The road to health is paved with small practices that add up to the greater health of the body. The very first and most profound practice that can begin that journey is the practice of eliminating sugar. In addition to the obvious weight difficulties it contributes to, sugar also affects heart health, can aggravate depression and anxiety and can also act like an accelerant to cancer cell proliferation. In one of my recent newsletters, Elements, I help you begin the journey of practice and embrace the concept of creating health by making small, subtle yet consistent changes that will help you achieve the health and body you want. The very first step is the elimination of sugar.
In this weeks blog I offer ten great snacks to help you curb your sweet cravings. The most important thing you can do aside from trying them, is keeping them readily available so that they are there in those moments of weakness. Being prepared makes the difference between success and that darn 60 calorie cookie that will not only add to your waistline but disrupt your journey to create more balance in your mind and body. It’s important to remember that the benefits of eliminating sugar far exceed simple weight loss (even if that’s your primary motivation).
- My perennial favorite is an apple with almond butter. The sweetness from the apple combined with the protein and beneficial fats from the almond butter make a perfect combination when looking to reduce sugar cravings. Keep your supply on hand at home and in the office and try to stick with one tablespoonful of the almond butter to keep calories in check.
- Coconut water is a wonderful way to get minerals, electrolytes and enzymes in a delicious, hydrating beverage. Ideally, try to get it raw rather than packaged, but if that is not available, then get the Zico brand, available at Whole Foods.
- Carrots and hummus are also great for a nutritious, high quality snack that will deliver a healthy serotonin boost through the carrots, combined with protein and quality fats in the hummus. Have a handful of carrots and a ¼ cup of hummus as a great, nutritious afternoon snack.
- Oat Bars: This is my new favorite, both as a snack or as an on-the-run breakfast. Find my recipe here.
- Larabars are a great, raw snack bar made of dried fruit and nuts. It comes in a variety of flavors and is easy to carry in your purse or briefcase. The fact that they are raw is an added benefit to your body in that they contain vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
- One of my favorite winter time snacks is apple compote that I make at home. It is a great way to use up apples that have perhaps gotten past their enjoyment in their raw form and is also a great addition to cereal. I just eat it alone. I included a delicious apple & pear compote recipe in the December issue of my newsletter ‘Elements’. (Be sure to subscribe if you are not already.)
- A great way to start your day is with this healthy home made granola. Add some fruit and some unsweetened almond milk (made by Pacific foods) and you have a grounding, satisfying and nutritious breakfast that will get your day started in an optimal way. Use a half portion as a snack. Click here to the blog link for the recipe.
- Keep a supply of rice cakes in your office as well as a jar of almond butter or high quality peanut butter. If you have the urge to snack, having one rice cake with 1 tablespoon of nut butter will help offset any desires to run to the candy machine. My favorite rice cake brand is Lundberg’s.
- Seeded Spelt crackers by Docktor Kracker is also convenient to keep at home or in the office. One cracker with a tablespoon of hummus or olive tapenade will also make a delicious and nutritious snack All are available in Whole Foods.
- By far, the easiest and most convenient snack to have is fruit and a small handful of almonds. Trader Joe’s sells serving size packets of nuts, taking the guess work out of what a serving actually is. Make sure you are stocked with a variety of quality fruit and try to keep it seasonal. Check out my December Elements Newsletter for a list of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
In time you’ll find that as you become less dependent on sugar, more and more healthy snack options become available to you. Whereas a carrot may not have the same appeal as a couple of Oreos do to you now, your desires and what works to satiate them will change for the better as your body finds balance!
Please share your tips in the comments section below for the snacks that you have found work for you when practicing the avoidance of sugar and unhealthy snacking. I, along with the readers of this blog will thank you for your contribution.
If you enjoyed this blog post, you might be interested in my past blog: ‘Maximizing Energy by Eating a Great Breakfast’.