Snack Attack!

20160219_154638.jpg

We are reaching the finish line, guys! It is almost 5pm. We are 1 hour and 12 minutes away from the weekend. We made it! Another week, another dollar! We all make such a good team.

Just a few moments ago I was craving a snack. I hate snacking. Snacking = empty calories. But I wanted something…. something sweet. My immediate thought was to have a Mission clean protein bar . I like these bars because they are high fiber, low carb, and 0g sugar alcohol. My favorite flavor is the chocolate brownie (190 cal and 20g protein). Grab one at your local GNC.

This got me thinking, we are always on the run, spend a lot of time commuting, and sitting at our desks… what do you keep in your desk, bag, or car?

Currently, I have a Mission bar and Emerald Nuts- 100 cal pack in my desk drawer. I usually keep a bag of jerky in my gym bag (quick protein post work out). I live about 1.5 hours away from my Parents so for those long car rides I’ll pack some fruit and nuts and cheese if we crave something to munch on.

Like I said, I am not a huge fan of snacking but I understand that with this “always on the go” routine we have, we need to have something to eat! If I am going to snack, it is going to be something healthy that will keep me full for a long time.

I used to be the kind of person who would get fast food during my car rides home. Something about eating fries in traffic used to be so comforting but it was taking a toll on my health and it was always sooooooooooooo embarrassing when someone was like “what did you eat?” “were you eating fast food?” or how about all the wrinkled oily bags in the back seat. OMG, so gross! We’ve replaced fast food bags with protein bar wrappers and empty water bottles… which reminds me, I need to clean the back of my car ASAP.

Snack food that you will most likely find in my work space:

  • Protein bars
  • Nuts
  • Jerky
  • Peanut butter or almond butter
  • Dried edamame
  • Hummus   (Click link for coupon)
  • Tuna snack pack
  • In the work fridge: oranges, apples, and cheese

What about you? What is your go-to snack food? What do you keep at your desk or on the run? If you have any more ideas, I’d love to hear them!

Have a beautiful weekend everyone!

 

unspecified-821.png

Self-control…the saga continues

Self-control and food always remind me of a very dramatic telenovela. “I love you food!” “I hate you food!” “Pizza, don’t leave me. I was just overreacting!”

Omg, what about those dreadful 2am booty calls…you walk to the pantry and just eat everything.

How do we break the cycle from overeating, eating after a meal, eating when you are not hungry, and eating like crap when you have that urge?

Here are some ideas that have helped me:

 

  • Get rid of all the goodies in the pantry. Remember, you are eating clean now. Stock the pantry with cans of tuna. I promise you, it won’t be as appealing as a bag of chips at 2am. If you are desperate enough to open a can of tuna and eat it, well, I won’t judge you and good for you, keep up the high protein intake! You are welcome for this life hack.
  • I know there is a big debate on eating breakfast v not eating breakfast. For me- eating breakfast helps. I like a protein rich breakfast like eggs or a protein shake. Eggs are awesome because they keep me fuller longer and less likely to graze and snack between breakfast and lunch. Stop with the empty calories, you don’t need them! A hardboiled egg, serving of oatmeal (slow digesting carb) and some berries or 2 tablespoons almond butter or natural peanut butter on a whole wheat toast with a fruit. I’d say you are a morning champ and you get a gold star in my book!
  • Grazing is way different than having a nutritious small meal or snack. Grazing to me is empty calories and not satisfying. Eating a bag of pretzels if you are hungry is not the solution. I always have three meals a day and two snacks a day. Sometimes three snacks if I train that day (my trainer turns me into a ravenous beast). Space out your meals and snacks accordingly so you have no time to be super hungry and no time to sit and think about other foods. If your body is satisfied, your mind will be too. Awesome snack ideas: Serving of nuts, hummus and veggies, cottage cheese and fruits, I know this may sound weird, but cottage cheese and chickpeas or another type of bean. Someone gave me this idea a while back and it works. The combo is filled with fiber and protein.
  • Drink, drink, drink and drink some more water. If you are not drinking this minute, your gold star has been taken back and I am very disappointed with you. You must stay hydrated, water will keep you fuller and longer in between your meals, it will help flush out the toxins. “But Rachel, I am so full… I can’t drink anymore!” Excuse me, why are you complaining? You just said you were full. If you are full, there is no reason to be snacking. Oh, and none of that sugary stuff. Please, I know you are smarter than that.
  • I know you are craving a little piece of chocolate or a bag of chips… but hear me out before you indulge. Many years ago, the great Oprah was discussing bad food habits. The Specialist on the show said, it takes 21 days to break the habit. That always stuck with me. I know it will be hard, addictions are hard to control but you can do this. A few months back I discovered a protein ice cream (sorry folks, I will not be telling you what it is because I am here to help you break the habit not start one), while it wasn’t that bad for me (low in sugar and calories), it also did not provide me with the nutrition I needed that you would get from a bowl of let’s say, grilled chicken and veggies. It became a meal replacement and I found myself craving it 24-7 and eating the ice cream over “real” food. I gave myself a deadline to finish what was in the freezer and as of January 1st, I will kick the habit. The first few days were awful and I was having a hard time deciding what to eat because I was not interested in much but it got easier and I don’t even think about it anymore. Feed your body= feed your mind.
  • Set a goal. I feel like looking forward to something always helps control my actions. For example, my Husband and I are going on vacation in a few months. I want to be as fit, healthy, and hot as possible. Sorry in advance, babe, but I will be clothing shopping before the trip.
  • Sleeping is important. I know you all love sleep. I am still trying to catch up to all the lost sleep as a child. Why did I ever fight sleep? Sleep is one of my BFF’s next to my slow cooker. I can put food in the slow cooker and then go to sleep. If sleep and the slow cooker were actual people, I think they’d also be best friends. I noticed if I don’t get good sleep, I crave carbs. If you deny yourself sleep, the evil hormone, Ghrelin attacks and handcuffs you to a box of donuts. I know donuts are so delicious but let’s say this out loud, all together now, and “We-are-stronger-than-this. We –are-kicking-the-habit.”
  • Eat something fermented. How about those kimchi pancakes from my previous post or a pickle? Fermented foods help stop sugar cravings. Drink greens. Green smoothies are all the rage! Don’t you want to be one of the cool kids? Nutrient rich foods increase energy levels and curb sugary cravings. I love this book http://www.amazon.com/10-Day-Green-Smoothie-Cleanse-Smith/dp/1501100106 and the recipes. Even though it is a 10 day cleanse, the Author does state that this can be a snack or a meal replacement option. You do not need to do a full cleanse!
  • Protein and good fats help keep your blood sugar levels balanced. Have a healthy portion of protein, veggies and a good fat like avocado for lunch.
  • My wise mom once said, “Are you sure you want to eat that? Five seconds of pleasure is a lifetime in the hips.” Ok, fine, I’ll admit it, I ate whatever it was and it did go to my hips and I am still working it off… but we all learn from our mistakes. Why are moms always right?
  • Please pack a high protein snack after you work out and eat it within half hour of working out. No, that McDonald’s on the way home is not a mirage, it’s real and it’s testing you. Just keep driving. Again, let’s say this out loud, all together now, and “We-are-stronger-than-this. We –are-kicking-the-habit.” Easy food for after the gym: protein shake, protein bar, beef jerky, or nuts. Doesn’t require refrigeration, filling, and easy to consume while driving home.

