It’s December. We’ll let that sink in for a moment. The holidays really snuck up quickly this year and left us with a whole lot to do in a very limited amount of time. To fuel all of your planning, cooking, shopping, and travel you need to feed yourself right. The right snacks will leave you feeling energized and ready to tackle your holiday to-do list.
Hanging decorations at home:
Herbed popcorn with peanuts: Spray 2 cups air-popped popcorn with olive oil cooking spray and toss with 2 tbsp. chopped roasted peanuts and a dash each: garlic powder, chile powder, black pepper, and salt. You can also add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast to give it a richer flavor.
*Energy boosters* The fiber from the popcorn and the healthy fats and protein from the peanuts helps sustain the energy from the carbs in the popcorn. B vitamins in the popcorn, peanuts, and nutritional yeast (if you use it) help your body get the most energy from the foods you eat.
At the office:
Pear dipped in yogurt: Slice a pear and dip the slices in a 6-ounce container of Chobani 0% fruited Greek yogurt.
*Energy boosters* The fiber-rich carbs from the pear, along with the protein in the yogurt, offer sustained energy. And it’s also packed with vitamin D, which is less easily made by our bodies in the winter months.
Peanut butter and strawberry KIND bar: Nosh on one of these bars, which stash conveniently in a purse or glove box, while out running errands.
*Energy boosters* The healthy fats from the nuts help sustain the energy boosting carbs you get from the dried fruit. In addition, peanuts contain phytosterols, which can help keep cholesterol in check and reduce the risk of heart disease (a good thing for any season).
Before a holiday party
Salmon-tomato-garbanzo salad: Chances are, you’ll be offered a whole lot of nibbles at a holiday party, so arriving famished is never a wise idea. Fuel yourself with this pre-party salad. Combine half a can of boneless, skinless salmon with 1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes, 1/4 cup rinsed and drained canned garbanzo beans, 2 tsp olive oil, and 2 tsp balsamic vinegar. Toss and devour.
*Energy boosters* The combination of protein (from the salmon), healthy fat (from the vinaigrette), and fiber-rich carbs (thanks, tomatoes and beans) to keep your appetite in check. The salmon packs in Omega-3s and that hard to find vitamin D, too.
Stressed and in search of chocolate…asap
C&J Nutrition’s cold cocoa http://cjnutrition.com/snacks-and-others/132-cold-cocoa : Whip this drink up, sit back, and sip away. You can make it into hot cocoa also; simply heat on the stove or in the microwave until steaming.
*Energy boost* Use skim milk or soy milk and you’ll get a protein kick that helps to sustain the energy from the sweet carbs. Because it’s in liquid form, this will make you feel fuller than a couple squares of chocolate (and takes longer to finish).
Before a workout
Grapes ‘n cheddar: A cup of grapes and a 1 1/2 ounces of reduced fat cheddar will not only destroy any pre-workout hunger, but will offer energy that stays strong through your entire workout. Plus, it’s an easy snack to toss in the fridge at work (or home) and have ready to go when you are.
*Energy boost* Because the snack is relatively small in volume, it won’t make you feel heavy or weighed down before your workout. Plus grapes are loaded with antioxidants to help combat some of the free radicals that form during a workout.
Will you be trying any of these snacks? Which ones?