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April 15, 2018: Smart Snacks

My weekly Get Your Stuff Together Sunday email series gives you one actionable focus for the week that will make your life a little easier.

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This week, we’re talking about smart snacks that you can have to stay energized - at home, work, or on-the-go.

What is snacking all about?

When snacking, first check in and note why you want a snack. Is it boredom? Get up and find a change of scenery. Is it hunger? Well, okay then! Think of your snack as a mini-meal and keep it balanced by choosing a one with produce, protein, and carbohydrates. I have suggestions for each category coming up. Remember that a snack should be small and keep the “mini” in “mini meal.”

As a general rule of thumb, choose a snack this has: 150-250 calories, about 3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and no more than 12 grams of fat. This combination will get rid of the hunger, keep you satiated, and all without leading to overconsumption.

How to snack

First, snacking should should be done mindfully. Put your snack on a plate and focus while eating. Enjoy that snack. Try not to multitask while eating.

Second, be aware of the serving size on the label and be sure that your portion matches it. Never, ever eat straight from the bag!

When to snack

Snacking isn’t about following habit or what the clock says. It’s for when you are hungry. There is a theory out there that you should eat every 2-3 hours, but that’s not true for everyone. Eat when you’re hungry. It’s really that simple! On a scale of 1-10, 1 being not hungry at all and 10 being ready to take a bite out of a coworker, you should be about a 6 if you’re going to snack.

Suggestions

Add 1 from each category.

Produce:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Fruit leather (without added sugar)
  • Carrots
  • Snap peas
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Peppers
  • Frozen Grapes
  • Kale Chips
  • Tomato Juice

Protein

  • Hummus
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Edamame
  • Fish in a pouch, like tuna
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • String cheese
  • Milk
  • Cottage cheese
  • Jerky
  • Protein bar (I like Quest and ThinkThin)
  • Nut butter packets
  • Pistachios
  • Mixed nuts
  • Walnuts

Carbohydrate

  • Pretzels
  • Air popped popcorn
  • Dark chocolate
  • Whole wheat crackers

For 121 snack ideas, check out this article from Snack Nation.

By the way, it’s okay to have an unhealthy snack once in a while, but those are treats and not the norm. The key is balance and moderation.

Next Sunday, we’ll talk about finding moments of zen in your daily life. Walks outside, funny cat videos, breathing...it’s all good!

Do you have a friend who could stand to G(her)ST? Feel free to forward this!

I hope you have a wonderful week,

Kelly

Kelly Morgan, Ph.D.

Tsirona - www.tsirona.com


My weekly GYSTS email give you one actionable thing to do for the week that will make you life a little easier. As "they" say, "Fail to plan; plan to fail." Get these emails (and more!) delivered right to your inbox by clicking HERE.