With many millennials living life at breakneck speed, squeezing in three square meals a day is often not a reality. Instead, reaching for quick and easy snacks seems to be the way we’re moving towards when it comes to filling up, but may be missing out on fuelling up properly. Rather than feeling guilty about snacking or giving up on seeking out the good stuff that’s good for you, embrace your hectic schedule and stress less about proper meals; you can still maintain a healthy, balanced and nutritionally sound diet, even if you’re consuming foods at non-traditional times or eating a typically prepared meal. Read on to for the best snacking guide for busy boys and girls, and tuck in!
Why Snacking Could be a Bad Thing
When we’re time-poor, we often feel stressed, which can lead us to crave comfort foods high in fats, sugars, salt and simple carbohydrates. At the same time, many of these nutritionally-lacking foods are easily accessible and are quick to grab and go on the run, which means they’re even easier to reach for when our stress levels are high and time is tight. When reaching for these types of snacks, we’re compromising our skin as it’s no secret a healthy diet is a key element for beautiful, healthy and clear skin.
How to Choose the Right Ingredients
While we may think a blueberry muffin is a good choice for an on-the-go snack, most commercially and even restaurant- and café-made muffins are often sugar bombs made with white flour and artificial ingredients. It can be deceiving to think you’re eating something not-so-bad for you when it truth it contains little to no nutritional value. Try avoiding anything not found in nature; the less something looks like its natural state, the better it is to steer clear.
Prep for a Busy, Snack-Filled Day
Instead of grabbing that pre-made muffin or snack of any kind, dedicate a few hours each week — even the busiest of schedules can spare this time — and make a few big batches on your own. Swap white flour for whole wheat, or experiment with low glycaemic and superfood picks like almond flour or coconut flour. Cram healthy extras like real fruit, nuts and seeds into your baked goods for added skin and overall health benefits. Other easy, make-ahead snacks that can even be frozen for later consumption include spreads like tzatziki, hummus or dukkah, which are so great and quick to grab on the go with some carrots, cucumbers or any vegetable you love dipped in.
Choose Your Macros and Nutrients Wisely
By eating a balanced snack that contains all three macronutrients, which are protein, fat, and carbohydrates, you’ll not only feel fuller longer but maximize nutritional benefits, too. Reach for slow-burning and releasing complex carbs like oats, sweet potato, barley and whole grain bread, and pair with high-quality protein like eggs, lean chicken, turkey, fish or beef, and fats such as nuts and natural nut spreads, seeds, and avocado.
Eat it Like This, Not Like That
How we treat the foods we consume is just as important; a healthy vegetable like broccoli’s nutritional value plummets if its battered and deep fried. Stick to eating snacks and foods that use a simple cooking method like steaming, baking, broiling or grilling. Look for anti-inflammatory superfood extras, too, like a drizzle of olive oil on top of grilled vegetables, or spirulina packed into a smoothie.
Aimée Wice is a beauty junkie, fashion fanatic, health and fitness freak and travel lover currently living in love with her better half in Sydney. She has contributed to print and digital publications such as FASHION, Fitness First, Sporteluxe, Style Nest UK, Women’s Health Australia, The Beauty Insider, whimn.com.au, The Huffington Post’s Blog, BEAUTY/Crew, Best Health Magazine, The Lifestyle Edit, Elite Daily, Esprit Magazine, ELLE Canada, nine.com.au, and Glow, to name a few.