The best way to fuel your body is by consuming good nutrients throughout the day. With meals usually spaced 4-6 hours apart, snacking can be an important part of your life. Many people, especially adults with busy schedules, will either avoid snacking altogether or snack on the highly processed, high-sugar, and low-nutrient-content food out of convenience and simply not knowing any better, or just not taking into account the major drawbacks of poor snacking habits. The best solution to body-damaging snacking, in a nutshell, is to… prepare ahead of time!
Follow these guidelines for energy-boosting and mood-enhancing snacks that will be a positive influence for you and everyone else in your life:
1. Only buy packaged snacks after you have looked at the ingredient list and determined that there are no added preservatives, sugar, artificial flavors, or any long ingredient names that you can’t pronounce or aren’t familiar with. A general rule is that anything with more than 5 ingredients is not likely to be a great choice either.
2. Eat raw and fresh produce whenever possible. Get creative with your snacking. Cook up some healthy recipes and separate them into snack-size servings, so they are ready to munch on at a moment’s notice or grab on the way out the door.
3. Are you a chip fanatic? Resist the conventional potato chips that are high in salt and deep-fried. You’ll be amazed at how tasty and crunchy your own homemade potato chips are! Thinly slice one simple potato (best done with a slicing blade in a hand slicer or food processor to make it appropriately thin) and place a batch in between 2 pieces of parchment paper in the microwave. Season with a sprinkle of salt or other herbs and cook for 5-7 minutes until they are lightly browned. You can even make homemade Kale chips!
4. Fancy up your fruits and vegetables with savory dips and tangy sauces. This will provide lots of variety along with a treat for your sweet tooth. Make your own so you can control what’s in them. Peanut butter (with just peanuts), slightly heated, is a tasty treat with various fruits and vegetables.
5. Keep a supply of natural raw nuts around you all the time. Don’t worry about the fat content in nuts; it’s the good fat your body soaks up and uses to your benefit. You can be more concerned about overconsuming high-carb foods like wheat products, potatoes, and rice. Plus, nuts are packed with protein, antioxidants, and body-friendly fat: omega-3 fatty acids!
6. Dedicate snacking to fruits and vegetables. Many people find it difficult to consume the required number of fruits and vegetables the body craves to function at its peak performance. Make one of your goals to only snack on fruit and vegetable-based snacks.