About once a week I ‘m asked, “What are some good snack ideas?” and then begins my personal take on….. snacks….

Society, the media, marketing, or whoever else we’d like to blame… maybe coaches for kid’s sports… have somehow convinced us that a snack is a special moment warranting a terrific treat.  However, a snack is really just a smaller meal.   “WHAT!? Sheryl! Snacks are awesome and I look forward to my snack every afternoon! I watch the clock for my official “snack time” to arrive so I can unwrap my snack to power me through my day!”  Seriously, somehow we have reached a place where our snack needs to be some kind of treat. But why?  Is it a “congratulations” to ourselves for making it to 3pm?  Or a yummy little “high five” we use as a bargain to propel us to our workout? (AKA: “If I eat this, I have to go the gym/run/ride”).

What worse is we seem willing to pay extra money for our snacks by purchasing high dollar, tiny treats (tiny to maintain portion control) wrapped in some kind of packaging WHICH is then wrapped in another kind of packaging— because we bought 8 of them – SAVE MONEY, BUY IN BULK!

Let’s examine this from a logical point of view…
“Damn it, Sheryl, I don’t want to be logical, I want to pay $3.50 for a tiny candy bar with the promise of energy and health! Don’t ruin this for me!”

Again, a snack is simply a smaller meal.
Half a PB&J
A small dish of quinoa with chicken + veggies
An apple with almond butter
Some left over grilled chicken dipped in salsa.
YES! Each of these items are delicious and would be the perfect snack!  No extra packaging went in the landfill, you already had it at home, and you didn’t need a label to tell you the health benefits!  Granted, there isn’t a crispy, crunchy, chocolaty satisfaction when having a small dish of left overs or a small bowl of soup… but you will enjoy the feeling of satiety without the cravings that follow a sweet snack.

Does this sound familiar?
Crazy day at work… hair is on fire… I want to throw my office chair… but hold on, Tiger… you’ll get your snack when this meeting is over…. finally, you unwrap your snack, it’s essentially a candy bar but the label makes you feel better by saying it has protein, it’s organic and a portion of the proceeds go to an under-served population. The first bite is practically spiritual but within seconds it’s gone… it’s over!  And you wish you had another one… or two.  The stress of your day continues and your snack takes on SO MUCH MORE MEANING!  It is your reward!!  You survive the next meeting and damn well deserve another snack — you’re going to the gym after work, so it won’t matter.  The crazy cycle of comfort foods “healing” our stress… or so we think… has us convinced our snack needs to be freaking amazing!  The left over chicken dipped in salsa or smeared with avocado wouldn’t provide the “ahhhhhhhhh” you might get from a crispy, chocolaty snack treat…but it will blunt the craving for sugar and level you out!  Your afternoon would be more productive and you’ll feel good about your choice! PLUS! You’ll save $3 on your snack… which you could put toward a very nice cup of coffee. : )

Written by: Sheryl Hammontree

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