Snack, Don’t Slack!
Unarguably the most popular pastime is one that you’ve probably already done today. Can you guess what it is? No, it’s not checking your Instagram, and it’s not taking selfies either (Although you may have done those things today too). What am I talking about? I’m talking about snacking.
Am I right? Even when you’re taking part in those other hobbies like taking photos, or working or just watching television at home; going to the cupboard to grab a snack always seems like a necessity. And while those who focus on having a healthy diet would agree that having snacks throughout the day is important, you may not be reaching for the right ones. What is important about snacking (and yes, it’s an art), is that it’s something quick and easy. This is why grabbing three cookies or the chip bag seems like the best option-until somehow the bag is empty. Then you’re not even snacking anymore…that bag of salt n’ pepper just became a meal.
To help you out in making better choices with your snack time, here are four really great options that can be just as easy to make, but way more beneficial to your health. Try grabbing these instead of the sweets next time.
Need a snack? Go nuts! These little dudes are packed with health benefits and amazing nutrients like potassium, calcium, iron and B vitamins. Eating almonds five times a week can actually lower your risk for heart attack, as well as lowering your cholesterol and blood-sugar levels. For those of you who have heard that almonds contain a lot of fat, this is true, but the majority of the fats are monounsaturated fats which are beneficial to your body.
And like many nuts, these guys will fill you up, so you won’t feel the need to keep reaching for more snacks. To best reap their health benefits, soak or roast the almonds beforehand, then have them ready in baggies to grab on the go!
Edamame is a soybean, which hasn’t matured yet and therefore remains soft in texture. You can purchase them fresh or frozen, and they are ready within five minutes. One cup of these prepared pods gives you 17 grams of protein, 10 % of your calcium and 20% of your iron intake. These perfect snacks have absolutely no cholesterol, and those who are gluten-free can also indulge in their tastiness. For those who find edamame slightly bland, sprinkling a light sea salt on them is a great way to add some flavor, or dip them in a teriyaki sauce for a tasteful twist.
- Rice Cakes
Yes, yes I know this sounds boring. I would also take a cookie over a plain rice cake. However, the rice cake is merely the vehicle to your amazing snack, providing the important crunchy texture you are searching for. Spread some protein-packed almond butter on said rice cake, and don’t forget to slice up a banana to add on top too. Now we’re talking right?
The almond butter provides the sweet taste you may be craving, and the banana- need I say more? The banana is jam-packed with vitamins like potassium and magnesium, but you’ll feel like you’re eating dessert. And that’s what you would have grabbed for a snack anyways, right? Only this time you’re doing it the right way.
- Frozen Grapes
This snack is probably trending on Twitter right now. Frozen grapes were only recently brought to my attention, and I will be forever grateful. Grapes can start to lose their luster after a few days, and we have all had our days where half the bag gets dumped. Instead of letting them become a mushy, sour mess, throw remaining grapes in a freezer-bag, and let them freeze overnight. The frozen grapes have an awesome new texture that is weirdly refreshing and very satisfying while still tasting sweet.
Not only are they delicious, but they’re helpful for maintaining the health of your bones as they contain sources of iron, magnesium and copper. Grapes can also help with a variety of health issues including insomnia, indigestion and migraines. Next time, skip past the cupboard and head towards the freezer for these sweet snacks!
Let’s get serious. After choosing a terrible snack, you don’t feel any better. You probably feel worse! Foods that are packed with sugar and bad fats are not making you feel any more energized or full. Consider these healthier snacks the next time you feel like you need something to chew on (probably while perusing TechandBurgers.com). And don’t forget that if you have kids, try to get them on the train as well. Frozen grapes are actually kind of fun to eat, and they will love the peanut butter rice cakes. Make these snacks more available to your family, and they’ll prefer them over sweets in no time.3