To Your Health
October, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 10)
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The next equally important tip is to always be prepared!  When you are planning your day, schedule snack breaks accordingly, just as you plan exercise, meetings and meals. If you proactively plan for snacks, you'll set yourself up for success.

For example, if you know you will be running from one appointment to the next, pack a whole-grain granola bar and a piece of fruit to avoid being caught without a healthy snack. This will decrease the temptation to grab something quickly that may be full of empty calories and artificial ingredients.

But What About...?

No matter how much you plan and prepare, there will be the occasional roadblock. Who hasn't left their snack on the counter, only to be greeted by it in the evening?  There's no need to stress. When you know what to look for, you can find healthy solutions anywhere. Remember to read labels and look for foods that are as close to nature as possible. Most convenience stores stock sunflower seeds or almonds to tide you over between meals and keep your energy high - but make sure to portion your snacks. If you find you're frequently hungry while you're on the road, it may be a good idea to keep a bag of trail mix in your car. Choose a mix that's full of dried fruit and nuts, which can provide antioxidants, fiber and protein; or better yet, visit the bulk bins at your market and make your own!

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Make Healthy Snacking a Natural Part of Your Day

With a mix of daily exercise and a balanced diet, healthy snacking will come naturally, instead of feeling like a conscious effort. Incorporating healthy snacks into your regimen is a good way to break up the day. Healthy snacking renews your energy, and you'll feel better for having an apple with peanut butter rather than counting the minutes until lunch.

Snacking also provides the opportunity to be creative. Go ahead - explore, experiment and have fun! Change your snacking preferences to coincide with the seasons and what's fresh at the market. Indulge in mangoes in the spring, whole-grain pumpkin muffins in the fall, oranges in the winter and frozen fruit smoothies in the summer. There are endless possibilities for healthy snacks. Most importantly, make sure your snacks contain good-for-you ingredients in order to fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to keep energy high throughout each and every day.

Here's to healthy snacking!