A lymeric about turmeric

A lymeric about turmeric

****this blog was first posted in January 2017 but due to an unfortunate hack I thought it was lost forever… until I found a copy in my ‘downloads’ folder, Amen Amen***

2017 is here. I mentioned on my first blog of 2016 that I had good feelings about the year, turns out my vibes were true. For one reason or another, it has been a good year of progress, excitement and real fun. Here’s to 2017 being great too!

I always encourage clients to look at New Year’s as being an opportunity to assess life status and think of ways to improve in a non-pressurised, curious way. For example, instead of ‘I’m going to eat really healthily this year’ think of ‘3 foods you would like to include more regularly in your diet’. Your answers could be as broad as vegetables or as specific as green beans. Or perhaps you’ve excluded foods from your diet unnecessarily and have noticed this so including more dairy foods or carbohydrates could also feature. Keep it personal and keep it positive – food is to be enjoyed!

Anyway, without any further ado – I present to you my lymeric about turmeric:

You may have noticed a hype around turmeric
Some health claims they make are nothing short of barbaric
But try as you might
It may provide an anti-inflammatory fight
Read my blog for a balance in the hysteric


Most noted for providing a gorgeous golden tone to Indian dishes and a spicy kick to your lentil dhal – turmeric has more recently been hailed as a must have supplement or tea ingredient in various health shops and cafes, you know the sort.

But just how valiant is this spice? Can it cure you of all ailments, give you a Zen of calm and detox all toxins, or do its benefits belong solely to its lovely colour and taste? Before I get self-righteous and myth-busting, turmeric has in actual fact been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years since pre medical world. First recorded for its use in South Asia, turmeric was a remedy for food poisoning – it has also been used for digestive problems, wound healing and cold and flu symptoms.

The active ingredient in turmeric is in actual fact a phytochemical called curcumin. Some studies have shown fairly promising results for using curcumin to fight inflammation and oxidative stress. This has led to some believing turmeric or curcumin supplements can help prevent or manage some diseases such as; cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and arthritis.

Before one rushes to the health shop to stock up on a bottle – the studies remain inconclusive, as most nutritional science does! Many of the studies with positive results have been on animals which immediately weaken the relativeness to humans. Also, no conclusions have been drawn to the potential side-effects or toxicity from high doses in supplements.

However, the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric have been demonstrated in studies and is therefore not total nonsense. I would, therefore, recommend using turmeric, within reason, when you’re cooking (ie not on your fruit salad or something, that wouldn’t work). Moreover, think of dishes like curries, spiced roast vegetables, soup and curried rice… For some inspiration, this recipe from the BBC looks like a pretty good place to start  http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1993658/homestyle-chicken-curry .

If you suffer from an illness related to inflammation and are tempted to trial a turmeric supplement, please take with caution! They should always be used in conjunction with a healthy, balanced diet and never used to replace conventional medicine without a discussion with your GP.

So before your drawn in to the hype around turmeric and order the ‘turmeric latte’ at your next opportunity, remember that the health claims aren’t quite what they seem…

Healthy lives are fruitful lives.




Mastering supermarket shopping

Mastering supermarket shopping

I recently enjoyed a whole 7 days off work. It was much needed as I haven’t had a week off since last May and I started a new p/t role in December at an eating disorder clinic which has been amazing but also very tiring! So for the week I packed my bags and popped to the Cotswolds for a weekend and spent the rest of my time off in my home town Bristol. Oh and I also celebrated turning 28 in this time… #birthday.

