Conquer That 3:00 PM Feeling

 

Who is with me here?  It’s 3:00pm and you ate lunch 3 hours ago, yet you still have another 2 hours before the work day is over… you’re in a low-energy slump trying to get through the rest of the day?  (Are you raising your hand?)  What sounds like a solution- CHOCOLATE!  Ha…although that sounds the best, it also adds on an extra 30 minutes to your PM work out and definitely won’t help in getting ready for sundresses and swimsuits!

Afternoon snack attacks don’t have to taste like cardboard to get you through the remainder of the day!  It just takes proper planning and keeping your stash full and ready so that you’re not tempted to reach for the bowl of M&M’s and sugar rush to keep you going! 

When it comes to meal planning of any sorts, my household is GOLDEN!  We have our meals planned out for the week and I always try to mix up the snacks we have ready and on hand to keep things healthy, fresh and a variety so we don’t get bored.  Same thing goes for my “healthy junk drawer” that I keep at my office…it is stocked with my snack attacks so that I have something if I’m craving sweet or salty. 

So, what are my secrets to keeping healthy and easy snacks on hand?  Let’s take a peek at what I have stocked up for this next week:

  • Dessert Cravings: I have the world’s largest sweet tooth; however, I know that I can’t indulge at all the cravings I have.  So, what do I keep as a staple:  Greek Yogurt!   My fav, coconut flavored yogurt with a little crunch.  Sometimes this is adding in nuts or granola to my own yogurts, or like this week, it’s a store bought pre-portioned ‘kit’.  It literally tastes as good as a creamy dessert and completely takes care of the sweet fix I need!
  • Popcorn: Shout out to the girls in the office for reminding me how much I love popcorn.  A few weeks ago, Tori had some 100 Calorie packs of popcorn at the office and the smell was simply amazing!  I hadn’t bought popcorn in probably a YEAR and I had forgotten how much I like it for a salty snack.  And the 100 calorie, pre-portioned bags makes my 3pm snack not feel guilty at all!
  • Protein Bars: Back to my sweet tooth—my current fav are these Special K 12g Protein Meal Bars.  Mind you it does say a meal bar, but it’s only 170 calories (and I need more than 170 calories to count as a ‘meal’ in my books.)  But the 12g of protein really helps fill me up.  These ones (Chocolate Caramel) feel like you’re being naughty when you’re not.
  • Trail Mix or Almonds: This week it’s trail mix…I love this sweet and salty mix that I get at our local grocery store.  NOTE: be sure to portion out your trail mix as you can sit and suddenly eat a huge bag and it’s no longer even close to being healthy.  But almonds are also another snack staple I keep.  For me, I normally need some protein in my snacks to keep me feeling full.
  • Fruit: I’ve always grown up as a lover of fruit…from berries to bananas, apples to watermelon, I LOVE fruit.  At night, I’ll clean and cut up fruit to take to work.  Sometimes I’ll pack a small thing of peanut butter to go on my banana, or a few slices of cheese to eat with my apple.  But an afternoon fruit snack is a wonderful way to naturally get ‘good’ sugars in your system. 

There are 5 easy snacks that give you variety and keep things healthy this week when your 3pm snack attack comes on.  A little planning and prep keeps you on track and your afternoon energy high!  Share with me your favorite afternoon snacks…maybe they’ll make it into my “healthy junk drawer” of snacks!