Healthy Snacking

Quite often people ask me what I snack on, especially when I’m on a Whole 30.  In fact, when I tell people about the Whole 30 I am usually met with “what do you eat?”.  I’m finding that people don’t realize how much nasty crap they’re eating until I really spell it out for them by explaining what I eliminate and why.

Because I’m on the go so much and, it seems, pretty much living at the gym, I’m always hungry and need to be prepared for when hunger strikes and for pre-workout fuel.

So, for those of you who are interested, here’s the short-list for my snacking staples:

  1. Dates – You can almost always find a bag of dates in my desk drawer at work, and somewhere in my house.  I love dates.  Dates are a great pre-workout fuel, since they’re rich in glucose (a simple carb).  Glucose travels directly to the liver for immediate energy transport – meaning the body doesn’t have to convert it to a different form of energy in order to utilize it.  Sometimes, if I’m feeling a little draggy during the day, I’ll pop a few dates for quick (and sweet) energy.

Dates

2. Larabars

Larabars

I LOVE me a good Larabar.  There are so many different flavors to choose from and they are made (mostly – some of them have chocolate or peanut butter) from 100% natural, clean ingredients.  And since the primary ingredient in a Larabar is dates, they’re an excellent source of energy.  You can be certain there are always a few Larabars stuffed in my gym bag.

I often make my own Larabars…especially when I’m rockin’ a Whole 30.  It’s inexpensive and I can ensure they’re compliant.

Homemade Larabars

3. Fruit – Fruit is usually my number one go-to for snacks.  I usually have apples and bananas in my fridge at home and at work.  If I have a big workout coming up, I will usually have one of the two a bit in advance.  I often will throw an apple in my gym bag as well.

Fruit

You really can’t go wrong with fruit

I also like to have tropical fruit – mango, papaya, pineapple, dragon fruit – for occasional snacking sweetness.

4. Plantain Chips – I am addicted to plantain chips.

Plantain

I get these dudes at Walmart for $2

Okay, I may not be addicted, but I do enjoy plantains – home-cooked or store bought.  They’re low in calories and fat, and are sugar-free.  I sometimes keep these in my desk drawer (where my coworkers steal indulge in them) and in my cupboard at home.  They are so good and since they are Whole 30 compliant, I usually have them on hand for “emergency” snacking.

As you can see, my snacks are all Whole 30 compliant.  But there are also options available for people who are looking for snacks that are organic, or gluten-free, or vegan.  The company GoMacro offers products that meet all of the above.

GoMacro

GoMacro is a family-owned company that “put their heart and soul into a natural, whole-food based lifestyle”.  Their pursuit of health thus became a path of living in balance with themselves and nature.  (Seriously, do yourself a favor and go read their story – it’s truly inspiring!!  <3)

Their products are, as I mentioned, gluten-free, organic, and vegan (they’re also kosher). They are cold-pressed and nut-butter based and made from simple, clean ingredients.  These little bars are perfect for throwing in your gym bag or your back pack or your purse.

MacroBite

I can almost taste the nom nom nom

Unfortunately, GoMacro Bars are not yet available in Canada (they’re working on it), but if you’re living in or visiting the US, you can order them here or pick them up in select stores.  (GoMacro peeps – feel free to send me a sampler. 🙂 ).

Well there you have it.  What I eat.  What I want to eat.  A few healthy snack ideas that you can consider keeping on hand and getting you through your workout, especially if you’re struggling to maintain compliance in a Whole or clean or vegan diet.

Cheers, ~FB

 

 

Guest Blog #2

Since I posted the Contact Me page and email address a few weeks ago I’ve been approached a few times from several readers about guest posting for me. Of course, I welcome(d) the idea. Below is an article written by Melanie* – the first person to submit a piece of writing/research to me for viewing. If you are interested in guest-posting or you simply have a question for me, please visit the Contact page or email me at the address provided there.

Sunset
The Role of Fitness During Cancer Recovery
When you are recovering from cancer, it may feel as though you don’t have enough energy left for your daily life. Although it may sound counter-intuitive, having a fitness program that works with your recovery is one of the best ways to boost your energy for the fight against the disease. The important thing when making a fitness plan for your recovery is to find the level of exercise that is right for you. As always, consult with your doctor about which phase of recovery you are in and follow their guidelines when beginning any new exercise program. Depending on your capacity for physical activity, the following are a few exercises to consider during cancer recovery.

Light Exercise

If you are in the early stages of recovery or currently undergoing aggressive cancer treatments, it is important to remember to not overexert yourself. Simply going for a light walk can make a world of difference for your physical and psychological well-being overall. Studies have shown that light walking can improve stamina and strengthen bone density. Often, light exercises such as walking are ideal for those undergoing treatment for mesothelioma or other cancers that affect the lungs that may impede normal lung functioning.

Furthermore, walking every day can reduce tiredness from chemotherapy. Even if you cannot walk much, do not get discouraged. There needs to be a starting point from where you need to build your stamina, and a few steps a day are nothing to be ashamed of. This is especially true if you suffer from cancer that affects the lungs.

Moderate Exercise

If you are starting to regain your strength, then you might be well enough to start engaging in moderate exercise. It is important to note that during moderate exercise, generally your breathing should quicken but you should not be out of breath. Water aerobics are perfect if you are ready to take on a moderate level of exercise. It is easier on your joints but provides resistance to every movement that you make. Swimming laps in a pool is a great full body exercise, and it can maximize the benefits of water aerobics. Water aerobics builds cardiovascular endurance, improves strength and circulation, and maintains healthy muscles and joints. All of these are very important for the recovering patient.

Advanced Exercise

If you are almost fully recovered and have gained back a formidable amount of strength, it might be a good idea to start implementing more advanced exercises. More than maintaining your fitness, these can actually improve your physical fitness and allow you to continue living a normal life. One of the best overall advanced exercises that you can take part in is running.

Running works out many parts of your body, and it also greatly improves cardiovascular fitness. Furthermore, you don’t need any equipment but running shoes to engage in this exercise. Whether it is around the neighborhood or at a local park, running can be done virtually anywhere. Remember to pace yourself and do only what you can. It would not help your recovery if you injure yourself, as this would cause you to be inactive for an extended period of time.

Exercise is one of the key components of having a successful recovery from cancer. Patients in cancer recovery who pursue a regular fitness program report higher levels of energy, a better overall mood, and a higher quality of life than patients who do partake in regular exercise.

*Melanie is currently a Master’s student with a passion that stems from her grandmother’s cancer diagnosis. She often highlights the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness. To read more from Melanie, visit her blog for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. In her spare time, you can find Melanie trying new vegan recipes, on her yoga mat, or spending time with her family.