In my late teens and early twenties, I thought a treat consisted of watching Dirty Dancing with friends while eating a Dominoes pizza followed by an entire tub of Haagen Dazs. Seriously. How things have changed: the last time I tried a Dominoes I was genuinely revolted – it tasted unpleasantly stodgy and flavourless. I was delighted to feel this way; it suggested that rather than ‘deny’ myself the foods I formerly considered to be delicious, my food preferences had matured. I am now far more likely to want a salad with seeds than a greasy takeaway.
That said, I’ve decided to ramp things up a notch. My birthday is looming and I’d like to sail into my 30s a little healthier and fitter. I am also well aware that this is also the worst time of year for health – when journeying into dark, cold nights I just want to snuggle up and eat shedloads. This year I’d very much like to avoid having to embark on a health overhaul after Christmas.
Rather than jump on the faddish sugar-denouncing bandwagon, I’ve instead focussed on nutritious-rich meals and gone for the odd jog (in new kit – I sense a post on this will follow). I have also done some serious health food shopping so that when I’m peckish around 4pm I’ve got something healthy to eat. Here are the things I’ve been stockpiling for snack time:
GOMACRO MACROBAR £42.61 for 15 here //
The sesame butter and date bar variety I’m partial to is fairly sweet and filling so is the perfect pick-me-up when starting to struggle during the afternoon. I also eat this in the morning if I’m exceedingly tired and need a kick up the backside to get going.
IQ SUPERFOOD CHOCOLATE £2.49 here //
These teeny tiny chocolate bars don’t taste like Dairy Milk chocolate in the slightest. Stick with them – I’m now used to chocolate tasting a little tart and find that far preferential. Also, these are just the right size to satisfy a chocolate craving yet not feel too naughty.
CHI CHOCOLATE COCONUT MILK £16.95 for 12 here //
Unfortunately I need to lay off dairy – any more than a small amount in cooking doesn’t really agree with my system. I have an unswerving love for chocolate milk so now just drink this one instead. It’s no great loss; it seems to taste better than the dairy variety and is exceedingly hydrating.
SAN AMVROSIA HEALTH FOODS AVOCADO HUMOUS £2.49 here //
An oddball, this one is. Usually I feel avocados are best reserved for guacamole but this dip just seems to be spot on. I put it on oat cakes during the afternoon or when a measly supper has left me wanting more.
MUNCHY SEEDS OMEGA SPRINKLES £17.99 for 3 here //
So enthusiastic am I about this pot of linseed, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds that my family will all receive a tub in their Christmas packages. They beef up a salad, an omelette and just about anything else requiring a little crunch and bulk. I’m not in the slightest bit embarrassed to admit that I packed these on a recent trip to Greece to make sure I wasn’t missing out on my all-important daily omegas.
BIOFAIR DARK CHOCOLATE RICE CAKES, £8.40 for 6 here //
So yummy and so perfect for a snack when you need a little something sweet but also want to sate hunger, I keep a pack of these in my handbag in case I get hungry on the go.
SOJADE YOGHURTS, from £1.25 here //
Thanks to above dislike of dairy, eating yoghurts is all but off the menu. These soya alternatives are pretty darn good – they don’t taste overly sugary and yet don’t have that trademark soya blandness.