I really like the way of eating that Tim Ferriss wrote about in his book, The 4 Hour Body. He calls it the ‘slow carb’ diet, because it is basically a version of a low carb diet but with the addition of legumes, which are a low GI (slow burning) carb. I find this way of eating quite easy to stick to, and you are encouraged to go nuts once a week with a cheat day, which believe me, I take full advantage of.
One area where I feel this diet is a bit challenging is snacks. In the book, Tim says that if you need to snack you’re not eating enough at meal times. Okay, but for me, snacking isn’t purely about being hungry. There’s a psychological aspect as well. I would rather eat less at mealtimes and be able to have a little snack here and there throughout the day. So obviously, the best thing to do is to choose snacks that are compliant (or as close to compliant as possible) and also satisfying. That said, here are some of my favourites
- Edamame – these are great as a snack, and you can change the seasoning on them to prevent boredom. You can buy these from Asian grocery stores in the frozen foods section. All you need to do is add them to a pot of boiling water for a few minutes, then drain and season. I like them with sea salt, or with sesame oil and chilli flakes. Definitely guilt free, too!
- Nuts – I know, nothing groundbreaking here, but nuts really are a great snack, especially if you are on the go. I have been loving Lucky brand cashews & coconut – I know coconut is not strictly slow carb but I allow it in my diet. They come in 30g boxes (1oz) and I think this is crucial to snacking on nuts! If you don’t have a pre packaged sensible portion, it is very easy to go overboard with them without noticing.
- Ham, pickles and mustard – Yum! Just get some good quality leg ham, whatever mustard you prefer and some pickles (check the label and try to get ones that are low in sugar – I like Polish polskie ogorki ones). Spread the mustard on the ham, cut the pickles into spears long ways, and wrap them with the ham. Low carb, slow carb, protein filled and just generally a yummy, satisfying snack!
- Olives – again, yum! Olives make a great snack and travel well too. Again, I would advise have a small portion ready to go – they are so easy to gorge on! Get fresh ones too, from the deli, not jarred olives. Good choices are green Sicilian olives or lemony herb-y varieties.
- Eggs – even though eggs aren’t particularly exciting, you can make them a bit more appealing. I generally like hard boiled eggs, and they are undoubtedly a great snack to have around, especially as you can make them ahead of time and have them ready to go in the fridge. If you get bored with plain eggs, you can mash them up up and add some mayo and mustard and have an egg salad.
- Avocado – my favourite snack, and possibly my favourite food. I just can’t get enough avocados! I like to eat half an avo as a snack with olive oil and balsamic vinegar in the hole made by the seed. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and enjoy!
- Freezer fudge – sometimes, you just need something a little sweet to satisfy those cravings. In those instances, this is one of my go to snacks/ treats. It is basically nut butter with coconut oil, a little honey (I know, strict slow carbers may not like this!) and a touch of salt. You mix it all up and put it in the freezer to set. It’s so so good. I use this recipe, from the Detoxinista.
- Coconut oil ‘chocolate’ – this is another one for those moments you need to have something a little sweet. I actually enjoy this more than regular chocolate now. It is just coconut oil, organic cocoa, honey or maple syrup, vanilla and a sprinkling of good quality sea salt. I like this recipe, from butterbeliever.com.
I know snacking is considered a ‘bad’ habit, but I think if you choose the right kind of snack, it can be part of a healthy lifestyle, and not interfere with weight loss goals. I mean, a girl’s gotta snack, right?!
I hope you try some of these out! If you have any others to add, please tell me about them in the comments.
Oh yeah, and if you’re interested in finding out more about the 4 Hour Body, you can get the book here.
Happy (healthy) snacking! Nicole