With the global wellness economy now worth an incredible $4.2 trillion and the evolution of trackable fitness activity and smartphone integration, healthy eating is taking up more of our conscious lifestyle choices. Accessibility to wellness puts the spotlight on health more than ever before, with mindful eating and dietary choices at the forefront of our awareness.
You don’t have to skip the snacks to have a healthy diet. In fact, snacks play an important role in keeping us energise and focused in between meals – as long as they’re the right ones. Even if you’re trying to lose weight, you don’t have to go hungry.
Choosing the ‘right’ snacks
Having the right types of food available throughout the day can make a real difference to mindset, mood and productivity. As we get busier and busier in our jobs with more emails, meetings and deadlines eating on the go becomes more of a necessity, and it often means grabbing a chocolate bar or a couple of biscuits to ‘keep us going’, but choosing healthier snacks can help to avoid that afternoon slump, whatever your day has in store.
Whilst you may think that you’ve filled a hole with a packet of crisps or a cereal bar, these types of snacks don’t provide real nutrients or sustenance to give your body what it need and you’ll soon find yourself hungry again – not to mention the sugar crash.
Food that fuels
In addition to sugary snacks that provide no real nourishment, try to steer clear of heavy, carby foods – they can actually end up making you feel worse.
As part of a balanced diet, the key function of carbohydrates is to give your body energy, so it’s not a surprise that they’re a common snack choice. But these kinds of snacks can actually have you feeling depleted of energy instead of full of it, leaving you feeling tired, sluggish and even jittery. Instead, choose a healthier snack such as fruit, nuts, yoghurt or oats which can help to improve focus, productivity and even mood and still give both your body and mind the nutrients they need.
Thinking creatively about food
Thinking more creatively about snacking can help you choose more of the right kinds of foods when you’re peckish.
Gone are the days of soggy salad leaves or nuts upon nuts as healthy snack options. With the rise of alternative dietary choices such as veganism, vegetarianism and ‘free from’ products, the possibilities for creative snacking are endless. Add some colour and diversity!
Try to choose new flavours to make your snacks feel more interesting, or buy some products that you haven’t tried before. You can also put your own take on different foods and adapt them to your taste – have you tried adding honey and ginger to your yoghurt, or considered adding cinnamon to warm apple?
Make time to eat
Being mindful about what you eat is one thing, but making the time to properly enjoy and digest it is another – and something that is often forgotten. If you’re in a rush, it’s far too easy to grab that chocolate bar on the way out or take a packet of crisps with you for later. Making the time to not only prepare healthy snacks for yourself, but to let your body process them properly is important if you want that re-energised, positive reboot.
Make time for a proper lunch break if you can, and give your body some time to process what you’ve eaten and benefit from it before rushing off to continue with your day.
You could even ask your employer if you and your colleagues can use the meeting rooms once per week to host a lunch club. With a little coordination, and everyone bringing their healthy contribution, it’s a great way to make time to eat, to socialise with your colleagues and share the time spent making a healthy meal.
Three ideas for healthy snacks
1. Fruit infused water
Fruit infused water is becoming increasingly commonly seen at corporate events in order to keep visitors hydrated and focused. If you’re somebody who struggles to drink enough water throughout the day as part of a busy lifestyle, or maybe you don’t like it, try making it more appealing by adding fruit to your water overnight, pop it in the fridge and take it to work with you. Try infusing your water with lemon, cucumber or strawberries for a fruity flavour.
2. Dips for added flavour
Dips are so easy to prepare and can add something extra to your bog-standard snack. Try having dips with your chopped vegetables or bread alternatives to add more flavour, or even try a new take on an old classic by adding feta or mango to your guacamole. Why not put your own stamp on some other family favourites like hummus, salsa or sour cream?
3. Energy balls
Energy balls have become a well-known healthy snack option since health and fitness influencer Deliciously Ella spoke about them, and they’re a great alternative to chocolate and/or biscuits.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Mix peanut butter, coconut, pecans and flaxseeds into balls for a healthy, energy-boosting snack.
- 100g Pecan
- 75g Raisins
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed (or a mix- almond, Brazil nuts and walnut mix will work!)
- 1 tbsp- cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- 50g desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- Blitz pecans to crumbs using a food processor, then add raisins, agave syrup, peanut butter, flaxseeds and cocoa powder and pulse to combine.
- Roll the mixture into golf ball sized balls and coat in desiccated coconut. Put on a tray in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm – and voila!