Protein With Each Snack
This Blog is sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, but rest assured, I stand behind these words and so does science. I eat dairy products every day and my kid does too, because they are healthy and delicious. Contact me with any questions.
Your blood sugars were not prepared for the pandemic. Now you’re dealing with a junk food addiction that you didn’t know you had, and your kids are mad at you for eating all of their granola bars. Sound familiar? You’re one of millions of people with a snacking problem.
Breaking the snacking cycle is easier than people think. Simply add protein, including that from dairy, which is high in protein, convenient, and delicious.
Notice what’s missing from these common snacks:
- Granola bar
- Pastry or bagel
- Fruit bar/gummies
- A glass of juice
Protein is missing!!! Eating these snacks causes cravings! You get trapped in a cycle
Fruit and granola bars make you feel good for a few minutes but they digest quickly. Your insulin spikes. A half hour later your blood sugars come crashing down. You’re tired. You suddenly have cravings again!
Adding protein to your snacks is the best way to reduce cravings. But not everyone has time to barbeque a steak at 3pm. So why not grab a glass of milk?
Snack 1: Whole Milk
Commonly fed to children, it’s a healthy choice for people of any age. It has 8 grams of protein in a cup, and you’d have to eat about 10 granola bars to get that. Whole milk gets a bad rap because of a myth around its fat content. Whole milk has 10 grams of fat (90 calories), which is about the same as 15 mL of nut butter. So your typical peanut butter sandwich would have 20-30 grams of fat. As for the type of fat, current research says that saturated fats are not harmful if your diet also contains fats from nuts, seeds, olive oils, avocados, etc. (poly and monounsaturated fats). A glass of milk is a nutritionally balanced choice. Bonus points for having some vegetables on the side.
Snack 2: Chia Pudding
Milk is the liquid base. Protein powder is optional, but I like the extra protein. Chia seeds add thickness, fibre, and monounsaturated/polyunsaturated fats. The fruit is for micronutrients and taste — and if you need it to be a bit sweeter, you can add a bit of jam, but go easy on it!
My Nutritious and Delicious Chia Pudding Recipe
- 3-4 tbsp (45-60 mL) chia seeds
- 1/2 cup milk (any milk fat percentage you like)
- 1/4 cup fruit (or 1 tsp jam)
- 2 tbsp whey protein powder (I use plain but you can use whatever you like)
- Depends on the consistency you like and how many of the other ingredients you added
- Optional cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder
Combine all ingredients in a jar or shaker cup, and shake vigorously for one minute
Set it in fridge for at least 4 hours
If it’s too thick, you can add water or more milk
Snack 3: Cheese
Cheeses like cheddar, mozzarella, and monterey jack provide a good protein-fat ratio. They are easy to prepare and pair well with other foods. Per person, I would recommend about 30 grams of cheese (or you can try “1-2 thumb’s worth), 1/2 cup of fruit, and 1/2 to 1 cup of vegetables. I always like pears with cheese, and I find peppers are a huge hit with veggie trays.
Soft cheeses like Brie are great too but you do have to understand that they have more fat and less protein when compared to mozzerella, so basically they should be treated more like a fat, like cream cheese and nut butters.
Snack 3: Chicken
For comparison, here is a snack that doesn’t include dairy. This is two ounces of leftover chicken, which would give me the same amount of protein as one cup of milk. Peppers, broccoli, honey mustard dip (salad dressing). This snack would take a lot longer to prepare than grabbing some cottage cheese and fruit.
Snack 3: Plain Greek Yogurt, Fruit & Almonds
You can use Cottage cheese here as well, and just select whatever fat percentage you like best. These products have even more protein than milk or mozzarella. About 25 grams of protein in 250 mL (and 0-10 grams of fat, depending on the brand or type you buy). I see these items as a blank canvas for whatever fruit, nuts, seeds, or jams that I want to add.
Snack 4: Hard Boiled Eggs
For comparison, two hard boiled eggs would give you 14 grams of protein and 10 grams of fat. So about half the protein of a cup of Greek Yogurt or Cottage Cheese.
For extra credit, here is more information about cravings:
I always say there are two types of cravings: emotional and biological.
Emotional cravings are due to stress, anxiety, PTSD, associations, and so on. These can take years to overcome. Emotional eating was a problem before the pandemic, and now it’s worse.
But snacking-too-much isn’t always due to an emotional craving, sometimes it’s the biological result of blood sugars being out-of-whack, meals being skipped, dehydration, or other factors.
And so, while I definitely help clients improve their relationships with food over the long term, biological cravings can be reduced or eliminated in one day by simply adding protein to your snacks.
My online course on Snacks will teach you:
- What’s a perfect snack look like?
- What’s a “good” or “decent” snack?
- What are “emergency” snacks?
- What would a “treat” look like?
- When to have snacks
- And why
I employ videos, photos, diagrams, and text to reach various learning styles.
AND When you purchase the course, you can reach out to me if you have any questions or feedback.
ALSO you get access to my private Facebook group for serious eaters. Perfect for that social support to get us through times like these.
I’m offering a special rate right now, to help out everyone during these hard times: $10. For me to teach you this lesson in a session will cost you $50 to $100. And someday this course will cost $25 or more.
$10 to improve your snacking, reduce cravings, avoid the Quarantine 15!
Stay safe out there.