Yey, I’m entering week seven of my GPFIT London challenge and feeling like a different person (which is a good thing, by the way!)
But I couldn’t quite decide what to share with you in this week’s blog. That was, until I met up with a friend for coffee yesterday morning. My friend has, thanks to my blog, just signed up with GPFIT London for 20 personal training sessions (go, friend!) and she asked me this morning, what healthy snacks do you eat? (She also took advantage of the Mumsnet Enfield and Mumsnet Barnet 10% discount on all GPFIT London block bookings).
I had to think about it for a minute. I realised that, despite being Queen of Snacks pre-fitness challenge, I’m now snacking less than I was in-between meals. Just the odd handful of nuts or berries here, or a dollop of greek yoghurt with some seeds there. I put this down to eating three really healthy, nutritious and satisfying meals each day – meals not too low in fat, but definitely lower in sugar and often lighter on the carbs.
However, thinking back to when I started this journey, I did struggle not to snack while my body was adjusting to eating differently and exercising more, and a ready-made list of healthy, easy-to-prepare snacks would have been useful.
So here’s a list of 22 healthy snack ideas to keep you full and fit:
1. Gluten-free oatcakes with yummy toppings
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not gluten-intolerant but felt I’d like to reduce my gluten consumption a little to see if it reduced bloating. It’s hard to tell if it’s made a difference because of course my body, including my stomach, has reduced in size due to the overall healthy eating and GPFIT London personal training sessions.
When I first started out, a gluten-free oatcake with dollop of full-fat cream cheese, topped with a little raw honey, or a couple of pieces of fruit, eg. grapes or banana slices, seemed a real treat! If you eat fish, you could add a little salmon and some chives.
2. Homemade banana ice-cream (no ice cream maker needed!)
Actually I started making this to help my daughter with her Happy Eaters’ food challenge to try and eat one slice of banana each day, for 15 days (she’s now nearly eight but been a fussy eater since she was one!) What a revelation! Simply chop up a banana into small chunks or slices, place in a freezer bag, once frozen give it a whizz in the Nutribullet or similar (add some raw cacao if you fancy!) and hey presto, you have a healthy banana and chocolate ice cream!
3. Handful of nuts
Research findings last year suggested that consuming between 5-10g of nuts daily resulted in ‘a decreased risk of death from any cause as well as various specific causes, such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer, compared with those who didn’t eat any nuts’. More research is needed, but either way a small handful of nuts as a daily snack is a healthy option, as long as they’re not smothered in too much salt – or chocolate!
4. Full-fat greek yoghurt
Greek yogurt is an easy way to add more protein in your diet. I always go full-fat because this satisfies me more than eating a low-fat version, and therefore I’m less likely to want to snack again. For a bit of decadence, grate some dark chocolate over the top. Or add some crunchy homemade granola that’s low in sugar.
5. Boiled egg
A complete protein. No need to do anything other than cook and peel. Add some spinach leaves. Boom!
6. Hummus pot
I would love to say I make my own hummus, but I don’t! Either way, hummus is a great protein-rich snack, and makes a very satisfying and healthy snack when teamed with celery and/or carrot sticks.
Avocados are packed with nutrients, and here The Kitchn shares five easy ways to snack on them. The avocado and watermelon kebabs sound delicious! Or just eating it on its own – just chop in half and season – is just as tasty!
8. Tenderstem broccoli
Cooked in coconut oil and sprinkled with seeds, tenderstem broccoli can make a rather delicious savoury snack.
9. Fruit, veg and nut butter smoothie
Just throw a small handful of fruit and veg in the Nutribullet, a dollop of nut butter, and whizz away!
10. Frozen berries & grapes
No explanation needed!
11. Dark chocolate
Just a square or two can sometimes take the edge off a craving, and dark chocolate is much lower in fat and sugar than milk chocolate.
12. Homemade chocolate nut balls
These Nutty Raw Chocolate & Date Balls by Liz Earle look, well, amaze-balls!
13. Avocado chocolate mousse
Mind Body Green label this recipe the best vegan chocolate mousse you’ll ever put in your mouth! Try it and let me know if it is (I’m allergic to avocado so can’t, I’m afraid!)
14. Small bowl of soup
This high protein, low fat white bean and kale soup by Eat This also looks yum!
15. Pot of beans
Add a small amount of cheese and wrap them both with a wholewheat, gluten-free tortilla or wrap if you’re absolutely starving!
16. Edamame beans
I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post that Tesco sells edamame beans in pods, in the freezer section. If peckish, just defrost a handful in the microwave and you have an easy-to-prepare, high protein snack. Perfect for post workout!
17. Chunk of cheese
Or a Babybel. The latter is handy if you’re on the go and need something pre-prepared and wrapped.
Here are some healthy homemade popcorn recipes by Popsugar.
19. Nut butter boat
I think my love affair with nut butter is well-publicised, and using it to make little nut butter boats is a delicious way to snack! Mind Over Munch do this well!
20. Roasted seeds
Pumpkin seeds taste particularly lovely roasted with some spices or curry powder. Here are Jamie Oliver’s tips for roasting pumpkins seeds, together with some great flavour suggestions, such as chilli and fennel. Yum! If you’re time poor, you can buy these Clearspring tamarind roasted pumpkin seeds from Holland & Barrett.
21. Nakd bar
My youngest daughter and I are fans of these – especially the new Cocoa Crunch bar! Comprising only raw fruit and nuts, and containing no added sugar, gluten, wheat or dairy – and GM-free – they make a convenient, nutritious snack.
22. Glass of sparkling water
Sometimes I think I’m hungry. Then I have a glass of sparkling water and I’m not. So it’s worth checking that that hunger pang isn’t thirst. I often had some cucumber or other fruit, or a squeeze of fresh lime juice, just to make the water more interesting.
I hope you’ve found my 22 healthy snack ideas useful and, as ever, I’d love to hear from you if you have any to add!
Until next week!
PS. To read last weeks’s blog post click here.