You may have already noticed that I love whole food snacks! I live for snacks, they help me feel energised through out the day. In saying that there are some days where I don’t have any snacks, I find that 2-3 meals sustain me. Then there are other days where I am having numerus nutritious snacks. It is all about honouring what your body needs. Read more about mindful and intuitive eating here.
Before I share with your my favourite sweet and savory snacks I would like to explain my fundamentals when choosing my snacks.
Functional Nutrition Fundamentals
1. Whole Food Nutrition
Choose whole foods, these are foods that comes out of the ground, off a tree or from an animal. These foods have minimal or no processing, refinement and are free from additives and other artificial substances. Whole foods have all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you need to keep your immune system strong whilst helping to maintain a healthy weight.
A good guide is to avoid processed foods that can cause inflammation in the body such as pastries, soft drinks, sweets, breakfast cereals and refined sugars. Include seasonal fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats, seafood, nuts, seeds, eggs and moderate amounts of unrefined carbohydrates in your diet. Our evolutionary bodies have thrived on these real foods for generations.
Place emphasis on the quality of your diet, especially when choosing packaged foods. Read the ingredients listed rather than the number of calories, if you can’t recognise an ingredient chances are your body won’t either. Trust that your body will guide you more accurately than calorie counting and predictive equations.
2. Optimise your Metabolism
A key to sustainable weight management is to optimise the metabolic rate of your body. If you are constantly dieting or skipping meals your body can go into survival mode and slow down your metabolic rate to conserve energy.
The good news is you can reset your metabolic rate to a faster pace by eating regular balanced meals and snacks plus completing regular moderate exercise. Another important aspect is to ensure you include a good source of protein and natural fats with each meal.
Natural fats are not the enemy, but rather they are the key to energy, satiety, mood, hormone production and weight control. Cook with stable saturated fats like butter, coconut oil, animal fat or extra virgin olive oil for low temperatures. Opt for full fat quality dairy products such as skim milk and ‘low fat’ dairy products are often fortified with powdered skim products and refined sugars.
3. Preparation and Organisation
Preparation and organisation will make all the difference when it comes to healthy snack choices. We often get take-out food because we simply did not have time to prepare.
It is a great idea to have a shopping routine, for example shop weekly at your local farmers’ market, fortnightly at the supermarket and monthly at a bulk food store. Alternatively, you may find shopping every few days and planning 2-3 meals at a time works better for you and your family.
A little bit of meal prep goes a long way, and there are lots of recipes you can make ahead of time so you’ve got healthy snacks on-the-go. Having healthy snacks ready for hectic days is a great way to care for yourself and keep energy levels high.
Healthy Snack Ideas
Whether you’re a sweet tooth or prefer to keep it savoury, check out my whole food snack ideas below! You’ll discover some of my favourite easy healthy snack recipes – they’re ideal for sharing too!
Sweet Snack Ideas:
Almond butter stuffed apple slices
Homemade granola bars
Frozen berries (a really refreshing snack in summer!)
Quality chocolate like Pana Organic and brazil nuts
Greek or coconut yoghurt
Roasted nuts and seed mix
Canned tuna. It’s great as a sourdough or buckwheat crackers topper, or on its own if you’re really short on time.
Vegetables with hummus (to cut into vegetable sticks)
Chickpeas with dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano and salt and pepper
Falafel balls with yoghurt dip
Hard boiled egg and picked cucumbers
Sushi homemade or store bought
Curb Carbohydrate Cravings
You will notice my healthy snack ideas above are lower in carbohydrates. This is because various forms of carbohydrates & sugar affect our blood sugar levels differently, causing it to either spike quickly or slowly trickle into our system.
Consuming sufficient amounts of natural fats and protein with your meals and snacks can help stabilise your blood sugar levels and provide you with satiety.
Where possible I try to reduce the amount of refined sugars and opt for natural sugars such as rapadura sugar, coconut sugar, rice malt syrup, raw honey or pure maple syrup. Spelt & Emmer flour are also great as they are ancient grains low in gluten. Sourdough bread is a great alternative as it has prebiotic fibre and a source of minerals and iron.
If it's chocolate you crave, try switching regular chocolate for a healthier alternative. Pana Organic, Alter Ego, Loving Earth are great options.
You can usually find these at some supermarkets or your local health foods store.