What better time than the heart of summer to make healthy changes to your daily diet? This is third in a series of how to eat better so you can live better each and every day.
Now that was something I was happy to hear from Monica Montes, a registered dietitian. Monica explained at a recent SoCal Blogger Breakfast that nutrition equals eating and today’s bodies are designed to eat throughout the day. Our bodies only recognize three stages:awake, sleep and working out. During sleep and working out, the body uses fat reserves for energy. It is when we are awake that the body requires food intake to be able to perform all of its functions. If you are not eating during your awake time, your body will break down. It wants to be able to trust you to be feeding it regularly.
We have a choice on what foods we are going to ingest that will give us our daily required intake. According to Monica, the average woman needs to supply her body with 1,600 to 1,800 calories a day while the average man needs 1,800 – 2,400 calories. In order to keep on an eating schedule throughout the day, this means we should be eating three regular meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) plus two snacks. Doing the math, that means the meals should consist of no more than 600 calories each and the snacks 100 calories each. These amounts include any drinks and desserts you might be having with your food. Now of course these are just totals; you can mix up the amounts throughout the day. A little more calories one meal—pull back on the snack calories. A little less at meals — your snacks can be a little more. Whatever it takes for you to meet the requirements AND eat regularly throughout the day.
I found this information all to be quite interesting especially since I have routinely avoided snacking because to me, snacks equaled weight killer. In other words, I associated snacks with gaining weight so I avoided them like the plague. By doing this, I now realize I was actually contributing to opposite results. Because I wasn’t snacking, I tended to eat more at meals because I was really hungry. I now understand the wisdom in eating less more times during the day. It regulates the food I am taking in and my body can count on me to keep it going consistently throughout the day instead of spiking here and there.
Changing my eating habits hasn’t been easy; I still worry about the results of adding too many calories. So, I have been on the hunt for healthy snacks. Obviously eating fresh fruits and vegetables is most desirable but I also have my sweet tooth that I need to reckon with. I’ve been able to navigate this dilemma by turning to kid’s snacks. Snacks geared to children are smaller in portion size which translates to less calories. And because their audience tends to be quite picky, these snacks also focus on good taste.
Case in point: At a recent blog conference, BlissDom, I was introduced to the folks at GoGo squeeZ- the all-natural, no spoon-no mess, gluten, nut, and dairy free, 100% fruit, applesauce on the go. Their booth was clearly designed to attract young moms so I stayed away for a day or two. Then I got to thinking, from a grandmother’s point of view, this might be an ideal snack to have on hand for the grand kids. As the representative was explaining all the benefits, it hit me: “Forget the grand kids. This is a great snack for me.” At 60 calories per serving, what a perfect choice. They have tons of flavors; even some organic ones. The only thing I had to get over was the sucking part. It feels a tad weird squeezing my snack in to my mouth. Oh well. It may be strange but the benefits out weigh the strangeness.
Another kid friendly snack I’ve found to be good for adults is Clif KidZ Bar. I discovered them by watching my grandson scarf them down and he was once kind enough to share a couple bites with me. These bars are baked whole grain energy snacks. They have 9 grams of whole grains and 12 vitamins and minerals. They come in several flavors: chocolate brownie, chocolate chip, honey graham, peanut butter, s’mores and my favorite, iced oatmeal cookie (yes, it does indeed taste like an oatmeal cookie). At 120 -130 calories, they are super moist and individually packaged. So easy for taking on the go when you just need “a little something” during the afternoon blah time (for me that is between 2 and 4 pm).
Our grandchildren today have so many healthy snack options made just for them. Why not share? Kid sized portions means less calories and smaller sizes — just what health conscious adults need.
Healthy Eating Tip #2- Make sure you are eating healthy snacks throughout the day.
What is your favorite snack?