If you’re just starting out on a wholefoods, clean eating programme there’s a vast amount of information out there and you’re probably super confused.

It really can seem like a minefield. It’s simpler than it looks though, especially when you discover guilt free snacking!

I know what you’re thinking. This is going to be one of those posts filled with ingredients you’ve never heard of from unknown sources, found in hidden health shops and difficult for mere mortals like you to find. Well, remember this is Ali Hutchinson here – a normal girl just like you, enjoying a journey to better health and sharing it along the way. I’m not perfect but I have over the last four years found a better way so I’m sharing my top snacking ideas which can help us all to keep on track.

I used to crave toast and other wheat based carbs. I’m actually gluten intolerant so this was a bad idea on every level as you can imagine!

Now I tend to snack on healthy wholefoods throughout the day which really fuel me so I never get the crashes I used to experience, where once I started eating I couldn’t stop. I constantly have pre-soaked nuts in the fridge (pre-soaking helps nuts to release their enzymes making them more available to your body to digest).

If I’m feeling like I need a sweet hit too, I’ll add a couple of natural Medjool dates or a piece of fruit to the nuts. The nuts (or other good fats) will slow down the speed which the fruit sugars it contains hits your blood stream preventing you experiencing that dreaded crash 30 minutes after you’ve eaten.

Crisps were another favourite but now it is vegetable crisps all the way. My favourites are Emily’s Veg crisps, or try celery with a sprinkling of celery salt and hummus. You get the crunch you are craving but are still eating clean.

When I’m feeling ready for a snack these days, I also reach for a couple of oat cakes with a nut or seed better - almond or pumpkin are my favourites and choosing different butters can help keep things interesting.

Rice cakes are always an easy go-to snack too. I tend to have mine with turkey or avocado (a perfect blend of protein and good fats), or with a combination of avocado and cooked prawns – delicious! Other super simple options are raw vegetables like broccoli, cucumber, carrots, celery and cauliflower and avocado served either on their own, or with home-made hummus or guacamole.

If you’re looking for something even easier - my favourite readymade snacks are the Arbonne protein bars. They come in chocolate or fruit flavours – try them both and let me know which is your favourite. Eaten with a healthy protein shake they make a great lunch time meal too. I love the fruit one with a green apple or some crunchy vegetable sticks like cucumber or celery.

The chocolate one is also my go-to when I need a chocolate fix. Add my favourite chocolate shake – a veritable Snickers in a glass and you have a double chocolate feast. Food heaven!

I also try and make energy bars and balls from seeds and nuts as much as possible as well as an amazing protein bar which is always in the fridge and ready to snack on. Everything is really portable so travelling with a bag full of snacks is a possibility too!

Remember, we all need some naturally occurring sugar in our diet. Our brain needs glucose to function, but snacking on fruit all day will simply send you into a tail spin of lethargy. The older or more sedentary we become (hence the crash when you are simply sitting at your desk) the harder it is for our bodies to cope with the breakdown of fructose (fruit sugar) which gives you that lethargic lull.

Make sure you’re snacking on a balanced diet of natural wholefoods like the ones I’ve suggested throughout the day to avoid un-metabolized fructose to keep your energy levels up.

If you have any questions about healthy snacking – get in touch and fire away!

Ali

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