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OT - Tone-Up Tuesday

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Did you know that when you go longer than four to five hours without eating, the body’s energy levels can crash significantly? 3pm is the most popular time that your energy tank falls close to empty. Too many of us reach for more coffee or one of those awful energy drinks.

Since caffeine has no effect on me, I have a terrible tendency to reach for sugar. Bad! This is why Aniki has a big arse! On a good day, I grab a protein shake – Atkins or Core Power (always best when vcold).

Good fuel does NOT come from carbs or the candy dish. Eating carbs/sugar is a recipe for spike and crash. But since fat and protein slow the rate at which carbs are absorbed by the body, adding them to the mix will lead to a steadier lift in blood sugar levels. In other words: a smoother, crash-free lift in energy.

Here’s a list of portable energy-boosting snacks.

Trail Mix
When you toss mixed nuts together with dried fruit (and even bits of dark chocolate), you’ve got an easy-to-tote, tasty snack!

Apple or Banana with Peanut Butter
You can buy nut butters in single-serve squeeze pouches (or fill a baggie and make your own squeeze pouch). Grab your fruit of choice and go!

Air-pop some kernels and use a light hand with the toppings to keep the calorie count down. One teaspoon or olive or coconut oil for 2 cups of popcorn. Garlic powder, chili powder, cinnamon…

Cheese Kebabs
Most cheese has 6 to 7 grams of protein per ounce. Gruyere is king with 8.5 grams. Spear cubes of cheese and cherry tomatoes or grapes on a wooden skewer and store them in a plastic container. Grab one for the road!

Ants on a Log
It’s an old childhood favorite, but there’s no reason we adults can’t enjoy it, too! Traditional is peanut butter spread inside of a celery stick with a few raisins on top. Why stop there? Try almond butter with dried cranberries or cashew butter with dried cherries.

Veggies and Hummus
Thanks to single-serving cups, hummus can go anywhere! Fill a baggie with a mix of carrots sticks, sliced bell pepper, or jicama.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
Spice up your life with this oh-so-easy recipe! Rinse and drank chickpeas and season with olive oil, salt, and cayenne pepper, and throw them in a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Hard-Boiled Egg
An oldie, but still a goodie! Eggs pack plenty of protein as well as vitamins needed for the body to produce energy, such as thiamin, riboflavin, folate, B12, and B6.

Cheese and Whole-Grain Crackers
For an easy, portion-controlled snack, slice up a mini Babybel cheese round and serve the wedges on top of whole-grain crackers.

Whole-Grain Cereal
It’s not just for breakfast! Bag up a serving of a high-fiber brand such as Fiber One or Total.

Sweet and fiber-ful, berries of any type are amazing on their own or combined with nuts.

Almonds or Walnuts
These salty morsels make a wonderful snack. They’re packed with good fats, which help you stay full; fiber, and nutrients like selenium, vitamin E, and omega-3s. Warning! It’s easy to overeat nuts. An empty Altoids tin holds the perfect serving size (about 1 ounce).


What's your favorite healthy snack?


ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I like the little pretzel sticks for a snack. You can eat like a bajillion of them without consuming too many calories. Or also bell pepper slices!!! Both of them can be eaten with string cheese or cheese cubes too!

Aniki-Moderator's picture

PA, I have actually used pretzel sticks to make cheese cube or grape lollipops. You can wrap some goat cheese or a low/no-fat cream cheese-bleu cheese mixture around the grapes, roll them in crushed nuts or fresh herbs, and skewer them with a pretzel stick. Nom nom nom...

lieutenant_dad's picture

Gotta be careful with those protein shakes, too. Since everyone has jumped on the "added protein" bandwagon, there are many protein shakes with a BOATLOAD of sugar. It's the same phenomenon when everything when low fat - they upped the sugar content to make it all palatable.

As far as my favorite healthy snack, I have been on a modified avocado toast fix:

1 slice of seeded rye bread (any rye bread will do)

Cholula hot sauce, to taste

Plain cream cheese, to taste (I prefer the Aria brand - expensive, but is spreads soooo well)

1/4 to 1/2 sliced avocado, based on size

Toast rye bread. Put Cholula on while still warm and let it soak in. Spread on cream cheese. Top off with slices of avocado.

It's delicious. It has been my breakfast most mornings for a while now. Yes, it's a lot of fat to not a lot of protein, but one could easily add an egg or some salmon to balance it out. The rye bread also has less carbs and more flavor than a bagel, so for those of you who like smoked salmon on a bagel, give this a try.

Otherwise, I'll do nuts or a protein shake at work. I do Oikos Triple Zero Greek yogurt with frozen fruit, too, if I find myself looking for something sweet. String cheese before a workout if I'm running late. 

Aniki-Moderator's picture

So true, Lt Dad! I usually grab an Atkins shake for between meals as it is low in sugar (2 grams, I believe). Core Power is what I use as a meal replacement (26 grams of sugar).

Have you ever used low/no-fat cream cheese? The hot sauce would likely mask the difference in taste. If you mash the avocado with the cream cheese, the consistency will be similar and easily spreadable. (BTW, that sounds tasty!)

lieutenant_dad's picture

I'm not a fan of lower-fat foods and try to go for the full-fat variety when available. It generally tastes better and I eat less of it usually because of how rich and filling it is.

Perfectly example: skim versus whole milk. I will only drink 8 oz of whole milk because it's just so thick and rich. Skim milk, though? It's milk-flavored water and I can drink glass after glass. I'll consume far more calories on skim milk than I ever will whole milk because I want the milk taste and full feeling, which I just can't get from skin milk.

ETA: Muscle Milk has less sugar, too (I think 6 grams of carbs total). I have yet to find a plant-based protein shake that doesn't make me gag, so it's whey for me.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Lt Dad, the ONLY way I can tolerate high fat milk is if it's mixed with Kahlua. Dirol

Plant-based proteins taste like rancid dirt!

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

One of my favorite breakfasts is whole grain toast with crushed avacado, salt and pepper, some lime juice and topped off with an egg!! Yours sounds delicious though! I may have to give it a try!!!