There is nothing that hampers productivity more than constant hunger pangs. When you’re hungry, it is easy to become distracted, lethargic, and irritable. Not to mention that the midafternoon slump usually hits around the busiest part of the day and in your haste, its easy to grab an unhealthy, sugary snack or fast food. These type of indulgent treats such as fancy coffee drinks, chips, and french fries give your body the illusion of being full and can increase your hunger, leading to a vicious snacking cycle. You will receive a momentary sugar and carb-induced spike in energy levels and then experience a dangerous blood sugar crash.
Thankfully, there are alternatives, and with a little preparation and forethought, you can have a delicious snack to give you that much-needed energy boost. Combining carbs with fat and protein will help give you a steadier energy increase and ensure that you have the stamina needed to make it to the end of the day.
These snacks are super easy and can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. Plus, they all only have three ingredients or less!
Perhaps one of the easiest and healthiest snacks to make, trail mix combines natural sugar from dried fruit with protein-rich nuts and seeds for an incredible energy boost. There are thousands of possible trail mix combinations, so get creative and personalize your trail mix to suit your taste buds. Pick and choose three or more ingredients from the list below to craft your perfect snack.
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Dried cranberries
- Dark chocolate chips
- Coconut flakes
- Dried apples
- Dried apricots
- Combine the desired amount of ingredients in large bowl.
- Adjust flavors and amounts according to preference. The possibilities are endless!
- Store in airtight container in pantry or cupboard.
Fruit with peanut butter
Keeping an apple or banana handy and a jar of organic peanut butter handy will help you avoid a dramatic energy crash. Slice up an apple and dip it in peanut butter or spread the gooey substance on your banana. This snack is a fantastic combination of natural sugar and protein and will stave off the hunger until dinner. You can even try adding a drizzle of honey for an extra sweet treat.
Mix one serving of greek yogurt with a small amount of granola and fresh fruit such as raspberries, blueberries, or bananas for a delicious snack. Be sure to buy Greek yogurt and granola without added sugar for optimal health benefits. If you desire something sweeter, stir in a little raw honey.
When popcorn is cooked properly, it can actually be an incredibly healthy and fulfilling snack to tide you over until dinner and restore your fading energy. Use an air popper or cook it with coconut oil on the stove top for a healthy alternative to microwave popcorn. Drizzle with a small amount of organic butter for healthy fat, or skip the butter and season with spices like turmeric, garlic powder and black pepper for an interesting twist.
Vegetables and hummus
Choose vegetables like cucumbers, peppers, and carrots and dip them in a small amount of hummus. This snack can also help keep you hydrated, due to the high water content of these vegetables. Be sure not to overdo it on the hummus, as it contains quite a few calories. Your body does need these calories in the afternoon, but try to stick to about ¼ cup per day to avoid excessive calorie intake. Season plain hummus with crushed red pepper flakes to add a spicy kick.
Hard-boiled eggs are an easy, protein-packed snack that will store in your fridge for a quick afternoon pick-me-up. They’re full of protein, amino acids, and healthy fat that packs a serious nutritional punch. Sprinkle with salt and pepper or crumble over a salad.
Though dark chocolate may not be the first thing you think of when you hear the term “healthy snack,” 70% dark chocolate or darker can restore focus and increase mental clarity and alertness. It possesses a chemical component known as theobromine that functions similarly to caffeine and can help you avoid the dreaded 3 pm crash. Eat a small square of dark chocolate with peanut butter, sea salt, or a handful of nuts.