When people find out I'm a personal trainer, one of the questions they usually ask me is "What should I eat for a snack?" Let me remind you that I am not a dietitian or a nutritionist. My experience with food is limited to what I read in various places and what I, in turn, choose to eat as a result of that reading. I've learned a lot about food in this way, though it doesn't make me an expert. While I can't tell you what you should and shouldn't be eating, I am more than willing to let you in on the things that work for me.
When I was a little kid, I would wait anxiously for that 3 o'clock school bell to ring because it meant that I could go home and eat a snack. I would eat it outside with the boys next door, or in front of the television watching "Hey Dude" or "Double Dare" on Nickelodeon. The snack itself would have been a Freeze Pop or a Little Debbie treat. To this day, I still require that afternoon snack—but I've learned to make it a healthy one. And so, to answer the most popular question I get, today I will share with you some of my favorite snacks. I've found all of them to supplement, rather than suppress, the work I'm doing at the gym. Let's start with smoothies.
1) Contrary to popular belief, smoothies are extremely easy to make. The glass above contains a mix of Dannon Plain Greek Yogurt (you know I love Greek yogurt), skim milk, a handful of blueberries and half of a banana. I poured some of it into the cute little container above, which brings me to my next delish snack option.
2) Popsicles! No, not the store-bought kind. Make your own using a container like the one pictured above. I bought my set of 6 at IKEA for $2, but I'm fairly certain you can find them anywhere. And you can pour anything into them. I've got a Simply Lemonade popsicle in my freezer alongside the previously mentioned blueberry/banana concoction.
3) Salsa and cucumber slices. An odd combination, I know, but it works. Trust me.
4) Hummus, hummus and more hummus! Slice up your favorite veggies, or grab a box of Kashi crackers. Don't like hummus? I say try the Sabre brand. It's smooth, creamy (without the cream) and easily turned my husband into a fan.
5) Banana tortilla rolls. Slap some peanut or almond butter on a whole-wheat tortilla and roll it around a banana. Easy to eat, easy to pack...though you may want to go halfsies on everything to avoid a too-big portion. All depends on the banana, I guess.
6) Celery and peanut butter. Apple and peanut butter. These'll always be classics. (Don't be afraid to use almond butter!)
8) Hard-boiled eggs. No, they're not just for Easter! Sprinkle a little pepper on them for added zing. Even better, make a bunch then whip up some egg salad. Use plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo for a healthy alternative.
9) Almonds. They're perfectly joyous plain and get even better when flavored. Just pay attention to how they're flavored because all that processing can add extra ingredients that easily turn them into candy. If you're feeling really adventurous, toast your own with the seasonings of your choice! In fact, this goes for just about any nut out there.
10) Frozen grapes. Love them! Such a pleasant treat on a hot day. (But grapes don't have to be frozen to qualify as an excellent snack.)
11) Tomatoes and mozzarella. Stack slice on slice, or mix cherry tomatoes with cubes of cheese, then sprinkle with a bit of balsamic and olive oil for a tasty salad. Add basil for extra zing.
12) Egg in a pepper ring. Slice the pepper 1/4" think, then toast for about a minute in olive oil. Crack an egg in the middle and cook it thoroughly. You can season it with pepper and garlic if you like, then top it off with some shredded Swiss cheese.
Now tell me, what's your favorite snack?