If you’re going to graze, do it responsibly!

a healthy apple for a snack

Apparently we’re a nation of grazers, going through the day snacking, often in place of the “required” three square meals a day. The idea of three meals appears to have its origins in ancient Greece – although no one seems to be sure how that number got settled on.

Why not two, or maybe six meals a day?

Whatever the origins of the magic number three may be, the fact is that we’re rebelling. But if you find yourself eating frequently throughout the day in place of one or more of those meals (a habit that’s been dubbed grazing), make sure you’re grazing responsibly!

Personally, I’m really into this grazing idea, and have been for some time. And there’s no end to the great, and healthy snacks, you can graze through the day on.

Here are some ideas:

Veggies– the real deal: Don’t be fooled by pictures of vegetables on chips or “sticks” that don’t contain any. If it’s vegetables you want to snack on, then make it vegetables, not something called a veggie chip that’s really made from potato flour! Carrots, peppers, celery – all these veggies travel quite well and can be easily prepped at home for any snack bag.

Organic corn chips:  At those times when only a chip will do, don’t fall for oddly colored ones with MSG and artificial flavors and colors. What you want are some good, crispy, organic corn chips.

Nuts: Cashews, pistachios and almonds are now widely regarded as “health foods.” Watch out, however, for ones with flavor-enhancing additives. (Actually, nuts taste great with nothing added other than, perhaps, a bit of sea salt).

Fruits: Apples, bananas and oranges look to me as if nature designed them just for grazing.

Popcorn: It’s easy to go wrong where popcorn is concerned. Watch out for ones with MSG, fake colors and flavors and go for a nice bag of organic popcorn, or make your own! Here’s an interesting tidbit about popcorn. A study done two years ago found it to be high in antioxidants, and something the researchers called “a perfect snack.” To add to popcorn’s appeal, it’s also high in fiber and low in calories.

Homemade goodies: Do you make your own cookies, bars or fruit mixes from healthy or organic ingredients? Then make an extra batch to graze on or take along when you leave the house, and you’ll avoid becoming a hungry ‘hostage of the highway’, buying funny colored chips, synthetic cupcakes and fake veggie products from convenience stores and vending machines.

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