I encourage snacking all the time with patients – because the importance of maintaing blood sugar at an even level throughout the day cannot be understated when we’re talking about hormonal health. Not going longer than 3-4 hours without eating is one of my best tips to keep snack-attacks at bay (and decrease the chances that you’ll reach for something unhealthy to fill the void). If you’re not used to eating this way, however, it can be difficult at first to find great healthy snack ideas that you want to nosh on all day long.
Here are 5 healthy snacks I always have on hand to make sure I’m snacking regularly and in a hormone-friendly way:
1. Organic eggs: ah, the egg. Perhaps one of the most versatile protein-rich foods, I always have a carton of these in my fridge. They contain healthy fats and protein, lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants that can boost fertility and help with vision, and choline which helps with memory loss. My favourite ways to prepare to-go style eggs is by hard boiling or making a frittata. Both taste awesome cool or room temperature.
2. Quinoa salad: such a versatile ingredient, I make a big batch of quinoa salad incorporating different veggies every week, and portion it out into small snack-size containers. Of all grains, quinoa has the highest protein count. This helps to slow the release of glucose into your blood stream and hold you over till your next snack or meal.
3. Organic apples with almond butter: I really notice the difference between organic and conventional apples – some fruits and veg I can’t tell the difference in taste or texture, but apples I can. A small container of almond butter and an organic apple work great if you’re craving something sweet to snack on. The protein and fat in the almond butter does the trick of making you feel full and satisfied.
4. Rice cakes with apple butter and avocado: this one I discovered in my first year of naturopathic college while doing an elimination diet. It’s hard to follow that style of eating (no gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and certain fruits/veggies) for three weeks, and I found this snack to contain all of the tastes and textures I craved from foods I “couldn’t have” – crunch of the rice cake, sweet and acidic from the apple butter, fat from the avocado. Mmm..
5. Home-made or store bought protein bars: I really like Lara Bars (for their short ingredient list) and have been loving to make my own Glo Bars from my new Oh She Glows Cookbook. They’re satisfying and can be altered any way you like with different nuts and fruits to create yummy flavour combinations. Don’t leave home without one!