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October 2011
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Responsible Snacking

This summer I had an awesome time participating in the triathlon and duathlon series with MultiSport Canada, The Recharge with Milk Triathlon Series.

I wrote an article for them on Responsible Snacking and it was published in their October Newsletter (you have to scroll down to see my article). Here’s what I wrote:

Hi everyone, I’m Sasha, and I’m a snack-a-holic. Isn’t admitting you have a problem the first step to recovery? But why does snacking have to be a problem? Snacking is not a problem when you snack ‘responsibly.’

I’m known as a ‘grazer,’ I eat several, small meals a day and I try to eat a variety of foods. From fruits and vegetables, to grains, proteins and fats I always make sure that I different foods to ensure I get all the vitamins and nutrients I need in my diet.

I do have somewhat of a traditional meal habit. I will eat oatmeal or red river cereal for breakfast. At lunch I usually have a salad with protein. And dinner is fairly conventional, from meat, to fish, to pasta, whatever I may be craving or depending on how lazy I am! And while my main meals are well balanced it’s the snacking where I really get my balance of the vitamins and nutrients I need. During the day I usually have 1 morning snack and 2-3 afternoon snacks depending on my activity load that morning and night.

Here are some of my recommendations for snacking:

  • Pick fruits and vegetables that are filled with water: The more water it contains the fuller you will feel; apples, oranges, watermelon, celery, cucumber, etc. Try and choose fruits and veggies that are in season and have a lower amount of sugar. And I usually try to pick fresh over dried.
  • Have some yogurt and fruit: Calcium promotes strong bones. Yogurt is an excellent way to get a quick boost of calcium each day. Instead of buying pre-mixed yogurt full of sugar or aspartame choose a plain yogurt and add some fresh or frozen fruit. If it is still not sweet enough for you add a dash of maple syrup!
  • Make a smoothie: I have moved my magic bullet into the office kitchen. I keep the cups at home and everyday I fill them with what I want in my smoothie. My favourite smoothie these days is a banana, spinach, mint, vanilla almond milk and protein powder mix. SPINACH?!?! Try it sometime. Once minced up in your smoothie you do not notice the taste and you have added a full serving of green leafy vegetables to your day.

I keep other ‘snacks’ in my office in case of hunger attack emergency. In my snack drawer you’ll find a box of Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats, some sesame snaps and granola bars. I know that if I run out of my ‘fresher’ snacks from the day that I have some backup.

And while my calorie intake is probably higher than the average person I know that I also burn more calories than the average person. Weight gain or loss is simple, it depends on the amount of calories from food in and amount of calories burned throughout the day out. Therefore the more you exercise, the more calories you burn, the more calories you will need to intake. BUT, it’s about making responsible choices for those calories you consume.

I posted a new recipe this morning for Kale Chips. They are light, crispy and salty, just like regular chips, but they have way less fat, fewer calories and you can make whatever flavour you like!