Before we get to the snacking, first is the winner of last week's delicious giveaway from Jody Maroni's Sausage Kingdom. Congratulations to MaryBeth, who said "I'd love to try the smoked chicken mole... sounds intriguing :-)!" I hope you and Timmy enjoy the 5lbs of sausage! I'll contact you with details on how to pick out your flavors.
Now on to the snacks. I'm a snacker at work, I tend to eat smaller breakfasts and lunches and supplement them with a snack around 10 am and 4 pm. I try to follow the guideline for 1-2-3 snacking that I learned from Boston University's Nutrition and Fitness Center. They are a great resource on campus for students, faculty, and staff. I took advantage of their nutritional counseling service for staff to help fine tune my meal planning and eating. What I like best about their nutritional advice is that it's easy to follow and leaves you with a lot of room to customize your own plan. Their 1-2-3 snack plan calls for foods that give you:
1. Energy You Need Right Now (whole grain crackers, bread, chips, cereal, etc.)
2. Filling Power (non-starchy vegetables or fruit like carrots, celery, apples, or grapes)
3. Protein to Make it Last (dairy/lean meat or plant protein like nut butter, yogurt, hummus, and nuts)
I took this information from a handout from Boston University Nutrition and Fitness Center.
For example, yesterday I knew I had a meeting that was going to run past my normal lunch time. I made a snack of whole grain crackers, a medium apple, and a Laughing Cow mini-babybel cheese. It helped me make it to lunchtime without passing out from hunger.
With those guidelines in mind, here are some of my favorite snacks!
I love to mix crunchy cereal like grape-nuts or granola into my yogurt. Earlier this year I found a fantastic lactose-free yogurt and haven't stopped buying it! This is great afternoon snack to fuel my train commute home. If you don't have yogurt, you can also mix grape-nuts into a cup of applesauce.
I don't eat these snacks together, but wanted to show a picture of some of my favorites. I will often make my own trail mix with dried cherries, dried cranberries, pepitas, and nuts. This way you can add exactly what you like.
One of my all-time favorite snacks is olives. Yes, they are high in fat (if you eat the whole can like my hubby). But I like to have olives and carrots mixed together along with some crackers or cheese.
And LARABARS are great! They are all fruit and nuts and they taste great! I always go for the apple pie and cherry pie flavors. This week I decided to give the cinnamon roll flavor a try. Some of my other favorites include Clif Z bars (the kid bars) and Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax crunchy granola bars.
When I'm snacking at home, I love to pop up a fresh bowl of popcorn. My popcorn maker requires minimal oil, which keeps the popcorn light and healthy. Since I was a little girl, I've always paired my popcorn with a large, ice cold glass of orange juice. What's your drink of choice with popcorn?
And last for this week's post, my newest go-to breakfast! I usually eat in the car on the way to getting dropped off at the train station. Keeping the 1-2-3 principles in mind, I put together a healthy breakfast that is ready in less than 3 minutes! Spinach, egg and cheese wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla.
I tried to get an interior picture on the way to work, but the roads were pretty bumpy and they all came out blurry. This breakfast is a great start to the day! But you can see that it isn't enough to make from 7:30 a.m. all the way until 12:00 or 12:30 pm. That's where the snacks come in.
3 Minute Breakfast Wrap
1-2 eggs (I usually do 1)
Handful of fresh spinach, stems removed
1 inch block of cheddar, cut into small pieces
1 8-inch whole wheat tortilla
Spray the bottom of a small microwaveable bowl with cooking spray
Crack the egg into the bowl and break up the yolk a little bit
Cover the egg completely with the spinach leaves
Microwave for 1 minute on Power-level 8 (this may vary by microwave)
The egg will be just set and the spinach will have wilted
Place the egg & spinach onto the tortilla and top with the cheese pieces
Wrap like a burrito and then wrap in a paper towel
Microwave for 15 additional seconds to warm the tortilla and melt cheese