Smart Snacking at Work
Most of us know that having a snack that you look forward to eating at work can greatly improve your attitude towards your workday — but snacks can also be the secret ingredient to improving your productivity.
A lot of us are guilty of having a sweet tooth, but we probably don’t realize how much glucose our brains consume throughout the day. This glucose is required to create the energy necessary to fire neurons, which is why low glucose levels can lead to a lack of concentration and low energy.
The food we eat operates directly as fuel for the brain, and not all fuel is created equal! The trick is to snack on food that can keep our glucose levels stable, without resorting to junk food that will inevitably sap our energy.
For those of you who are on-the-go, there are great selections of pre-made trail mix at your local grocery store. However, most snacks are better when they are personalized. Choosing your own ingredients to make a DIY trail mix is not only a great way to make the perfect snack, it also can be a fun activity. Having a slightly different trail mix each day can add more nutrients to your diet and ensure that you won’t get bored of the same old mix.
When you have a variety of dried fruits, seeds, and nuts available, you can create a variety of recipes to mix it up for the entire work week!
Here’s a list of ingredients you could use for your trail mix
Seeds provide a lot of the same nutritional benefits as nuts without being as rich and heavy. Be sure to add in a handful of sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, flax, or hemp seeds for extra variety and nutrients.
Nuts are loaded with healthy, unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. You’ll do best to choose unsalted, unsweetened nuts to maximize the health benefits. Our healthy favourites are almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, walnuts.
Dried fruit are best included in moderation, since they can very easily spike your glucose levels if consumed in excess, but they are a great source of antioxidants, calcium, fibre, and vitamins. Our healthy favourites are cranberries, goji berries, apricots, raisins, pineapple, mango, and dates.
Grains can add some complex carbohydrates to your snack, but some highly processed cereal contains unnecessary sugar and salt. Stick with whole grains whenever possible, found in Cheerios, bran flakes, puffed rice, and granola.
If you have a sweet-tooth, adding dark chocolate to your trail mix is a great way to add flavour while keeping the mix healthy. Dark chocolate is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet, and studies show that it can improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, and lower the risk of heart disease. Like other sweets, make sure to use sparingly.
Spices are a great way to experiment with different flavours. Seasoning your mix sparingly with sea salt, ginger, cinnamon, or nutmeg can help to create a unique flavour that will keep your tastebuds excited.
Portions are key to a healthy work snack, especially when it comes to trail mixes, because most nuts contain a high percentage of fat. Once you’ve chosen your mix, toss your chosen ingredients a DIY trail mix and portion it out in quarter-cup servings, in order to keep you from mindlessly eating more than you need.
We hope this has given you some inspiration to create your own healthy snack mix! Once you’ve found something that works for you, why not share your recipe on social media to help others keep their focus up through the day without sacrificing health.