Friday, August 1, 2014

Smart Summer Snacking

As we start August today and celebrate a summer long weekend, I thought I'd put down a few snacking tips. In my experience, people eat differently on weekends compared to during the work week (and that could mean they eat more OR less healthy). The summer can add another challenge as people may head away from home on road trips or to a cabin/cottage or campsite. Each location can have an impact on what and when you're eating and drinking. It's also common for people to have a reduced appetite when the weather gets warmer and of course, even more important that you remember to hydrate yourself.

Yes, summer may mean barbeques and happy hours, but it doesn't have to be all hot dogs, chips, and beer, especially if you're being mindful, enjoying a variety of foods in moderation, and working on new goals/habits. As usual, it starts with a little preparation:

  • pack healthy road trip snacks and water bottles
  • chop fruit and veggies at home to reduce prep time at the cabin/cottage
  • pick up healthy groceries so you have options when you look in the fridge/pantry
  • bring snacks to people's homes/lakes so that you know there will at least be one thing healthy to choose from
Timing of intake can also change when you're away from home. Perhaps you stay up later, sleep in longer, and start the day with a large breakfast or brunch. You may not feel like you need a mid-day meal ('lunch'), but you also don't want to be starving and reaching for cheesies before supper.

Snacks can help us get from meal to meal, but they don't have to keep us full all day (I prefer if we avoid fullness and learn to achieve satisfaction anyway); they're meant to help us get important nutrients, hydrate us, keep our energy up, and fill the gaps when meals are far apart. Homemade bars, energy bites/balls, smoothies, muffins, and of course vegetables and fruit are both tasty and can be made/prepped ahead of time.

Lately I've baked a few snack items and have frozen them so that we have lots of variety available and I don't have to turn on the oven when it's really hot and humid out. I try to enjoy seasonal flavours (peaches, nectarines, berries, etc.) which means that the snacks in our house change all year round.

A few that I've tried recently or have been in our routine include:
  •  peanut butter banana roll ups (an easy staple)
  • strawberry, mango, sorrel smoothie (with sorrel from our CSA: PayDirt Farms)
  • saskatoon berry, red river cereal muffins (adapted from Canadian Family; with berries I picked with a friend at our local Berry Barn)
  • hemp bars (from my new roots; thanks to a sample box I received from Rocky Mountain Grain Products)
  • frozen grapes (great on a hot day)
  • chocolate cranberry balls (from elana's pantry; used in an athlete session; great to curb a sweet craving)
  • carrots and celery with hummus
  • spring rolls with vegetables and chicken or shrimp
 What have you been snacking on this summer?

Enjoy your weekend and make mindful snack choices!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching