Listen on the go!
Out of everything I've read about whether or not snacking is a good thing, I can tell you that the best choice is always what is best for you specifically. We all have different histories with food and this more than anything else is what I think can determine whether snacking is a good or a bad thing.
Many people who have suffered from overeating or food addiction swear by avoiding snacking since this is yet another moment to have to make choices and possibly be faced with a binge. Others however, feel more at ease come meal time when they incorporate regular snacking, since they've been eating throughout the day and aren't so famished at dinner time that they throw an entire day of healthy eating out the window. You get the idea, our history with food, our metabolism, our schedules, our hunger levels will all come together to determine what frequency of eating you feel better at.
Here's one thing we do know however, keeping your blood sugar and insulin levels steady throughout the day are where the sweet spot is at. For many of us that means eating at regular times, but it also means one very important thing: snacks need to be healthy. A sugary white flour donut every day at 4 o'clock is a no no. Same goes for frequent trips to the vending machine or the pastry box at the office. This is not the kind of snacking I'm talking about. Every once in a while a sugary treat is a-ok, but it's a treat. In the interest of creating healthy snacking habits, I want you to think of snacking in terms of getting even more nutrition into your body. Yes, this can also mean satisfying that sweet tooth. Since snacking can become a daily ritual, keeping healthy options in mind is important. I prefer to keep naughtier treats, which I love and include in my diet, as a special dessert.
In my case, incorporating 2 healthy snacks a day has been a life changer since my problem has always been portion control at mealtime. Keep in mind that by snacking and eating at regular times and regular intervals, this will probably mean you'll have a slightly smaller portion for your main meals, so listen to your body and practice mindful eating to help you judge what a good portion is for you.
What should I include in my snack?
A guideline I love to incorporate when possible is to include a plant-based protein source and plenty of fiber in my snacks. In the case of protein this can be some peanut butter, some chia or hemp seeds, a little pea or hemp protein powder in a smoothie, some crunchy chickpeas, hummus or bean dip, leftovers that include some beans or lentils, some crispy or grilled tofu cubes. There are so many options for both sweet and savory dishes. When it comes to fiber, adding some raw vegetables, greens like kale or collards, or even leftover roasted veggies is a great plan. As an example, imagine you're eating a banana as a snack, you could add a little peanut butter and some chia seeds on top, or blend all of that up with some greens for a smoothie and add a little pea protein if desired.
The reason this is so helpful is that by adding that little source of protein and fiber, you're helping your body feel satisfied for longer, you're keeping your blood sugar steady and you're including foods that will naturally give you a nutrient boost as well. Here's another example, if you're having avocado toast top it with lots of arugula or some kale and add some turmeric while you're at it. You get it right? Nutrients, nutrients, nutrients!
All in all, healthy snacks and not sitting at the dinner table in an "I would eat the fridge" state, are great for keeping you healthy, balanced and keep your body working like a little engine.
So what should we snack? Today I'm giving you a ton of ideas for a whole week's worth of snacks! At the end of this post, just in case you want to take this even further, you can download our cute printable snack calendar with a whole month's worth of ideas you can pick and choose from. Are you ready?!
Whether you're a savory snacker, or have a total sweet tooth, I'm sure you'll find some yummies in the list below.
What do the symbols stand for?
Just so that everyone can have easy access to the recipes, I've marked them with a "YT" which means they are part of our youtube recipes available to everyone (click the letters to go to the recipe!), and an "MB" which means they are part of My Brownble, our online membership program. Some are pretty self explanatory and need no recipe at all!
Whole grain toast with mashed avocado mixed with lemon and sea salt, sprinkled with turmeric and topped with any green you like. This can be an herb like cilantro or greens like arugula, kale or spinach!
Whole grain toast with nut butter, mango and banana slices, topped with hemp seeds (MB)
Oat coconut cranberry bars (YT)
Energy balls made by pulsing dates, almonds and coconut flakes in a food processor and making little balls (a little drizzle of maple syrup and vanilla extract is optional but delicious). You can find an exact recipe by my friend Ve at Minha Cozinha.
Want even more inspiration for your daily snacks?
Click the button below and we'll send you our 1 month printable full of delicious ideas.