Life is busy! No matter if you are working from home or at the office, for most of us, the gap between breakfast and lunch is shorter than the gap between lunch and dinner. So a snack in the afternoon can be really helpful to keep your focus and energy levels high during your busy workday. Or maybe you prefer snacks rather than full meals that slow you down?
Your snacks can either make or break your day, so choose wisely! A coffee and a muffin may seem to be a good idea to give you some energy but it won’t last long. The combination of sugar, saturated fat, and caffeine will cause a big blood sugar spike. And after a brief boost in energy, you will crash again and either feel tired or crave more sugar.
Making your snacks healthy can be a super savvy way of increasing your intake of nutrients and fibre which will do wonders for your productivity and sustainable energy levels! Choose slow-releasing carbohydrates like wholegrains, fresh fruit and vegetables, add in protein and good fats and your body and brain get everything they need! There are many great snack alternatives around – some need a bit of preparation (nice recipe below), and some you can buy in the shops.
Here are a few ideas:
- Low sugar fruit (pear, apricot, berries) with a small tub of natural yoghurt, sprinkle mixed seeds on top
- A handful of nuts or almonds
- Apple with peanut butter
- A hardboiled egg
- A few Nairn’s oatcakes or a carrot with some hummus
- Home-made energy balls (see below)
- Chocolate, biscuits, confectionery, dried fruit
- Crisps, Doritos etc
- Shop-bought granola bars
- Pastries and sandwiches
- all fizzy drinks
Remember to snack mindfully! Snacks are great but be careful not to overeat. Prepare a portion for the day, remain hydrated and turn this into a mini-break from work: get up from your desk and away from your laptop, let your eyes rest, stretch your shoulders, and then you’re good to go!
Home-made energy balls (no baking required!)
Loaded with manganese, magnesium and fibre; nicely balanced protein (about 25%), slow-releasing carbs and good fats they are filling yet sweet enough to be a nice treat. Even better – no need for fancy equipment, you can get all the ingredients in your local supermarket and they’re ready within minutes , just need some chilling before you tuck in! Enjoy! This recipe makes about 20 balls
- 1 mug oats
- 2/3 mug of desiccated coconut
- 4 tbsp peanut butter
- 2 tbsp sugar or maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- A bit of wate
DIRECTIONS: Warm the peanut butter and sugar or maple syrup in a non-stick frying pan and mix it with some water. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Add a bit more water if it’s too dry. Then use a teaspoon to scoop portions and roll them into balls with your hands. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.