I know exactly what it’s like: you start the day with the strong mental resolve “not to snack,” and then 3pm rolls around and you’ve had a stressful day, skipped lunch because there just wasn’t time and it’s oh so easy to make rash food choices that you know don’t work best for your body, or make you feel as healthy as you could be. In these circumstances what do we most likely reach for? Carbs and sugar!
From a physiological point of view, our ancestors would have had it much easier - no work pressures or stressors to make us feel like we need an energy boost to conquer it. The purpose of this blog post is not to vilify snacking, it is to provide you with the tools and the knowledge to make sensible decisions.
Remember, the body only has one stress response but, these days, multiple stressors. So when things get hairy at work, or your kids simply won't eat their lunch or do their homeschooling, the body’s natural response is to make you crave sugary foods so that you have the fuel to escape the danger you’re in. Except it’s not life-threatening danger, it’s just 21st Century life!
So, once you can get your head around that crucial concept you can start to rewire your brain for more positive outcomes. Yes, you might snack, (and let's not forget that snacking can actually be a really positive contribution to your nutrient intake across the whole day), but no, you don’t need the sugary biscuit because your life’s not in danger! So instead load up with nutrient-dense, keto alternatives that will help you maintain a steady blood-sugar level and not exacerbate your stress response further.
That being said, it’s a bit of a minefield at times when it comes to ‘healthy snacking.’ Personally, I don’t see anything ‘healthy’ about an overly-processed, high-sugar protein bar. The havoc that that will play on your blood sugar will not only have you feeling hungry an hour or so later as your blood sugar levels plummet, but eaten repeatedly (alongside a diet that’s generally high in carbohydrates) puts you more at risk of Type 2 Diabetes down the line, hormonal issues and many a mood swing! The key to sustainable snacking is a low-carb, high-fat, keto approach as you’ll be fuller for longer and less likely to make poor food choices later on in the day.
Here are some great ideas for healthy, clever snacking which are low carb, high protein and high fat:
1) If time is of the essence and you need to grab something and go, try a handful of olives or raw cashew nuts - both packed full healthy fats to calm inflammation levels in the body and keep you fuller for longer.
2) Cru8 Paleo Bread with almond butter, blueberries and cinnamon. This is also a great option for a paleo, high-protein, high-fat breakfast!
3) Smoked salmon, Nush Foods almond cream cheese (dairy-free), chives and capers on the Cru8 Raw Cracked Pepper and Chia Seed Crackers. Salmon is an incredible source of Omega 3, but make sure you try to buy wild smoked salmon rather than farmed - it’s far superior in nutrient status. Add cucumber ribbons for a lovely crunch!
4) The Cru8 Keto Macaroons are also a fantastic option as they come in a handy snack-sized pouch. Often I find the issue with snacking is not being prepared when hunger strikes - that’s when bad decisions happen! So be prepared and carry some of our Raw Keto Cacao Macaroons in your bag as not only are they easy and quick, but they’ll satisfy that sweet craving too without spiking your blood sugar levels.
So much of the Cru8 range lends itself to quick, easy, nutrient-dense and low-sugar snacking, but one of my ‘go tos’ has got to be the Raw Keto Crackers.
Cru8 crackers are high in fibre, full of beneficial vitamins and minerals due to the fact that they’re dehydrated below 45 degrees which preserves their nutritional integrity, raw, and also gluten and dairy free.
They come in 5 different varieties and make the perfect base to an easy snack and are also grain free to keep inflammation levels low:
5) Why not cook up a batch of roasted veg with garlic and rosemary for supper, and leave some left-over in the fridge for the next day that you can pile onto a Cru8 Keto raw Tomato and Red Pepper cracker with some hummus. Or keep things super simple and simply top with some sliced avocado.
6) Another simple and effective way to fill that 3pm hole is with the Cru8 Kale Crisps. Dipped into some hummus these make a filling, incredibly healthy and satisfying savoury snack!
7) And lastly, when all else fails, it’s got to be 90% dark chocolate dipped in nut butter. Dark chocolate is incredibly low in sugar but a wonderfully potent antioxidant, and also contains good levels of magnesium too!
Did somebody say ‘more please!’ to guilt free snacking???