Variety – as well as compromise – is the spice of life. So while we might not be able to resist EVERY single treat going – some small tweaks and occasional changes can make a big difference to how we look and feel.
That and reaching for a large glass of Pinot Grigio most nights of the week isn't always so appealing when you know you'll be up at the crack of dawn with loud and lively small ones.
With that in mind, we've compiled a list of five fabulously delicious snacks to tuck into when you feel a lift-me-up that doesn't involve a pounding headache or inhaling two packets of Hobnobs…
1) Dark chocolate and green tea
According to one US study
, dark chocolate and green tea is the ideal combo to tackle that mid-afternoon energy drop. If you snack on these, you should feel more alert and attentive thanks to the dark chocolate (minimum 60 percent cacao). Meanwhile your blood pressure should also instantly drop thanks to the amino acid L-theanine, which is a relaxant found in green tea.
2) Apple with peanut butter or banana and almond butter
Peanut, almond or cashew butters are great sources of healthy fats and protein, and fruits provide us with fibres, essential for our gut health and to regulate our appetite. Spread a thin layer of nut butter on your favourite fruit and you get a lovely sweet, filling and healthy snack. However, if you're keeping an eye on your calorie intake, don’t be too heavy-handed with the nut butter, as it’s very rich.
So much more than an elderly lady constipation treatment! To make them softer, soak your prunes in tea or water and stuff them with a lightly grilled almond. Prunes are a good source of potassium, iron, and of course fibres to help digestion and promote a healthy gut. To mix things up a little, swap almonds with walnuts and the prunes with dates.
4) Energy balls
Energy/protein balls were a BIG food trend in 2016, and for good reason. Making them yourself in bulk will make them much more affordable than when you buy them in the shop. Depending on what ingredients you use, they can be a great source of vitamins and minerals. Just Google “energy balls” and you will find countless recipes. Try the likes of peanut butter, dates, oats and cacao power ball, or blend together dates, your favourite nuts, goji berries, coconut and cacao for example. Be careful, these treats are seriously addictive!
5) Greek yoghurt, blackberries and honey
A great source of protein, probiotics, potassium and calcium, Greek yoghurt is definitely your waistline friend. Top it with blackberries (full of vitamin C and antioxidants, and low in calories) and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, you will get a filling and delicious snack that your tummy will thank you for.