I love snacking, I’m a grazer. Cutting out snacking has been a really hard shift for me, and I must admit that I’m not always successful…
Over the past six months of serious clean eating I’ve found a number of ways to make sure that when I do snack (hell, you can’t always be strict, and sometimes you’re just really hungry – listen to your body), I’m snacking on the right things. Bad snacking is a thing of the past!
The biggest and best decision for me was this: to find what I enjoy eating that’s “healthy” and make sure I have it in the house (otherwise I’ll just keep picking till I find something naughty that’ll satisfy that little voice looking for chocolate). While I was getting used to clean eating I just removed all temptation from the cupboards – and now these are my favourite foods to pick at; clean, healthy and with a long shelf life.
1. Seeds and nutS
I have stacks of these in the house, in various cute jars (something my boyfriend can’t understand – everything tastes better from Nice Jars right?). Sometimes nuts and seeds can seem expensive when there’s a chocolate bar for 50p, so what I did was find a local health shop and use their “nut dispenser” (Lidl also have a really great pick your own section). Instead of buying large packs, or over-priced “snack” packets from the supermarket, I bought a handful of different nuts and seeds until I discovered which were my favourite. Then I stocked up.
Nuts and seeds are a great snack – full of good Omega-3 fats and vitamins. Research has suggested these wonderful little foods can help with weight loss and in lowering choleserol too, even though they are a high-calorie snack (I don’t believe in counting calories, just eat clean, natural and healthy).
As they are full of protein, fibre and oils, nuts and seeds will help your body all over from your hair to your nails, and should keep you feeling fuller for longer (I chuck them in breakfasts, or over salads too!)
All hail nuts.
2. Frozen fruit
If your like me and crave ice cream this is the answer. Chop up a banana and freeze the pieces. When you get that craving you can quickly take a few out of the freezer and chow down – instant gratification with no negativity. Bananas are chock-a-block with goodness – happy hormones, and good, slow release-carbs.
Frozen grapes are a great option too, and they feel like little lolly-pops. 🙂
I also keep a pack of frozen fruits of the forest in the freezer for chucking into breakfast bowls. Life is better when it’s simple.
3. Peanut Butter
Organic, whole-nut peanut butter is a snack sent from food-heaven. Pop into smoothies, eat a teaspoon straight from the jar, smear over fruit (I love a sliced up apple with peanut butter…), let your imagination run wild. It’s peanut butter for gawd’s sake.
Make sure it’s the natural whole-nut version (I like this one) and then you’ll be getting all the goodness of nuts with no added sugars or preservatives. It’s a great post-work energy and protein boost.
A new favourite afternoon-at-work snack of mine is a small bowl of fruit with 1/2 tsp agave or honey drizzled on top. Pow! The sugar gives you a nice little afternoon pick up with all the added benefits of getting some more of your five a day. Both of these are great clean alternatives to refined sugar (I’ve not used it for over a year) as they are both naturally occurring. I prefer to use agave; it’s less calorific and has slightly more vitamins and minerals, so if you are trying to lose weight it’s a bit better for you (just use it sparingly – it’s still sugar!) . Agave is also much more sweet – meaning you need to use much much less.
No added sugar, no added salt, just popped and natural. Low calorie and delicious. I love popcorn, and I always have it to hand. It’s so cheap to buy kernels in the supermarket, and it takes 5 minutes to make on the hob. Perfect for a comfy movie night in.
I tried to get into typical healthy snacks like hummus and celery, and yeah, they’re nice but I couldn’t quite shake the feeling I was ‘eating a healthy snack’ – and when you like a bit of a treat snack (like I do) that just wasn’t going to cut the mustard. I’ll buy them when I want them, but this is what I snack on usually. I also love to make clean energy bites or flapjacks, but…I wouldn’t say they are a cupboard staple.
What is your favourite clean snack?