Its 10am. Your belly is rumbling and your mind is already on what you are going to eat next. We have all been there. You want to be healthy so you try to avoid everything that’s bad for you. But It’s almost as if you have a switch in your brain that makes you want to eat everything you are trying to avoid. Your intentions are good, but then you slip up and eat something you shouldn’t. Then something else. Oh heck. Somehow all those biscuits ended up being eaten.
Working in fitness and being a mom of two children gives me a sense of entitlement to be the provider to all of snacks. I just like to make sure no one goes hungry. You don’t want to see me when I’m hungry. Ask me anytime, anywhere and I’ll have something you can eat. Healthy, not so healthy, homemade or brought. There are so many options and over the years I’ve racked up a list of my most favourites. My list developed from just fast convenient snacks that were disguised as healthy but were actually packed with sugars and additives. Not so great for my health and to be honest I was hungry straight after eating because none of it was nutritional. Then I started to become successful in my career, my clients were asking for more than just training. So as a newly qualified trainer I dived into the world of natural goodness which is nutrition. The journey I expected my clients to take I too took on myself and years on I still love the same food I discovered back then. That’s something right? Then I had children and boy does that make you really look at food. I looked at EVERYTHING that was being made or brought in my kitchen. I also experienced that you never have time to eat, so snacks are a very important part of your diet that can either make or break you. So, it’s safe to say that my favourite list of snacks has taken years of trial and error to suit my taste buds but I think I’ve cracked it.
So here it is, my top ten favourite snacks. This list could go on forever but these are my favourite for taste, cost and convenience.
Grab and go hummus pots
I love all things with hummus. Hummus contains lots of fibre, on average half of your daily intake per cup. It’s also naturally low in fat. I stumbled upon the genius idea of hummus pots online when I was trying to think of a way I could take hummus on the go with my snacks and it not be messy. It works! Simply choose your size mason jar of your choice, place your hummus inside and fill with your snacks. I find carrot and celery works best for this.
High in vitamin A, C and iron these can be eaten fresh in the pod. They are my ultimate green fresh veg snack and do not require any preparation. They also don’t create mess when eating unlike broccoli! You can pick up most bags for around £1 in any supermarket and they generally keep fresh for 3-4 days in the fridge.
Popcorn with a sprinkle of cinnamon
You doesn’t like popcorn?! Containing around 30 calories per cup it’s not only low in calories but contains fibre too. Stay away from the flavoured popcorn, as that is where the dangers of added sugars lye. Air popped popcorn however is a complete winner in my books.
A boiled egg is perfect for a snack. Most commonly known for being high in protein, eggs are also high in vitamins, amino acids and omega 3. Hard boiled eggs are easy to prepare, so make it convenient to fit into your snacking schedule. Practice makes perfect with eggs, so if you’re not brilliant at boiling an egg try it a few times and you’ll be an expert soon enough!
There is seriously no limit to what or how much you can eat as snacks when it comes to vegetables. My favourites are baby sweetcorn, carrots, celery and cucumber sticks. Besides the sweetcorn, the rest are SO cheap to buy. My toddler is not keen on cooked veg at all but loves raw veg. So, don’t be put off trying vegetables you don’t normally buy. You may end up preferring them fresh for a snack. A little prep at the start of your day (or even the night before) means you can have some crunchy pick me up snacks throughout your busy day.
Personalised nut bag
Every time I strolled down the nut aisle in the store I shuddered at the amount of money I was going to spend on my weekly snacks. That was until I realised that if I just brought my favourites in bulk and then made my own bags for the week. This would save money, I knew I would like everything in there AND I could guarantee it was all healthy with no added sugars. My current favourite mix is almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds.
Crisp bread, nut butter and chia seed bananas
This takes a little prep, but boy do I enjoy it when I make the effort. It doesn’t take much time and besides the chia seeds (which is optional) all the ingredients are really cheap! Simply get your favourite crisp cracker (I used multiseed ryvita or plain rice cakes) spread your nut butter and top with sliced bananas which are coated in chia seeds. This snack is great after a run or a mid-afternoon pick me up.
Frozen berries, Greek yogurt and Coconut flakes
Yes. You heard me. Frozen. One, they are cheaper. Two. They are refreshing. I accidentally came across this once when I was making a smoothie but my children then distracted me. I really wanted to eat, so instead I just put the berries still frozen into a bowl. simply pull the berries out of the freezer and allow them to sit at room temperature for a few minutes. Just to take the edge off. Then mix with Greek yogurt and coconut flakes. The best bit? The berries won’t break or become soggy in the yogurt. You’re welcome.
A major hit here at FCF boot camps with our clients, our recipes for our energy bites are full of natural goodness and can be made in advance for the week. The main ingredients are dates, fruit and nuts. Our most popular being cranberry and coconut bites.
The main component for hummus, chickpeas can also be roasted for a snack. There are plenty of recipes online for healthy flavoured chickpeas, so take a look and see what you fancy. I love cinnamon roasted chickpeas. They can be roasted plain for quickness or even added into your salads and other dishes for a more complete meal. Keep your eyes peeled for a new chickpea recipe on our website that will be coming soon.
Aimee is our FCF Bootcamp Coordinator. Aimee shares the Bootcamp motto “Anyone and everyone can achieve” and is motivated through her work to help you achieve.