Snack Hacks

Snacking is a great way to fit extra nutrients into your diet and stop you from overindulging at mealtimes. People often avoid snacking because they are afraid that they will hinder their weight loss. However, a healthy snack can actually do wonders for your metabolism and mindfulness when eating. Here are a few of my favourite ways to combat ‘between meal’ hunger pangs.


IMG_5473 1. Toasty combo’s

Toast is one of my favourite snacks. It can be savoury or sweet, it is satisfying and it is healthy…..all you need to do is choose the right ingredients! Bread gets a lot of slack in the “diet industry” but with all my own research and experience, nothing has turned me off eating it. In moderation of course. When choosing bread I look for ‘wholewheat’ or ‘buckwheat’ flour and an ingredient list where I can identify all the ingredients. My local deli makes amazing breads rich with seeds, grains and essential minerals.

Toppings When choosing my toppings for my toast I look for a good combination of fats, proteins and tastiness. Here are a few of my favourites;

  • Tahini, iodised salt and grated beetroot
  • Tomato, garlic, basi and balsamic
  • Avocado, iodised salt and chia seeds
  • Natural peanut butter and banana
  • Tahini and dates

2. Simple trail mixes Putting a little bit of this and a little bit of that in a bag to create a ‘dry’ portable snack to keep you munching healthy on the go. Here are some great examples:

  • Almonds and goji berries
  • Sulphate free apricots and cashews
  • Sultanas, dried apple and walnuts

IMG_6572


3. Veggie Fingers and Hummus dip.

An oldie but a goodie. Cut up you veggie/s of choice and dip away. Hummus is full of essential fats, fibre and protein, making it the perfect snack to satisfy greasy afternoon cravings.

Hummus recipe:

•400g Cooked Chickpeas (or canned) •1 Tbspoons Tahini •1/2 Lemon squeezed •1/2 teaspoon Cumin •1 Tbspoon of Olive Oil Blend until well combined!


4. Veggie/fruit dipped in nut/seed butters

Now if you don’t have time to make hummus, this is a great alternative! Just choose your preferred fruit or vege and drizzle or spread your butter! Carbs, protein and essential fats….good snack in my opinion.

Here are a few of my favourite combos;

  • Tahini and carrot
  • Apple and natural peanut butter
  • Strawberries, cacao and natural peanut butter
  • Dates and tahini
  • Celery and cashew butter

IMG_6523 5. Smoothie time!

Absolutely loaded with ‘easily accessible’  antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. Enjoying a smoothie in between meals or post workout is a great way to satisfy hunger and rack up those nutrient points.

Green smoothies are my favourite, great for getting leafy green nutrient hit…..without having to eat your greens.

All you need is:

•Banana •Spinach •Coconut water or plain water if you prefer. •Protein (optional~ I use IsoWhey® Pea Protein) •Tbspoon of Avocado (optional~ makes it super creamy ).


6. Popcorn

Once prepped this is a great low calorie snack that you can easily pack up and take to work or school.

I prepare mine with a little bit of coconut oil over a hot saucepan and season with a little iodised salt.

To mix it up a little throw in a handful of chopped dates for a salty caramel flavour!


IMG_2608 7. Blissful Bliss Balls A nice way to fix those naughty afternoon cravings and so simple to make. Play around with variations, I just recommend trying to get ingredients that will give you some protein, good fats and antioxidants. Here are a few simple recipes for you to try and experiment with.

Cookie Dough: Blend 400gm can of organic chickpeas, 1/2 cup of natural peanut butter, 1/2 cup of ground oats, 2 T maple syrup (or sweetener of choice) **Optional- 1/2 cup of Cacao nibs (or a healthy substitute eg. Dark chocolate, dates, sultanas). Roll into bite-sized balls.

Salted Caramel: Blend 1 cup of dates, 1 cup of ground oats or almond meal, 1 scoop of vanilla protein ( I use Isowhey Wholefoods), 1/2 tsp of Iodised salt. Roll into balls and top with coconut (optional).

