How to Deal- Late Night Snack Attacks

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I don’t know about you, but I have a serious love affair with snacking and always have. I find during the day I am very mindful about what I eat and what snacks I consume. However, once I’m at home, dinner finished, workout done and cuddled up on the couch, my snacking becomes completely mindless. This is a phenomenon that has been observed time and time again so I know that I am not alone in this. Yet, even as someone who is completely conscious of living a healthy lifestyle, that all seems to so quickly fly out the window the second I sit down in front of the TV at night (which I will admit, in the winter it has become a daily thing- I’m not perfect). It doesn’t even matter if I’m full from dinner still- all of the sudden I want to eat EVERYTHING (and usually everything that is bad for me). Today I thought I’d share with you what I do to help combat this:

  • If I’m not hungry and I keep feeling like I need to eat something, I’ll TURN OFF THE TV and go into my bedroom and read. Reading stimulates my mind enough for me to stop thinking about eating ALL THE SNACKS.
  • As soon as I find myself wanting to snack while I watch TV I stop and ask myself “am I really hungry? did I eat enough today?” If I am not really hungry, I’ll drink a big glass of water or make some tea and then reassess. If I realize that I didn’t eat enough, I’ll then consider having a snack. This helps me with make my sense of my snack cravings and makes me conscious of what is going on in my body and mind.
  • I think about how I will feel tomorrow. Sure, a giant bag of bulk candy or a bag of chips may sound great in the moment, but how will I feel after I eat it or the next morning? Chances are, not great. Knowing this and keeping it in mind is sometimes enough to prevent a snack attack.
  • I’ll brush my teeth. Once my teeth are all minty fresh I am less inclined to snack.

IF I must snack simply because my craving is taking over or I really am still hungry, here is how I deal, because let’s get real, I can’t watch “The Bachelor” without a snack…

The key here is to make CONSCIOUS and MINDFUL decisions of what goes in to my body, and yes, I do believe that night time snacking is not always a bad thing and can be a part of a healthy lifestyle:

  • As noted above, I will always try and drink a big glass of water or have a tea first and then see if I still want to snack.
  • I always make sure that I have healthy snacks on hand, so even if I eat a lot of said healthy snack, it won’t throw my body off that much. Preparation is key here. When planning out my meals and writing my weekly grocery list I always include healthy snacks.
  • Keep rich, “healthy” chocolate on hand, a.k.a. NOT Cadbury mini eggs. I can eat a million of those without stopping. However, when I have good, rich, dark and low-sugar chocolate around, I can eat one to three pieces of it and feel totally satisfied.
    • I recommend chocosol or something similar
    • A quick trick to make a healthy chocolate bar in a pinch- melt some coconut oil on the stove top and add cocoa powder and natural sweetener of choice (maple syrup or honey) to taste. Poor into the bottom of a muffin cup or small container and place it in the freezer. In a short period of time you’ll have a delicious creamy chocolate treat!
  • Bake healthy and satisfying “treats” ahead of time to have on hand when you want a snack! Anything packed with healthy fats and superfoods that mock a traditional treat is great:
  • If you’re more of a chips and salty/crunchy kind of snacker, reach for (or make) some of these healthier choices:
    • Popcorn! An air popper is a quick and easy way to make a healthy snack. Popcorn is packed with fibre and when you make it yourself you aren’t going to be eating a bunch of chemicals like the ones found in the microwave varieties. Top with whatever you like- butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, or my personal favourite- nutritional yeast
    • Kale chips as so easy to make (and way cheaper than buying store bought kale chips) and almost taste exactly like potato chips. Follow this recipe and use an oil spray bottle for flawless results
    • Olives are good for you and taste delicious too. Plus, they’re so salty it’s hard to eat too many
    • Pickles- same as above!

If you must indulge in the less-than-good kind of snack (hey, it happens) the key thing to remember is portion control. I know that if I buy a Costco size bag of mini eggs or a family size bag of chips, I will eat the whole thing (it’s not my fault!) so if I do give in to my less-than-ideal cravings, I make sure I only buy a small quantity so I literally can’t eat more than that small amount. Think a mini bag of mini eggs, a snack size bag of chips, a mini cupcake. BUT, always remember, the less you eat these things, the less you want them. Giving into these cravings is a sure fire way to make you crave even more (it’s science guys, I’m not making this up).

I hope this helps those late night snackers like me! Have a great night everyone and happy (healthy) snacking!

(Healthier) Super Bowl Eats

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I don’t know about you, but when I hear “Super Bowl” I think two things; the first being “puppy bowl!” and the second being “food!”

I would be lying if I said I actually pay any attention to the game itself, but come on, who doesn’t love a good reason to pig out on some indulgent food??

I have spent more than my fair share of Super Bowl Sundays pigging out on food that I wouldn’t normally eat, and I find I’m often still paying it for it days later. This is especially true after spending Super Bowl Sunday with my mid-western american relatives. YIKES, talk about some super heavy, zero nutritional value comfort food (velveta cheese and breakfast sausage dip anyone?)

This year, instead of heading out and ordering some crappy bar food (we are also pretty broke and didn’t want to spend money), we decided to stay in and have a little more control over what we ate. Don’t get me wrong, I still plan on indulging a bit but I really wanted to do it in a way that wouldn’t make me feel sick afterwards. I love me some junk food, but more than that, I love food that is actually full of the good stuff, but disguises itself as the bad stuff. That way, I can completely shove my face in the spirit of football and feel okay about it afterwards.

Here is what is on tap for this afternoon, try these out for yourselves for a healthier, while still indulgent evening:

1. Life Affirming Nacho Dip by Oh She Glows

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Okay guys, I swear this is amazing. I make this all the time and people can’t stay away from it and ask me for the recipe. I usually wait until there is only like a tablespoon left in the dish to reveal that the recipe is vegan. People often don’t believe me. But for serious guys, it’s vegan and it’s delicious and it’s good for you and it truly is life affirming. You won’t regret trying this, I promise.

I change it up a bit by adding a little bit of chipotle powder for some smokey flavour and a touch of dijon to just give it a little more something-something, but it is already full of so much flavour, these additions aren’t totally necessary.

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2. Buffalo Cauliflower bites

These bad boys have been circulating allllll over the interwebs recently, and for good reason. Do we actually love wings because we love the taste of the chicken? Or is it about the sauce? Instead of chicken wings, these buffalo bites are made from cauliflower and I swear you can’t really tell. Even my meat-lovin, chicken wing obsessed husband loves these! Pair with some blue cheese dressing or if you’re a vegan, try this recipe for a dairy-free ranch dressing from the Hot For Food blog.

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I roughly follow the recipe that is linked above, but I usually use spelt or sprouted whole wheat flour instead of the junky white flour. And like all recipes, I throw in a little bit of chipotle. I also will usually substitute the butter with some ghee or if I’m going for a vegan version, some coconut oil. I like to drizzle some more wing sauce on top after they are done as well. More flavour that way! You seriously can’t lose with this, and they definitely satisfy the buffalo wing craving!

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Of course, if all of this seems like too much work, don’t forget some “junk” foods aren’t as bad as others. Dig in to some guacamole, some hummus or white bean dip, or pop up a batch of popcorn on the stove.

What are your favourite Super Bowl foods and do you have any secret healthy versions?

Happy Super Bowl Sunday everyone!!!