The other day during a nutrition session with a new client, the very first thing she said was, "Please don't tell me to eat 10 almonds as a snack, it's not gonna happen.! I chuckled loudly at this remark, knowing it's one of the most popular suggestions given by dietitians & health experts, and is mentioned frequently in every fitness magazine & health publication as the perfect "between-meal snack".
So what's the deal with nuts, and why are they so popular? More importantly, are there any alternatives?
I am of the mindset, that it's best to get a combination of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates with every meal (and snack if possible). There are of course some exceptions, but for the sake of this post, I'm going with the importance of "blood sugar balancing", and the best way to achieve that is by eating a combination of foods to keep your energy at an even keel, boost mood, digestion, and lose weight. A banana for example may give you a spike in energy levels, but less than an hour later, your blood sugar will begin to fall pretty fast without something to hold it nice & steady. Ahhhhh... now you see, this is where the nuts come in!
(Look some don't include almonds at all!)
As I mentioned, ideally it's nice to get a combination of carb, protein & fat. (but if I may quote the band, Meat Loaf, "Two out of three aint bad" (side note..meat loaf actually has carb, fat & protein if you're adding veggies, breadcrumbs & eggs to it) ;)
Here are a few options:
*1 pc string cheese (I like Horizon brand) w handful whole grain crackers or an apple
*6 oz plain, organic Greek yogurt w handful berries
*⅓ cup hummus w raw veggies (snap peas, carrots, bell peppers are perfect)
*hard boiled egg (i love w a splash of hot sauce)
*small banana w 1 Tbsp almond butter or real peanut butter (not Jiffy or Skip or whoever)
*1 pc sprouted grain toast with ½ cup organic cottage cheese
*piece of avocado w sea salt & splash apple cider vinegar (a true favorite)
*1/2 of a tomato with 1 tbsp ricotta cheese and a dash of sea salt & pepper & drizzle of olive oil
*handful trail mix (not the M&M peanut kind...you know who you are!) Some of my favorite additions are raw walnuts., almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, unsweetened coconut, and a small amount of raw cacao nibs. Also try a couple Tbsp of this in your yogurt in the morning.
*ProteinBar or Shake- these should be for emergencies only. In other words, if you're someplace where you can't put together a snack, these are fine to keep on hand. Remember to look for real ingredients. Here's one Abra & I reviewed a while back Good greens.
Big tip- Save the quick snacks for emergencies. Otherwise, eat a small meal (maybe the other half of your lunch?)
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