It’s the middle of the afternoon..lunch was three hours ago, long gone and in the tail end of digestion, (depending on what you ate) and then it starts. The infamous growling. How I dispise you. You ate a wholesome and satisfying, feel-good-about-yourself lunch, but that was 3+ hours ago at this point and dinner seems so far away, especially since you have at least another 2 hours before your work day is over. Welcome to Senario H- ‘H’ for hunger ;). What do you do?
Snacking is important because you need to be refueled every 2-4 hours if you feel hungry. Personally I nosh almost every two hours on the dot, but I’m not talking 3 course meals here. When you’re working or on the go time is limited, or more like ‘time is money’, and so the normal tendency is to turn to something quick and convenient. Usually that’s something from a vending machine, convenience store, or fast food restaurant because most of us don’t prepare for that feeling when you are driving home from work, stuck on 635 (Dallas peeps are familiar, I’m sure.) and about to eat your arm off. We’ve all been there, we know it’s coming, but it seems easier to swing through the drive thru, or pull off to the gas station to grab that candy bar or bag of chips and a fountain drink. Anything to get off highway resembling a parking lot, right? Truthfully, those ‘snacks’ may help to beat off the hunger pains for a little while, but what else are they providing? Typically these foods are high in fats, sugar, and calories but low in nutrients. Choosing a snack with protein, good fats, and high fiber helps keep your energy level elevated, tummy full, and brain satisfied.
The key is to plan ahead for those snack attacks, making sure you aren’t left to make a last minute poor decision. Whether its a quick bite before hitting the road to home, a mid-morning brain booster, or an evening snack prior to hitting the sheets, be sure to choose the one’s that will stick with you, in a good way. At a loss? Try some of these 150-200 calorie snacks, easy to pack for work/school, too!
*Small bowl of whole-grain cereal with milk (add berries for a bit of sweetness)
*1-2 tablespoons peanut butter on apple slices
*1/2 cup mandarine oranges canned in their own juice with 1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
*6-ounce container Greek style yogurt sprinkled with low fat (high fiber) granola (I’m partial to a flax based granola)
*Mini bag of microwaveable popcorn
*Hummus with whole wheat crackers or raw vegetables.
OOOOOHHHH- hummus. Yes, delish and a oober balanced snack. The multi-colored peppers were on sale at my farmers’ grocery, but feel free to cut out the roasting portion of this recipe and use the jarred (in water/juice) roasted red peppers, rinsed and drained.
1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste..Think peanut butter, only made with sesame seeds.)
1/4 cup water
2 large orange bell peppers
1 large yellow bell peppers
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 garlic clove, minced
1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Preheat broiler to HIGH. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel peppers.
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender; process until smooth.