Did you eat a snack today?

almonds-768699_1280Its 3:00pm you start to yawn and feel exhausted. First thought is a double espresso and muffin. Get that thought out of you head because they not going to get you through the day. How do I know this? Because that same combination of espresso and muffin was my past go-to. Who hasn't experienced that drained feeling halfway through the afternoon? Almost all of us have been in this situation when making it through the rest of the day seemed impossible.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly half of us report an afternoon slump where energy and concentration are challenged.

One of the most common reasons for afternoon fatigue is fluctuating blood sugar levels. This is when there is too much sugar released into the body at once. This happens by either waiting too long to eat between meals, or eating high carbohydrate and fatty foods. This allows too much insulin to be released into the body.

This causes your blood sugar levels to rise and fall rapidly, leading to a quick burst of energy followed by a deep crash. There lays the afternoon energy slump... yawn!

Healthy snacks. Why are they such an important part of your day? Healthy Snacks are those 150-200 calories snacks that will save you from the afternoon crash. These healthy snacks keep your blood sugar stable and your hunger in check so that you’re not grabbing a candy bar from the nearest vending machine or overeating at your next meal.

Healthy snacks will fuel your AM workout if there is no time for a proper meal and will replenish your glycogen storages after you have finished that run and strength session. Healthy snacks are also a great way to get in extra whole foods to ensure that you are getting in the correct nutrients, antioxidants and life building phytonutrients for the day.

It’s important to pick the right healthy snack at the right time to keep energy levels up and bridge the gap properly. A snack made up of a complex carb, a healthy fat, and clean protein will increase your energy levels for a longer period of time.

Healthy snacks usually have the following six characteristics:

1.Rich in nutrients 2. High in fiber 3. Low in sugar 4. Low in fat 5. Low in salt 6. The Less processed, simple foods

So, back to that 3:00pm slump. It’s the time of day when another cup of coffee or quick sugary snack seems like the perfect way to carry you to the end of the day. Hold that thought……….

If you’re like most Americans you open a bag of chips, crackers, and sit down in front of the TV without giving a second thought to what you are about to ingest. You are setting yourself up to eat mindlessly without thinking. This is not good.

It’s time to banish the mindless eating syndrome by starting a healthy snack regiment moving forward.

With this snack list in hand, and a little planning, you can easily push through and run to the finish line. Don’t let that 3:00pm slump take control of you. Below is a list of my top 14 snacks to beat that slump.

Fourteen Healthy Snacks to prevent the afternoon slump:

  1. A handful of raw unsalted nuts/homemade trail mix – the protein, fiber, and fat is a perfect snack combination. Try some nuts, seeds, goji berries or mulberries for a delicious treat.
  1. 2 cups of mixed raw veggie sticks and 2 tbsp. of your favorite dip – hummus, tahini, pesto, etc.
  1. ¼ avocado, and tomato on a piece of sprouted Ezekiel toast or ½ an Ezekiel muffin.
  1. ½ cup organic coconut yogurt with 1 tbsp. nut butter, cinnamon, and ½ apple, sliced, OR coconut yogurt with 2 tbsp mixed nuts, seeds, and berries.
  1. Green juice – cucumber, kale, spinach, parsley, celery, lemon ginger, and coconut oil. This is my favorite.
  1. Smoothie – unsweetened almond milk, ½ banana, 1 tbsp almond butter, protein powder, vanilla, cinnamon, hemp seeds, maca powder/cacao powder, and ice.
  1. 1 apple, sliced, with 1 tbsp. nut butter.
  1. Popcorn with little sea salt and olive oil and a handful of nuts/seeds.
  1. Chopped fruit salad with fresh mint and some almonds.
  1. Nori seaweed, canned salmon/tuna, avocado, spinach, and cucumber wrap.
  1. It’s the perfect watery snack filled with flavor, fiber, and natural sweetness.
  1. Kale Chips.
  1. Mary’s Gone Crackers with hummus or a nut butter spread on top.
  1. A cup of homemade soup.

Leave a comment below and share your healthy snack ideas.