When searching for a balance in your dietary intake, it is important to examine all the elements, including meals, snacks and liquid intake. Whether your goal is to lose weight or boost energy, the quality and quantity of your daily snacking is of the utmost importance.
When you're building the perfect snack, take a few key elements into account.
Rules to remember
1. The snack has to be quick, easy and portable. In other words, the ideal snack needs to be able to be popped into a briefcase or purse and/or stored in a refrigerator or desk at the office.
2. Your perfect snack needs to be rich in fibre, protein and healthy fat. By including these ingredients, the snack will help to keep energy up avoiding the dreaded three p.m. slump so many people experience. The emphasis is on calorie light, nutrient dense options.
3. On average, a good snack for you should contain between 100-200 calories, depending on your age, activity level and weight-loss goals (see examples below for snacks that contain about 150 calories).
Once you’ve come up with your perfect healthy snack the question is "How many should I have each day?" As a general rule, a healthy and balanced diet includes three meals and two snacks per day. However, if you have had a decent breakfast that contains protein (eggs, protein powder, cottage cheese or low fat yogurt for example), you may not be hungry for a morning snack. If this is the case, feel free to skip it. The most important time of day to have a snack is in the afternoon, when it can help you avoid feelings of fatigue and avert that desire to eat anything and everything an hour or so before dinnertime.
Page 1 of 2 - check out healthy snack options on page 2.
Snack options include:
• Light Babybel cheese (50 calories) + 1 apple = 150 calories
• 1 Kashi bar = 130 calories
• 100 grams of yogurt + 5 nuts = 150 calories
• 1 small nonfat latte (70 calories) + 1 small apple = 140 calories
• 1 large nonfat latte (100 calories) + 1 light Babybel cheese = 150 calories
• 1 hard-cooked egg (70 calories) + 1 small nonfat latte (70 calories = 140 calories
• 10 baby carrots + 2 tbsp. of hummus = 110 calories
• 12 walnuts = 159 calories
• 10 almonds (70 calories) + 1 apple (70 calories) = 140 calories
• 1 unsweetened applesauce (50 calories) + 1 small nonfat latte = 120 calories
• 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on celery = 100 calories
• 1 protein bar = 190 calories
• 1 wedge of light Laughing Cow cheese (35 calories) + 2 multigrain Ryvita crackers =
• ½ banana sliced into 100 grams of yogurt = 150 calories
• ½ small ripe avocado sprinkled with salt = 150 calories
If you are like me and really enjoy potato chips and crackers, yet you want to stay away from added calories and fat, try this Krispy Kale recipe (below). This recipe gets a gold star for its health benefits (low in calories, rich in fibre and vitamins A and C), and is the perfect alternative to potato chips. Enjoy!
• 1 bunch kale
• 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tsp vinegar, apple cider or balsamic
• ½ tsp – 1 tsp salt, kosher or sea salt
• Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1. Rinse kale thoroughly and pat dry with paper towel. Remove stems and tear leafs off of rib. Throw away the center rib pieces and set remainder aside.
2. In large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar and salt. Add kale; toss gently.
3. Divide kale among two parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Bake for 15-17 minutes until crispy. Enjoy!
* Please note: This is not a Canadian Living Tested Till Perfect recipe and has not been tried out by The Test Kitchen.
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Dr. Joey Shulman’s latest release, Healthy Sin Foods – Decadence without the Guilt (Penguin, 2009) is now in stores. For more information, please visit drjoey.com