 

What do you do to help curb your cravings? I am always open to new ideas.

unspecified-81111111.png

Emotional eating and peanut butter banana sammies

This topic hits really close to home. I crave food the most when I am sad, stressed, nervous, made, or anxious. Basically it hits when I “just can’t deal”. For many years, emotional eating derailed me from succeeding on whatever diet plan I was on at the moment (we need to discuss the word diet at some point. I really hate that word. It’s a lifestyle change… once I realized the difference between diet and lifestyle change, my world changed).

Cortisol is a stress hormone that triggers cravings for foods that give immediate pleasure like high fat foods, foods that are salty and sweet. My go to foods were always pasta and breads and if I wasn’t home, man oh man, the most comforting food to me was Wendy’s #6- spicy chicken sandwich. Eating that food gave me such a temporary high. It reduced all my stress and made me feel like everything was ok in the world. But then I would get so mad at myself for eating those bad foods. What a vicious cycle from sadness and stress to anger and around and around we’d go.

Emotions are sometimes hard to control, BUT, we can control how we consume foods. I have my moments of weakness but not as bad as before and I definitely don’t beat myself up over it anymore because guilt is just another negative emotion.

Here are ways I’ve been able to help myself and I hope my experiences can help you too.

 Know yourself. Know what sets you off and be prepared.

Example: Work stressors. Keep healthy, satisfying snacks around. I always make sure to have something laying around like nuts (I love Emerald’s 100 cal packs of Cocoa Roast Almonds), apples, bananas, protein bars, or my recent favorite, banana peanut butter sandwiches (see recipe below).

 Find ways to cope.

Examples:

-Take your lunch break and go for a walk. Get the blood flowing, get some fresh air and relax. Enjoy the world around you.

-Keep a journal; sort out your thoughts, word vomit all over those pages!

-Take a breath! Breathing is a powerful tool that can prompt relaxation. Check this link out for some useful breathing techniques: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises.html

Get a hobby!

– I’ve had an on again off again love affair with Cycling. It’s back on and we are strong as ever and determined to make it work.

-How about art? Coloring? Check out these adult coloring books: http://www.amazon.com/Adult-Coloring-Book-Relieving-Patterns/dp/1941325122

-Watch animal videos on you-tube. I promise, this helps.

Talk to someone

There are a few people in life that can make me feel better- my husband, my parents, and my besties. Thanks guys, I love you!

If you have a moment, let us know what coping techniques you’ve used.

Banana and peanut butter sandwiches to the rescue:

20160124_175429.jpg

What you will need:

1 Banana

2 tablespoons peanut butter

Freezer safe Tupperware

Directions:

Cut banana into dime size pieces, you should be able to make 8-10 “sandwiches”

Spread thin layer of PB on a slice and top with another slice of banana

Put your sandwiches inside a freezer safe dish and freeze at least an hour before eating

Enjoy!

unspecified-81111.png