Snacking can be the bain of many of our lives. We want to be slim and healthy, but resisting sweets, biscuits, crisps and other unhealthy snacks can be a daily challenge. We treat ourselves to ‘naughty’ snacks and cakes, and then feel bad about eating them afterwards. There seems no way to win The Battle of the Snack Attack!
A Guilty Little Secret
I am a big snacker and I love all things snacky. Before I got into raw food, and even for quite a while after, it was something that I really struggled with. My guilty little secrets were snickers bars, crisps, donuts and flapjacks, whilst eating mostly raw food during the rest of the day.
After a while of eating high raw I discovered the joys of raw sweet treats. I was thrilled to realise that, although crisps were harder for me to kick, my sweet tooth was equally as (if not more) satisfied with raw treats and snacks as it was with processed rubbish. I got into preparing a stack of raw energy balls and bars at the weekend, ready for my busy week, and I made sure that I always carried a tupperware of dried fruit, nuts and seeds with me.
Although I didn’t always manage to resist the urge for unhealthy snacks I did manage to dramatically reduce my intake of them. And I was rewarded! My energy levels really improved without all those refined sugar, milk and gluten ingredients.
The Snack Patterns
Weening yourself off unhealthy snacks isn’t actually that hard, but it does take a bit of forethought and preparation. As I hear again and again from people on my raw programmes, successfully changing your habits comes down to being prepared. Being caught unprepared (as happens to all of us at times) is what leads to falling off the high-energy, healthy-eating path.
In order to stop unhealthy snacking (whether it’s sweets or just toooo many nuts), you need to be conscious of your snacking patterns. When does the urge come over you? Is it when you are tired? Or when you are bored? Stressed? Miserable? Mindlessly disconnected, on the computer or in front of the TV? Are you actually in need of a natural blood sugar boost, a hug or a friendly ear to hear your woes?
What’s the Alternative?
Once you begin to understand what triggers your snack-needs it’s time to find some healthy alternatives that you really love.
Although it’s easier and easier to buy ready-prepared raw snacks I personally think the best ones are always home-made, not to mention they are actually better for you because of their freshness. There are some totally scrumptious recipes here on the blog, including today’s recipe, plus you’ll find a whole chapter of raw sweet treats in my recipe book. And then there’s always a Google raw recipe search 🙂
Sometimes you’re just in too much of a hurry or don’t have the mental space or time to make your own raw sweet treats. No problem! It’s time for the super quick and easy snack solution: nuts, seeds and dried fruit.
For easiest digestion and maximum goodness, nuts and seeds should be soaked overnight and rinsed before eating, but the good old kind, straight out of a packet, were my staple quick snack for a good few years back in the early days and they worked well for me, as I’m sure they will for you.
The Snack Attack Action Plan
If you want more energy and to feel great about yourself then it’s time to take your bad snack habits in hand! Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be a whole lot closer to a healthier, happier, cleaner you.
- Stop buying biscuits, crisps, muffins , chocolate, sweets, pastries etc. as your daily snacks of choice. If you have any of these non-foods left over in your cupboards, chuck them in the bin now.
- Decide on what healthy snacks you want to eat instead.
- Put aside some time on the weekends to prepare raw sweet or savoury snacks to eat throughout the week (most raw snacks will last in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer for a month so once you know you like a recipe make a big batch).
- Always carry a tupperware of dried fruit, nuts and seeds in case you get caught hungry or low on energy, so you have an alternative for when you’d normally reach for something unhealthy.
- Get out of the habit of thinking you need to have biscuits/crisps/cake in the house to offer friends when they come over for tea, or to give to the kids after school. Try offering yummy raw options instead.
This Week’s Detox Recipe: Coconut Ginger Bliss Balls
Raw energy balls like these lovely little Coconut Ginger Bliss Balls are easy to make, they last ages in the fridge (if you don’t eat them all first!) and really hit the sweet spot when it comes to replacing junk snacks with something healthy.
Get the ingredients and make them this weekend 🙂
Makes approximately 12 energy balls
¼ cup extra-virgin coconut oil, melted
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
¼ cup desiccated coconut
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
1 pinch mineral salt (e.g. pink Himalayan or unrefined sea salt)
extra desiccated coconut for rolling your finished balls in
If you have a food processor, put all the ingredients in the processor bowl, accept the extra coconut for rolling. Turn on your machine and process the mixture until it is well chopped and mixed.
If you don’t have a food processor, simply chop up your pitted dates as finely as you can. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients, accept the extra coconut for rolling.
Once your mixture is well combined, wash your hands. With damp hands, take approximately 1 tablespoon of mixture and roll it between the palms of your hands, into a ball. Repeat this step until all your mixture is made into balls.
Sprinkle a generous layer of desiccated coconut onto a side plate. Now roll each of your balls in the coconut, pressing down lightly with your hand so that the coconut sticks and covers each ball evenly.
Place the balls on a plate and put them in the fridge to set, for approximately 30 – 60 minutes.
Et voila! Your beautiful raw energy balls are ready to eat or to store in the fridge in a sealed container, ready for when the urge for a sweet snack attack happens 🙂