Before you head for the nearest vending machine for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, think about what you’ll be eating. The items found in the usual vending fare – candy, cookies and soda – contain simple sugars, which will give you a quick boost, only to let you down in a big way later. For long-lasting energy for rest of your afternoon, choose a snack with a little protein. Try some of these:
- Fruit. Most fruits are portable and a great afternoon snack. Berries are especially good, but may need refrigeration. Add a tablespoon of peanut butter or an ounce of cheese and you have a nutritious snack providing a great energy boost!
- Yogurt. Not the sweetened kind – try plain yogurt and add your own fruit or nuts. Use a little Stevia if you need sweetness.
- Hard boiled eggs. Make a half dozen and peel them. Put one or two in a plastic bag, and you have an instant healthy snack.
- Hummus or tuna fish - try mixing it with yogurt and your favorite spices for some zest! Add whole grain crackers if you need some crunch.
- Dark chocolate. Not the sugar-laded milk chocolate you might be thinking of, but rich, dark chocolate. You’ll get the benefits of a memory boost and lower cardiovascular risks. And, eat just one or two ounces, and really s-a-v-o-r it.
- Almonds or other nuts. Watch your portions and enjoy high quality fats at the same time!
- Water – if you aren’t well hydrated, your body will use its energy to maintain water balance, leaving you tired. Drink water all afternoon to keep yourself revved up!
- Green tea. Get an antioxidant boost with your afternoon energy!
Consider bringing some of these goodies from home. With just a little planning, you can enjoy a nutritious snack that will keep you going, and won’t sabotage your healthy habits!
To Your Vitality!