27 Oct A Personal Snacking Story from Guest Blogger Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD
Snacking is Sensational & Preparation is Pertinent!
This past weekend I was on a mission to go pumpkin picking. I was fantasizing about hot apple cider dazzling my palate and warming my belly, golden leaves crushing beneath my feet, farmers dressed in overalls and plaid shirts, and children giggling and poking their heads through those wooden “faceless” characters pretending they’re a witch. Uh—doesn’t this pumpkin patch sound phenomenal?!?! It’s the best! And after years of living in Boston—now that I moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area—I was finally able to make my long awaited visit!
However—my visit still remains long awaited! I had grabbed my camera, got my fall gear on, and was ready to get set and go. But, the traffic wasn’t. What normally was a 45 minute drive took over FOUR hours! By the time I had crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, the Sonoma-based pumpkin patch was closed!
When It Comes to Snacking & Preparing, I Should Take My Own Advice!
Why do to I tell you this story of my pumpkin woes? Because simply put—I wasn’t prepared for a four hour car ride! So—not only was I sad, but more importantly, I was dying of hunger! And when food finally came around I ate much more than I would have than if I had had a snack, and I will not lie, I felt guilty! I always tell my clients to have snacks on hand no matter what—so whether stuck in a meeting, at work, or in traffic—they have something to nosh and can stay on track. I had nothing to munch and ended up with the infamous “see food, eat food” mentality. Yes, it was healthy food—but still.
What I should have done is what I tell my clients and what I usually do, but this time didn’t (woe is me). I should have had a snack on hand and been prepared for anything.
So—let’s talk snacks! With snacks, the basic rule of thumb is to combine a high-fiber carb (think fruits, veggies, whole grains) with a little protein to keep you satisfied. And if your meals are longer than four hours apart, you need a snack. If lunch is at noon and dinner is at seven, my gosh—you need a healthy eat to keep you energized, your blood-sugar even keeled, and most importantly, from overdoing it at the next meal. And if you’re watching your waistline, keep your snacks to about 200 calories.
Some examples of portable snacks are a piece of fruit with about 10 nuts, low-fat string cheese, or Greek yogurt; an apple with one tablespoon of nut butter (Justin’s Nut Butter
has fabulous to-go nut butter packs); half a turkey sandwich on whole wheat; a bar when in need (Lara
are my top picks); or even ½ cup of beans (they have protein, fiber, and carbs—stick in a small container and go!).
But don’t forget, the other piece of this, preparation! Think making time and finding to-go containers, lunch boxes, or a small cooler—whatever you need to make good nutrition happen because eating healthfully is not all about what we know, but what we do. And hey—if you’re out and about, prepare lunch and bring with too! You can then be in control of the ingredients you’re noshing. Always a plus!
What have I learned from this ordeal? Take my own advice—it’s actually pretty gosh darn good. Always bring snacks and be prepared to expect the unexpected. Another big lesson I failed to mention is to always go to the bathroom before you leave on any trip that could possibly be longer than 30 minutes. After two cups of coffee and a liter of water, my bladder was about to explode!!!! Man—I had no idea having to go the bathroom could ever hurt so bad!
Ultimately, bring healthy snacks with you when you travel and always hit up the restroom before you leave. A grumbling tummy and an aching bladder serve you no good!
Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD believes that optimal health starts with the activity that you do every day—eat. You can find Corinne counseling and speaking in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can also find her blogging about nutrition, health, and wellness at Green Grapes Blog. If you’re interested in working with Corinne, check out her services at Nutrition with Corinne. Corinne specializes in weight management, behavior change, disordered eating, disease-preventive nutrition, sports nutrition, family wellness, and heart health.
Follow Corinne on Twitter @RDCorinne