xmas. Only my favourites.

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