TICK TOCK. You’ve been in the office all day. You’re starting to notice every minute that passes by and you’ve lost all forms of concentration. Your last meal was only 2 hours ago. Is it time to eat again? Think about what you ate for lunch. It is possible the foods you choose are causing an energy drain. By consuming foods that help keep your energy levels constant and avoiding foods that cause you to crash and burn you will avoid the afternoon daze all together. Being prepared is key. An afternoon snack may stave off hunger pangs until dinner too. Try these ideas for a quick pick me up!
Instead of tortilla or potato chips get the crunch and saltiness from raw, roasted almonds, pistachios, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds, perhaps some popcorn(without adding tons of salt or butter). Bonus, you’re gaining nutritional benefits such as fiber and protein. Just remember, PORTION size is important, don’t eat an entire bag of nuts just like you shouldn’t eat the entire bag of chips. Pair a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit and you’re set to go until dinner is served.
Avoid the vending machine, you know you’ll only walk away with the snickers bar and a bag of chips. If you’re looking for something sweet try dark chocolate, my favorite is Green & Black Organics brand. Look for 75% cacao for the most health benefits (1 serving equals 1 ounce of chocolate), pair it with a cup of green tea and your afternoon will fly by.
Fresh fruit also does the trick. Fruit has natural sugars! Buying fruit when its in season will provide you with the sweetness you desire. APPLES are in season right now! My favorite, honey crisps with almond butter smeared on top. Yum!
CRISPY OR CRUNCHY?
Mary’s Gone Crackers brand is a favorite of mine. They’re delicious dipped in some hummus, black bean dip, or guacamole (go easy there tiger…portion size, remember!). To keep your calories in check 2 tablespoons of guacamole with 1/2 a cup of salsa.
Also try fresh veggies in any of the above dips! I love Jicama, red peppers, carrot sticks, raw broccoli or cauliflower.
Caffeine will only provide you with temporary energy, it can also influence and decrease your blood sugar leaving you feeling like you’re going to slump over your desk and take a nap at any moment. Opt for green tea instead of that fifth cup of coffee and the antioxidants will do your body good. Herbal teas are an option for decaf lovers as well.
SWEET, SALTY, CRUNCHY, CHEWY all in one?
Mom was totally right when she gave us GORP (Good old raisins and peanuts) on road trips. Make your own version with a handful of dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, add in some cereal for extra crunch. Keep it at your desk in pre-portioned baggies. I make my own using almonds, walnuts, dried cherries, dried mango, barbara’s organic oat cereal. You can eat alone or mix a small portion into greek yogurt.