If you work in an office, healthy snacking can be a big challenge. Often the most convenient foods are the least healthy. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In this blog post our resident Naturopath gives us some ideas to keep us away from that vending machine.
Snacking – everyone seems to be doing it. Before lunch, after lunch, before dinner, after dinner. I always find it so interesting discovering why people are snacking – and there is always a reason. For many people it’s a habit, or an escape, or stress relief.
Snacking in itself isn’t bad, but it’s important to make sure you know why you’re snacking.
When you are mindful about what you’re eating and why, you can improve your diet and our health. The only good reason to snack is when you’re hungry.
So What Makes a Good Snack?
The same principles apply to snacking as to all your food – eat fresh, not-processed, and choose foods that contain a good balance of fibre, protein and healthy fats. It is the balance of these three macronutrients that will keep you full and focused at during the day.
If you’re an office worker, trying to eat healthy snacks can be a real challenge. That darned biscuit jar, the lolly trolly, the afternoon coffee break at the cafe, the co-worker who brings in weekly donuts. It can be a tempting time.
Here are five ways to eat a healthy snack at work:
1. Organise a weekly fruit & veg box for the office
Ditch the biscuit jar that sits there and calls your name at around 3pm. Instead, arrange a box to be delivered every week with a selection of fruit and some veg. Eating low glycemic index fresh food will help balance blood sugar and ward of dips in energy and focus. There are plenty of healthy delivery boxes available these days that will add nuts and seeds into the box as well.
2. A handful of nuts & seed
Remember, a handful is very different from a whole packet of nuts. Little snacky pieces of food can very quickly turn into mindless eating – especially if you’re snacking while working. I always suggest measuring out your daily dose of nuts and seeds into tupperware and taking only what you need for the day. A few almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and a dried apricot or two. You should only need a handful of these a day. Packed with nutrients, essential fatty acids and protein you’ll be boosting your nutrition while you snack.
3. A homemade dip
Dips are a really great snack, especially homemade ones as they have no preservatives and you can pack them full of delicious goodies. Hummus is always my go to dip, but pumpkin seed pate is also delicious. But there are plenty of dips you can make – guacamole, salsa, pestos made with any kind of nut or herb, greek yogurt dips with spices. They are easy to make and served with vege sticks or brown rice crackers they’ll taste fantastic.
4. A pot of yogurt with crunch
A small tub of plain greek yogurt or coconut yogurt is a great snack – healthy protein and probiotics all at the same time. Sprinkle on some crunch with a tablespoon of gluten free muesli or that handful of nuts and a pop of colour with some fresh or frozen berries and you have yourself a great snack. Remember to watch your serving size – it’s a snack not a meal.
5. Brown rice crackers with healthy spread
Nut or seed butters are delicious and good for you. My go-to is always tahini, a sesame seed spread, as it is readily available in the supermarket and doesn’t cost the earth. Spread on a rice cracker and you’ve a snack made in heaven, maybe add a sliced banana or cucumber or even a piece of cheese to really turn up the flavour.