We have all been there, the clock hits 3pm, your belly starts growling and your brain turns to mush. The day is nearly over yet still a few hours away and your sugar cravings are strong! This is when majority of us reach for the quickest and convenient snack to curb our hunger pangs which is often not the healthiest. This can include chocolate bars, chips or sugar loaded muesli bars. This may feel satisfying in the moment however, these nutrient deficient foods don’t provide long-lasting energy to push you through the afternoon.
In-between meal snacking doesn’t need to be hard and is actually a lot easier than you think. Beating that mid-afternoon sugar-low just requires a little thought and preparation. We speak to Certified PT and owner of Spring Wholefoods Radley Spring to find out his favourite types of wholesome snack foods.
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Every day is a high output day for me. I also have a high metabolism and a voracious appetite. Therefore, I’ve lived a grazing lifestyle all my life! I’ve found that I feel my best when I’ve planned a bit and have got real nutrition at hand when my body or mind need a pick me up. Compromising on less wholesome snacks or opting for a caffeine shortcut is usually pretty regrettable one way or another later on. Recognise any of these typical repercussions of poor choices at the 3pm slump? A stomach ache, anxious or jittery energy, bloating and gas, or another crash soon after are just some of the things I’ve experienced and I know that others experience weight gain and trouble sleeping.
If you ask me I’d say that ideally you want to lift your energy with clean fuel rather than stimulants like excess caffeine or refined sugar. First things first. You may be thirsty. Drink a big glass of water and wait 15 minutes before you reach for that muffin or bag of chips. Alternatively, non-caffeinated and low refined sugar drinks are everywhere these days. Try a liquorice or a matcha tea. Or perhaps an alternative latte like dandelion and chicory or turmeric.
If you’ve ruled out dehydration and still feeling droopy then you may be crashing because your lunch could have been a bit more wholesome or nutritious. An awesome snack I lean on daily is a flourless sprouted banana bread with cultured butter or ghee. If I’m really hungry then I’ll top it with cashew or macadamia butter and honey or coconut yoghurt.
Need something quicker? Then always have a container of homemade trail mix chock full of good fats that satiate like legumes, seeds, nuts, coconut chips, cacao nibs, etc. If you’re a chocoholic like me then I’ll be the last person to dissuade you from getting your fix. I will however insist that if going to go chocolate then go quality. Try a dark cacao truffle or a keto style “fat bomb” and fill up your energy stores with medium chain triglycerides. You can make your own with cacao butter, coconut oil or flesh and raw cacao powder. Use mostly low gi sweeteners like a little bit of fresh date, monk fruit concentrate, or green stevia.
Another great snack idea is chopped up banana slices or apple with natural peanut butter or tahini. Nut butters and tahini are both great sources of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Pairing it with fruit such as bananas which are a good source of complex carbohydrate or apples that are rich in dietary fiber, will provide long-lasting energy and keep you fuller for longer.
More of a savoury person? Always have an avocado and lemon on hand to smash on a nutrient dense slice of toast. Chilli flakes and coriander will lift your game even more! If you can manage to have some hummus on hand, then dip some crunchy raw vegetables to revive your senses. Snap peas, carrot, celery and cucumber won’t let you down.
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