Healthy Snacking Made Easy

 

Snacks have become their very own food group.  I believe that snacks are so popular and normal these days because of the dependence that so many people have on carbohydrates due to the overwhelming amount of grains and sugars in the Standard American Diet (SAD).  Simply put, the more starches and sugars you eat, the more dependent your body will be on them vs. fat as a fuel source over time.

For years, we’ve heard that we need to eat every 2 hours to keep up a fast metabolism in order to stay skinny.  That drive to eat so often can easily disrupt a metabolism that is not truly depending on that much frequent, quick fuel to stay high functioning and performing well.  For some people this may truly be what their metabolism needs but for most, it is a product of a lower functioning metabolism that has gone awry. 

Your individual Metabolic Type® dictates how much of your diet should be coming from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.  Factors such as chronic stress, too much sugar and grains in the diet, improper exercise, poor recovery, poor quality sleep, hormone imbalances and even digestive distress can encourage your metabolism to go “off the deep end” and into a state of metabolic dysfunction. This dysfunction can show up as either a weak appetite or an overpowering one that is highly dependent on frequent consumptions of…snacks.

But no matter what your Metabolic Type®  is, your health success comes from proper preparation of the right foods and snacks are no different than your regular meals.  When it comes to meal planning, you may have your meals at home or you may be keeping it simple and rotate the same few things on your lunch menu.  The problems often come when you want a snack and nothing worth having that won’t sabotage your metabolism is readily available to you while you are on the go.  This can lead to eating the wrong things, reaching for the wrong snacks, and derailing your entire diet plan. 

Before you start down that path, consider these methods of having healthy snacks ready to go when you or your family want them. 

1. Plan out Equal Snacks

One of the key steps to having healthy snacks ready to go is to plan them out. The trick to this is planning out equal amounts of healthy salty and sweet snacks. You may have days when either would be great, so having equal amounts on hand will cover that without having you run out of one or the other. This means if you are planning for the month, you will need a month’s worth of snacks. This may sound like common sense, but when you start the planning process it may be forgotten easily as we tend to plan our meals more than our snacks. Remember too that some snacks can dual, like gluten-free granola or trail mix.

 

2. Make To-Go Snack Options

When you plan your snacks, you likely consider that you will be at home to have them. For example, you may pre-make your popcorn for the week with the flavorings that you love. However, you may keep it in a container that is not travel-friendly. Instead, consider making single serve bags of the snack. You can grab it, toss it in your bag, and go. That way you have it ready to grab if you want it, but if you don’t, you can toss it back into the snack drawer with the other snacks.

I will often buy portable versions of snacks such as Justin’s Almond Butter, applesauce and Epic bars to ensure that I have to-go snack options to stash in my bag as I am running out of the door.  This keeps me from having to prepare anything in case I forget or didn’t put the forethought into planning the snacks that I should have.

If you consume smoothies or soups on the regular a super easy way to make a to-go snack option is to double or triple your smoothie or soup recipe and store the remaining servings in the fridge in a ready to go container.  This has saved me on more than 10 occasions easily!  

 

3. Snack Drawer Set-Up

Consider creating a snack drawer or bin with all your single serve pre-made snacks. This allows you to grab what you want, or grab a few different snacks, and go. It also gives you a place to keep multiple types of snacks for your different snack moods like salty, sweet, and crunchy.  By preparing them ahead of time you can make sure you always have something on hand and that it is healthy.

 

4. Consider Your Lifestyle

When you plan on having snacks on hand and ready to go, you may be thinking about the ability to sit and eat the snack easily. Sometimes, this just isn’t possible. Make sure if you are going to be driving or on the go that the snacks fit that lifestyle. This means paying attention to how you package them. Also remember, there are packages that can be reused to cut down on waste. These should be considered as well.

 

These ideas can help you have healthy sweet, salty, or mixed snacks ready to go. No matter what your cravings, you will have something you can grab and snack on or take with you without derailing your progress towards better health and performance!

 

Interested in more meal and snack ideas each month that will help you support your metabolism, then consider joining my Real Food Meal Plan Membership and you’ll get fresh, delicious, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free recipes each month as well as my nutrition coaching support!

 

 

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