By: Megan Arszman
Think snacking is taboo for healthy living? Not if you do it right.
“Snacks can absolutely be a healthy part of a balanced diet,” says Lindsay Livingston, a Registered Dietitian from Columbus, Ohio and blogger at The Lean Green Bean. “It’s important to build snack times into your daily schedule, just like meals, and not let yourself graze all day long. Choosing healthy snacks that contain lean protein can keep you from getting overly hungry between meals and give you the energy boost you need to make it through a long morning or afternoon.”
Understandably, you might not want to eat anything big or heavy before a long hunter under saddle class, but you do need something in your stomach to combat any weakness you might encounter from hunger. If you plan your meals responsibly, you don’t have to feel guilty about eating “mini meals” between your larger meals.
Some snack ideas from Livingston include items that you could buy at the store, but it’s always best to make your own. This way you know exactly what’s in them, and you can customize the recipe to suit your tastes and needs.
“Always look for a snack with protein, not just carbs. No more eating just an apple and calling it a day,” she explains. “Pair that apple with some peanut butter or a string cheese or a hardboiled egg to give it some staying power!”
• Raw veggies with hummus- buy some or make your own (http://www.theleangreenbean.com/how-to-make-your-own-hummus/)
• Cheese and crackers
• Homemade trail mix- almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, dried fruit (not too much, as they’re packed with sugar), and a few chocolate chips
• Perfectly roasted chickpeas (http://www.theleangreenbean.com/perfectly-roasted-chickpeas/) (You can also try sweet roasted chickpeas with cinnamon)
• Hard boiled eggs with healthy microwave popcorn (yummy popcorn without the added fat!) (http://www.theleangreenbean.com/healthy-microwave-popcorn/)
• Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
• Smoothies- throw in some spinach or kale, a protein source like Greek yogurt, and your favorite frozen fruit
• Peanut butter on 100% whole wheat toast
• Sweet potato bites (also good for a quick breakfast) (http://www.theleangreenbean.com/sweet-potato-banana-bites/)
• Frozen yogurt trail mix bites (Great for those hot days when you want something refreshing!) (http://www.theleangreenbean.com/frozen-yogurt-trail-mix-bars/)
• Apples with peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter)
• Cheese stick and fruit
• Water- (yes, sometimes if you think you’re hungry, you may just be thirsty!) Try adding cucumbers or fruit if you don’t like plain water.
• Energy balls- mix nuts, nut butter, dates and seeds in a food processor and form into balls
• Homemade protein bars are another option (http://www.theleangreenbean.com/no-bake-protein-bars)
Remembering to keep the appropriate balance of carbs, protein, and healthy fats is the best way to give your body the fuel it needs to sustain energy throughout the long horse show day.
If you have any questions for our Registered Dietician, be sure to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next up: Easy dinners to wrap-up the show day and workouts to keep you strong in the saddle.