Anyhow, I returned home on Sunday evening and between the station to my home I pondered on what I would eat for dinner. I had the option to pop into a shop at Victoria but I had a suitcase and a holdall which was a pain in the * carrying around London (one awkward moment my suitcase got caught at the bottom of the escalator and I was already travelling up, I had to let go and watch my bag get further and further away… A hero stranger saved the day and reunited me with my bag, thank you so much). So adding to my luggage with food was a thought I could not fathom and I was sure I had something at home to have instead… I was pretty wrong. No bread, no tinned tuna, no eggs (my flatmate stole them #snitch), no bananas, cheese had gone off, no fresh meat, fish, vegetables, I’d even ran out of frozen vegetables… It was a dire moment. I ended up with pasta (can always rely on cupboard pasta) with fried onion and mushrooms… I had no pesto – I dressed with vegetable oil – also ran out of olive oil – and topped with cheese (I stole back from my flatmate). Luckily I had pepper and mixed herbs to add a bit more flavour… I suppose the meal took away my hunger but it wasn’t the most inspiring, satisfying meal. That’s OK though, it happens sometimes!

I wonder how many times you find the thought of food shopping just too much and ‘put it off’ for another day meaning you have to create something at home which is extremely basic and boring. Or going round the busy isles at the end of the busy working day is an experience you wish to divert and therefore go straight to the convenience options; ready meal, filled pasta, pizza, soup, etc. and you still haven’t filled up your cupboards with essentials for tomorrows meals, so the cycle continues…

As the saying goes, you fail to prepare – you prepare to fail. Food shopping is a form of self-care and health respect in intuitive eating terms. Rather than an act of extreme planning and prep to keep up your strict healthy eating/diet regime – thinking your meals ahead and ensuring you have enough food in the house to create meals of enjoyment and satisfaction is a pretty great thing to do. Getting into a routine where you know when works best for you to shop, what time of day you find it easiest and knowing the typical foods that build up your food personality will make food shopping a much easier part of your life.

Here are my absolute 5 top tips for success at self-care food shopping:

1. Check what you have already! Look through all your cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what you DON’T need. There’s no point in getting more chopped tomatoes if you have 4 tins already. My Dad fails at this all the time… previous examples include about 5 tubs of Bisto, 3 jars of pickle and 2 big bags of RAW chick peas – not even tinned! So they need to soak for about 20 million hours and who does that, really?!

2. How many days’ worth of shopping are you buying for and how many meals does that include? Do this roughly, as we all know life happens and maybe you’ve planned a meal but end up eating out with a friend instead, or maybe an unexpected date if you’re lucky… However, this makes it less likely that you’ll under-shop and then need to hit the shops again at that time after work where you are more drawn to the convenience isle. Or you might over-shop and then food will go off and waste will happen… I’m not about wasting food.

3. Pick fruit and veg from all different colours. The colours mean they have different types of nutrients in them. Example – orangey colours means they’re packed with beta carotene – good for keeping your eye sight sharp. Greeney veg is full of folate – super great for your brain and nervous system. Deep purpley colours are rich with phytochemicals and antioxidants – fantastic stuff all round.

4. Get to know your staples. What items do you regularly use in your diet and so need in pretty much every shop? This will speed up your shopping trips. Mine include; bread (YES bread – normally the scrummy seeded loaf), eggs, milk, flaked almonds (for my porridge), onions, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, bananas, oranges, potatoes, greek yoghurt, tinned tuna and some sort of snack bars. These items keep me going and then I add to it items that I fancy depending on my planned meals or maybe cupboard ingredients that I need to top up.

5. Shop savvy. Remember the shops are designed to make you spend AS MUCH MONEY AS POSSIBLE. It’s a business, this is their sole purpose. They will use whatever techniques to lure you in; sexy packaging, money ‘off’ offers, ‘health claims’ and strategic layouts. Keep your head screwed on, there’s nothing wrong with experimenting and trying something new but if it’s as a result of a promotion or it looks appealing, first ask yourself; ‘do I need this?’ ‘what meal/snack will I have it?’ ‘is it reasonably priced for my budget?’ ‘is what they’re claiming true?’.

So there you go… food shopping Rachel Clare Nutrition style! As my intro shows, it’s not always perfect – sometimes you do run out and fail to prepare. That’s A OK – pick yourself up and plan for tomorrow, don’t think about yesterday… #inspo.

Hope this is helpful, if you have any questions please feel free to ask… If it’s a subject that you’d like to talk about in much more detail – I offer supermarket tours as part of my service. At a supermarket near you, within reason… but I’m more than happy to be flown out to your supermarket in California if you wish… I take you round each isle and discuss all the food on offer and help you develop your ‘supermarket shopping personality’.

