There are times when you’ve got a hankering for sugar and you will not be denied. Today's Top Five, I’m going to give you five of my go to snacks to dull that sugar craving and keep you on track for your nutrition goals.
I am going to start off by saying that I have yet to find a healthy snack that completely satisfies the sugar craving the way “enter tasty sugary treat of choice” can -- it’s like buying knock-off okapis from Mexico -- it might have the look but it’s never going to be quite the same. With that, I have found a few go-to’s that can help me when I’m in need of a fix.
1. Berry’s and Cottage Cheese
The most important component of a snack that helps me overcome a sugar temptation has got to be a combination of salty and sweet. This one is so easy and I almost always have the supplies on hand to make it. My berry of choice is usually the blueberry -- I’ll have some frozen ones in the freezer year round but if the season is right fresh is obviously better. Grab a big handful of blueberries from the freezer and defrost for 30 seconds in the microwave. A couple big scoops of cottage cheese, maybe sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and toss a couple of walnuts in (Omega 3’s baby!) and there you have it. Tasty, quick and because it’s got some substance, even if it doesn’t quite fill that sugar void in your head it’ll take up some room in your belly and help keep the hunger signals down.
2. Apple and Nut Butter
This is a go-to from my childhood. Again, it’s the combination of salty and sweet that make this one so good. I like to chop up my apple and then grab some peanut or almond butter from the fridge but the truly classic way to prepare this snack is to cut your apple in half, hollow out the seeds and make a little ‘bowl’ in the middle. Fill aforementioned ‘bowl’ with a generous scoop of your favorite nut butter -- delicious!
3. Banana Strawberry Super Smoothie
This is probably my son’s favorite drink. At any point in the day I can find Dax in the kitchen going into our cupboard with the vitamin and grabbing the canister.
Then he’ll go over to the freezer and pull out the frozen strawberries and start tossing them into the canister one at a time. At this point I try and head him off before he can go for the milk.
A super simple shake -- half a banana, three or four frozen strawberries, a couple splashes of milk, a scoop of nut butter and some spinach for good measure. This one hits the spot for both Dax and me. You can also throw in a scoop of high quality whey protein if you want the protein punch.
4. Oatmeal with Cinnamon and Raisin’s
This is one I’ve rediscovered recently and I’ve been loving. It’s a bit high on the glycemic index so if your goal is weightless you’re probably going to want to save it for the post workout meal like I do, but it is tasty any time of day. A half cup or cup of oatmeal, a handful of raisins, a good couple dashes of cinnamon and a min or two in the microwave and viola! This one is great because it’ll fill you up and the raisin/cinnamon combination really does something for that sugar craving. I’ll throw in a pour or two milk, or if I’m feeling decadent some half and half.
5. Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies (cheater)
I know, this snack has sugar in it, but the reason it’s on my list for sugar craving duller’s is because it’s relatively low in sugar and I find just one is enough to keep me off a much worse options. Tiff just found this recipe and I can’t give it to you exactly (out of ignorance not spite) but I can tell you the constituents:
Almond flour, baking soda, an egg, 2 tbsp each of maple syrup and brown sugar, a few chocolate chips
**In a Tiff modification she also added some cocoa to make them ‘double chocolate’ -- even better
I find because these are almond based that they not only satisfy but they also fill you up. I say that one can satisfy but they taste so good that you might finding yourself falling victim to the slippery slope. Just try to keep yourself in check with these ones because they can be overdone.
As you can tell, I’m not the most inventive guy in the kitchen. These are simple and easy snacks that I find help me push aside the sweet song of the sugar sirens. It is good to have a list of go-to snacks that can help fill that void when your brain is telling you it needs the sugar. Hopefully you can find a few you like on my list and maybe you’ve got a few more go-to’s of your own.
Just remember that this whole healthy lifestyle thing is a marathon not a sprint. Try to make more good choices than bad ones and you’ll soon start seeing the benefits of the compound effect.
As always, Live your Best Life!