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March 24, 2011

I love a good snack, don’t you? I try to practice the art of mindful snacking – meaning, I eat when I’m hungry, which almost always is every 2 1/2-3 hours. I eat breakfast in the morning, usually whole grain toast with yogurt butter and some raspberry jam (my favorite!) or bran cereal and fat free milk. By 9:30 am or so, I eat a snack – a granola bar with my own “trail mix” (semi-sweet chocolate chips, raisins and walnuts) or a banana with the trail mix. I eat lunch around noon (to save some moolah, the husband and I usually eat at home or in the dorm cafeterias at the university – some days are a WIN and some days are a FAIL – that’s the risk we run, I guess, hehehe). By 3:30 pm, I’m hungry again so I try to eat another snack, like a banana and unsalted soy nuts, or sliced apples. Some days I go to my running class straight after work so I don’t end up eating dinner until 7:30 pm. That would be my final meal of the day and at that point, my stomach feels satisfied and I don’t usually crave a late-night snack.

I try to pack as healthy of a snack as I can to bring to work, but sometimes, when I’m rushed, I leave my house empty-handed. A very bad thing, in my opinion, because then I’m at the mercy of the fancy vending machine down the hall from my office. Fancy because it takes a credit card. How great/messed up is that?! I have to exercise a lot of self-control not to just buy a candy bar or jalapeno-flavored potato chips.

At home, our go-to snack is our “trail mix” – again, it’s almost always semi-sweet chocolate chips, raisins and walnuts. It’s in tupperware that sits out on the countertop, very convenient for a quick sugar craving. Sometimes I’ll have wheat thins and brie on hand. Sometimes, it’s tortilla chips and salsa. My husband loves the popcorn I make on the stovetop so we eat that if we’re watching a movie. I can control the oil and salt whenever I make it, as opposed to just using microwave popcorn (quite processed). I’ve also been known to toast one of those whole wheat sandwich thins and put a tbsp of chocolate chips in between the bread to satisfy my chocolate craving. Trust me. It’s good.

We usually don’t eat snacks late in the evening, but once in a blue moon (and I mean, like, once every couple of months), we’ll go through a drive-through and eat something really unhealthy . . . like, a bacon burger or something greasy like that! Wingstop happens to be a favorite of ours. Well, we’re only human . . .

(I love a good burger, don’t you? From Elysian Brewery in Seattle)

Yesterday, I saw an article on the Yahoo homepage, one of those “Eat This, Not That” columns, called “The Worst Late Night Snacks.”

It’s a short article, and quite eye-opening as is the norm for this column. Living in a college town, there are many options for late night eating, but they’re not very healthy. Give this a read, and let me know what kind of snacks you like to eat!

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