Snack Attack!

Ah geez.... i'm hungry, no, i'm not hungry, i'm starving! No, i'm not starving, i'm HANGRY. Give me anything I see and give it to me right now. I don't care if it's chocolate covered high fructose corn syrup pudding pops with red #2 mixed in and NON-GMO buttered candies sprinkled on top, in fact, i'll take a diet coke to rinse it down.

How did i get so out of control?

Answer: I didn't prepare. I failed to set myself up for success and now, I'm walking down the road of snack hell, lined with guilt, regret and "why did I do that"? The emotional rage can be uncontrollable and futile to resist, so there is nothing to be done but give in and stuff my face. Right? Come on, we are grown, responsible and semi-experienced with making good choices, surely we can win this inner "game of thrones" battle.

Yes, you can.

It does take a bit of forethought.... and planning. But, the good news is, you can set yourself up for an entire week, if done properly. When you sit down to write your grocery list, plan for items that you can take on the go, easy to eat, and delicious. Here are some of my favorite snacks:

1. Green apple and almond butter packet. I buy the big bag of small apples from trader joes (it's about $4) and they will sit on my counter in a bowl the whole week. I buy "Justin's" plain almond butter packets (individual servings the size of a credit card). These can be found at Target for about $1.29. Voila, I have a decent, healthy and filling snack, right in my purse.
2. Rice Cakes with Guac and tomato. If I know I am going to be out during the hours of 1030-1200, I need to pack something a bit more significant. I like plain (check the ingredient list) rice cakes, add a smear of guacamole (I buy the individual packs of "wholly Guacamole" and slice up tomato. Stack the ingredients and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place another rice cake on the top (so it looks like a sandwich) and put it into a sandwich bag.  It's delicious. (BTW, you can also throw in a almond butter packet and have a plain rice cake with just the butter, too.)

3. Homemade protein bars.  These are super easy to grab, once you have made them. They are reminiscent of rice crispy treats, but a healthy, substantial version. :) 
  • 2 cups almond butter
  • 1 and 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
  • 2 and 1/4 cups Vanilla protein powder
  • 3 cups gluten free oats, rice chex OR GF rice crispies

Microwave syrup and almond butter for about a minute. Stir.
Mix oats/rice and protein powder in another bowl.
Fold almond butter mixture into oatmeal mixture until well blended (mix will be crumbly).
Pour mixture into a lightly oiled 9×13 pan and pack mix down.
Chill for an hour and cut into 28 bars.
One serving is one bar.

4. Hard Boiled Eggs.
5. Banana with almond butter packet.

So, here are just a few ideas that I have jotted down for my grocery list this week. I try to stay away from simple carbs (anything that is wrapped and processed like granola bars, protein bars, "nutra-grain" bars, etc)- while they are an easy option to buy and grab, they are terribly processed, loaded with sugar and offer no nutritional value whatsoever. 

Just remember-- if you have reached the point of HANGER, your body needs replenishment, not junk. Your brain might be playing tricks on you, but listen to your body. Plan ahead. You can make it to the next healthy meal without wrecking your healthy day.

Go forth, make snacks, not regrets.