Healthy Lives are Fruitful Lives

To vegan or not to vegan?

To vegan or not to vegan?

On my travels today I spotted a piece of – as some might describe – graffiti, but in reality the makings of an animal activist with a spray can in-front of a wall feeling the necessity to state “animals want to live, go vegan, be kind”.

My imagination led me to visualising happy sheep and cows living for the sake of living until they reach a natural causing death during their elderly years. Something quite far removed from the mass farming industry shortening sheep and cows (as well as other animals’ obvs) lives for our protein requirements and taste enjoyment.

Anyhow, that argument is not one which I am here to divulge. Instead, I have become aware of a hugely growing #vegan trend – promoted by many for not just animal rights but also for #wellness.

I should probably at this point mention that I myself dabbled with veganism back in 2010 (I have always said that I’m a trend setter). Needless to say I lasted about a couple of weeks and my diet wasn’t very balanced at that time so I’m afraid I can’t give you an amazing testimonial of how I felt during those poignant weeks… I was more successful, however at pescatarianism (meat-free but fish yee) lasting around 7 years. February 2015 I had my first meat dish and I’m afraid for those animal activist’s meat now features in my diet fairly regularly.

So, from a nutritional expert’s point of view I’m going to break down the health implications of veganism and whether the #wellness tag next to #vegan is justified… or not.

plants, plants, plants and more plants

The vegan diet, also dubbed as ‘plant based’ is wholly made up of natural earthy plants – fruit, vegetables, grains, pulses, nuts. Basically, if it comes from a seed you can eat it, if it comes from an egg you can’t. Eggs, milk, cheese, yoghurt are also off bounds so confectionary items chocolate, cakes, biscuits etc that require these ingredients are also off the grid. Unless, of course, you spend time making something with alternative ingredients or search far and wide for a café/health shop selling something resembling a sweet treat which is vegan friendly. Basically, it’s no wonder many would argue they feel ‘so much better’ after going vegan – because the all too easy vending machine at work is a no go. Or, the ‘bake-off’ get together you go to doesn’t include vegan friendly cakes. Any reduction in refined sugar and processed ingredients is obviously going to make you feel better.

However, is veganism necessary for #wellness?

This euphoric feeling of long lasting energy and alertness, which we all seem to be striving for, doesn’t have to come as a result of a stringent vegan regime. In fact, I’d argue that energy is harder to achieve on a vegan diet. Iron, the nutrient which carries oxygen around the body and therefore contributes to ‘energy’ is most abundant in meat. For example, an average portion of minced beef contains 3.8mg of iron. To get the same amount of iron from spinach you would need to eat 240g of boiled spinach – basically more than a typical bag all to yourself. I don’t even think pop-eye would eat that much spinach in one day?

Along with nutrition, fitness also comes under the #wellness umbrella – of which strong bones and responsive muscles are needed to keep your regime durable. If I was to tell you that lowering your intake of calcium may reduce your ability to #traindirty would you be so keen? Calcium is a vital nutrient for strong bones and flexing muscles… A typical yoghurt pot provides 200mg calcium, to get this amount of calcium from broccoli you would have to eat around 500g – which is approximately 1 and a half whole broccoli heads. I mean, I love broccoli but not that much.

My final example – protein. Hailed as the must-have nutrient of #wellness, protein is the powerhouse of calories in this trend. Fill up on protein, less of the carbs etc. The vegan diet, however, makes this a bit more difficult… Our need for protein is actually quite often ‘hypersensitised’ as anything more than our bodies need is done away with in our urine. That being said, it is vitally important to get enough protein in our diets to keep our immune system healthy, aid in muscle repair and a whole manner of other bodily systems too complicated for this blog post… Another comparison… An average chicken breast contains around 40g of protein – an average portion of lentils contains only 10g of protein. And just to really scare you… 20g of carbohydrate.

