Health food needs to be grab-able. I believe that, if people are going to make lifelong changes to their diet and health, eating should be made as simple as possible. I think that many of us start the day off right and, because we forget to plan our snacks, we reach for that bag of salty, greasy potato chips to keep our blood sugar up and keep us going through a long, stressful day. That’s why it helps to have a snack list: a list of things that we can easily prepare and eat when we’re hungry and the only thing we’re crunching is time.
When my family and I embarked on the Hormone Diet, by Natasha Turner, ND, I created a list of snacks to increase morale and eliminate despair in the face of depravity. These snacks can work well with the Elimination Diet, Paleo Diet or Hormone Diet, which means that they contain no grains, refined sugar, gluten or dairy. In order to keep our stomachs full, we need snacks that are high in fibre, fat and protein. These snacks offer a balanced mix of those satiating nutrients, as well as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to keep our energy high and our heads clear. So, are you hungry? Work your way through this list! Click on the links (in blue) for recipes.
The Naturopathic Snack List
1) Homemade guacamole. One of my favourite go-to snacks. This guacamole recipe is simple, doesn’t try to mask the natural flavour of avocado and goes great with vegetables sticks like baby carrots or celery.
2) A green smoothie. Combine something green, be it green powder or fresh leafy greens like kale or spinach with a banana, frozen berries, almond milk and protein powder. It also makes a great breakfast and it’s a great way to get in leafy greens.
4) Chia pudding. Incredibly versatile, easy to pack and reminds you of elementary school lunches. Who could go wrong? You can add anything to it whether you’re in the mood for sweet or salty. Adding a 1/2 scoop of protein powder gives this an extra dose of satiety and balanced nutrient profile for breakfasts or mid-afternoon study snacks.
6) A banana or other fruit with almond butter. I love dipping fruit or vegetables in almond butter. For someone like me who often needs to get their blood sugar up, this is a no-fuss, legal snack that never fails to get the job done.
7) Baked apple and cinnamon. Lately when I crave something dessert-y after dinner I slice up an apple thinly, lay the slices on a plate and sprinkle them with liberal amounts of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Then I microwave them for 1.5 – 2 minutes. Delicious and a great serving of fibre and blood-sugar-regulating spices.
8) Hummus and vegetables. A classmate of mine told me that hummus and carrot sticks is the perfect snack because of its complete protein content. I often bring this combination of foods to class and noisily crunch on them in class to keep my morale high and my stomach happy.
9) A sandwich with Paleo Bread. Add turkey breast or leftover chicken, lettuce and mustard to a simple sandwich made of grain-free bread. This bread can also serve as snack on its own. You can also try making little buns using a muffin tin for some grain-free “muffins”.
10) Rosemary and olive grain-free flatbread. Try this recipe inspired by my colleague Amy’s flatbread recipe and my cousin V’s rosemary focaccia recipe. Goes great with dips and spreads. You’ll be convinced it’s made with grains.
11) A simple salad. My rule of thumb for making a delicious salad is to add a leafy green (kale, spinach, baby romaine) + another veggie + nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc.) + something sweet (apple slices, berries, dried cranberries) + protein (chopped up turkey breast, leftover chicken, tofu, etc.). Then I create a dressing made of any combination of olive oil, apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar, mustard, honey and hummus. This makes a great summer lunch or very filling snack in seconds. Add it to a mason jar, with the dressing on the bottom and greens on top for a quick grab-and-go lunch or mid-day snack. This is a great way to get your veggies.
12) Vegan Chocolate “Pudding”. Take one ripe avocado. Mash it up with 1 tbs Fry’s Cocoa Powder, 1 tbs natural honey and 1/2 scoop of chocolate-flavoured protein powder (to add some protein to balance out the nutrients in this snack). The result? A natural, vegetable-based chocolate pudding that make a great breakfast, snack or dessert.
13) Lettuce Wraps. Take leaves from a thicker lettuce, like iceburg, and unwrap them. Add a protein like turkey breast, tuna or hummus. Add some condiments like mustard, salsa or tahini. You can even add more vegetables like cucumber, tomato or roasted eggplant. Wrap it up and enjoy a refreshing grain-free, vegetable-packed wrap.
14) Rice cakes. I’ve gotten back into rice cakes after a few years’ hiatus. They’re gluten-free and very versatile. I spread almond butter or hummus on them or even make a turkey sandwich with lettuce and mustard.