Ask a Nutritionist: What Should I Be Snacking On?
In a new monthly series called, “Ask a Nutritionist,” we harass McKel Hill of Nutrition Stripped, an internationally-known Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, to answer our health-related queries. As she puts it, “Food should make you feel radiant, sexy and energized as much as it nourishes your cells.” Two avocados for you, McKel. You go, McKel.
You might find her busting nourishment myths, explaining why we should be eating what we eat (or conversely, why not to) or sharing tips. Today we ask: what should we be snacking on?
1. Avocado: My favorite “snack” on the go, It’s loaded with healthy fats and fiber to keep you feeling satisfied, full and energized. Avocados also contain potassium, vitamin C, K, E, B vitamins and magnesium, all great for our hair, skin and nails — a true beauty food. Here’s what I do on the go: slice an avocado in half at home, open it, take the pit out, squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice on it and wrap it up in clear wrap or a Ziploc bag.
Bring a spoon and boom, you have avocado boats ready to eat. If eating straight avocado isn’t your jam, try some high fiber crackers. I like Mary’s Gone Crackers and Flax by Go Raw.
2. Pumpkin seeds: They contain protein, fiber, healthy fats and a punch of zinc, which is an important mineral that keeps our hair, skin and nails healthy. If you have a sweet tooth, try raw pumpkin seeds tossed in a small bag with dark chocolate chips or shredded coconut.
3. Plant power protein smoothie: 1 scoop of your choice of plant-based protein + 1 cup almond milk + 1 tablespoon cocoa powder + 2 tablespoons almond butter. Put everything in a shaker bottle or cold thermos and keep with you through the day.
4. Chia Fresca: Take 2-3 tablespoons chia seeds mixed with 2 cups of water, coconut water, fresh green juice or any other liquid you enjoy, shake it up and let the chia seeds absorb some of the water. This is definitely a unique drink — think “bubble tea” only loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber to keep you energized and your digestion happy. If you’ve never had chia seeds before, start slow. They contain a lot of fiber. Get fancy by adding fresh mint, sliced cucumber and lime.
5. Grapefruit + raw nuts or seeds (like almond, walnuts, or sunflower seeds): Grapefruit is great: citrus naturally ignites our senses and “wakes us up” by keeping our moods up, which is important if you are someone who runs around. It’s also a great source of fiber and carbohydrates, which our bodies love to use and burn for energy. Pair this fruit with a ¼-1/2 cup nuts or seeds to keep your blood sugars balanced. The great thing about citrus is you can bring it around with you with the skin on or you can peel, segment and put it in a Ziploc bag for easier eating.
What are you snacking on?