It happens to all of us; we get busy running errands, a meeting goes late, traffic holds us up and we suddenly find a growling bear of hunger taking control and we reach for the nearest thing to eat, even if it’s far from healthy. I call it a “hunger emergency” and when this happens, we tend to choose sugary, highly refined, low quality foods to chase away the hunger bear.
Don’t let this happen to you. Planning ahead is the best solution. Choose protein as part of your snack; it is best at controlling blood sugar and will keep the hunger surge from getting too big.
Here are 8 ways to get prepared:
1. Keep a small bag of almonds or walnuts handy. Or make a batch of your own trail mix using almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, goji berries and shredded coconut.
2. Fruit and Nuts. Have fruit that travels well on hand, like apples or oranges, and pair with a handful of nuts for a balance of protein, fats and carbs.
3. Similar to number two, buy travel packs of almond butter to have on hand to pair with a banana, apple or crackers.
4. Hummus and crackers or cut vegetables is always a good snack option. (I like Mary’s Gone brand crackers.)
6. From Scratch Popcorn made from loose kernels popped in a brown paper bag in the microwave (not a pre-packed microwave type) sprinkled with fresh herbs and salt or nutritional yeast for a dairy free, cheesy taste. No harmful chemicals and you still have a bag for easy transport. Simply put ¼ cup organic popcorn kernels in a brown lunch bag, roll the top down, microwave until they are popped. Sprinkle herbs, salt and/or nutritional yeast in the bag, shake and eat.
7. Jerky. Not all brands are good, but Krave is awesome. Nitrate free, gluten free, no MSG or corn syrup. They have flavors that are sure to make your mouth water (turkey basil citrus, beef chili lime, sesame ginger) and chase away hunger. Check out Thrive Market for great prices on Krave.
8. Roasted Chickpeas. Roast a batch of these at home. Sprinkle with your favorite flavors (cayenne pepper, sea salt or garlic and herbs) and you’ve got a healthy, crunchy, on-the-go snack. To make: drain a can of chickpeas, rinse and blot dry. Toss with a little bit of olive oil and salt, spread on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake at 450°F for 30-40 minutes or until browned and crispy.
And most important:
Drink water all day long! Sometimes when we feel hungry, we are actually getting dehydrated; so keeping up on your water intake should be priority number one.
What's your favorite way to avoid a hunger emergency?