Healthy habits don’t always come easy, especially when it comes to food. Having a plan and easily accessible items on hand can make choice changes easier and provide a greater chance for true habits to be formed.
Fruits and Veggies
One of the first things that I like to have on hand in my fridge is fresh fruit and vegetables. If I am needing a sweet treat, a crisp apple hits the spot. I also like to have little Cutie oranges, grapes or berries for when I’m in the mood for finger foods. Veggies are another easy grabbing snack. Baby carrots, celery sticks, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, little sweet peppers, cucumber discs and even raw broccoli and cauliflower make for crunchy and refreshing snack time tastes. Since fruit and vegetables are full of fiber, they not only satisfy the taste and texture desires, but they also leave the body satisfied.
Easy proteins are the second thing I keep available. I like to keep nonfat Greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, eggs, deli meats and precooked chicken and turkey in the fridge. These options are great because most of it can be purchased in single-serving sizes or are easily portioned when making a snack. Proteins fuel the body, reduce cravings and snacking and help maintain weight-loss — just to mention a few benefits!
Once I have a good selection of fruit, veggies and proteins, I look for ways to kick up the flavor and add more nutrients. The more color, the more pleasing. The more heat, sweet, salt or bitter, the more likely I am to find joy in my food and get the clean options to halt hunger.
Food options in the fridge should meet three components to make them ideal choice-changers:
- The snack should contain at least one whole food. This is any food that isn’t processed and doesn’t have a label — fruit, vegetables, lean animal proteins, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds or root vegetables.
- The snack should have two macronutrients to keep the body satiated longer. For single food options: almonds are both protein and fat; avocado are fat and carbohydrates; black beans are carbohydrates and protein. For multi-food/flavor options: an apple with almond butter is a carbohydrate, protein and fat; nonfat Greek yogurt with berries and chia seeds is a carbohydrate, protein and fat.
- The snacks should be portioned for quick access. Instead of having a bag of carrot sticks and a tub of cottage cheese, either buy single-serve options or portions at the beginning of the week for an easy grab-and-go.
Now to put it all together!
When you set up your grocery list, plan for the week. Create your menu, then decide what you’re eating, when and how much. Next, build your list.
Coach Kati’s morning snack ideas:
1 slice whole grain or sourdough toast, spread 2 oz avocado, sprinkle with Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Spice
1 hard boiled egg, 1 tsp spicy mustard, a small pear
6 oz nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup fresh berries, 1 tsp chia seeds
4 oz roasted potato, 1 cup wilted warm spinach, 1 egg, 1 tbsp salsa
Coach Kati’s afternoon snack ideas:
Tuna Spinach Salad
2 cups baby spinach, 1 packet of tuna in water, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar salad dressing, 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 oz deli Turkey, 1 oz avocado, 1/4 cucumber cut into spears
2 oz grilled chicken, 1 tbsp hummus, 1 cassava tortilla
Veggies and Dip
5 carrot sticks, 5 celery sticks, 5 snow peas, 3 baby sweet peppers, 2 tbsp hummus
Coach Kati’s evening snack ideas:
Cottage Cheese Parfait
½ cup low-fat cottage cheese, 10 walnuts, 2 tbsp raisins
8 slices turkey pepperoni, 1 cup grapes, 1 oz low fat cheese
2 oz taco-seasoned ground turkey, ¼ cup black beans, 1 oz low-fat cheddar cheese, 15 tortilla chips, 2 tbsp salsa
½ cup blueberries and 10 cashews or ½ cup raspberries and 15 almonds or 3 strawberries and 12 pecans
Making big changes can be overwhelming and often unsustainable. Start small, start fresh, start with snacks! Load your fridge with whole foods that are easy to grab and go. Then, let the choices and changes roll in naturally. Happy snacking!
Coach Kati Epps, founder of MyBody GX, is passionate about the possibilities that come to life when inner strength is unleashed. MyBody GX represents the interconnection of her distinct expertise and passions: knowledge of nutrition, chemical breakdowns, cellular development, muscle growth, cardiovascular health and serving as a conduit for healing and joyful living. With many certifications from the American Council on Exercise and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Colorado State University, she’s successfully trained individuals at every end of the fitness spectrum — from professional athletes to competitive bodybuilders to out-of-shape adults hoping to regain mobility and energy.