Preparing meals and desserts, and let's face it, just being around so many sweets during the holidays is hard! Having nutritious, energy packed snacks on hand is a great way to keep the sugar cravings at bay. Additionally, if you are craving sugar, it may be your body telling you that it is under stress, needs rest, exercise, or just a simple energy boost. Sometimes a nap or quick walk can help with all of those! At other times it is your body craving good nutrition.
Whether it is the holiday season or not, some great snacks to keep in mind are:
Rich in anti-oxidants, vitamin E, minerals, protein, oleic acid, and vitamin B complex groups such as niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, and folates, pistachios are a high energy snack that is great on the go. If you have more time on your hands, pistachio oil can be used for cooking your favorite meals.
Take a handful! These delicious nuts may look pretty plain, but they contain protein, vitamins, and minerals which can be a great compliment to a more sugary snack such as fruit or yogurt.
Kale is a low calorie food that is packed with nutrients. It is a good source of potassium, calcium, vitamin C, iron, protein and is low in cholesterol and saturated fat. If you're craving something a little crispy, instead of reaching for the potato chips, try something new! Adding olive oil and a pinch of salt give this snack option even more flavor.
Kale Chip Recipe: http://pin.it/C6R_Z81
Dairy (or non-Dairy)
Cheese, yogurt, and milk drinks are easy ways to help with the desire for sugar intake. Whether it is dairy based or a milk alternative, this creamy snack can help add calcium, vitamins, and other nutrients while curbing the cravings.
Which Came First, Chicken or Egg..?
High in protein, low in calories, and easy on the wallet, eggs can be an easy way to get the nutrition you need. Mixed with a piece of whole grain bread, folded in with spinach, or just a pinch of salt and pepper, these can make a tasty snack or meal.
Fruits and Veggies
Apples, oranges, bananas. High in water and fiber, fruits and vegetables are beneficial and essential for obtaining the necessary vitamins and minerals our bodies need! Try to go for leafy vegetables as much as possible and don't shy away from bright fruits and veggies. If you are needing more protein, try adding steak, grilled chicken, boiled eggs, or avocado! These foods can help you feel energetic and also keep you feeling full longer.
Tired of eating bananas every morning? Smoothies are a fantastic way to have a nutritious between meal boost.
Most of the time, if done right, you can add spinach or another green, leafy vegetable and never notice! Remember flax, chia, hemp, granola, or yogurt can be tossed in too!
Need ideas? Try some of these:
Banana Berry Smoothie https://www.pinterest.com/pin/520376931926094790/
Green Smoothie Chart http://pin.it/tGwjAoD
Blueberry Muffin Smoothie http://pin.it/tDQS1zM
Raspberry Lime Smoothie http://pin.it/n-TxB2s
Don't forget to stay hydrated! Our bodies are made up of about 60% water and it is recommended that adults drink over 64oz of water a day. As obvious as this element sounds, sometimes it is the most challenging to get throughout the day. Sometimes we even mistake our need for water with the nagging craving for sweets. It is estimated that about 400 of the calories that adults and children consume a day come from beverages! Water can make a huge impact in dropping that calorie count and give your body the pure hydration it needs.
If water isn't naturally your favorite, try adding a slice or two of cucumber or a wedge of lemon or lime. Melons or berries can also be added for taste. Just remember to wash out your water bottle more frequently!
After working hard to keep those cravings at bay, don't forget to enjoy some of those delicious and delightful desserts! Adding some of these tips along with an active lifestyle will go far and your body will thank you for it too!