Again this is the third installment in my series I guess you could say of the importance of each meal, except this week it's not a meal per se. Instead I am going to be talking about the little meals we have throughout the rest of the day. Exclusive of the hallmark meals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I'm talking about snacks.
The little bites that we consume to power us throughout our day so that, ideally, we can be fueled to function the best that we can be. Now I have made a video about snacks that I love and that I suggest. You can find it here. No, today I am going to be discussing the ethos and importance of snacking right.
What are Snacks to Us Normally?
When you open your cabinet in the morning to throw some snacks into your backpack or your purse for the day. What do you throw in there? You throw maybe a cheap granola bar, maybe some chips, maybe a cookie. I don't know. The point is is that we commonly eat processed, refined snacks that aren't giving us anything thoughout the day.
Maybe we're working on that new diet or maybe you've listened to what I've put out and you've committed to a healthier lifestyle. But one common trend I see among people that I know and talk to who are trying hard to better themselves is that they may be eating well at the 3 big meals, but when it comes to snacks they forget their health commitmnets.
Now snacks are something that may seem easy and forgettable, but they're really not. They're not just some food items that we can throw randomly into our bags for the day or even worse simply pick up from the most convenient place while we're at work. They should also fall into the category of the food items we're committed to preparing our day with and bettering our lives with by eating wholesomely. Just like I have strongly recommended in the breakfast and lunch installments of this series, you MUST prepare beforehand. You MUST plan ahead. Out of all of the other processes and systems I have adopted in my journey of bettering myself preparation is easily one of the most important. If you can spend 15 little minutes the day before preparing your snacks at the very least, if not your other meals too, then you will most definitely see an increase your health. But the snacks you prepare must be wholesome. So what can snacks be truly?
What Can Snacks Be Truly?
Well first off if you want a comprehensive list of the snacks that I recommend then refer to my Snacks video here. But it's not just a list of snacks that I like that you must refer to when preparing your snacks, instead you must refer to yourself.
The first step in finding out what snacks can be truly beneficial for you is to do a little study of yourself. Find out what you like and don't like. To help you with that ask yourself these questions. But these are just a guide, do what you must to find out what will power you. Experiment. Anyways try these questions.
- What food items (ingredients more so than full meals), if they were to be in a meal that was upcoming, would you look forward to and drool over?
- Now be honest with yourself. How many of these items are healthy and provide wholesome, plant-based nutrients to sustainably and effectively power your day?
- If none of the items are healthy then think of some more food items that you could still look forward to. Continue to do that until you come up with a list of about 6-10 food items that motivate you.
- Now get creative. Google and do some research onto what snacks you can make using these items. Together and with other ingredients also. Create your own snacks.
Now these steps may seem stupidly simplistic, but if you think about it that's really all you need to do. But, a warning. It won't be easy to find food that you both love and that are healthy. And also make sure to try out snacks that are healthy from your local market. Don't be scared. Try some things you normally wouldn't and broaden your horizons.
For example, I love peanut butter and banana. So I turned that into a snack. Now I put peanut butter on a banana. Simple, but excellent. Getting some protein and good flavor into a simple snack.
Timing? Stupid or not?
Now we can read all of these articles online about the optimal time to eat. The best time to take in protein after your weightlifting sesh. All of these theories. Now some of them are valid maybe, the only way to discover that is to try it for yourself. But, my ideals on when you should eat and when you should snack specifically are simple.
After a hard effort, a hard run or ride for example, make sure to take in calories to replenish. Also throughout the day remember to eat, don't put it off, but don't overeat. Now of course I could expand on that and even add a lot more. But, I'm going to keep it simple. This Buddhist story sums it up quite nicely...
Someone asked a Zen Master, "How do you practice Zen?"
The master said, "When you are hungry, eat; when you are tired, sleep."
"Isn't that what everyone does anyway?"
The master replied, "No, No. Most people entertain a thousand desires when they eat and scheme over a thousand plans when they sleep"
What Can Snacking Be?
So what can snacking be to you? Well it can be simple. It can be healthy. It can be effective. And above all it can be done.
Don't overthink it and especially make sure not to stress about it. Breathe in and out into the moment and simply become aware of what you like and what is healthy around you. Follow the questions and steps I outlined above and explore your own. It's really not that complicated. All it takes is a commitmnet to all around health and some simple preparation.
Day in Day Out.
So get out there and commit. Prepare what you will have day in and day out, but don't stress. Love the fact that you're bettering yourself and that you're eating some pretty darn good food! It's all about the journey, the process to go out into the day with some good snacks and a healthy & wholesome mind and soul.
Thank you yet again.
Strive for your better.