Chocolate Fix: Combine 2 Tbspoons of cacao, 1 cup of dates and 1/2 cup of almonds in the food processor, roll into balls and dust with cacao. Measurements are a guide, experiment with ratios as needed.

My Top 5 Tips for ‘Achieving Balance’

 image-3

1. Efficiency is key

 If there is one thing I believe in it is “quality over quantity” particularly when it comes to training. There is no need to spend hours of your day working out. Thirty minutes MAX is all you need if you’re not afraid of a little intensity.

High Intensity Interval Training, Strength Circuits and Speed Based Cardio Workouts are my favourite ways to train. I love this type of training because it is a quick and effective way to boost your metabolism and condition your muscles without placing to much stress on your body!

This type of training works at such an intensity level that it sends your metabolism into overdrive due to an increase demand for oxygen consumption and energy in your muscular cells. So much so that you are still burning fat up to 48 hours after your workout! Pretty neat huh!

Train hard and train smart.


2. Variety

Interested in a new training technique, recipe or superfood? Give it a try! Trying new things will not only help keep you interested but it will also keep your body guessing.

Variety is important in a fitness program because it allows you to challenge your body on a consistent basis and overcome  the potential to ‘plateau’. A plateau happens when the body has become accustomed or used to doing the same repeated exercises over and over again . Spicing up your training regime or increasing your intensity will place new demands on the body, engage new muscles and in effect increase your metabolism.

The same goes for food! If you are eating the same foods at the same time everyday your body will begin to learn a pattern. As a result your metabolism will adapt by storing the consumed energy and fat and only burning what it knows it needs! You want keep your metabolism on it’s toes!


3. Lose the guilt

I find guilt to be one of the most detrimental things to a persons health. If you don’t workout or eat as healthy as you would have liked it is definitely not worth beating yourself up over. This can have far worst consequences to both your physical and emotional health.

Focus on what you have done that week and what you plan to do the rest of the week.  Also if you do make the decision to have a treat or skip a workout than back yourself, you made the decision for a reason now move forward.

Remember health and fitness is lifelong and it won’t last if you let it take over your life and control your happiness.


4. Get your friends and family involved

It is much easier to stick to your guns and make positive lifestyle changes if you have the support of those around you. Lets face it, workouts are much more enjoyable if you have someone to motivate you and what’s the fun of making that raw strawberry cheesecake if you have no one to share it with! Try to get your friends and loved ones interested your healthy lifestyle by getting them involved and making it fun.

Here are a few suggested ways you can make healthy living more social;

– Set a day where you can workout with family or friends

– Organise a walk/coffee date

– Attend a healthy cooking class together

– Bring healthy alternatives to parties or social events

– Call a friend on days when you don’t feel motivated

It is important however to try to not be too pushy. You don’t want to annoy people… (something I need to remember next time I’m trying to force feed coconut oil to my boyfriend).


5. Make the most out of every meal

For some of us eating the perfect, nutritious, organic, home cooked meals everyday just isn’t possible. Unfortunately factors such as time, cost and access can play a big part on what we eat, especially considering how expensive some ‘whole foods’ can be. What I have found that works for me is picking and choosing the specialty foods I buy for a certain (such as coconut oil, maca powder and cacao) and keeping the rest basic, choosing cheaper healthy options like brown rice, brown bread, wholemeal pasta, seasonal fruits & vegetables, canned tuna and legumes, eggs, nuts and buying my lean meat in bulk.

Another strategy I take is to try to eat as many nutrients in the day as I can and aim to make the most out of every meal. An example of this maybe adding spinach to a smoothie, adding vegetables to each of your meals, using avocado instead of butter or sneaking in some protein by adding quinoa, nuts and chickpeas. Aim to choose foods based on the nutrients they provide your body rather than what is low fat or low calorie.

In saying this I think it is also important to choose foods that will fit into your lifestyle and if that means eating the odd treat here and there then so be it. Like most I enjoy the occasional treat like pizza, chocolate and going out for drinks with friends. These are some of my favourite things in life and I’m not about to cut them out. For me it is a matter of just trying to be as healthy as you can, whenever you can.