Before vegan activists get really angry, which is not my intention. You have my full support if the reason for you being vegan is a genuine dislike for killing animals for the sake of us eating them. I would say, however, that you have to work a bit harder to make sure you get all the nutrients in your diet to live a healthy and fruitful life… A few pointers:

Iron – most of your fruit and vegetables contain small amounts of iron. I know you’re not going to eat a whole bag and a bit of spinach but having it regularly in your diet along with other iron containing foods; peas, kidney beans, chick peas, tofu – will help you meet your requirements. Also a top tip, avoid drinking tea or coffee 1 or 2 hours before and after a meal as this may reduce how much iron your body absorbs.

Calcium – again not impossible to get your requirements on a vegan diet, just a bit more difficult. Among other foods, kale is your best friend when it comes to calcium. Quick recommendation – the Good Life Eatery on Sloane Av in London makes an incredible Good Life Salad with tons of kale (you will see it on my Instagram @rachelclarenutrition) – go get that, all the time.

Protein – your sources of protein include soya, tofu, beans and pulses, seeds (chia’s are great) and GRAINS – quinoa, wholemeal pasta, oats, etc. So if you’re gluten-free also, getting enough protein and having a variety in your diet will be a tad more difficult.

So, I hope that those who are vegan for animal rights, including the person who led my imagination to elderly sheep, feel that their views are respected – I wouldn’t want anything else. If, however, people are considering to go vegan more for health reasons I hope this might make you think twice. You don’t have to go down this road and actually achieving health and wellness on a vegan regime is a harder battle than eating generally well.

If you are vegan and want to go through things in more detail to make sure you’re getting enough of the right nutrients, then I’m offering 50% off consultations until the end of September for vegans only! That’s how much I want you to feel appreciated by me.

Healthy lives are fruitful lives.

Magnum or Carte D’or?

Magnum or Carte D’or?

“Ice cream!!! You know how much I love it…! But I guess my question is if I am going to have it, what’s the best (and worst!) option to go for? I know it’s not exactly good for you, but some tips would be great”

I must admit, this months ‘client query’ is from none other than my flatmate Abi. You may have come across ‘Abi’ in various Instagram posts (follow me @rachelclarenutrition). Most recently the delightful 30-day squat and abs challenge she attached to our fridge door. If you find yourself in such a challenge, I advise not doing day 5 in smart trousers you wore to your uncles 65th birthday bash earlier that day. After 55 squats I heard a loud rip and a sensation of fresh air around my buttock region…

I’m not sure if the ‘ripping of the trousers’ is due to the growing gluteus muscles or perhaps the growing adipose tissue due to the amounts of ice-cream I have recently ate for ‘research’ of this post – either way, I blame Abi.

So, back to the question. In simpler terms, can ice-cream be healthy?

I’m going to present the information to you, give you some tips for consumption but ultimately – the decision is yours. Do you feel that ice-cream can be part of a healthy, balanced diet for you or do you think the quantity of ice-cream in your diet should probably be lessened and replaced by a much healthier alternative?

See graph…


Chart 3



I wonder if you are as surprised by these results as I am? I’ve put the results in order of sugar as this is the current buzz word of nutrition. I’m devastated (and I’m sure Abi is too) to see that Magnum’s are the highest in sugar, calories AND fat!! Interesting to see that the common ‘healthy’ choice in the ice-cream section Solero Exotic is in fact pretty high in sugar and the frozen yoghurt by the beloved B&Js doesn’t fair too well either. One might conclude from this that the ‘best’ / ‘healthiest’ option is a humble 2 scoops of Carte D’or vanilla. Compliment this with some fresh fruit and you could justifiably call this a nutritious dessert.
I’ve spoken before about mindful eating and a non-diet approach to guide your dietary choices and intake. When categorising foods as ‘every day’ or ‘occassional’ rather than good/bad – a humble portion of Carte D’or vanilla with fresh fruit comes somewhere in between the two! If you have kids that are bugging you for ice-cream almost every day during this summer weather, encouraging them to have Carte D’or more often than not will go a long way. If you are not in the population group whereby food choices influence children as well as yourself – I’d say categorise ice-cream more so in the ‘occasional’ section. For example, out in the sun with friends and a round of ice-creams are in order or hosting dinner and having ice-cream for dessert. In these occasions, eat mindfully – enjoy the moment, take note of the flavours, texture, temperature!
If you’re the type to eat ice-cream on a regular basis, in front of the tele perhaps with a tub of B&Js (we’ve all been there…) Think what type of hunger are you feeding? Is it your heart hunger because you’ve had a bad day? Think of another way to feed your heart! Take a bath, paint your nails, talk to a friend etc. Is it eye hunger because you saw a half price advert in the shop window on your way home? Recognise that marketing ploy – rise above it, you don’t need it and your health is more important! Do you have stomach hunger and genuinely need to fuel your body? Think of a better alternative! Click to my blog on snacks to see some healthier options for stomach hunger…
If you’re looking for an alternative which is cold and sweet you could try:

