So you just got home from work... feeling exhausted... ready for a pick-me-up in the form of... well FOOD... you get to your cupboard and think... "well what do I want"... you know you should be healthy but with all those crackers, cereal, cookies, etc in there you know you can't be... and at a certain point (like right then and there) you just don't care. You know though, you will care later but for that moment in time all thoughts about the future are put on pause. You grab for the stash of Keebler Fudge Shoppee cookies. Ripping the sealed bag open emits a powerful aroma of chocolate and deliciousness. You grab two cookies, put the packaged back in the cupboard and before closing it, sink your teeth into the first cookie. "heaven" is the only thought going through your head... although you should be thinking, oh no, what have I done... this cookie is nutritonally void of ALL nutrients and won't satisfy me until dinner! After you polish off the second cookie, you look at your hands and see little chocolate bits on them so you start licking. When your hands look spotless... you think, now what. Instead of walking away to unwind in another fashion (reading a book, magazine, exercising, etc) you grab the box of cookies from the cabinet again and trek on over to the TV. You think to yourself... "today was a long day, I deserve this"... plop down on the couch and munch away mindlessly until the box is pretty much empty.....
While not EVERYONE follows this scenerio a lot of people do find it difficult to figure out a healthy snack option for when they get home from work, school, etc. I too come back to my apartment with a gnawing feeling in my stomach every so often and turn to the pantry for support. But what differs from me and most people is that my pantries are stoked with extremely healthy foods (as is my refridgerator) so I know my snack will be nutritious and will give my body the boost it needs. Everyone can do the same just as long as they purchase the right things...
Here is a list of some great snack foods to keep on hand for those "munchie" moments!
1. Cherry Tomatoes
2. Bell Peppers
5. Canned Fish
6. Canned Breast Chicken in Water7. Pureed Pumpkin with Cinnamon & Stevia (no-calorie sweetener)
8. Kale/Eggplant/Zucchini "Chips" (bake any of these vegetables after seasoning with garlic, salt, pepper & olive oil spray, until crispy)
9. Iced-Black Coffee (Decaf, sweetened with Stevia - for the moments when you know you really aren't all that hungry)
10. Cabbage (Green or Red) with Olive Tapenade, Sun Dried Tomatoes or Mustard
11. Anti-Pasti (Aritchoke Hearts, Turkey Slices, Olives, Gerkins, etc)
12. Seaweed (Nori Sheets, Kelp, Laver, Dulse, etc)
13. Canned Tomato Paste (Yes, it sounds VERY odd, but it's astonishingly delicious and so very healthy for you!)
14. Cruditee (Raw Zucchini/Summer Squash, Asparagus, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Celery, etc) with Olive Tapenade (which comes in MANY varieties)
15. Cup of Tomato Sauce
16. Sliced Turkey or Chicken Breast
17. Hard Boiled Omega-3 Enriched Eggs
18. Hemp Seeds/ Flax Seeds
19. Egg White Omelete
20. Baked Low Sugar Fruit (Apples or Pears) sprinkled with Stevia & Cinnamon
*Combine any of the above ingredients*
I know some people are thinking that the foods listed above don't even come close to the Keebler Fudge Shop Cookies... which is true, but think about your health. Think about your body. How does your body respond to eating an entire box of cookies? How does your body respond to eating Hard Boiled Eggs with Olive Tapenade? I am pretty sure the latter makes you feel a lot better physically AND mentally! So do yourself a favor and the next time you're at the grocery store, pick yourself up some raw vegetables that can easily be cut for emergecy snacks when you arrive home famished and exhausted. After a while, you won't even desire the pint of ice cream or mac and cheese you would have orignally gone after!
*The Snack Selections above are extremely healthy and follow a gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, soy-free & sugar-free lifestyle - if you need "carbs" etc... by "googling" for healthy snacks you will be able to find numerous ideas!