So, you want to learn MORE about healthy (or “healthful”) snacking? (For the grammar buffs, healthful snacks make healthy people). I’ve already given you lots of great healthy snack ideas, but just what is it that makes a particular snack choice “healthy” or at least “healthier than” other snack choices? A lot of this is unique to each of us as an individual and varies depending on time of day, previous and anticipated energy expenditures and type of exercise, etc., etc. But without writing a dissertation (although you might want to pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee because there is a lot of great reading ahead), here are some general guidelines and principles that can help you to plan, pick and prepare better-for-you snacks, even in a pinch!
Let’s face it: we’re ALL busy. Busy at home, busy at work, busy with friends, busy with family. Busy, busy, busy! Sometimes the closest I get to three “square” meals a day are the square Tupperware containers I use to transport my meals on the run. For many of us, gone are the days of leisurely sit-down family meals with lots of time to prep, cook, eat and clean up after them.
So, what fills the gap? SNACKS! And lots of experts in the realms of nutrition, dietetics and fitness advocate for eating more frequent mini-meals (a.k.a. snacks) throughout the day as a great way to keep your metabolism up and running and to keep you from getting over-hungry between meals (and therefore stave off over-eating at those meals). And, if you’re anything like me, I can’t really go more than 3 hours without eating without getting seriously “hangry” (an angry state brought on by being hungry: hungry + angry = HANGRY). Snacks are my anger (and hunger) management solution!
This post is dedicated to bringing you guidelines, tips, tricks and suggestions for healthy snack options at home and on the go! I’ll start with a host of healthy snack suggestions then you can choose to read on for some of the science behind healthy snacking. This will kick-start your learning to help you determine satisfying, nutritious and delicious snacks on your own!
As much as I love preparing AND eating home-baked (or no-bake, as the case may be) treats such as high-protein muffins, cakes, bars and squares of all kinds, I still eagerly look forward to my almost-daily Quest bars. I forget who first introduced me to them (I would thank him or her profusely if I could remember), but it was “love at first bite.”
I’ll be following up with a more in-depth review of the various flavours (I can’t decide if it’s a good thing or a bad sign that I’ve personally tried 15 out of the 17 flavours released by Quest, including the not-yet-available to me Mint Chocolate Chunk Flavour – if it’s anything like the flavour of a Dairy Queen Mint Oreo Blizzard, I’m in trouble!).
For now, I’ll just remind you that a pre-packaged/convenience protein bar is a better choice than a pre-packaged/convenience candy bar (in most instances! There are always exceptions so that we can enjoy ALL foods in moderation).
What’s YOUR favourite Quest Bar flavour? If you haven’t tried them, what are YOUR go-to brands? I might have to sample them next!