– A frozen banana. As you know, I love bananas. I recently tried putting a banana in the freezer (take the skin of first, as I found out the hard way) as I heard it has the same type of consistency as ice-cream and is therefore a great alternative. The rumour was true.

– Put your own Greek yoghurt in the freezer. Since coming back from Crete, I’m literally obsessed with Greek Yoghurt. It’s full of healthy fats, lots of calcium and tastes super! Top with some red berries and you are good to go.


So I hope this has cleared up a few things ice-cream and you feel more equipped to make a choice when it comes to this summer favourite. Now, time to do day 6 of my challenge…


Healthy lives are fruitful lives. 


Life detox & Matcha green tea

Life detox & Matcha green tea

I don’t know how you spent your May bank holiday but I jetted off to the sunny climate of Crete. Four days of beach, heat, stuffed vine leaves (my fav) and smothering sun tan lotion on (I am NOT getting unnecessary wrinkles) were thoroughly enjoyable.

A much needed break and one which I decided to carry out a ‘life detox’ – always one to make things sound dramatic this was simply not turning on my wifi. Increasingly I’ve found my mobile phone has become a much too strong attachment ‘first thing in the morning and last thing at night’ type thing. I’m sure many of you can relate to this. This was a highly cleansing experience for me and I was able to think clearly without being distracted by that Instagram feed or persistent email feed – ‘out of office’ is a dream. Wanting to continue this as much as possible into London life I have set my alarm for 9pm every evening to switch off data and wifi only to be turned back on when I am safely out of bed in the morning. A little difference goes a long way and I really encourage you to try something similar!

Anyway, this has nothing to do with my blog topic just felt the need to spread some life detox wisdom… Today, I am going to spread some nutrition wisdom on matcha green tea.

Last weekend I attended a wonderful event by Pukka herbs where myself and some fellow yogis enjoyed a free yoga class followed by a wee talk about the new range of matcha green tea bags by Pukka herbs. If you know, you know.

Before this event I was not a green tea drinker. Memories of my late teens forcing bitter green tea down my throat in the morning to help me ‘lose weight’ followed by grim feelings of nausea would arise every time somebody mentioned green tea. People telling me they actually liked green tea was a statement I could not comprehend or believe in my heart. Alas, I tried some samples at this event and was moderately impressed. Of course, a goody bag with tons of samples and a cute tea bag tin was gratefully received and envied by my flat mate. And I must say, in the comfort of my own home when I’m beginning to wind down, I have since thoroughly enjoyed a warm mug of Pukka’s matcha green tea with lemon or mint (yet to try the other flavours) – absolute shock, horror, bliss!

So, as a natural evangeliser of great things I thought I would give pukka some free publicity and tell you about their new range and why you should probably get some!

What is matcha green tea I hear you say?

Unless you’re a highly knowledgeable healthie you may not know what matcha green tea is. So, it is the leaf found at the tip of the green tea plant. It is often turned into a matcha green tea powder which healthies add to smoothies, muffins and pretty much anything they can get away with. Alternatively, it can be found in a desirable matcha green tea bag.

What is so good about matcha green tea?

