Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What to do if you get hANGRY

I stopped in to see my thoracic surgeon yesterday morning, as a follow up from when he removed my chest tube last week. Good news- everything is healing just as it should. My heart rate and blood pressure are all back to normal after being high throughout the whole ordeal- I think my body was just super stressed out. My oxygen level is a perfect 100. Excellent.

Bad news- I can't work out for another two weeks. And that doesn't just include running, it really includes everything- crunches, yoga… basically anything that would cause my muscles to strain or my lungs to work hard. As bummed as I am, I'm still very committed to this recovery and I don't plan to push the limits. I am focusing on food for health and packed up tons of healthy snacks for today.

When I first cut out processed foods, like Special K bars, crackers and Yoplait, I noticed a huge difference in how much better I felt. Its so sad that snack foods tend to be super processed, because they crowd out healthy, whole foods that fit the bill.

I pretty much always have some type of portable food in my purse because I am the type of person to get really hANGRY when I go without food. Some of my favorite options for snacks include:

Fruit Salad: Consisting of whatever fresh fruits I happen to have- strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, kiwi, pineapple, grapefruit, grapes and watermelon are my top choices.

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Veggies Dipped in Hummus: Carrots, celery, endive and sliced bell peppers (this is a new one for me) all taste delicious when dipped in hummus. 

Homemade Trail Mix: I use unsalted peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and raisins. It sounds boring, but your taste buds adjust. You could also use half salted peanuts, half unsalted.

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Frozen Mango & Yogurt: Trader Joe's frozen mangoes are frozen when they are perfectly ripe- seriously avoid Whole Foods brand- and I toss some in a container with some plain yogurt for an afternoon snack. By afternoon, the mangoes have defrosted and some of the juice has flavored the yogurt. 

Edamame: I'll throw a handful of frozen edamame (in shells) into a baggie and bring it to work. Then just microwave for a bit and you have an easily stackable veggie. 

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Ants on a Log: Maybe I'm too old for this one, but I still like it. Celery filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins.

Rice Cakes with PB&J: I love brown rice cakes (ingredient list: brown rice and salt) and I love peanut butter, so you really can't go wrong.

Fruit and Cheese: Apples, grapes or pears and cheese. Basically I'm obsessed with pairing fruit and cheese. 

Bananas and Peanut Butter: Brian and I usually enjoy this one on weekends, we just slice up some bananas and throw a pile of peanut butter on a plate.

Popcorn: It's a whole grain! I won't touch the microwavable stuff, but buying popcorn in bulk is so cheap- you can put it in a brown paper bag and microwave it on your own, add a tiny bit of oil to a pan over the stove and pop the kernels in there with the lid on, or buy a fancier air popping tool. Add salt or parmesan. 

Larabars: It's no secret that these are my favorite back up. They're expensive, so I try to only use them when I'm really running out the door, but I do love them.

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I'm looking for more ideas of veggie snacks. Honestly, sometimes I'll just microwave some frozen broccoli or cauliflower and eat that if I don't have any other snacks around or I need a veggie. I don't really feel like I can recommend that option though because it sounds really weird. Any other veggie options out there?

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