Before I was married and had kids, I worked in a traditional office
setting and was stuck behind a desk for 8+ hours. Breakfast was a
half-eaten container of yogurt as I ran through the front door of my
Lunch was a scrambled mess of fast food restaurants and
sandwich shops. Dinner consisted of leftovers or take-out. Everyday at
work, I’d hit my low around 2 PM. My energy was drained, I couldn’t
concentrate on anything and I was fidgety. What’s a girl to do? I did
what anyone would do in this case — I looked for snacks! I used to sit
across the dining area in the office so it was easy for me to raid the
vending machines. I ate bear claws, peanut butter crackers, Doritos. On
Fridays, the dining area was bustling more than usual because there was a
plethora of donuts, bagels, and cream cheese. Needless to say, I was
not participating in a healthy diet and always felt worse after eating
any snack at work.
These days, I try to get in three square meals a day with snacks that
will energize and satiate me. When I skip meals and eat fatty, sugary
snacks, I get cranky and feel like I could spend the day in bed.
Fruits are always a great snack choice. Apart from the fact that
fruit is inexpensive, fruit offers our body great health benefits. They
are full of fiber and essential vitamins like iron and folic acid that
fuel our body. Fruits like blueberries and cranberries are a great
source of antioxidants which help your body combat free radicals that
can destroy cells and can lead to cancer or heart disease. Apples,
bananas, and pears are easy to carry around with you. Raisins are also
great snacks and can be tossed into your purse. Put grapes or
blueberries into a plastic container with a lid.
Raw nuts make for a great snack because they can improve your health
and satisfy those hunger pangs immediately. Since nuts are high in
calories and fat, you need to limit the amount of nuts you eat. Instead
of eating an entire container of nuts, just take a handful. Nuts help
lower the bad cholesterol — low-density lipoprotein cholesterol because
of their monosaturated fat content. Just like fruits, nuts are also high
Almonds and cashews are great to nibble on between meals — just throw some in a Ziploc bag and you’re good to go.
Eating vegetables also provides your body with essential nutrients and promote
a healthy lifestyle. Veggies contain vitamins like A and C and also
have fiber that your body will benefit from. Through their nutritional
values, vegetables can decrease your risk of many diseases like cancer
and heart disease. Carrots and celery are easy-to-eat vegetables while
you’re on the run. Cut carrots into small sticks or opt for baby
Many grocery stores offer pre-cut and pre-bagged veggies.
Low-fat dairy products can also benefit your health. Yogurt promotes
digestive health and can lower blood pressure. As you may have noticed
at your grocery store, many yogurt makers are advertising “probiotics”
and “digestive enzymes”. Yogurt contains acidophilus bacteria, which is a
bacteria that helps to digest your food. Yogurt is a quick way to
satisfy your cravings throughout the day.
Dark chocolate. Don’t need to check your eyesight. You read it right. Dark chocolate, an antioxidant, can lower your blood pressure and can keep your hunger at bay. Of
course, this doesn’t mean you can drown yourself in dark chocolate. As
with many things, moderation is the key. Avoid eating an entire bar of
dark chocolate. Instead, indulge in a small square. The darker the
chocolate is, the more cocoa phenols it will have, and these phenols can
lower your blood pressure.
So the next time your tummy grumbles in the middle of the afternoon,
think twice before you head off to the vending machine or dip your hand
into a bag of potato chips. Snacks are meant to fuel your body, not make
your body sluggish and tired. Whether you’re a student on the go, a
working girl stuck in meetings all day, or a busy mom with a hectic
schedule, take the time to make smart choices about what you put in your
body between meals.