Saturday, May 3, 2014

Snack Attack!

by Mary Kennedy
Writers are notorious snackers (maybe you are too.) There's something about spending long hours at the computer that makes you want to reach out for a carrot stick. (Just kidding!). Most writers (and other folks) admit that their favorite snacks tend to be high in sugar and fat, or insanely salty and crispy.


Why do you suppose that is? One explanation is that fat and sugar release dopamine (a feel-good chemical) into the brain. That's why it's so easy to binge on sugar cookies. When's the last time you saw someone binge-eating brussel sprouts? Never? That's what I thought.  And salty, crunchy foods pose their own special problem. That advertising slogan, "Bet you can't eat just one," is oh-so-true.

But what if you could prepare some healthy snacks, keep them crisp and fresh in the refrigerator and pull them out as needed? Would they be as satisfying as the sugary and salty treats you tend to crave? Most people can find delicious substitutes, even though it takes a little more effort than opening a bag.
A little plate of  fruit and cheese is a good choice because it has both fiber and protein.

Or hummus and veggies. Another filling food! And very tasty. You can always add some herbs to plain Greek yogurt and make a fabulous dip, if you're not a fan of hummus. Or add a little powdered salad dressing into Greek yogurt. Just remember that presentation is important. Veggies wilting in the back of the refrigerator are not attractive, veggies sliced and arranged on a plate are!


     And if you absolutely must have "bread-type" carbs, whole wheat pita, topped with veggies and just a sprinkle of low-fat cheese, makes an excellent snack. Just run it under the broiler and you can pretend it's pizza, without the fat and calories. Flat bread is a great choice too, only 150 calories and you can buy the high-fiber variety.


All it takes is a little planning and you can beat those snack attacks. What's your favorite snack? And is it related to your mood? 
Mary Kennedy