Snacking Woes?? Just say, ‘No!!!’

Posted on February 3, 2012

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It is Friday, my son and I have eaten dinner and are relaxing after a long work/daycare week. The kitchen is clean and so have been my eating habits ALL week. My husband called on his way home from work and tempted me with snacks/treats from the grocery store. Then he further tempted me with “movie theatre” popcorn (the theatre on his walk home from the train).  Tortilla chips, cheese, popcorn (from the theatre), Tim Hortons French Vanilla coffee, and  assorted chocolates from the bulk section have long been my favourite snacks and biggest vices.

So … when I get these temptations provided by my husband – it is both annoying and, even just the suggestion, veers me off my path of healthy eating choices.  (I started craving popcorn and BUTTER) … I sometimes believe that my husband is a saboteur when it comes to my healthy lifestyle choices. I do not think he does this maliciously; rather, I think he subconsciously sabotages my efforts because he is not making the same choices and maybe is a little jealous. Also, he works 10 hours days, 6 days a week, so he appreciates the down time and associates feeling good and relaxed with a well deserved treat.  The key here is communication.

Just say,”No Thank You.” Instead of getting mad I just have to remind my DH that he is tempting me with too many treats and that I need his full support to achieve my goals. This is sometimes met with grunting but sometimes met with a renewed understanding 🙂 There were times when I would cave and say, “Chocolates and chips please!!.” This has only led to disastrous food over consumption and bad choices. Choosing nothing to snack on, however, is not always the best option either because you will eventually make an unhealthy decision or resent not being able to have a yummy snack.

Make yourself something that is like a treat but a healthier version … a cleaner version. Here are some ideas to get you started (some are quick and easy and a couple are a little more time consuming but all are delicious):

1. Home-popped popcorn with unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil (Basic instructions: open a paper lunch bag and cover one layer on the bottom with popcorn kernels and then flatten bag and fold over twice.; place in microwave and push the popcorn button setting – stay close and stop it if the pops are more than 2-3 seconds apart; drizzle with olive oil (or a small amount of melted butter-a little goes a long way) and a little crushed sea salt).

2. Roasted seaweed snacks: (I found some delicious lower sodium choices at IGA for $0.79, see picture below) Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil, and Grape Seed Oil – ingredients are just  the oil, seaweed, and salt. This will often curb my chip cravings.

3. Rice cakes/crackers or chopped veggies with hummus: for a cleaner hummus make your own (purée 4 garlic cloves, 1.5 canned of chickpeas drained, 1/2 cup tahini (ground sesame seeds), 1/4 of olive oil (add more for a smoother texture), and lemon and lime juice to taste).

4. Sliced banana topped with almond butter.

5. Self-made trail mix: you can play around with your combinations. I like to give myself a treat with roasted almonds (unsalted), dried cranberries or raisins, small chunks of dark chocolate (yes eating chocolate is good for you!!), and a high fibre cereal. I make this for my sons lunch sometimes and will add shreddies, or whole grain O cereal, or even a few mini marshmallows or chippits as he doesn’t really like dark chocolate.

6. Apple slices (with skin) spread with your favourite nut butter.

7. One cup of fresh raspberries and blueberries (it gives you the same hand to mouth motion as chips but with added benefits to your health and waistline).

8. If you are looking for something sweet and salty try making your own sweet potato or yam fries: Peel and cut into “fry” wedges, lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray and place wedges in one layer, spray wedges lightly with olive oil spray, then season to your liking (I like to put some garlic powder, sea salt, and rosemary (fresh when I have it or dry when I don’t)). Experiment with all your flavour options. My husband likes to drizzle with pure syrup and sprinkle with cinnamon – this is a little more sugary (and if you are trying to stay away from sugar don’t try this combination), but it still beats processed movie theatre popcorn or a giant plate of nachos. Remember to serve yourself a portion a small plate rather than feast off of a platter – you will eat less 🙂

9. Celery sticks filled with almond butter. Super yummy combination of crispiness and and creaminess.

10. Sliced meat (lean turkey or chicken, preferably natural selections): I like to use the light ricotta cheese to put on the meat slice and then roll it up like a wrap.

To wrap up, just say, “No,” to unhealthy snacks and temptations from your family/friends, communicate and remind your friends/family of your eating choices so they can be more supportive, and say, “Yes,” to choosing a healthier snack so stay on track!

Thanks for reading! Any questions or suggestions post a comment 🙂

Happy and Healthy Snacking

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