Before I made an active decision to be fit for life, being out and about, busy, short on time, out with the kids, or at home with the kids would be an excuse to make poor decisions that would take me off plan. Going off plan didn’t usually mean for that one unhealthy decision though, it would mean being off plan for the rest of that day, weekend or week.
Staying fit in my kitchen and out of it meant that I needed to “think fit” for every meal, snack and situation. This meant being prepared with emergency snacks that would not only be there for me when I needed them but also satisfied whatever temptation I may face ahead of me during the emergency. The requirements of these ESs would be to be yummy enough that I would actually want to eat it over, say, a bag of chips at the soccer field, but not so good that I am able to keep it around and not be so excited about it that I binge out when not really hungry. Also, they would obvi need to be healthy and contain some protein to sustain the fullness. Ideally these snacks are portable (can handle being tossed around in my purse for a few hours while on the go) and would be under 200 calories.
I thought about the specific times that I would need these emergency snacks: at work when feeling rushed between meetings or stressed out; at night before dinner while prepping the kids’ dinners; weekend mornings before and during the kids activities; at night between dinner and bed.
So the work snacks were easy. We have a fridge and a microwave so my options were pretty flexible. I needed to make myself a promise that I would only eat the food I brought to the office. The snack drawer, chocolate dish, and baked good brought into the beverage area were off limits. Next I needed to be prepared with healthy filling snacks to make sure my appetite was satisfied all day. For morning, between breakfast and lunch, I usually bring two mini omelets. It’s a nice kick of protein to sustain me through my lunchtime workout and has a breakfasty feel to it, since I love breakfast foods but usually only have time for (and depend on) my morning shakeology. Afternoons are usually a fruit (whatever is in season: apples, melons, berries) and usually a piece of light string cheese, mini baby bel, etc). I know myself well enough to know that I need the cheese pre-portioned and pre-packaged so I’m not tempted to taste while portioning myself or to over do it on the portions. I also know that I look forward to my fruit. I’ve been ambitious and tried to do veggies and hummus but I ultimately don’t want veggies for my snack. If I want to look forward to it, it needs to be fruit and cheese. Then there are those times at work when I just need to get up from my desk, stretch out and clear my mind. In the past I would stop at the chocolate drawer (yes, we actually have a chocolate drawer!!) as I walked around and cleared my brain. I wasn’t typically hungry, I was either stressed, frustrated or just needed to stretch. So now, if it’s not snack time and that feeling is coming over me, I get some green tea. It always works to satisfy my fake hunger and tide me over to my next meal or snack. It also gives me the opportunity to get up from my desk for a few minutes.
I try to eat my afternoon snack around 4:30, so when I get home at 6ish I’m not starving while getting the kids’ dinner ready. If I’m feeling hungry I usually am not actually hungry but tempted by their food. So, first thing I do when I get home i pour myself delicious herbal water. Then if I recognize that I really am hungry I will have a few nuts or share an apple with the kids with a touch of peanut butter. I usually don’t need this though because I’m not actually hungry, I’m still satisfied from my protein rich afternoon snack!
After dinner but before bed, again, I’m usually not hungry. My body just wants wine or dessert. I solve this with some herbal tea (sleepy time vanilla or tazo calm) in my fancy tea kettle and cup.
Next, I sorted out my weekends. I typically find myself rushing around between kid activities and play dates then am suddenly HANGRY! I solve this by making sure I have lunch before leaving house. If I’m really strapped for time, I’ll have shakeology for lunch because I can take it on the go. Then, I always always always have a couple of bars in my bag (kind or chia) and if I’ll be out for awhile I bring some portable fruit like an apple. I always have my water bottle with me (and sometimes infused water if i think I’ll be tempted with other drinks like lemonade or starbucks while out and about).
An added benefit (not intentional) was in my wallet… Not spending money at the cafe by my son’s soccer field, I’m bringing my own food and saving money and my waistline.
As as I wrote this post, I was introduced to a super fun snack delivery service called Graze — think of it as stitch fix for fit snackers. Use my code (7KQVJ6RFE) at graze.com/us to get your first box of tasty and inspired snacks for free! I’ll post a review once I receive my first box!
Time to share … What’s your go-to emergency snack?