I'm mad for the snacks these days — I think I will forever associate lockdown with snacking. I’m trying to keep it under control and not just grab whatever comes to hand but it is a bit of an effort for me.
This week, I’m chatting about snacking strategies and sharing a brilliant recipe for rocky road.
Having pre-prepared snacks to hand is ideal but the reality is that most of us are quite busy.
Taking time to prepare a batch of snacks is a brilliant healthy habit and I try to do it once a week.
For those times when this isn’t an option, here are a few zero-preparation snacks I like to grab:
When you’re thinking about how much you snack and are trying to make your snacking habits as healthy and suitable for your lifestyle as possible, it’s really important to keep it simple. What does your day look like and what are your snacking requirements? I personally need a snack most nights after dinner to sleep well but that tends to be a reflection on my exercise activity in the evenings.
I regularly remind myself of my top three tips for snacking:
1. Aim for three balanced meals and two to three snacks each day. I add in a third at night if I’ve exercised. Listen to your body and adjust accordingly, we are all different. Remember though, a snack is not a meal and the portion size should reflect this. (A handful of nuts is a snack-sized portion.)
2. Aim to eat every three to four hours and include a protein source at each snack to keep blood sugar levels balanced. Don’t wait until you get hungry to eat, plan out your meals and snacking to ensure you are hitting these when you need too.
3. Ensure you are properly hydrated as we often mistake thirst for hunger. I must remind myself to drink all the time. I’m a fierce one for tipping away on teas and coffees when what I need to be doing is sipping water.
I shared this recipe recently on Derval.ie and everyone loved it, it is a great healthy snack to refuel with post run. Packed with healthy fats from nuts and seeds, antioxidants from the dark chocolate and just enough sugar to replenish glycogen stores from the dried cranberries. Give these a go and enjoy them!
250 g dark chocolate (75% or more), broken into small pieces
1 tsp coconut oil
75g toasted granola
75g nuts of choice
75g pumpkin or sunflower seeds
75g dried cranberries
50g desiccated coconut
Place chocolate and coconut oil in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan half-filled with simmering water. Stir with a metal spoon until all chocolate is melted. Add the granola, nuts, seeds, cranberries and coconut to the chocolate mix and stir.
Once all the ingredients are evenly coated in chocolate turn the mix out onto a greaseproof lined baking tray. Let to set in for 1 hour in the fridge. Using a hot knife cut into portions and store in an airtight container in the fridge
Wellness Tip: Watch something uplifting or motivating. Find something to watch that is uplifting and allow yourself to zone out and watch it. I’ve been loving the Last Dance the Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls documentary.
Fitness Tip: Be mindful of your posture, try to prevent yourself from slouching and keep both feet planted on the ground when sitting rather than crossing your legs. If you spend lots of time at a computer try to remember your posture and get up every 30 minutes or so to move.