Hi guys, happy Friday and long weekend to us Canadians! Oh wait – is it a long weekend in your part of the world too?
I feel like I have been talking about snacking a lot lately, which seemed like a good time to compile a list of recipes and other options for some easy, delish and nutritious snacks. I used to be a constant “snacker” – I would graze throughout the whole day on little nibbles (mostly fruits and veggies) but since completing the Whole 30 and now learning more in my program… I am realizing the importance and benefits of eating substantial, nutrient-rich meals (rather than snacking the day away).
I remember being a bit hard on myself when it came to snacking and the Whole 30: I thought that I should be eating enough at meals and shouldn’t need to have to eat a snack. That really is great in theory (the idea is that we are stabilizing our blood sugar for prolonged amounts of time, which provides us with sustained energy throughout the day) but this doesn’t always happen. I think finding a middle ground between three massive meals and constantly snacking is what works for me. It’s certainly hard to filter through all the information: eat 5 small meals a day, eat 3 large meals a day, eat every 2-3 hours, don’t eat after 8pm…
Eat when you’re hungry.
Ultimately, we are all different and this idea will be my number one priority with my clients: figuring out their body and their individual and unique needs. It is not one size fits all. Eat real food. Move your body. I do not care one bit if you say you eat “paleo” but eat white rice and white rice isn’t “paleo.” If white rice works for you, your body and your training… eat the friggin rice and everyone else should shut-up about it.
Anyways, ensuring you are eating enough throughout the day and obtaining adequate nutrition for you and your body is obviously super important. Depending on the timing, your activity and your hunger – the components of your snack will vary. Protein? Carbs? Fat? Veggies? Sugar? Let’s quickly break it down:
Protein is used by the body for growth, repair and recovery.
Carbohydrates are fast burning sources of energy and are broken down into glucose (the main source of fuel for our cells).
Fats are dense sources of energy.
Vegetables contain all sorts of amazing vitamins and minerals.
Sugar is good for the soul – but some sugar is better than others. Check out this post for more on sugar and Franken-food.
Now that we know all of that, here are a bunch of snack ideas based on the nutritional components:
All of these snacks are easy to make-ahead, throw in a tupperware and stored in your purse/gym bag/office/wherever to keep you fueled and ready for the day.
CLICK ON THE ITEM FOR THE RECIPE
Protein + carbs – Remember this post on post-workout nutrition? Protein and carbs are ideal to eat (or drink) after a workout. Starchy carbs (think: sweet potatoes, beets, pumpkin, squash, carrots) are ideal as it replenishes muscle glycogen but fruity carbs (bananas, apples) aren’t a bad option.
Apple chicken burger on a sweet potato bun
Hard boiled egg and banana
- Hard boiled egg and sweet potato
- Chicken and butternut squash
- Bacon and roasted beets
- Sausages and carrots
Hard boiled egg and avocado: just mash it all up!
Hard boiled egg and nuts
Meat and nuts
Almond butter energy bite – not a ton of protein but a little bit!
- Chicken and nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts)
- Sardines and avocado
- Chicken cooked in coconut oil/ghee
Protein/fat + veggies – A bit of protein/fat with some veg is great anytime of the day and should ward off small hunger pangs!
Hard boiled egg carrots and broccoli
Tuna and pickles
Hard boiled egg, avocado and carrots
- Chicken and broccoli
- Smoked salmon and cucumber
- Hard boiled egg and peppers
Carbs + fat – A necessary combo to replace your glycogen stores and help to keep you feeling full!
Sweet potato and almond butter
Plantain (or banana) cooked in coconut oil
- Butternut squash and coconut butter
- Plantain with nut butter
- Parsnips roasted in olive oil
- Apple with nut butter
Let’s talk more sugary snacks… because let’s face it: I don’t know many people that don’t crave something sweet! No not high-fructose corn syrup – I’m talking about as “natural” sugar as possible: honey, fruit, cocoa. Sugar is sugar is sugar but honey is used differently by our body than HFCS (you can read more in this post). The best time to eat sugar is during the post-workout period (approx. 30-90 mins after activity) as your body is functioning to “burn” this excess sugar and will be able to handle the spike in insulin better. But, that’s not always 100% realistic. Here are some delicious and sweet options – that are still pretty nutritious!
Coconut butter – I order Nikki’s online
Good quality dark chocolate
Dates (this one is stuffed with coconut butter)
Or my favorite: nature’s sugar!
- Orange cashew chocolate chip cookies
- Coconut chocolate chip cookies
- 2-ingredient oat and banana cookie
- Chocolate covered strawberries
- Raspberries with chocolate chips
- Dried fruit
I hope some of my favorite snacks give you some ideas!
Want more info on snacks and snacking? Check out these posts:
Questions of the day…
What’s your favorite on-the-go snack?
What are you doing for the long weekend of regular weekend?
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