Compared to normal green tea, it has a gigantic amount of antioxidants. We know why antioxidants are good for us but maybe it’s difficult to always get a good amount of fruit and vegetables in our diets. Whilst I would encourage you to strive with fruit and vegetables – a cup of matcha green tea is a helpful aid to really boost your antioxidant ammunition!

It can also help with energy levels as it has a slow-releasing form of caffeine. I put my hands up and admit that I am a caffeine addict, any longer than 24 hours without a coffee and my head starts to really hurt. Much like refined and complex carbohydrates, caffeine in coffee is similar to refined carbs – giving you a spike in alertness and energy followed by a rather grim crash only to be lifted by another coffee. The caffeine in match green tea, however, is similar to that of complex carbohydrate – ‘slow releasing’ so it should help to keep you alert and well energised for a longer period of time.

But will it help me to lose weight?

The catechin and caffeine in green tea may boost your metabolism and therefore aid weight loss. However, the evidence for it having any significant effect over and above eating well and exercising regularly is inconclusive. So I’m afraid religious green tea drinking is unlikely to make a beneficial impact to your efforts. I would certainly discourage anyone to do as I did and force the stuff down your neck for the purpose of losing a pound or two!
All that being said, I would highly recommend drinking matcha green tea to improve your general wellbeing. If like me green tea is a phenomenon you just can’t stomach – give Pukka herbs new range a try as they have a lemon, mint or ginseng option which might soften the green tea blow! A little birdie told me they have an offer on at the moment in the shops so if that isn’t enough to encourage you then perhaps matcha green tea isn’t for you and that’s OK!

Let me know your thoughts, have you tried matcha green tea before? Is there a special recipe that you recommend or do you have an amazing matcha related story to share?

Healthy lives are fruitful lives. 

What rhymes with snacks?

What rhymes with snacks?

It’s all been a bit quiet on the blogging front at Rachel Clare Nutrition – please accept my sincere apologies. But isn’t it true that if you treat them mean you keep them keen? Hoping you’ve all been waiting passionately for my next post!

Anyhow, so that you and I know where we stand, I’ll be doing one post a month from now on – allows me time to work on other work projects whilst maintaining my writing work of creative and informative genius – always a humble soul.

We’ve just hopped over Easter (scuse the pun) and so I’m sure that many of you have bits of chocolate eggs lying around, or perhaps not, but you did have. So in a timely fashion, this month’s post is all about ‘snacks’. It may seem basic but it’s always good to strip right back and answer questions such as;
– what is a snack?
– why do we snack?
– is snacking a good thing?
– what are good types of snacks to have?
What is a snack?
From the mother of all definitions, the English Oxford Dicitionary:
“a small amount of food eaten between meals” – I’d like to put an emphasis on small and between meals.
Why do we snack?
There is a huge range of reasons as to why we might eat a small amount of food between meals. For instance…

Hunger – we feel hungry and it’s a while until our next meal so we have a small snack to have a boost of energy and to stave off the stomach churns until meal time.

Bored – needs little expansion as for fear of causing boredom.

Emotional – might be feeling upset, frustrated, anxious or even happy so we use food to soothe emotions or give us a comforting hug!

Opportunistic – man goes to petrol station, fills up car, stands in waiting line, picks up chocolate bar at conveniently placed position despite not even thinking about food, eats snack.

Habit – always have a biscuit with coffee in the morning so why would you not this time?

Social occasions –  if you’re like me, you love a party. Lots of people together having fun with – if you’re at a good party – booze and a plethora of delicious food to gorge on. Although you’re not hungry, the food looks amazing and eating a slice of cake at the same time as your friends and just talking about how delicious it is, making those typical eyebrow phrases of appreciation towards the cake is just all part of the fun. Can you tell now that I like a party? And cake!

There are many other reasons why you might have a snack… Skipped a meal (going against the definition of between meals though), exercise, tired, hungover…
So now we know what a snack is and why we snack, it’s only right to answer the question…

Is it good to snack?

