Happy Friday everyone! Per usual it’s time for Friday Five. Since the holiday season is just around the corner I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about healthy holiday snacking habits. The holiday season in general means lots of “grazing”. We eat a little here are there while entertaining others, at a holiday gathering or on the go because we don’t have time to sit down and eat a real meal.
My suggestion is simple, keep healthy snacks at the ready and put together an “emergency” snack kit. When you are running around doing your holiday shopping, dropping kids off at play practice or traveling to visit relatives during the winter months it can be so easy to just pick something up when you are out. The problem is that most things this time of year are sugar and calorie loaded. Peppermint and gingerbread everything sounds great, but chances are you will be eating plenty of calorie rich foods at holiday parties and other events.
Save your unhealthy meals for times when it counts. I always keep food with me in case I get unhungry while I’m out or errands take longer than I thought. Traveling is another time when it pays to have healthy foods on hand. Whether you are at the airport or taking a good ol fashioned road trip, having helathy snacks on hand means you don’t have to spend your money or your time. I’ve put together a list of items that I think will help you make better choices when it comes to snacking.
Graze. I’ve talked about this company before, but I can’t help it. I love the variety and individual sized portions. Graze snacks are the perfect size to throw in your purse when you are headed out the door and need something in a pinch. The containers are small, but keep all the food from crunching which makes them the perfect travel companion. I also love that their snacks are labeled with nutrition information so you can choose the best option for your goals. Maybe you want a low calorie or high protein snack.
Veggies. You may not think of vegetables are a snack, but they are awesome. I love to cut up cucumber or red bell pepper for eating by itself or with hummus. Cut up veggies are great for the cooler months because you could carry them around with you or leave them in your car for a couple hours and they would still be safe to eat. Veggies are also great with a handful of nuts.
Nuts.com. I haven’t yet tried this company out, but I love their online selection. Nuts.com has so much to choose from and have information dedicated to healthy snacking on their website. You can read more about that here and here. They also offer gift baskets and customizable trays that are perfect to bring to a party or send to friend. Nut mixes are party food in my opinion, but are the kind that can keep you on track.
Fruit. Fruit is the original fast food, ya’ll! Whether it’s a tub of berries, an apple or a banana, fruit can go where you do and packs nicely. If you are worried about an apple getting a little beat up in your bag wrap it in a small kitchen towel or bandana before throwing it in your bag. You can also do something to keep your banana from bruising in your gym bag. Check out this banana keeper. Remember that when you buy food that is in season it tastes better and is always cheaper. Here’s a list of fruit in season right now.
Oatmeal Cups. I love a good oatmeal cup! My pre long run meal is an oatmeal cup with almond butter because they travel so well. You can make them nearly anywhere: on a plane, in a hotel room, etc. Even if you don’t have a coffee maker it doesn’t matter because you just need hot water. Throw in an individual pack of almond butter and some dried fruit and you are good to go. I always travel with my oatmeal cups because they make a great breakfast but are also the perfect snack to hold you over until the next meal.
I love holiday goodies as much as anyone else, but I want to be mindful about my meals and snacks so I can splurge when I want to without the negative side effects. Its easier to have a small extra slice of pumpkin pie if you know you save those calories and fat grams somewhere else in the day.
Take some of the items above and have them ready when you know you’ll be on the go, traveling, running errands or just doing everyday tasks during the holidays. If you prepare for success through the holidays it will make the New Year that much sweeter!