If you're like me and most of the world, you regularly get the urge to snack. But are you able to snack without guilt?
If you make sure you have healthy and delicious options like these around, you can.
Today I am sharing 5 of my favorite foods to snack on right now, as well as what I do to make them taste satisfying!
Why they're healthy: Pistachios are a storehouse of unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, and minerals and have anti-inflammatory properties, so nutritionally, they make the grade. I usually keep a small pack in my car and store some in glass containers at home.
If I'm on the road or traveling, I can pick up pistachios at virtually every airport lounge, and every 7-Eleven or other convenience stores.
Having a convenient "go-to" healthy snack is the tip (and system) I am following here. My nephew's "go-to" is bananas, my sister's dark chocolate, and a friend of mine, for some reason, loves to snack on oatmeal.
When you find your "go-to," part of your system will be to keep some handy wherever you spend a lot of time.
2. Skyr Yogurt and Fruit
Why they're healthy: Yogurt has the calcium our bodies need. They are also high in protein, which satisfies hunger, and yogurt has a ton of other health and beauty benefits, including those brands that have a healthy serving of probiotics.
I like Skyr yogurt because they have a thick creamy taste and are low in sugar.
To make your Skyr or other plain yogurts more filling and tastier, you can add half of a banana, some berries, pomegranate seeds, or other fruits that you like. You can also add a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter, Nutella, honey, granola mix, seeds, chocolate, or coconut flakes.
The tip here is to satisfy your sugar cravings with low-sugar foods. To sweeten, add natural sugars. And for added texture — creaminess or crunchiness — add bananas or granola, respectively.
Why they're healthy: Dietitian Anna Nielsen says that avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, which is the good fat that we should be eating more of.
Avocados are also loaded with potassium and antioxidants and are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium.
As a snack, I like to make a tub of guacamole for 4-5 servings—the amount I know I can eat in under a week. I may eat it alone or spread it on top of toasted cinnamon raisin bread when I'm craving a crunchy slightly sweet snack.
The tips here are to a) satisfy your cravings with good fats, and b) when your snack includes carbs, pair it with protein for balanced nutrition.
4. Cucumber and Chili Lime Seasoning
Why they're healthy: I recently discovered this snack, and let me tell you, it's easy to love! The main ingredient, cucumbers, contains several antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, and has very few calories.
Cucumbers are a great way to add hydration to your diet if you're not drinking enough water. Largely due to their anti-inflammatory properties, they can have a calming effect on the stomach, which makes them a good snack if you have digestive concerns.
Full disclosure and something to keep in mind: while a good food option for many people with digestive concerns, some stomachs don't tolerate cucumbers very well. Until you're sure that you tolerate them well, eat a modest amount.
The tip here is that if you have digestive issues, which so many people do these days, plan your snacks around that.
To prepare the Cucumber and Chili Lime Seasoning snack, all you need are chopped cucumbers and your favorite (preferably low sodium) chili-lime seasoning to sprinkle on it, and voila!
5. Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Why they're healthy: Cauliflower pizza crusts are fairly low in sugar, cholesterol, calories, and carbs. Because they are gluten-free, they're well tolerated by most people and prevent the stomach bloat and discomfort you might get after eating traditional pizza dough.
When topped with fresh grated Parmesan or Feta cheese, greens, and a couple of other vegetables, you'll have a super tasty hot homemade snack on your hands.
One of the benefits of snacking on a cauliflower-crust pizza is that it's a healthy swap for regular pizza.
As I said, I want to eat better, and the number one way to do that, I find, and nutritionists agree, is to first focus on nutrition. Then, make your healthy eats taste satisfying.
Because nutrition education equips people with skills and resources to make better eating decisions, it's a central component of the Wellness Club. Try the club for free if you're looking to learn to eat better for life.
Also… please share this article with women you know who are looking for healthy snack options.