During the school year I put on my uber hat and drive kids around town between the hours of 4pm and 8pm. Maybe you’re a mom that needs a snack in the late afternoon/early evening before transitioning to the responsibilities of family life. Either way, healthy snacking is a struggle, am I right?
I began intermittent fasting in January. You can read all about my intermittent fasting plan in this post here. I stick to my plan to eat protein and veggies for lunch at my first meal of the day between 12-12:30. The late afternoon between 4 and 5:30 happens to be the time of day when I’m hungry again and I begin to crave something sweet. This is a critical point in my day when my healthy eating discipline teeters. If I don’t have snacks on hand my discipline can easily crumble. Plus, my kids are usually snacking then too so it’s just easy to grab a handful of whatever they are eating. It’s not intentional or mindful eating at all.
If I approach this time of day with a plan and have a few healthy snacks on hand I have no problem staying disciplined. Can you relate? Here are a few suggestions on healthy snacks to have on hand to get you through the witching hour.
Celery, Apples, or Rice Cakes and Nut Butter
Prepackaged celery hearts or an apple quickly sliced with an apple corer and tossed into a ziplock bag are easy complements to the individually packaged all natural peanut butter or almond butter packs sold in grocery stores. Just be mindful to buy all natural nut butter so you can avoid hydrogenated fats. Plain brown rice cakes smeared with peanut or almond butter are a great alternative (albeit a little more tricky to eat on the run). The nut butter provides just enough protein to help me get through the late afternoon hunger pangs.
Enlightened Roasted Broad Bean Snacks or Multi-Seed Crackers
If you are someone who craves a crunchy snack, Sriracha flavored broad bean snacks or multi-seed crackers are my favorite. They both contain a decent amount of fiber which helps keep me feeling full until dinner.
Fruit and Nuts or Trailmix
A hearty fruit that can withstand transporting like an apple, pear, or clementine paired with a 100 calorie snack bag of nuts provides protein and compliments the natural carbohydrates of the fruit. Do-it-yourself trail mix which includes a nut, a seed, and a fruit takes a little more advanced planning but is very easy and you can make multiple bags in advance. I try and buy raw, unsalted nuts and unsweetened or low sugar cranberries. Measure 1/8 cup each of almonds, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and combine in a ziplock bag. It’s better to make your own, if you can, rather than buy prepackaged trail mix. Many of the prepackaged trail mix packages are loaded with unnecessary sugar and sodium. In a pinch, look for a bag of pre-mixed raw and unsalted nuts. I really like lightly salted pistachios. They are high in fiber and will satisfy your hunger until dinner.
Bell Pepper Slices or Cucumbers and Hummus
This is another favorite. Bell peppers and cucumbers can be sliced and bagged in ziplocks and stored in your fridge until needed. Prepackaged hummus (Sabra red pepper hummus is my favorite) is a protein-rich companion. It helps fight hunger cravings while balancing blood sugar levels.
I’ll always appreciate the ease of a pre-packaged bar to throw in my purse. My favorites these days are the birthday cake flavor one bar because it’s high in protein. If I’m having a low-carb day I’ll reach for a Gratisfied empower bar. It is packed with high quality ingredients and very low in carbohydrates. They are available in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods or you can order directly through their website.
What are your healthy snacks for eating on the run? Shoot me an email, I’m always looking for new ideas. Happy Snacking!
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