To put it simply, the concern of snacking is that it can lead to overeating, and particularly of foods that are high in fat and/or sugar which can be detrimental to your health and cause unnecessary weight gain.

The positive to snacking is that it can help contribute to your daily nutrient profile. For instance, if you struggle to get your 5-a-day in your meals then snacking on a piece of fruit or a mini salad can help with this!

It can also be good to snack if you are genuinely hungry!! Your brain is always thirsty for energy and so if it’s been a while since you last ate then you might find your short term memory to slip or find it more difficult to solve a relatively simple problem at work or in your family life.
Now for the crescendo, as in my line of work I’ve realised that people want to know what food they should or shouldn’t eat…

What are the better options to snack on?

A simple 3 point mantra will help you make a healthy choice day in and day out…


Why are you going to have a snack?
Is it because you’re hungry? Great – eat!
Is it because you’re bored? Try something else first
Is it because you’re emotional? Try and wait a bit before having your snack as you may find the emotions simmer without a food fix…
Is it because you’re in an opportunity? Don’t let the food industry draw you in… Resist!
Is it because you’re at an awesome party? Absolutely go for it, I’m a keen believer in food brings people together and should be enjoyed in social occasions. Just don’t let it become the main party piece. Keep it in balance, have a laugh with your friends, catch up with the peeps and also indulge in some nice treats!

What type of snack is better for me?  
If you’re hungry, think of what type of hunger you may have and tailor your snack to that.

Stomach hunger –your belly feels a bit empty and it’s growling a bit embarrassingly during a meeting with your boss. A protein/fat based snack will help with this – perhaps wait until after the meeting, or prepare well and have this before!
Example snacks: handful of nuts, small block of cheese, avocado, some chicken pieces, hummus & vegetable sticks.
These give you a bit of nutrition while also helping you to feel full.

Cellular hunger – this is where you feel a bit drained of energy, finding it difficult to concentrate or perhaps a victim of ‘hanger’. At this point, you need a carbohydrate based snack to bring your blood sugar levels back to normal.
Example snacks: fruit is perfect for this! An energy bar, small bowl of wholegrain cereal (yes cereal in moderation is OK it won’t bring unimaginable harm as some like to say).

If you find yourself both stomach and cellular hunger then go wild and mix it up… fruit and nuts! Toast with peanut butter, yoghurt with granola etc.

When will my next meal be? 
As emphasised, a snack is a small amount of food between meals. Tailor the size of your snack to the time you will next have a meal. If you’re just starting to cook but are starving and don’t want to rush cooking, have a small number of nuts. If it’s like 3 hours until your next meal then maybe a small bowl of wholegrain cereal is what you need.

Remember: WHY? WHAT? WHEN?
Sometimes, you fancy something a bit more interesting and a convenience snack in the shops is pulling you much harder than that apple. That’s OK – I get that sometimes too! So here is my pick of convenient snacks that are ‘better’ options than chocolate bars or full fat, salty crisps…

  1. Energy bars. From Eat Natural, nakd, trek – these can be good options to keep you going on the run. Just be mindful of the sugar content as they can be quite high! As a rough figure, not based on any ground-breaking science – anything more than 10-15g of sugar is pretty high.
  2. Popcorn. Sales of this traditional cinema snack (there’s another reason for why we snack!) have rocketed in recent months. My personal fav is the coconut and vanilla flavour, just so delicious. These are relatively low in calories and sugar and do a good job of filling you up.
  3. Vegetable crisps. Still processed but slightly better than your average salt and vinegar bag.
  4. Protein balls, I hadn’t tried these until recently. I would say they’re an acquired taste, but if you are one of the acquired then sure!
  5. Rice cakes, I have been obsessed with the chocolate and orange covered varieties. Obviously, the plainer the better but sometimes a hint of flavour helps!

So there you go, April’s blog. I hope you have found it interesting, inspiring and life-changing – always aim high, right!

I’m happy to answer any questions via the comments box below so do feel free…

Until May – all the best and happy WHY, WHAT, WHEN? snacking 🙂

Healthy lives are fruitful lives