Monday, April 26, 2010

Snack Well

I have a snack problem. My problem is that I snack on all the wrong things. All carbs all the time. And not good carbs like fruit-- empty carbs, like these snack bars I ostensibly buy for the kids:

Sure they're only 130 calories, but it's like 130 calories of AIR. As soon as I scarf one down in three bites (which, come to think of it, could also be a snack problem), I am hungry again.

So I go straight for the mini Snickers ice cream bars or the honey wheat pretzels. Seriously, I eat a bag like the ones below and a bag of the Rold Gold version every week. (Ben helps. We dip them in soft cheese while watching our DVR'd stash of shows we miss because we're wrestling our children through the bath and bedtime routine)

Or I'll miss my morning snack (seriously, people, I need a snack at like 9:30 like clockwork everyday) because we're running late at the gym, and I'll come home and eat 4-6 pouches of these little cookies (they are SO GOOD with a steaming hot cup of coffee-- they just melt in your mouth).

And don't even get me started on the wonder that is the Joe-Joe. I started buying them instead of Oreos because they are chemical, preservative and HFCS-free. Now I buy them because they are DELICIOUS. On Saturday after lunch I told Ben I felt kind of bad about myself because I ate half a dozen of them (dunked in milk) for dessert. He said, "You should just say 6. Sounds way better."

So here's my plan. Whenever I want a snack or some dessert, I am going to eat a piece of fruit or a serving of veggies first. Then, if I still want whatever snack I was going to have, I'll have it.

I stocked my fruit drawer-- and already washed my apples and oranges, so there is NO EXCUSE for letting them languish

Grabbed various kinds of berries

And got my veggies in order.

I even bought mini-raisin boxes so I can implement this plan on the road.

I even washed my carrots, blanched my pea pods, and sliced my peppers to I would have veggies ready to be munched by the handful, mindlessly in front of the open fridge if that's how I want to roll.

So far, I have done okay. Ben and I ate some delicious fattening spicy Chinese takeout after the kids went to bed. Afterward, I usually respond to the mini Snickers ice cream bars screaming my name, but last night, I ate an orange, and that did it for me.

Today after the gym, I had an apple and only one pouch of cookies.

While making lunch, I ate cold veggies instead of handfuls of pretzels while I assembled our sandwiches. For me, the key is to have healthy snacks that are as accessible as all the bags of crap I buy at the store and to be accountable, which is why I am blogging about it. Any other healthy snack ideas for me?


  1. Nuts. I find them filling and I can't eat as many of them as I can, say, a bag of Doritos.

    Also? Water. Drink a glass of that before you start munching. Sometimes that will make me full so that I don't need as much to snack on.

    Also, also? I do love those damn organic-y Oreos too. My god they are so much better.

  2. Having everything cut up and ready to go makes it so much easier to snack well!! So does having an aware child who no longer naps. So you thought you were going to finish off that cookie dough during naptime? SORRY! Now you can have a handful of blackberries and some yogurt. It's totally the same thing.

  3. I have the same problem... and actually went to the store on Saturday with getting healthy snacks in mind. And it worked, other than when I sent hubby out for chocolate fudge brownie ice cream last night...

  4. cathleen8:25 PM

    my new fave "healthy" snack is 1 c light choc soy milk blended w/a frozen banana. i like to tell myself it is a chocolate shake!

  5. I buy unsalted roasted almonds at Whole Foods and mix them with dried cranberries. Very satisfying, especially for that afternoon slump! I also keep a stash of small sweet peppers, which we all love as a snack or with meals. Virginia's right--drink a glass of water before you snack and you'll feel fuller.

    Something else to think about if you're looking for something to replace an afternoon coffee and snack is miso soup. My husband started using that as a snack when he had to lay off caffeine and he loves it. It's super filling and it's nice to have something warm. Throw in a few spinach leaves and you will love it!

  6. For snacking on the go, you should check out some more of the dried fruit TJ's has to offer. I buy the bananas, mangos, strawberries (to die for), plantains, and blueberries regularly. I mix them up in little baggies or plastic bowls for the kids or me.

    They also have really good nut mixes (my kids don't eat many nuts yet so we don't buy this often) and have you seen the fruit leather pieces? Those are preservative/crap free and are yummy!!

    And one more awesome TJ thing I've found is "Righteous Round" cookies. They have carrot and tomato extract in them, and I plunk a few in the snack bags I make and they are SO GOOD. (They are in an orange bag.)

  7. I have been eating a lot of fruit leather. Yes - there is a good amount of sugar in them, but it is only what would be in the fruit normally. I like them because I can put them int he diaper bag and eat whenever and whereever I feel like it. I also love fresh popcorn (we have a stir crazy popper), but that is a good amount of work. My other common snack is cheese!

  8. Sabrina8:59 AM

    Spinach smoothies. Sounds gross, I know.

    3-4 cups of spinach
    2 cups light chocolate soy milk
    1 banana
    sweetner (I am using stevia, thinking about honey)

    blend and drink. It is sweet and filling. Oh, and I feel like popeye after I drink one.

  9. thanks for the inspiration! And I'm going to have to try that spinach smoothie...I think. although drinks never feel like snacks to me--I need to crunch (am weird).

  10. Doug's been getting down on these Nature Valley cashew bars lately. I don't know how "natural" they really are -- he's a grown man and I ain't reading his labels. :)

    I ate one the other day and they are delicious. Also, I noticed a nice quick pickup from the honey and sustained energy from the nuts.

    Of course, I'm now on a mission to make them at home. Demented?