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On some days, life can get pretty busy and I’d have missed creating some prepared foods for when I have to run out so I’ll grab a snack on the go. The three meals a day routine works great for some people (I actually don’t know too many that it does work well for) and I’m one of those people who needs a snack during the day.
I know that when I don’t have some healthier foods around for a quick snack to grab, I’ll overeat the bad stuff like bread, cookies and any baked goods or if I’m anxious I’ll get into the junk food if it’s around. I live with men (sons and husband) who eat differently than me.
So I have to make sure I have plenty of food that is low glycemic (foods that doesn’t spike my blood sugar that will induce cravings and overeating), anti-inflammatory (won’t cause swelling in my joints bloating or gas) and high fibre foods (that help remove waste out of my system) around. Oh and I forgot to mention, I also have to watch my weight so can’t have too much around anyways.
Does this sound stressful to you? Well it’s not – because I’ve made a lifestyle choice of choosing foods to balance my health rather than take medications.
Reducing your consumption of inflammatory foods can make a huge difference to how you feel each day. I mean inflammatory foods like donuts, chips and cheezes, creamy cheeses, sandwiches or multi-level bacon burgers with all the trimmings That also includes all the white stuff made with refined sugars, refined flours, preservatives and additives found in packaged processed foods that you grab on the go without thinking!
We all carry some form of inflammation in our body and its shows up by the signals of redness, swelling, heat and pain in some location and typically we recover because the body knows how to heal itself.
However, when there is chronic inflammation and the body is not healing the response is escalated by tissue damage that can be caused from a physical injury, exposure to environmental toxins, infections or other types of stressors. It can also be a response by the immune system becoming imbalanced which is often attributed to stress or poor diet.
Physical signs can also include bloating, gas, nausea, achy joints and muscle pain, headache, migraine, sneezing and fatigue which are early signs of allergies, intestinal problems, hyperglycemia, diabetes or heart disease.
Often a high carbohydrate diet can trigger heightened inflammation which develops from an imbalance in blood sugar levels inducing cravings for sugar and starches.
When we over eat sugar and refined carbohydrates it causes a rapid rise in blood sugar. This triggers a release of insulin. When the blood sugar drops too low (which occurs regularly after eating the sugar), the adrenal glands signal the production of the hormone cortisol causing an increase in production of glucose to increase the blood sugar level. When the cycle keeps repeating itself too often, cortisol levels burn out which can lead to the illnesses mentioned above.
So one way is to regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels is by eating lower glycemic and anti-inflammatory foods. The Glycemic Index is a scoring system rating the sugar/glucose content of carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, breads, rated 55 or less.
The glucose appears in the blood after eating a carbohydrate containing food , the higher the GI content/number, the greater the blood sugar response. A low number will trigger a low blood sugar response.
When eating whole carbohydrate foods vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains, your body and mind will function better. You’ll feel more energized and mentally alert. Whole foods also contain high fibre that feeds on good bacteria in the intestinal tract and fibre promotes regular elimination. So carbohydrates are essential to our diet when its whole foods.
One way to reduce inflammation is to remove those foods that trigger the symptoms.
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Snacks are a good place to start!
For snacks, I focus on plant based protein foods and healthy fats that helps build muscle, stimulate the brain and provide energy to be alert and active.
Here are five snacks that you can make at home that are easy to make and with ingredients you likely have in your home already:
Nuts and Seeds Mixture
Create an assortment of Nuts and Seeds such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. You can also add some raisins, dried cranberries or dried mulberries. Keep in aa sealed jar.
Veggies and Dip
Cut up some veggies that you can easily keep in the fridge in a sealed container with some water to grab and go and include a dip of hummus, guacamole or black bean dip
Rice Paper Vegetable Rolls or Vegetable Nori Rolls
Make Rice Paper Vegetable Rolls or Vegetable Nori Rolls, make them in the morning and take it with you in a sealed container (best eaten fresh) You can Get recipe for Rice Paper Vegetable Rolls and Vegetable Nori Rolls .
Apricot Squares are delicious, filing and satisfying (You don’t need much). They are made from dried apricots and/or mango, dates, almonds and shredded coconut. You can make a batch and keep them in the freezer. By the time you want to eat it, it will have thawed. Get recipe here.
Fruit is always the perfect snack that you can have several times a day. Most fruits are high in vitamin C and full of antioxidants for protecting your immune system against free radical toxins and reducing inflammation.
Almond Butter and Sliced Apple
Take 2 tablespoons of almond butter and cut up apple into slices, dip into butter
Citrus Rainbow Platter
Remove the peel and cut thin slices of a blood orange, an orange, grapefruit,(red and white), tangerine or other types of citrus. Squeeze lemon on top or for sweetener add ½ tsp maple syrup or honey
Apple or Pear with lemon and cinnamon
Cut an apple into slices and squeeze lemon on slices and sprinkle some cinnamon
Mix I cup of fresh berries into a bowl. Eat on their own or add a dab of organic yogurt or whipped coconut cream.
Let me know how you enjoyed the recipes.
Happy Passover and Happy Easter to you and your families,