Hello, Derek here again with more on the paleo diet.
I am sure we all get sudden pangs of hunger now and then, so we need to know what we can safely eat. This is where the idea for paleo diet snacks came from.
1. What constitutes a snack
According to Wikipedia our online dictionary ‘A snack is a portion of food, smaller than a regular meal, generally eaten between meals. Snacks come in a variety of forms including packaged snack foods and other processed foods, as well as items made from fresh ingredients at home‘.
As we can see from this statement a normal snack can be prepackaged, processed foods or fresh foods. As we are now on the paleo diet the only one of these that applies to us is the fresh food.
I have over the years seen people eat a snack that I would call a meal. Of course there is the other extreme where what people have eaten as a meal and I would call it a snack.
We all have differing bodily needs. The athlete, who is using a lot more energy. The pensioner who may sit at home most of the day. Their bodies will have differing needs. The athletes will need to eat to replace the calories used by their bodies during exercise.
But, even the pensioner may get the odd hunger pang between meals, but gone are the days of reaching for a candy bar to satisfy those pangs.
2. Why paleo snacks are different
Paleo snacks are different, in the main, because you will get far more from them in calorific value, than you will a candy bar. While a candy bar will give a sugar rush the snacks we are going to be looking at will fulfill your hunger needs. Paleo snacks are different in so much as they are probably not the first thing you would reach out for when the hunger pangs attack.
That is not to say that they would not be a suitable snack for someone not following the paleo diet. These snacks are of course suitable for anyone, but they are not going to give you a sugar rush if that is what you are after.
There are so many recipes available on the internet that you need never be hungry again. Just pick the ones you like and try them. If you are being a true paleoist there may be some with ingredients you don’t want to use. I would suggest putting a substitute in their place or if you don’t want to do that then skip that recipe altogether.
If you are eating dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) then there are some good sweeter recipes that you can use. It really is just a case of opening your mind up to what is available and how you can use it
3. The best paleo snacks
Really anything on the paleo diet food list can be used as a snack.
The most obvious quick snacks would be a piece of fruit or vegetable. I always have some hard-boiled eggs on hand in the fridge. There are usually some left overs from the previous day so these are readily available. Perhaps a slice of meat is sitting in the fridge, perhaps make some crudities from carrots, celery or cucumber with an avocado dip.
Perhaps you fancy something sweet so a small bowl of berries with some coconut cream could go down well. There are no limitations on what you do with the foods that are available to you.
Fancy something a little more substantial? Make a sandwich. If you don’t have any paleo bread then the time has come to improvise. Perhaps some lettuce leaves or slices of avocado can be used as a duplicate for the bread. There are so many possibilities out there if you can only open your mind to trying new things.
Why not think ahead? If you snack quite often then make some vegetable chips, or even some fruit chips. Carrot and parsnip both work well as do apples and pears. It is not hard to make them in the oven. They are baked and not fried so there is very little oil involved in the cooking process. Your chips can be supplemented by using some spices on them. Turmeric or curry powder for the savory chips and cinnamon or ginger for the sweet chips. The possibilities are boundless within the paleo food list
The only limitations of what you can have as a snack are the limitations in your mind.
I have come across many recipes for all meals including snacks. I try them and if I don’t like them they don’t get tried again, but those I do like go into my recipe book for future use. Where I think a recipe can be adapted to take more or less ingredients, then I will try it out and if it is good again add it to my list.
4. Why we don’t cheat – even on the snacks
What would be the point of eating the correct food at mealtimes only to gorge on candy and chocolate later in the day. If we want to live a healthier lifestyle then we need to keep to a good regime for our food at all times.
As I have said earlier there are so many paleo diet snack recipes on the internet there is no reason to cheat. Many of them can be made in batches and kept for future use. Because of this there is no need to cheat!
5. The benefits we feel.
Once you start to feel the benefits of following the paleo lifestyle you will want to keep those feelings. It is no good sliding back to your old ways.
You will feel all the better for sticking with the paleo snacks. I know I have more energy and I am sleeping better through sticking to the diet. My weight has been dropping very gradually, but at my age I don’t want a sudden large drop in weight.
The benefits I feel from sticking with this are something I don’t want to lose. I want to stay alert and not be constantly feeling tired. I feel I have the energy to do the things I want and rather than dreading a walk to the store I now look forward to it.
You could feel the same way too!