Snack at work,minus the guilt. - Recipesupermart

Snack at work,minus the guilt.

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Do you get struck by mid-morning munchies; continually feel the 3pm sugar craving that inevitably brings you to the vending machine for a sweet treat to perk you up? Okay, it’s not a bad thing to grab a sweet treat now and again, but if you are looking to shave your daily calorie in a bid to shape up – ditching those sugary and fatty snacks will definitely help

Working eight or more hours a day can make it difficult to eat healthfully unless you plan ahead. Research shows that eating every four hours helps to keep your metabolism charged and your energy level high. Before you dig in your drawer for spare change and head to the vending machine, plan ahead and stash low-calorie, nutritious snacks in a cabinet, drawer, or your briefcase.

Each of these snacks has less than 200 calories and are sure to satisfy when the 3 p.m. cravings hit.

Whole Wheat Crackers and Peanut Butter

Save your quarters by skipping the vending machines peanut butter crackers and packing your own nutritious snack. For a hunger-curbing option, try 10 multi grain wheat crackers (such as Multi grain Wheat Thins) and a tablespoon of peanut butter. This nutrient-rich snack rings in at just 193 calories and offers 2 grams of fiber. The combination of complex carbs and protein help to keep your blood sugar stable and keep you feeling full longer.

Nuts/ Almonds and apricots

Make the swap and choose nuts over chips for a crunchy alternative. Nuts are rich in heart-healthy fats but are calorically dense (about 170 calories per ounce) so measure out an ounce (about 24 almonds) and stick to that amount instead of feasting on the entire bag. Stash premeasured baggies of nuts in an office drawer or in your purse to nibble on when the 3 p.m. hunger pains hit. Almonds and other nuts are a naturally high source of vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and potassium and are rich in protein and fiber. Almonds are high in protein and fibre, as well as being low-GI, a good source of magnesium, and rich in the antioxidant vitamin E. On the other hand, dried apricots are rich in carotenes – which may lower the risk of cancers of the throat and lungs and provide you with iron, calcium, potassium, silicon, phosphours and vitamin C. Interestingly, dried apricots have a far greater nutritional value than fresh ones because the nutrient content is so concentrated.  Dried apricots have twelve times the iron, seven times the fibre and five times the vitamin A of fresh ones gram for gram. The best way to eat this snack is to impale the almonds in the apricots.

Popcorn with Parmesan

Take regular bagged popcorn to the next level by topping with 2 tablespoons of shredded Parmesan cheese. The nutty flavor of the popcorn pairs well with the rich flavor of Parmesan resulting in a quick, 150-calorie snack. Simply top 3½ cups of 94%-fat-free popcorn with the cheese and your snack is served. If you don’t have an office fridge to stash your Parm, nosh on just the popcorn for only 100 calories. This salty snack counts as one of your three daily servings of whole grains and helps to increase your energy and mood.

Fruits

Grab an apple, banana, pear, grapes, or other portable fruit as you dash out the door every morning. If you grab a different fruit every day (and change with the seasons), you’ll obtain a good variety of nutrients plus fiber, and won’t get bored with the same old snack. The average serving of fruit is around 70 calories so pair with a cup of fat-free milk (about 90 calories) for a protein boost as well as extra calcium and vitamin D. This protein and fiber combination will keep you feeling full and prevent mindless eating.

Instant Oatmeal

When you’re in a rush at work and want something warm and comforting, heat a packet of plain instant oatmeal (just 110 calories) in the microwave for a quick and satisfying treat. Choose plain oatmeal and add your own flavorings to control the calorie and sugar content. Top with a 42 calorie mini box of raisins for a sweet flavor and added nutrients or sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Doubling as a fiber-rich breakfast or daytime snack, oatmeal helps lower cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Mini Pitas with Hummus

Use mini pita pockets to scoop up creamy hummus. Whether you make your own hummus or choose a favorite brand at the grocery store, hummus is made from chickpeas, a great source of soluble fiber. This soluble fiber helps to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Pair one serving of hummus, 2 tablespoons, with 3 mini pita rounds for a 150 calorie snack. If you want a protein boost, fill the mini pita pockets with an ounce of low-sodium deli ham or turkey. The fiber and protein combo gives the snack some staying power to keep you feeling full longer.

Snack Bars

If you’re having a sweet attack and are looking for a healthy “bar” that isn’t loaded with sugar, reach for one that is all natural. Brands like LaraBar and KIND are good sources of fiber, contain no added sugar, and are made from whole, natural ingredients like dates, almonds, cashews, and cranberries. These bars are rich in fiber, low in sodium, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and run around 200 calories per serving. Pack these convenient bars in a purse or pocket for an instantly sweet and filling snack.

Veggies with Ranch

Beat the high-fat, high-sodium snacks featured at the convenience store and pack a container of fresh veggies like carrots, celery, and grape tomatoes. Raw veggies fill you up because of their high water and fiber content. If you struggle eating veggies in the buff, try dipping them in 2 tablespoons of low-fat Ranch dressing (80 calories), hummus (70 calories), or salsa (10 calories).

Yoghurt and honey

Yoghurt is good for your gut as it is high in calcium and low in fat. A recent study found that those we got their calcium from yoghurt rather than dairy sources, lost more weight around the yummy area. Opt for a low-fat, unflavoured variety of yoghurt that contains probiotic bacteria, and a touch of honey for sweetness. According to research, using honey instead of sugar or an artificial sweetener can reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels and increase HDL (or ‘good’) cholesterol. Honey has also been shown to increase the blood’s level of protective antioxidants. You can now add a sweet taste to your yoghurt and feel the health benefits too.

Banana, mango and pineapple power smoothie

If your work place has a no eating at the desk policy, smoothies are a real filler and can be enjoyed on the sly.  It’s very simple to make a batch of smoothie at breakfast time, to last you throughout the day as I don’t think any boss would be too happy if you set up your blender next to the photocopier! To provide a hefty portion of beta-carotene, folic acid, fibre, vitamins B, C and E and essential minerals, a banana, mango and pineapple power smoothie is recommended. The skimmed milk also included in your smoothie, adds protein as well as calcium.

Avocado Toasty!

Avocado is rich in vitamin E, high in monounsaturated fats and a good source of potassium – as well as vitamin B6 and is something of a ‘super food’. It aids the process of serotonin synthesis which is a process that promotes good mood, so why not spread half a ‘medium ripe’ avocado on a slide of wholemeal toast for a wholesome, yet low-GI snack containing a healthy dose of fibre. Sprinkle a dash of Tabasco sauce if you like the spicy touch.

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