Balanced Living

Got the Munchies?

Posted by Arja on May 8 in Snacks

In order to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day it’s a good idea not to go more than 3 hours without eating something.  The goal is to keep your brain and body fueled so that your blood sugar levels don’t come crashing down causing you to feel irritable, unfocused, and so hungry that you reach for anything – including the wrong things.  Keeping snacks on hand is critical to staving off this blood sugar drop, but if you’re reaching for the wrong kind of snack you could be doing yourself more harm than good.

A mid-morning muffin, bagel, doughnut, or scone will send your blood sugar levels skyrocketing and won’t do much to sustain you until your next meal.  Your snacks should be a healthy balance of complex carbohydrates, fibre, protein, and a little healthy fat.  This will slow the uptake of sugar into your bloodstream and keep you feeling more satisfied for a longer period of time.

The other key to healthy snacking is planning and portability.  If you don’t plan your snacks for the day and bring them with you, what are you going to reach for?  If you know that you’ve got a busy day of running around planned, don’t forget to bring something along with you to keep hunger pangs at bay and keep you fueled up.

Some healthy, portable snacks could include:

-veggies and dip (bean dip, yoghurt and herb dip)
-apple slices and almond butter
-a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts or seeds
-a boiled egg, some berries, and a few whole grain crackers
-some plain yoghurt, berries, and a tbsp. of good quality granola

Your options for healthy snacks are quite endless, and there is a lot you can do to prepare for your week in advance.

-Wash and cut vegetables and store in some water in the fridge. 
-Boil a few eggs at a time and store them in the fridge for the week. 
-Portion out some nuts and store in small, portable containers. 
-Make a batch of granola (10 minutes to prep and 30 minutes in the oven) and store it in a glass jar for easy access.
-If you have access to a fridge or storage at work, create a snack stash for yourself and replenish as needed.

Anything that you can do ahead of time will make it so much easier to make good choices throughout a busy week.

It’s also important to know and respect your cravings.  A sweet tooth might do best with some berries and yoghurt, frozen grapes, or even a sweet fruit smoothie with some protein added to it.  If you generally crave salty, crunchy things it won’t do you much good to have a load of fruit and yoghurt on hand.  Satisfy yourself with a few nuts or make up a batch of these delicious Chickpea Bites!  They’re easy to make, store well in the cupboard and are very portable.

Chickpea Bites

19oz can of chickpeas – drained and rinsed
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
1-2 tsp favourite spices (garlic, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, etc.) or to taste

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 400°C.
Step 2 – Toss chickpeas with oil, salt.
Step 3 – Arrange in a single layer on parchment lined baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, for 30-45 minutes or until browned and crisp.
Step 3 – Toss with spices of choice before serving.

Taste best the day they are made, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Whenever I make a batch of these I tell my husband, only to have him come home and find that my son and I have already devoured them.  Next time honey…

I’ve got lots of fun snack recipes that I share with my clients to help them see that there’s more to snacking than carrots and hummus, though that’s pretty delicious too.


arja pennanen lytle c.n.p. n.n.c.p certified nutritional practitioner

Arja is a Holistic Nutritionist with a passion for balanced living. She loves to help people sleep better, think better, feel sexier, and just generally feel better by putting the focus on eating foods that make you feel good. Arja uses whole foods, lifestyle adjustments, herbs, and some supplements to help people feel their best and achieve their health and wellness goals.