I become a raving loon from blood sugar crashes at 4:00 p.m. It goes beyond grumpiness into a full-out-inability-to-string-words-together-until-I-get-food-in-my-body.
Many people reach for coffee or the candy bowl at 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. (I’ve been there and done that!) but that doesn’t truly fix the problem. Thanks to The Blood Sugar Solution I’m learning strategies to prevent these meltdowns. And Baron likes me much better!
The key is to eat protein every 2 to 4 hours (before getting hungry) in order to maintain an even blood sugar level all day. Planning ahead is crucial.
Here are my favorite snacks for leveling out the blood sugar; they all contain protein, which is essential. And fiber helps me to feel full for longer.
1/4 cup of almonds (about 160 calories, 3 grams fiber, and 6 grams of protein).
This is my “go to” if I’m on the run and can’t prepare anything.
2 TBSPs of almond butter (about 80 calories, 1.5 grams fiber, and 3 grams of protein).
I grind my own in the food processor. It takes about 15 minutes and I add a little salt to taste. You can also buy it, just make sure it only has almonds and salt. On a car-ride to Ikea a few weeks ago I bought “no stir” almond butter and it had unhealthy palm oil and sweetener added. OOps! Not good. For a friday or saturday night treat, I’ll have it with
semi-sweet 70% dark chocolate chunks to make almond butter “cookie dough” .
1 cup of edamame, steamed, with coarse sea salt (about 180 calories, 17 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber).
I steam it in the microwave with a little bit of water, between 2 and 3 minutes.
A hard boiled egg and 2 and 1/2 cups of popcorn, spritzed with EVOO from my Misto, and with nutritional yeast, garlic salt, and dill (popcorn: 75 calories,2.5 grams fiber, 2.5 grams protein; 1 tsp EVOO adds 40 calories; 2 heaping TBSPs of nutritional yeast adds 60 calories, 4 grams fiber, 9 grams protein). I have to combine this with a hard-boiled egg for a full-stabilizing effect.
I pop about 1/2 a cup in the microwave in a brown paper lunch bag. No oil, no butter needed. I just fold the top of the bag a few times and lay it in the microwave. It takes between 3 and 4 minutes to pop. Don’t put too many popcorn kernels in the bag or you’ll have a blow-out.
I started popping in lunch bags after hearing about a cancer link with store-bought microwave popcorn. It’s a little controversial, but I like to make sure I’m getting healthy fat on my popcorn anyway so it works for me to bag it myself.
I have a popcorn Tupperware that I keep filled so I can take it on the road if I need a quick and easy snack. I also keep it around in situations where I know Baron may tempt me by eating potato chips or processed snacks, like the movies, or car rides, or the beach.
1 hard-boiled egg with Dijon mustard (77 calories, 6 grams of protein)
I make a few hard-boiled eggs at a time and keep them in the fridge. I boil them for 9 minutes so the eggs aren’t dry and there’s still some dark yellow left in the yolk. The Dijon mustard makes me feel like I’m eating a creamy deviled egg. Sometimes I’ll have a little popcorn with my egg.
Not all eggs are created equal. I try to get free-range eggs from the local farmer’s market to ensure the hens had significant outdoor time, which impacts the Omega 3 content.
1 TBSP of peanut butter and dark chocolate (peanut butter: 100 calories, 4 grams protein, 1 grams fiber; 2 squares of Lake Champlain 70% Sao Thome Dark Chocolate 120 cals, 2 grams of fiber, and 4.5 grams of protein). Who can resist chocolate and peanut butter?
Hard boiled egg or nuts with Kale chips with sesame oil, wheat-free tamari, and nutritional yeast (Kale: 1 cup: 33 calories, 2 grams protein, 1 gram fiber. 1 tsp sesame oil adds 40 calories). Definitely combine with a hard-boiled egg or nuts to add more protein.
They’re crunchy and make me feel like I’m eating a processed chip but without any of the saturated fats. It’s another good snack to eat if Baron is eating chips and I may get tempted.
Eat a few olives (4 calories per olive, no protein or fiber). If I’m feeling hungry and need just a little something while I’m prepping my meal, a few olives are really filling and are full of healthy fats.
Green Tea. If I feel like I need something to finish off a meal, I’ll have a cup of decaf green tea. It’s a nice substitution for the “dessert” ritual and it aids in detoxing the body.
I always eat before going into a grocery store. I have random cravings and buy junk food if my blood sugar is dropping.
Yesterday, after spending 3 hours in the Best Buy getting new phones, I realized I need to always pack two snacks when going out, in order to be prepared for unexpected delays.
What’s your favorite snack for keeping blood sugar stable? Leave a comment below to share your snacking secrets.