I can almost hear the hustle and bustle that’s the hallmark of the holiday season. If you are entertaining this Thanksgiving, you may be stressing about finding that perfect local, organic, free-range turkey who got a hug before he met his demise or you may be worrying about how to keep Aunt Edna out of the kitchen so she doesn’t make that disgusting “sweet potato casserole” with marshmallows in the microwave.
Whatever your holiday deal, you will be busy and when you’re busy you might forget the important things, like say…. oh…. eating! Never fear, your diet diva is here. Read on to find out some of the best high energy snacks you can grab in a pinch.
Why Snack Smart?
When you are busy, it can be hard to recognize your normal “hunger/full” signals from the brain. You might not feel hungry or you might be too busy to notice the signal. At any rate, if you wait too long, you might not think straight and drive right in to the drive-through window and order something you are “craving” and it’s sure to be high in unhealthy refined (white) carbohydrates, saturated fat and salt. While it might be a quick fix, you’ll be headed for an energy crash before you know it.
When you snack, you can have a “mini-meal” of healthy foods that will nourish and energize you. Most importantly, you’ll feel like you can keep going and still handle all the family drama (err… fun) that’s headed your way.
Does your energy level flat-line in the mid-afternoon? Do you dread exercising or find it hard to get through your walks without feeling fatigued? If so, your body may actually be low on fuel.
Going too long without eating can make you feel tired, cranky, and spacey. Small, healthy snacks or mini-meals that include both protein and carbohydrates can help keep your energy levels high throughout the day. What’s more, they take very little time to prepare. Most of these make a good breakfast on the go, too.
While you probably don’t want to eat too close to your workout, having a high-energy snack about an hour before you exercise is a great way to keep your energy level high. Today’s small change is to try one of the energizing snacks below — or come up with your own healthful protein-and-carbohydrate snack — to enjoy when your body needs it.
- Sliced apple with peanut butter (1 tablespoon)
- Turkey and avocado on whole-wheat bread (1 slice)
- Low-fat cottage cheese and a pear
- A hard-boiled egg and red pepper strips
- Almonds (1⁄3 cup) and dried fruit (try apricots or cranberries) (1⁄4 cup)
- A fat-free Greek yogurt (1 cup) and fruit (1 piece) smoothie
- Hummus (1⁄4 cup) and baby carrots
- Baked sweet potato bites – these are good hot, cold, or room temperature
- Reduced-fat cheese (1 ounce) and whole-grain crackers (5)
- Half a peanut butter and banana sandwich (1 tablespoon peanut butter)