Mid-afternoon munchies? Yup, me too, on most days.
But hold on there before you reach for that big bag of M&M’s. I know it’s calling your name but before you dip in, take a moment to ask yourself if you really are hungry or are you just looking to fill your appetite? Needing to eat (hunger) and wanting to eat (appetite) are definitely not the same thing. And not paying attention to which is which can most definitely lead to less than ideal food choices.
If you really listen to your body’s signals and what they’re trying to tell you, the signs of hunger are unmistakable. Emptiness in your stomach, sometimes a little grumble. You might feel a little light-headed or shaky, somewhat lethargic or you may have a little headache. These tell-tale signs of low blood sugar can even result in those short-tempered or snarky comments we surprise even ourselves with. That’s hunger.
On the other hand, appetite is controlled by emotions more than by a physiological need. Are you bored? Stressed? If the aroma or even just the thought of your co-worker’s fries leaves you salivating, you are more likely suffering from an appetite on high alert. And that’s when you can get into trouble. Before you know it, that bag of M&M’s has disappeared.
With a little planning ahead and by keeping a few handy and healthy snacks nearby, you can avoid falling into those sugar traps that you think are satisfying at the moment. But really they’re not leaving you energized and you’re probably still hungry afterwards anyways.
These snacks are all gluten-free, low-glycemic and high in fibre. That means they’re easy to digest, they provide lasting energy and they will keep you full till dinner time. And all that means no more sugar cravings. So here you go, 4 of my favourite go-to’s that meet my criteria for healthy, easy and yummy.
- Cut up a nice crunchy Granny Smith apple and serve alongside a big dollop of any nut butter (here’s my current favourite hazelnut-almond butter). Just add a sprinkle of cinnamon and voila, the perfect mid-afternoon sweet treat.
- Place about 1/2 cup plain organic Greek yogourt into a bowl. Drizzle 1/2 tsp raw honey; then add 1/4 cup berries, a small handful of sunflower seeds and a few nuts. This tastes rich and satisfying and it’s even pretty to look at. Great snack or breakfast any day of the week!
- Grab 2 or 3, even 4 Mejdool dates; remove the pits and in their place, stuff a walnut. You won’t believe how good this is until you try it. This is one naturally sweet and super creamy dessert-like snack that has the texture of chocolate with a nice added crunch. You will love it!
- If you’re looking for something a little more savoury and not so sweet, you can’t beat a tablespoon or two of hummus alongside a handful of Mary’s Organic Rice Crackers and some raw veggies. As I set these goodies out for this photo I had to fight my 14 year old son to keep his fingers off until I’d taken the shot. True story. Delicious and nutritious.
What’s your favourite afternoon snack?