Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sensible Snacking for Your Busy Lifestyle!

So, you wake up and have a healthy breakfast at 8am. You get to work and things at the office start to get busy, before you know it, the clock is ticking down to 1pm and you havent even had lunch....the vending machine is calling for you to sabotage your healthy habits with sugary candy and salt laden chips...what should you do? Here are some sensible snacking tips knowledgeable RDs have found to help you through your day...
1. Plan ahead! Preparation is key to healthy work snacking and making proper food choices. Store your staple foods in the refrigerator and use a toaster oven to heat your leftovers (please forego the microwave) and bring foods from home to snack on, for lunch and even dinner, depending on how long you think you may be at the office. What you don't end up eating can be saved for the next day's snack! Some good options are fruits such as apples, pears, or bagging fresh pineapple or melon chunks, whole wheat crackers, sprouted grain tortillas for some carbs and some low fat cheese, cottage cheese, nuts, edamame (soybeans) for your protein source).

2. Brake for breakfast! If you have not eaten breakfast in the morning before racing off to work, start keeping some healthy items at the office in case you find yourself stopping off for a doughnut. Oatmeal and walnuts, peanut butter and whole wheat toast, or low fat yogurt and fruit are easy to store and prepare!

3. Packing Tips! For packing your snacks-sandwich baggies, plastic wrap and foil work the best. Reusable glass containers save money and waste and can be used safely to reheat foods. A good tip is to prepare snacks at home while you are preapring dinner. You are already in the kitchen anyway, so why not get things together beforehand? Also if you buy dried fruits, nuts, or trail mix in general, it is a good idea to portion these items out when you bring them home, especially if you buy them in bulk. This will also help prevent overeating when snacking.

4. Portion Sizes! Moderation is the key to healthy living. With chips and crackers, preportion the amount rather than sitting down with the entire bag. Portion out foods into small bags or containers. Another option is to buy preportioned products, such as the 100 calorie packs, and then go on to portioning your own food choices once you have become in tune with your appropriate portion sizes.

5. Out of the Ordinary Options-Unusual options such as sundried tomatoes or pomegranate seeds can be a real treat. Or even eggplant or squash dipped in some hummus. An artichoke is a balanced snack dipped with a little Italian Dressing or organic mayonnaise. This can be a trick to healthier eating, because it varies up your selections, eating some atypical tasty foods.

6. Junk Food Fixins- If you absolutely must have chips, look for the ones that are baked, not fried. Try to find whole grain chips with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving and less than 30% of calories from fat. Try to avoid flavored foods. This just adds a lot of unnecesary artificial ingredients. Also, chips made with heart healthier oils such as sunflower and corn oil are higher in the good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

7. Brewin Beverages-Coffee is not necesarily bad news if you are looking for a lighter snack, but make sure you pay attention to when you drink it as well as what you put in it. Drinking coffee anytime after 11am or 12pm may cause sleep disruptions later in the evening. For those who want to steer clear of the coffee bar, there are other drink options such as herbal tea or flavored water. You can even make your own by putting raspberries or cucumber in refrigerated water for flavored "spa water."

Overall, the Livitician says, "make every eating time count, make the most of your snack time with an optimal balance of high fiber carbohydrates and low fat protein, e.g, fruit and a handful of nuts, or Stony field farms low fat yogurt (has fiber in it)". Snacks help prevent over eating at meals and to keep the metabolism working out along with us during the day. If snacks are good, wholesome foods, then no worries about spoiling your appetite. In fact, appropriate and strategic snacking
can help bridge the hunger gap between meals and help keep you better focused and more productive, and help achieve your health and weight goals!!

1 comment:

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