Recognizing How You Snack
I am a total snacker. I could skip meals entirely and just kind of graze all day, especially if I’m at home. For work, if I don’t bring little things to munch on, the day seems so much longer.
How I Realized I Needed Better Snacking Habits
Previously, I had tried to implement what I thought were healthy snacks. Primarily, I’m thinking of bringing the Puffin Peanut Butter Cereal to class to munch on throughout the day. It was tasty and satisfying at the time, but I felt terrible by the end of the day. Because I was overlooking the importance of an actual mid-day meal, my blood sugar would bottom out.
These sugar crashes did not combine well with law school stress, let me tell you. I wouldn’t blame poor eating for all my law school melodrama, but it certainly didn’t help.
In undergrad, I lived by campus and would pop back and forth between class and my apartment throughout the day. When I was home, I’d have a proper lunch or snack, depending on the time of day. With law school, I was on campus for pretty much full days, something I hadn’t had to do, really, since high school. As a consequence, I had to reconsider my eating practices.
What is a Good Snack, Though?
The obvious options are things like fruit and bananas and the like. I’m not a huge fan of fruit, at least not all the time. I prefer salty stuff, for the most part. Time to get creative.
Important considerations for a good on-the-go snack (or for snacking at home) include serving size, necessity of refrigeration, and how easy it is to carry around.
Option 1: Bananas
As much as I don’t really care for bananas, I do think they make a good snack. The adult in me forces myself to eat them from time to time. They don’t need to be packaged — they’re naturally sealed anyway — and they’re not messy. No refrigeration is needed and even if they get kind of beat up in my bag, they’re still fine.
Option 2: Mixed Nuts
I’m a big fan of cashews and pistachios. Almonds are great, too. A good nut mix is great for snacking because it satisfies hunger and keeps blood sugar at bay. I don’t know the science behind it, but having these as a snack tend to keep me from feeling shaky or gross.
The issue with nuts is the serving size. I don’t abide by calorie count much (and I don’t count calories anymore), but I do think they’re really easy to over-eat. They’re small and easy to eat mindlessly. To counteract this, I got these little 3 oz Rubbermaid containers that make it pretty easy to eye-ball how big of a serving I’m bringing.
Option 3: Personalized Trail Mix
This one is kind of a deviation of the mixed nuts, but it provides a bit of variety. Who doesn’t love trail mixes? I certainly do. Many of them are good excuses for eating chocolate candies as a healthy snack.
I like to make my own trail mixes for two reasons: it gives me control over the type and quality of ingredients and it gives me control over the proportions.
Start with a solid base, like your favorite variety of mixes nuts from the grocery store. Then, add pretty much anything you want! I like to add pumpkin seeds, dried goji berries, and craisins. If you’re not sure what to try, I’d suggest visiting your nearest Whole Foods and checking out the self-serve dried fruit and nut wall. That should give you some inspiration!
Option 4: Protein & Snack Bars
In a perfect world, I would stick to purely unprocessed snacks. The reality of daily life, though, often necessitates something quick, easy, and pre-packaged.
Larabar bars are a good choice for a super quick and clean snack. These are small, dense, and surprisingly filling. I love the chocolate chip cookie dough option, but they have a good range of variety. The lemon option is pretty great, too, although Luna Bar’s lemon zest is still my favorite.
ONE Protein Bars are good options, too, and they have a bunch of awesome flavors. Birthday cake and cookies and cream are my favorite — sweet and satisfying. Pro tip: for the birthday cake flavor, watch out for the sprinkles — if you’re eating it in the car, they can get all over the place!
Option 5: Cracker Cut Sliced Cheese
Cheese is a great option for staving off hunger. I recently discovered cracker cut sliced cheeses, which come in a bunch of styles from a variety of brands, like, Cabot, a favorite of mine (Cabot is based in Vermont!).
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