I know I’m not the only one who finds that, come around 3 o’clock in the afternoon your eyes start going a little buggy, you begin to yawn more often and notice that you’ve just spent the last half hour crafting the perfect Facebook status update. In short, you’ve hit the “3 o’clock slump”.
This usually happens because you’re smack dab between lunch and dinner and your energy levels are starting to fade. Your body’s trying to tell you that it needs sustenance and it needs it NOW, dammit! This is where snacks come in but most people aren’t snacking on the right foods to see their body’s through until dinner. The cookies in the break room are only going to provide you with about 10 – 20 minutes of energy and then not only will you crash again but this time you’ll crash even harder and end up stuffing your face at dinner to make up for it!
To make sure that you’re snacking smartly (yet still deliciously), you want to make sure you choose snacks that are high in fibre and protein. These will fill up your tummy (fibre expands in your stomach when you eat it) and provide you with the energy you need to see you through until dinner.
So say “bye-bye!” to the 3 o’clock slump with these snacks I use regularly that keep me rockin’ it between meals:
Raw, unsalted almonds
These are, hands down, my favourite go-to snack. In fact, I love them so much I have them practically every day! They’re loaded with good-for-you monounsaturated fats and protein so they fill you up and check out this mega list of health benefits: regulates your cholesterol, good for your heart, good for your brain, improves complexion and creates shiny hair, regulates your blood pressure, may help to prevent some cancers, protects against diabetes, prevents constipation, helps to get your weight down and boosts your energy among other things! With that impressive resume, why wouldn’t you want to eat them?! Just make sure you exercise portion control on these suckers (I tend to snack on about 1/3 of a cup or less) as they do contain a lot of calories!
Plain greek yogurt with berries
I love greek yogurt! Due to its straining process, greek yogurt can contain up to twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt so you won’t feel like you need to eat a lot which will help to bring your portion sizes down. It also contains less carbs than regular yogurt so it’s easier to digest plus it has a wonderfully rich and creamy texture that’s missing from all of those other low-fat, soupy yogurts. Steer clear of the flavoured yogurts if you can though, they still contain a lot of unnecessary sugar! If you find the taste too tart, mix in some berries and voila! Added antioxidants and a hint of sweetness!
Apple slices with p.b.
Is there anything peanut butter can’t do? *sigh* Combine the fibre from an apple with the healthy fats and protein in peanut butter and you get a near perfect snack! Try to get all natural peanut butter (or almond butter if you prefer) so you don’t get any added sugar (there’s plenty of sugar in the apple so let’s not up the ante with sugary p.b.) and eat them during the 3 o’clock slump for an instant energy boost!
Cheap and oh-so-easy to make, boiled eggs are just plain awesome! Filled with protein (6 grams in one egg alone), heart healthy fats and almost all of the same benefits as almonds, these little suckers are also really convenient! Just boil up a carton at the beginning of the week and you have an instant, filling snack all week long!
I love Larabars because they’re one of the only natural energy bars out there that is gluten free, soy free AND dairy free. The base of a Larabar is the mighty date which is absolutely packed with fibre and has a sweetness that can rival your favourite fruit! Depending on the flavour of Larabar you choose, you can rest assured the the ingredients only contain one or two more completely natural ingredients. Larabars are extremely dense (with about 220 calories per bar so they’re a small meal unto themselves) but the energy from the dates will keep you going until your next meal! Stock up when they’re on sale and keep them in the glove compartment of your car, your desk at work and even in your purse!
Finally, don’t forget that along with these nutritious and filling snacks, make sure you get up out of your chair, stretch a bit and drink some water. This mid-afternoon slump is also caused just by remaining inactive for long periods of time. The water is going to help keep you hydrated and energized so make sure you walk to the water cooler once an hour (set an alarm on your computer to remind you)!
Photo Credit: Shelf Awareness