Snacking, is it important or is it best avoided? There’s a lot of mixed opinions as to whether snacking is a good thing or a bad thing. My advice is to listen to your body. If you get hungry or experience an energy slump between meals, then I recommend that you have a small protein containing snack. If you feel fuelled and satisfied between meals, then there is no need to eat for the sake of it and over-snacking can impair your digestion.
For most clients however I recommend that they have a snack around 3pm in the afternoon as this is a common time people experience low energy, brain fog and you guessed it, sugar cravings. The key to snacking is to make sure it contains protein, slow releasing energy carbohydrates and have it just before your energy slump to keep your blood sugar levels stabilised. Here are some of my favourites.
Hummus & Veggie Sticks
Hummus is made from chickpeas which is one of my favourite carbohydrate sources. They are packed with fibre making them a low GI and also high in protein. Most hummus recipes contain tahini which is a source of healthy fats made from ground sesame seeds and a great non-dairy source of calcium. Pair together with some veggie sticks such as carrot, celery and capsicum for a filling snack. It’s also a great way to sneak an extra serve of vegies in to hit your 5 serves a day.
Recommended Brands: Pilpel, Yalla or DIY using my quick, easy and super delicious hummus recipe
DIY Savoury Nut & Seed Mix
Nuts & seed mixes are a great source of protein and good fats which is the perfect combination to keep the sugar cravings at bay. Doing it yourself means you can add all your favourite nuts & seeds and you know it’s free of added salt, artificial flavours or roasted in cheap inflammatory vegetable/seed oils. High protein nuts & seeds include almonds, peanuts, pepita seeds and sunflower seeds. Dry roasting them on low heat with a sprinkle cumin or paprika makes them even more tasty. Enjoy a small handful (e.g 6-10 almonds) with a piece of fruit as a balanced snack. Cant control yourself? Portion them into little snap lock bags.
This is a regular snack choice of mine particularly around the colder months to warm and nourish my belly. A cup of bone broth contains approximately 10g of protein and is low in carbohydrates. What I love most about bone broth is it’s a gut healing superfood, due to its gelatin content. Gelatin is a natural remedy for reducing inflammation in the gut and healing and sealing the gut wall. This is a great one if you experience any digestive upsets such as bloating or bowel irregularity or looking for a low carb high protein snack option.
Recommended Brands: Undivided Food Co’s GOOD BONES Certified Organic Bone Broth
Nut Butter On sliced Apple With Cinnamon
Raw natural nut butters are a great source of protein and good fats that keep you satiated. Spreading it on sliced apple and finishing off with a big sprinkle of cinnamon satisfies your cravings for something sweet whilst also stabilising your blood sugar levels. Cinnamon is a great natural way to improve your insulin sensitivity and efficiently use carbohydrates as fuel instead of storing them as fat. The recommended amount is 2 tsp a day so go nuts on the cinnamon!
Recommended brands: Pics, Mayvers, Macro.
Full Fat Greek Yoghurt with Cinnamon & Berries
I am a big fan of everything full fat, even for my weight loss clients. Just enjoy it in smaller amounts. The more you process foods such as removing the fats from the yoghurt, you deplete its nutrient content. Food is for nourishment and enjoyment and full fat tastes better! Furthermore, when you take something out, you need to replace it with something else such such as sugar or liver and gut harming artificial sweeteners. The fats along with the protein in the yoghurt keep you feeling more satisfied and fuller for longer. A sprinkle of cinnamon and berries add sweetness, antioxidants, fibre with very very little sugar.
Recommended Brands: Barambah Organics 5am Organics, Julna BioDynamic Organic Whole Milk Yoghurt