In many ways our snacking habits are shaped by the world around us, specifically the images we see in advertisements and the things we see other people eating (98% of food ads seen by children are for foods that are high in fat, sugar, or sodium! preventioninstitute.org). So it's no surprise that one of the hardest things about switching to a real food lifestyle is figuring out what on earth to eat when we're hungry between meals.
The first step is to adjust our mindset around snacking. Think of a snack as fuel for your body between meals, or a mini-meal even, rather than entertainment, a reward, or a throw-away treat.
The second step is to have a few items always on hand so you're not forced to rely on less than ideal options (like pretty much anything your coworkers bring to the office!).
Here are three of my favorite mid-day snacks:
Pumpkin Seeds are nutritional powerhouses packed with many nutrients including magnesium and antioxidants (magnesium is essential for over 300 activities in your body including providing energy and helping you relax, www.doctoroz.com). I usually opt for raw, shelled, unsalted pumpkin seeds.
Homemade granola is a salty-sweet treat that's portable and full of beneficial nuts, seeds, and oats (did you know that one cup of dried rolled oats has 14g of protein?).
Brown Rice Cakes with Nut Butter and Fresh Fruit
Look for brown rice cakes with limited ingredients (I like the Lundberg brand). Choose natural peanut butter or almond butter without any added sugar or better yet grind your own at Whole Foods or other health food stores, it takes a few extra minutes but it's totally worth it.
The food we eat literally becomes who we are. It fuels our minds, builds our cells and changes how we feel. Let's make snacks count!