By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer
A lot of us find ourselves hitting a slump at about 2:30 or 3 in the average workday. You know the feeling– you’re getting sleepy, finding it hard to concentrate, zoning out on conference calls or in meetings. You may have a craving for something sweet or caffeinated, thinking that it can get you through until the end of the day.
Keeping healthy snacks at work is a great way to counteract those cravings for sugary or caffeinated snacks. Your body is looking for an energy source, but rather than giving it refined sugar (which leads to a bigger “crash” later on), try a low-fat protein-packed snack– you’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll feel by the end of the day.
The McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois provides a great list of healthy snack ideas. It shows that no matter your preference, there’s something healthy that can satisfy you.
Like sweets? Try these goodies: pudding with vanilla wafers, oatmeal-raisin cookies, fig bars, graham crackers or rice cakes with peanut butter, hot chocolate, frozen yogurt, dried fruit, raisin toast, frozen fruit bars, whole fruit sorbet, homemade low-fat bran muffins, whole grain toast with peanut butter and sliced bananas, and sugar-free Jell-O made with fresh fruit and marshmallows.
Here’s the list for you to consider next time you’re at the grocery store:
- One-half of a cantaloupe filled with ½ cup of fat-free yogurt
- A frozen fruit bar and sparkling water
- One low-fat granola bar and a small banana
- A fruit smoothie
- Air-popped popcorn topped with Italian seasonings and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese
- Baked tortilla chips and salsa
- One orange and six animal crackers
- One-half cup of frozen yogurt and a small banana
- Low-fat hummus and pita wedges
- Celery stuffed with low-fat bean dip
- Cinnamon bagel chips and ½ cup fat-free cottage cheese
- Fat-free pretzel stick and 1%, skim or soymilk with chocolate syrup
- One-half cup couscous topped with tomato sauce and ½ teaspoon of Parmesan cheese
- Dried fruit such as apricots, apple rings, or a small box of raisins and a low-fat string cheese stick
- Reduced sodium vegetable juice and two white cheddar popcorn cakes
- Ready-to-eat whole grain cereal with soymilk
- A tortilla rolled up with vegetarian fat-free refried beans and a sprinkle of Mexican blend cheese (heat in the microwave to melt the cheese)
- Apple slices and homemade apple dip
- Ants on a log: celery stick with peanut butter spread in the center, topped with raisins
- Raw sweet potato sticks instead of carrot sticks (carrots sticks are good also!)
- Two Graham cracker sheets with one tablespoon reduced-fat peanut butter
- One medium size low-fat muffin with a juice box or chocolate milk box
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