Super Snacks

By Linda Knittel

When you are feeling a little sluggish during the day, chances are a cookie, bagel, or soda might sound like just the thing to give you that burst of energy you need. 

In reality, however, such simple carbohydrates will ultimately drag you down. First, they make your blood sugar shoot way up, giving you that quick jolt, but soon your body releases a hefty dose of insulin into the blood, sweeping all that sugar into cells and storage, leaving you once again lagging and in need of fuel. 

The solution? Always eat some protein with complex carbs
to delay the absorption of sugar into the blood—meaning a steady flow of energy for you. 


The Power of Protein

Even if you only have a few minutes, you can still fuel up on smart snacks that will keep your energy even. Here are a few suggestions that combine lean protein and complex carbohydrates:

• Edamame

• Half a turkey sandwich on whole wheat 

• Handful of raw almonds or cashews

• Hard-boiled egg

• Hummus and veggie sticks

• Small cup of yogurt with slivered almonds

• Smoked salmon on rice crackers. 


A nutritional anthropologist by training, Linda Knittel works as a nutritional counselor and health writer. Her work has appeared in such publications as Essence, Fitness, Glamour, Gourmet, Natural Health, and Yoga Journal. She is also the author of the User’s Guide to Natural Remedies for Depression (Basic Health Publications, 2003).


Organic on a Budget

If you can’t afford to buy all the items on your grocery list in the organic aisle, recommends that at least you try and do so for the “dirty dozen,” the foods that retain the most pesticides: apples, blueberries, celery, grapes (and raisins), kale, lettuce, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, and sweet bell peppers.