This month we’ve been polishing up our clean routine, taking care of our bodies as well as our hearts and minds, and integrating sustainable practices into our daily lives. All this cleaning has made us...hungry of course! So it’s time to talk about some clean routine snacks that are good for your brain — as well as your hips.
Although snacking often gets a bad rap, used wisely it can be a useful tool for both energy balance and weight maintenance. Adding clean snacks to your routine can help keep your metabolism revved throughout the day, provide sustenance to get you through your workout (and re-fuel post workout), provide an opportunity get more fruits and veggies in your day — and keep you from over-indulging at the next meal.
Don’t think you’re a snacker? If you can go between lunch and dinner without being ravenous by 5 p.m. then perhaps that’s the case. But if dinner time rolls around and you’re cramming in any food you can get your hands on, then you might be in need of some smart snacking. Going longer than about 3 or 4 hours without a snack starts to slow down your metabolism and skew your blood sugars — not to mention increasing the likelihood of overconsumption during the next meal.
Here are some tips to help you make smart snacking a part of your clean routine:
Make sure the snack you choose is what you want in terms of salty, sweet, crunchy, or smooth — this will help make sure you feel satisfied.
The ideal snack should be around 200 calories. Remember: a snack is not a meal.
Plan your snacks in advance. This can save you time and can also save you from making poor choices…or having no choice at all!
Try to get some fiber and/or protein to help decrease cravings more than a high fat or high sugar snack would.
Carry healthy snacks with you at all times.
Snack strategically, not mindlessly!
Partiality aside, Vega makes some mean and clean snack options like Vega One, Vega Energizing Smoothie, Vibrancy Bars, and Vega Sport Protein or Endurance Bars — all of which are highly nutritious and can be taken on the go. Other clean snacking options:
Hummus with fresh veggies
1 ounce of raw nuts = (approximately) 16 almonds, 22 peanuts, 11 walnut halves, 25 pistachios, or 16 cashews
A serving of fruit like berries, melon, a small apple, orange, or banana. Try dipping in a raw nut butter for a protein boost
A small home-made smoothie
A cup of vegetable soup
Trail mix with an ounce of nuts and dried fruit
2 cups of air-popped popcorn with a dash of cayenne pepper
Handful of SaviSeeds or sunflower seeds