Yes, that is me enjoying a delicious chocolate cake and some red wine on Valentine's day with my husband. (I swear he ate most of it!) Those who know me well, know that I have a sweet tooth. I will skip a meal and run right to dessert when given the chance. However, through time, education and a lot of mindful work, the run to sweets has become much more controlled in quantity and quality (most of the time). It has been a long journey, but I am proud to say balance is slowly being reached with learning to enjoy a little of the right quality and in the right quantity. I am an emotional eater and learn to work with it every day. It is a never ending journey. So, when I say, "I get it." Trust me. I really do. If you do not believe me, ask my mom. She will happily repeat the story of when I first began teaching and would hide the chocolates that my students gave me for the holidays so no one else would eat them. Or my brother and sister in law who will share with you how I use to steal their kids candy after school. I personally think they exaggerate the stories a bit, but that is just my opinion.
How did I learn to deal with my emotional eating or as I like to say, "work with it?" I educated myself on what I was eating and what it was doing to my body. I have a library of books on sugar and the body. I slowed down and became mindful of what is was doing to me. I am not talking about what it would do to my health (I knew it was bad!), more of what it was doing to my personality. When the words, moody, emotional, crabby, and tired start to describe you more then they should, you know it is time for change.
The first step I took was to know when I was hungry and not hungry. I need way more water then I was drinking. It is OK to go to the bathroom. Actually, it is healthy. I now join my husband at every rest stop rather then roll my eyes that we have to stop....again. I engaged myself in activities instead of eating out of boredom. I learned to enjoy and sip sweet teas. The final step was being prepared with quick and easy snacks and never skipping breakfast.
Today, I share with you some quick and easy snacks and breakfast ideas. We think too much that meals should be this big sit down and snacks are little nibbles. As a result, so many people that I know - men, women, and children - skip breakfast. No skipping. Take a look at this list for some great ideas on quick breakfast and snack ideas. You may like some specifically or you may get some great ideas from the list! Use it and start your journey to balance, health, and a happier, more energetic you!
- Peel a banana (or use organic strawberries) and dip it in organic yogurt. Roll in crushed cereal and freeze.
- Spread celery sticks with peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese. Top with raisins.
- Make snack kabobs. Put cubes of organic cheese and grapes on pretzel sticks.
- Blend milk (coconut, almond, rice, cow), a scoop of high-quality protein powder, frozen strawberries, and a banana in a blender for a delicious smoothie.
- Sprinkle grated Organic Monterey jack cheese over a brown rice tortilla. Fold in half and microwave for 20 seconds. Top with mild salsa.
- Toast a whole-grain waffle and top with coconut yogurt and sliced peaches.
- Toast a leftover Pancake, top with almond butter and sliced strawberries.
- Make a mini pizza by drizzling tomato sauce on a toasted English muffin. Sprinkle with organic shredded cheese.
- Spread natural almond or cashew butter on a fresh sliced apple or dip the sliced apple in the almond butter.
- A cup of tomato or vegetable soup and serve with whole-wheat crackers.
- Mix together ready-to-eat cereal, raisins, and nuts and place in a reusable snack bag for an on-the- go snack.
- Make your own Energy bars!
- Cracker Sandwiches – whole grain crackers with your choice of almond butter, cheese, cream cheese, hummus, or guacamole
- Egg Muffins - whisk eggs, pour in oiled muffin tins, sprinkle chopped veggies in each, bake at 350 until cooked through.
- Roasted Chickpeas - rinse a can of chickpeas, gently toss in safflower oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, roast until golden.
- Shaklee Cinch Snack or Meal Bar
- Kale Chips - gently tear kale leaves and run with safflower oil, sprinkle with sea salt, bake at 250 until crisp. Watch carefully.
- Veggies and Dip - hummus, bean dip, salsa, almond butter, guacamole are great dips!
- Water, water, water! Sometimes we are not hungry. We are thirsty.
- Green Juice! Visit you local juice bar or make your own. Creativity and encourage one leafy green with every piece of fruit!
- 1 small piece of dark chocolate with a piece of fruit to satisfy that oh so sweet tooth or need for a pick me up.