Need to fill a gap in a hurry?
Today we have a guest blog from Julie founder of vaguswellbeing – healthy habits for body & brain.
With intense work schedules and the pace of life intensifying post lockdown, the art of sitting down to a relaxed meal isn’t always feasible. That’s not to belittle the importance of eating without distractions, as digestion begins with anticipating, smelling, savouring and chewing our food well.
Many of today’s ‘grab and go’ snacks are laden with hidden sugars, which don’t help our stress or concentration levels, which can result in that afternoon slump or reaching for caffeine to keep us going. By combining protein or fats with our carbohydrates, we increase the chance of slowing down the impact of sugar in our blood, powering you through to hometime.
As a general rule, we shouldn’t need to eat more than 5 times a day within a 12 hour window, if you find yourself grazing every couple of hours, it may be worth having your blood sugars checked.
Here are my top 10 snack suggestions that can replace breakfast, lunch or dinner, or as a snack between meals.
1 – Peanut butter and apple
You could keep a tub in your desk at work, 1 tablespoon is sufficient to keep hunger pangs at bay.
2 – Handful of almonds and 2 squares of dark chocolate 70%+ cocoa content
Cocoa has natural compounds beneficial for health, and almonds are high in Vitamin E which is an antioxidant, protecting against ageing.
3 – Oatcakes with cream cheese or cottage cheese
If you’re coeliac, please ensure the packet is gluten free, as oats can often be cross-contaminated with other gluten containing grains.
4 – Hummus and red pepper
Chickpeas are high in fibre which helps us feel full, as well as many micronutrients so great for vegetarians and vegans. Peppers also contain B vitamins needed for energy.
5 – Boiled eggs
A complete protein, eggs contain choline which supports memory. Up to 7 eggs a week are fine, and hard boiled will keep up to a week in the fridge.
6 – Natural yoghurt and berries
Flavoured yoghurts are a common pitfall as the sugar content can range from 1-3 teaspoons in 1 small pot. Go for full fat natural yoghurt, any berries you like which are naturally lower in sugar than most fruits, and if at home a small drizzle of honey.
7 – Olive and feta cheese
These often come pre-packed in local supermarkets – olives are a source of healthy fats which nourish the brain and can help calm inflammation, which is linked to most chronic health conditions.
8 – Sliced chicken or beef jerky
Ditching the sandwich can help us feel more alert. Even better, add some spinach or rocket and some cherry tomatoes and you have yourself a ready made salad.
9 – Seeded crispbreads
We can sometimes miss the crunch of crips, and these crispbreads are a good source of seeds, available in most UK supermarkets.
10 – Trailmix
A mix of dried fruits such as raisins, apricots, goji berries, cranberries etc and nuts can give that natural sweetness combined with the protein power of nuts, a great go to for the desk drawer.