Your stomach is growling, your colleagues are darting worried glances at you, and you could kill for a donut and a latte. It’s 3 p.m. and you’ve got the munchies, but instead of reaching for your favorite junk food, try satisfying your hunger with a healthy afternoon snack to get you through your mid-afternoon hunger pangs.
If you work from home, it’s probably a little easier for you to whip up a healthy snack in your break, than it is for the vast majority who have “normal” jobs. For those whose kitchen is a couple of miles away, rather than a couple of steps, choosing a healthy snack is way trickier. When you’re at home you can fill your cupboards with foods that are good for you, rather than ones which give you a sugar, caffeine, or carb rush. Obviously, there are times when only junk food will do and that’s totally fine; because our bodies can deal with most things in moderation. Sometimes nothing will hit the spot like a slice of pizza or your favorite chocolate bar.
But if you do want to eat healthier at work, the key is preparation. Organize your healthy snacks for the day, or even the week, and you will be less tempted to grab something else because you already paid for and prepared your snack in advance. Here’s a bunch of healthy snacks which will help fuel you for the afternoon ahead.
According to POPSUGAR, berries are good for your brain and eyes plus, "Berries are brimming with carotenoids, an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer." There's a whole host of other benefits to these little zingy fruits, so pack yourself a handful of berries to enjoy at your desk when you're flagging at 3 p.m.
2. Energy Bites
Energy bites are great for a much needed boost, when you feel your energy levels dropping. There are tons of recipes out there, but among the most mouthwatering has got to be plant based foodie and wellness warrior Deliciously Ella's Energy Bites. They appear quick and easy to make and Ella says, "When I’m feeling tired these are my go-to snack, they give me so much energy and make me feel awesome..." She also says they can last three weeks when refrigerated, so they're also great for anyone who's not a massive fan of food prep.
3. Hummus & Veggies
Hummus is so delicious and a great protein-packed snack, which could help you power through your day. In an article for WebMD, reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD the director of nutrition for WebMD, the benefits of hummus are discussed. According to WebMD, "Chickpeas, hummus’s main ingredient, give you protein, good-for-you carbs, and fiber. Like other members of the legume family, they routinely top lists of the world’s healthiest foods." You can buy hummus from most supermarkets or make your own. There are a huge range of flavors out there, so you can experiment to your hummus-loving heart's content. Go classic by adding celery, carrot, and cucumber sticks or try new dipper variations, such as sweet potato fries or grilled root veggies.
4. A Smoothie
A smoothie packed with vitamins and nutrients is sure to get you back on track with your day. Blend your favorite fruits and veggies together and add some ground flaxseed for Omega-3, which will hopefully boost your brain power. A great tasting, green smoothie is Angela Liddon's (of Oh She Glows) Classic Green Monster. This vibrantly colored smoothie is made of non-dairy milk, spinach or kale, banana, almond or peanut butter, chia seeds or ground flaxseeds, cinnamon, ice cubes, and protein powder if you desire. It's delicious, quick to make, and can be carried with you to work in a Thermos or other portable drinks container.
5. Banana Bread
Although perhaps not the most healthiest item on this list, banana bread is a far cry from being classed as a junk food. During an article for LIVESTRONG, Jennifer Andrews a writer with a Master of Science in physical therapy, informs readers of the benefits of bananas, "Bananas are the all-star of banana bread, lending a naturally sweet taste and aroma to the treat. The yellow fruits are a source of carbohydrates, an essential nutrient used as fuel for mental and physical processes." So you get a lovely, sweet afternoon treat, which could help see you through to the end of your day.
6. Avocado Toast
Avocado toast may seem like the most hipster food on the planet, but don't be fooled by its trendy status. Men's Fitness discuss this faddy food, saying that, "The most recent research on avocados, a study published in an issue of Nutrition Journal, found that consuming one-half of an avocado at lunch could help curb post-meal hunger pangs." They describe avocados as, "...nutritional all-stars" due to their fiber and potassium content, plus they, "...help lower levels of bad cholesterol; and have powerful anti-aging properties." If you have a toaster at work, bring some wholemeal toast and a ripe avocado. If your work kitchen is missing a toaster, try stuffing your avo into a wholemeal pitta instead and bring that to work ready-made, so all you have to do is enjoy it.
Instead of indulging in junk foods with little to no nutritional value, enjoy healthier foods on your break which will help get you through your afternoon, no matter what kind of day you're having!