When 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.
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!)
-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.
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.
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.