Sunday, September 7, 2014

What Can I Snack On? (WLC)

The Whole Life Challenge Website has food lists for each of three levels of play. I play at the middle level, which is challenging enough for me. At my level, I can have yogurt and oatmeal, two of my go-to snacks. (Real oatmeal, not the packets.) I think every other snack I list is compliant at all levels of play.

I’m a very picky eater, so I’m sure there are dozens of other yummy things to eat that I just won’t eat. That said, here's what I snack on:

    •    Plain Yogurt – full fat Fage is my favorite. I put banana and walnuts in it and sometimes a touch of vanilla. I would urge you to stay away from non-fat yogurt. You will be hungry again in 15 minutes.
    •    Avacado and Tomato (This is the perfect time of year for this, add salt and maybe a little balsamic.)
    •    Almonds/Sunflower Seeds with or without Raisins
    •    Roasted Sweet Potato “Fries” (OMG!!) (Cubed, coated lightly with olive oil and salt)
    •    Smoothies (I add stevia if I need something really sweet, but mostly just fruit, almond milk, a dollop of yogurt, a touch of vanilla.)
    •    Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts (Roast ‘til caramelized and crispy. Better than chips. Seriously.)
    •    All Fruit
    •    Raw Veggies with or without Hummus to dip in
    •    Apples or Bananas with (healthy, no-sugar-added) Peanut or Almond Butter
    •    Chai Tea with Almond Milk and Stevia*
    •    Bullet Proof Coffee (This is coffee blended – in a blender – with organic, grass-fed, unsalted butter and a little coconut oil. It fills you and is delish.)
    •    Soup or Leftovers (I sometimes have little meals if I need a snack. Yesterday I was starving at 4pm and heated up a tiny piece of leftover salmon onto which I piled cut up mango and salsa and capers because that’s all we had around. It was scrumptious.)

I don’t eat much from a package anymore, but technically these are compliant (I'm sure there's other packaged stuff...you'll have to do some investigating):

    •    Sweet Potato and Carrot Terra Chips
    •    Brown Rice Cakes  (check ingredients)

People ask me how much of any of this stuff I eat. I eat until I feel satisfied. I have tried really hard in this challenge to parse out what’s Hunger, what’s Boredom, what’s Procrastination, and what’s Habit when it comes to snacking. If I’m actually hungry, I eat until I’m not hungry anymore. And the thing that satisfies me most (even when I want chocolate) (especially when I want chocolate), is roasted, salted nuts. I might eat two big handfuls of almonds and sunflower seeds. At first I freaked out about eating so much “fat.” I now don’t give it a second thought.

I’m home a lot, which makes things both easier and harder. I can easily make myself something to eat, but I also have a kitchen 25 feet from my workspace that beckons to me every time I can’t think of the next sentence to write. All I can say is this: if you’re out in the world and you want a snack, go somewhere and eat Real Food. Get a salad. Get a cup of soup. Go to a juice bar. Go get some bananas and nuts. Keep a bag of almonds in your car. Once you get in the habit of doing this, you will not believe how difficult you once thought it would be.

Once the challenge starts, you have access to the Forum, where people ask questions like, “What can I have for a snack?” and lots of people answer them, with ideas, recipes and encouragement.

Yes, you will miss cheese. But you’ll get over it.

*Stevia is a natural, plant-based sweetener. I think it's compliant at all levels. I get it in little packets at the supermarket and carry them with me, like my grandmother used to do when she stole all the Sweet n Lows from the sugar bowls at restaurants.

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