Happy Tuesday Friends!
Mariah here. Sorry about the broken link yesterday if you received one in your email.
I’m here to talk about snacking, something I have vast experience doing. In fact, you might consider me an expert snacker. 😉 However, my choices have not always been healthy. When I was young, I ate as much as my older brothers. More often than not I seemed to have food in my mouth. I looked like one my family’s cows, constantly grazing around and chewing on food all day long.
My mom would regularly comment, “Mariah, you just ate,” or “Mariah go play and then you can eat.” I was never one to miss a meal, and I snacked enough throughout the day to equal about seven meals. I would eat my sibling’s leftover dinner and ask for seconds. My parents and siblings enjoyed joking about my eating habits. I would play along by doing things like sticking out my tummy or cramming my mouth full of food.
At school, I would go back through the lunch line more than once and eat my friend’s leftovers. On a field trip, I recall an eating competition with the boys in my class. I ate five McDonald’s cheeseburgers. I don’t remember who won, but I do remember feeling crummy afterward.
Surprisingly, I never had weight problems. It never crossed my mind how my poor habits could affect my performance in other ways. I still don’t worry about my weight. However—after several consecutive surgeries and an extended time on powerful medications—I developed a stomach infection. I had to restrict my sugar intake and jettison dairy. The infection made me feel miserable. Once it was gone, I realized my new food habits were making me feel better than ever. My new diet has been hugely beneficial. It dawned on me that it’s true that “you are what you eat,” and I was tired of being a Big Mac.
I still love to snack but in smarter and more limited instances. I prefer options like carrots and hummus, apples with almond butter, protein bars, or trail mix. Although I have occasional cheat days, my eating habits have improved. I don’t eat anything I see lying around. I only eat food that makes me feel good, helps my performance, and doesn’t hurt my stomach. My husband and I make a point to try and keep our pantry free of unhealthy snacks. It’s impossible to eat what is not there. Ridding ourselves of the temptation means we don’t have to rely on (our often weak) willpower. When I get that familiar urge to go graze, my only option is a healthy choice.
Some snacking throughout the day can be good for you. There are several health benefits to eating three meals with a couple of snacks between. Bryanna says, eating more frequently, when in modest proportions and healthy fare, can increase your metabolism and slim your waist. A faster metabolism equates to more calories burned and more room for calories. Health snacks keep you from eating processed junk foods, that are often stored as fat because of their sugar content and empty calories, whereas snacking frequently on healthy options fuels our body and aids in recovery. Thank goodness we have Bryanna to keep us on track 😉
It’s smart to prepare your snacks ahead of time and pack them with you. The food at work or school is probably unhealthy. When you need a pick me up in the mid-afternoon, you’ll be tempted to resort to one of these unhealthy options. Bringing snacks ensures that in those moments you can satisfy your cravings in a healthy way. This simple change will make a big difference in reaching your long-term health goals.
One of my favorites is the coconut peanut butter bites, created by Bryanna and consumed by ME. They give me a boost of extra energy to get through the day. The recipe uses honey, a natural sugar that curbs sugar cravings and give you a jolt without the crash. These are simple to make; give them a try!
Until Next Time Be Whole and Be Fit
Have any of you had struggles with unhealthy snacking habits? Let me know about your experiences in the comments. I hope you enjoy these delicious snacks!