National Strawberry Day - Healthy Rules For Healthy Snacking

Jaime Mass Nutritionals - National Strawberry Day

Happy National Strawberry Day my JMN Fam! I think it is amazing that whoever is responsible for these national celebrations seems to really love food. I couldn’t agree more with the foodie choice celebrations. When I think strawberries, I think berries (which are my favorite fruits) and I also start thinking about snacks! You see how that brain process went? Ha, the inner workings of this nutrition mind...

Snacking, it has so many negative associations with it but I’m asking you (kindly) to throw those out the window.

I think snacking is an important part of our lives… Some people don’t need to snack due to schedules for work… Or in some cases an individual’s body just might respond better to 3 or 4 meals. The science on exact timing or number of meals and snacks daily… Well, the verdict is still out.

So you can take a sigh of relief for all of the confusing articles you have read! Studies are conflicting, but in an effort to tailor and personalize your nutrition program to your lifestyle most people find that snacking is a part of their routine.

The real question comes down to, “JAIME, BUT WHAT DO I EAT???? HELP!!!”

I feel you. No really, I do. I remember the days of feeling lost and confused about food. What to choose, when to eat it, was I doing the right thing?

Although there is no perfect way to eat and certainly no perfect diet. There are some helpful tips and hints when it comes to snacking to keep you on a healthier track, making positive choices and keeping you sane!

Try not to eat carbohydrates all by themselves. I don’t dislike carbs… I think they are necessary but eating them all on their lonesome makes it very easy for the body to convert the carbohydrate directly into sugar. For example: if you usually eat an apple for snack or whole wheat pretzels I urge you to keep reading and reconsider. That apple or those whole-wheat pretzels break down and convert into sugar quickly. This than causes an increase in blood sugar followed by a drop. If the increase in blood sugar and decline occur too rapidly or create a drastic fall this can lead to cravings and hunger as well as feelings of dissatisfaction. Try to combine…

You might even notice this with meals especially with breakfast. As Americans, our breakfasts tend to be almost all carbohydrates. Cereals, waffles, pancakes… This can create that peak and fast drop in blood sugar. You get to work and wonder, “Why am I HUNGRY, I just ate an enormous bowl of cereal.” It sounds like you need to combine!

Combine your carbs. What does this mean? It means if you are eating a carbohydrate (which you should be, because you do need to support your blood sugar levels)... Then go ahead and pair it with a healthy fat OR protein. For example: Take that apple and pair it with almond butter, take those pretzels and dip them in high protein Greek yogurt. By pairing your snacks, you create what I call a functional snack or functional mini meal. Your snack should be serving a purpose to your body while also enjoying!

Check it! Always check first to see if you are thirsty. Many times, as I have mentioned before and I will continue to mention because we all fall victim to this. If you are grabbing for a snack, first ask yourself if you are in fact thirsty? I try to add at least 8oz of water with my snacks to keep myself on track with my hydration and keep me from mistaking thirst for hunger.

Be prepared to run. Not a jog... Lol don’t worry! Most people I work with are BUSY. Busy is an understatement, we all are. So be prepared for the insanity, be prepared for snacking on the run! Do not let yourself get caught in a situation where you are unprepared. It is preventable. Simple things like bringing almonds, protein bars, nut butters and fruit on the go will keep you on track and satisfied.

Happy Snacking!