How do you define the word “snack”? Most people associate snacks with chips, cookies and generally indulgent food choices that lead to all kinds of health issues. All the refined flour and sugar in traditional go-to items like cookies, crackers, chips, brownies and candy have given snacks a bad reputation — good for a quick boost, but leave you tired and hungry two hours later. Snacks are the enemy, right?
Snacks are actually essential supplements to sustained energy and vitality — and just like Joan Jett they don’t give a darn about their bad reputation. That’s because nutritious snacks or “smart snacks,” as we like to say, provide you with the energy you need to tackle your busy schedule and feel great doing it.
First, let’s take a look at the main problems both kids and adults face over the course of a work or school day:
Problem: Inability to focus, mental fog and irritability between meals due to low blood sugar
Solution: Smart snacks provide a boost of energy that keeps your blood sugar stable between meals, like in the late morning or afternoon. Stable blood sugar results in clear focus and a positive mood.
Problem: Low energy, fatigue and cravings for junk food
Solution: Smart snacks reduce cravings for sugary, refined, caffeinated foods that your body craves when your energy reserves dip below a certain level
Problem: Overeating at mealtime due to extreme hunger, with the unwelcome result of poor digestion and weight gain
Solution: Smart snacks reduce your hunger at subsequent meals so you eat less, but are more satisfied. Smaller meals mean better digestion, better utilization of the nutrients you ingest and a more synergetic relationship with food.
In short, smart snacks improve your energy, focus, mood, weight and general feeling of wellbeing.
They deliver the real Zing, a feeling of natural and enduring vitality that comes from giving your body the nutrition it needs.
As you know, we’re a company of nutritionists. In working with clients – from kids to adults – with a range of health challenges like diabetes, weight gain, digestive issues, food intolerances and fatigue (or in the case of kids, the dreaded meltdown), smart snacks became a secret weapon that help in every situation. And the science holds especially true for keeping your kids at their mental and physical best as they enter into a new school year.
Below are six ideas that are both easy and nutritious to pop in your kids’ lunchbox or take with you to work. All are gluten, soy and dairy-free, contain high quality protein, fiber, low-glycemic carbs and heart-healthy fats:
- Hard-boiled egg with cut up carrots, red peppers or celery
- Roasted chickpeas with cherry tomatoes
- Smoked salmon romaine wraps
- An apple with a small handful of raw, fresh almonds (12-15) or walnuts (8-10 halves)
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter (or almond or cashew butter) and a banana
- A Zing Bar in your favorite flavor
With adequate energy reserves we can accomplish whatever we set our minds to. Eat less, snack more and seize the day!
To receive updates on how to cultivate the Real Zing, subscribe to the Zing blog and learn about infusing your life with vitality!