When you are following a healthy diet, it can be difficult to maintain, especially if you are someone that has a bit of a sweet tooth. Having a sweet tooth or not enough protein in your diet can lead to hitting what is called the afternoon slump where you hit a wall and feel tired and sluggish. For beating that afternoon slump, go for healthy foods enriched with proteins. They work better rather than the sugar filled treats that are so readily available. After having lots of carbs for lunch, a protein-rich afternoon snack will help you feel full longer and keep you from dozing off at your desk.
Below is a list of healthy snacks perfect for those afternoons when you need a bit of energy to keep you motivated to stay at work!
- Protein Smoothie: A protein filled drink can be made from a banana, half a cup of silken tofu, half a cup of soymilk or lactose free milk, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder and a tablespoon of honey. This is sure to keep you full and awake.Prepare the smoothie by slicing the banana and freezing it overnight. Blend the cocoa, milk, honey and tofu until smooth and gradually add the banana slices. Continue to puree until smooth. Drink ice cold!
- Sunflower Seeds: Keep a small container full of sunflower seeds on your work desk. It can be a mid-afternoon snack and you can also have a nibble whenever you feel like it. They are full of protein and a handful should be enough to keep you going for the afternoon.
- Yoghurt and Granola: Mix a tablespoon of granola with a small container of yoghurt and have it for a textured afternoon snack. The nuts, seeds and dried fruits will increase vitamin levels and the oats are a great source of fibre. Greek yoghurts contain more protein content than regular ones, so aim for these or a probiotic version.
- Eggs stuffed with Guacamole: Hard boil the eggs. Run some water on top until the eggs are completely cooled. Cut the eggs in half. Fill each half with some guacamole after throwing out the yolks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Alternatively, keep the yolks and add them to your dinner time salad. Aim for no more than 3 eggs.
- Feta & Herb Shake: Blend yoghurt, lemon juice, goats feta, beans, pepper and garlic salt until smooth. Then, add your choice of herbs, basil or mint works well in this mix; puree until it is combined well. Chill and have for a fulfilling herbal shake. Not for the faint hearted this one. It’s best to try a few different herb combinations to get the one that suits your taste buds!
- Popcorn: Choose light microwave or air-popped popcorn that is low in saturated fats. Intake of popcorn increases fibre in the body while sprinkling some grated Parmesan will do good for your calcium levels.
- Turkey Rollups: This snack can be prepared by spreading each slice of the turkey breast with 1 teaspoon mustard and seasoning with pepper. You can also use mango chutney instead of mustard. Then, wrap the turkey slice around a sesame breadstick for satisfying your crunchy and savoury cravings in one go. Simple and tasty. Don’t overdo it on the breadsticks though, no more than 4!
- Banana & Peanut Butter: Mix together for a filling snack. The combination is delicious and has high protein content. Opt for one tablespoon of peanut butter to half a good sized banana.
- Nonfat Latte: Sip on a regular or decaf to power through the afternoon.
- Peanut Butter Sticks: Prepare these at home. Start by cutting celery sticks in half. Then, add peanut butter with some raisins or seeds. The peanut butter has enough fiber to keep glucose levels steady during the afternoon.
Try not to gorge on these snacks and have just enough to increase and maintain the body’s energy levels. Go for a walk outside or engage in light exercises if you want to remain active during the afternoons.