Saturday, January 11, 2014

Snacking is Good....If you "snack smart"

Healthy Foodie Rule #7: Snack Smart

I don't skip meals, and I don't skips snacks, either.
While not all nutritionists agree about the wisdom of snacking, I find it helps me keep from eating too much at mealtime.
The key, of course, is to choose your snacks wisely. Having healthful snacks at hand makes it far less likely you'll grab a coworker's cookies or hit the vending machines.
My top snack strategy is to make several days' worth of raw veggie and fruit snacks, put them in single serving zip-lock plastic bags and grab one when needed.
My baggies usually include slices of orange bell pepper, crispy-sweet sugar snap peas, and apple slices. A small tangerine (Clementine) is a good fruit choice, too. As summer approaches and apples become mealy, I'll find a substitute fruit such as a handful of cherries.

What else to snack?
I'm a huge fan of Trader Joe's peanut butter pretzels, the variety with "no salt on the pretzel." You still get salt in the PB itself, so you won't feel deprived of a salty snack. At the same time, you won't be overdoing the sodium. Joe's also has a multigrain corn chip that satisfies my urge for a savory crunch.
In the evenings I want something sweet, so I might go for a few squares of dark chocolate -- a favorite "everyday" chocolate is Lindt's Intense Orange. Stopping at 3-4 squares can be a challenge, though, so don't go there if your tendency is to eat the whole bar.

Otherwise, I like the single serving puddings you can find in the dairy case--Kozy Shack rice pudding or chocolate pudding are both quite good. And no temptation to eat too much, since it's portion controlled.

Other recommended snacks -- choose the ones you like best -- include a container of low-fat or fat-free, no sugar added yogurt; a handful of no-salt-added nuts; a small bowl of cereal with skim milk; crackers (or apple slices) with a smear of crunchy, natural peanut butter; one piece of string cheese, maybe with a half a pear.

Smart snacking can help keep your blood sugar level, your energy on an even keel, and minimize the danger of falling off the healthy foodie wagon!

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