Part of the challenge here, I think, is that we have a culturally-constructed notion of what a “snack” is, or what a snack should be. Recently, I had an extensive discussion with a friend from college, who has been placed on a strict diet by her doctor to assess her food sensitivities and allergies. She’s prohibited from eating things like sugar, eggs, dairy, and wheat. She called me up because she knew that I ate “that strange no-grain diet,” and she was looking for ideas about what she could eat for breakfast.
“How can I eat breakfast when I can’t eat oatmeal? Bagels?” she wondered.
Initially, I was a at a loss, too. She was not allowed to eat eggs, which for me are a breakfast staple, now. I pondered her question, and gave her what I could. Acorn squash and sausage, mashed into a lovely breakfast meal? Bacon, mushrooms, and onions, sans-egg omelet style?
And then when I couldn’t really come up with anything else, I told her: just eat dinner for breakfast. Bacon and Brussels sprouts. Leftover grilled chicken and zucchini in the pan with some oil and seasoned salt. Who cares what breakfast is really supposed to look like? Just eat something in the morning when you get up.
The same goes for snacks, you guys. I spent the weekend at various and sundry hockey rinks, shivering and cheering for small and large hockey players. I spent the weekend explaining to other hockey parents that the funny-looking “snack” I scooped from my Tupperware was cold grilled chicken, or cold sweet potato. It was a snack. It may not have been salty or crispy or fished from the bottom of a machine and packaged in cellophane, but it was a snack.
Re-think your snack. Try raw vegetables, ones you wouldn’t maybe eat uncooked normally: zucchini, yellow squash, snap peas. Try cold cooked meat: leftover chicken, steak. Try sliced deli meat (Boar’s Head has a selection of no-sugar cold-cuts, including their roast beef). Try a hard-boiled egg plain, or a hard-boiled egg sliced with half an avocado and some chopped green olives. Moosh it a little if you want to live on the edge.
And if you need a sweet-ish snack, my old standby has been this: one small apple and one stalk of celery, chopped into chunks and topped with a small dollop of almond butter. Add some sunflower seeds and/or a few raisins if you needs some texture.
Make sure to log your food! Let us know what your go-to snacks are, and I’ll post them for here everyone.