When the weather warms up in Florida, we tend to avoid the kitchen and eat out more. Even when making good decisions when eating out, large restaurant meals can sabotage your metabolism. Let’s get organized this summer and plan ahead. I have created a checklist of easy and light snacks to pack this summer to keep you on track.
First, it’s important to understand how to balance meals and snacks. Most people try to balance dinner with a piece of meat (protein), small portion of starch (carbohydrates), and side of vegetable. To balance your blood sugar throughout the day and optimize your metabolism, it’s essential to balance your snacks, too.
Combine one from each category to create a balanced snack:
- Protein: nuts, seeds, nut butter, hard-boiled egg, tuna or chicken salad, edamame pods, plain Greek yogurt
- Carbohydrates: hummus, fresh fruit, rice cakes, healthy crackers, air popped popcorn, dried fruit (monitor sugar)
- Veggies: My favorites are carrot sticks, cucumber slices, grape tomatoes, snap peas and celery sticks.
Betsy’s Top 10 Snack List
My Space Coast Dragon Boat teammates ask me for healthy balanced snack ideas to get through the many festivals in which we participate. We need energy to get through the all-day events. Whether you are active, on the go, or work in an office, you still need to plan ahead and pack snacks. Hope you find my list helpful so you can be more organized and energized this summer.
- Smoothies are my summer favorite! Make sure to balance with protein (quality protein powder, nut butter, or plain Greek yogurt), carbs (fruit, but not too much), and add a handful of raw greens, like spinach. For your liquid, choose water or unsweetened almond or coconut milk. I can write a whole article about smoothies.
- Hummus and veggies
- Energy Balls are a family favorite. Check out the no-bake recipe included here.
- Trail mix with nuts/seeds, small handful of dried banana chips, and unsweetened toasted coconut
- Tuna or chicken salad with healthy crackers and cucumber slices
- Apple slices with almond butter and celery sticks
- Small bowl of quinoa salad
- Orange slices with hard-boiled egg and snap peas
- Plain Greek yogurt topped with berries, sprinkle of nuts and a drizzle of honey
- Quinoa salad with vegetables and sunflower seeds
- 2 cup oats (old-fashioned)
- 1 cup almond or sunflower seed butter (PB is ok)
- 1 cup ground flax meal
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Combine and mix all the ingredients well in a bowl. Cover and chill dough in the refrigerator 30 minutes.
- After 30 min, roll into small balls, about 1 inch in diameter.
- Store in fridge for 1 week. Freeze any leftovers.
Betsy Markle is a registered dietitian, holistic nutritionist, certified personal trainer and yoga instructor. Also known as “The Realistic Nutritionist,” Betsy is best at simplifying the confusing world of nutrition and wellness. Visit RealisticNutrition.com to learn more about her realistic menu plans and detox programs. She can be reached at Betsy@RealisticNutrition.com or 805-252-3656
As featured in our DIGITAL MAGAZINE.