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Hunger is our body's way of telling us that it needs nutrients and energy.
But often the decision to eat is affected by a host of factors: sights, smells, social settings, and more.
We eat to satisfy our hunger but also to soothe emotions, celebrate victories, meet cultural expectations - and because it just tastes good.
Research shows that including snacks in your daily eating plan can help with managing your hunger and weight loss. But it's important to choose snacks that are nutritious and filling.
Before you reach for a snack, check-in with your body to be sure that you are genuinely hungry, not just bored or procrastinating. If you are hungry between meals, a nutritious snack can help.
A treat is something that you want for the flavour sensation - like chocolate, chips or sweet things.
A snack is healthy and filling, providing you with nutrients and easing you're between meals hunger. This doesn't mean that the snacks aren't tasty and delicious as well.
A 400 KJ pack of chips or cookies will leave you feeling hungry again very soon. Because they don't provide you with any nutrients.
If you choose to eat a banana and a few almonds, you are getting essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fibre, etc.) and you'll feel full and satisfied for longer. Eating whole, nutritious food also helps you to avoid a sugar crash. The more "whole foods" (unprocessed or minimally processed) you eat, the better.
Have different snacks available to keep it interesting and to get a broad range of nutrients. Eating organic is best, but not always possible. Do what your budget and preferences allow.
Small tin of salmon or tuna in springwater with 10 rice crackers
Almonds, walnuts or cashews (a small palm full is usually a serving)
Sunflower seeds and 10 sultanas
Celery sticks or apple slices with 2 tbsp peanut butter
Rice crackers (10) with 2 tbsps hummus or dip
Organic Tortilla Chips and salsa - this is my favourite salsa recipe
Pumpkin seeds and 10 dried cranberries
Fresh fruit salad or canned in juice,drained
Make your own trail mix with raw nuts seeds and a small amount of dried fruit
Greek or coconut yogurt with fresh fruit
Salad with a variety of vegetables and olive oil-based dressing
These are my favourite snack. They help to satisfy my hunger, chocolate and sweet cravings at the same time.
1 cup fresh pitted dates*
1 cup walnuts *
1/3 cup raw cacao powder*
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/3 cup shredded coconut
Place everything except dates and coconut into a food processor and blend until crumbly. Add dates and blend until it just starts to form a ball. If the mix seems a bit dry, add some water, a few drops at a time.
Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes and then roll teaspoon-sized balls in coconut and chill in the fridge.
Keep in the fridge and try not to eat them all at once!
* You can use dried dates soaked in warm water for 15 minutes * You can use any nuts in place of walnuts
* Use cocoa powder instead of cacao * Use desiccated coconut instead of shredded