By Justinne Lou Go, RND
SNACK is probably the make or break meal for someone who’s trying to eat healthy, the meal that can determine how disciplined you are with your food choices, especially if you’re a serial snacker. Arguably the meal where most people slack off or binge, “cheat meals” become a daily habit without one really being aware of it. This is why smart snacking is an essential skill when pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
I’ve already written about healthy snacking in a previous article here on Weekend, but since snacking seems to be among the most difficult areas in healthy eating, I think it deserves another feature on my column.
This time, sandwiches and wraps take center stage as bread is one of the most popular snack choices due to its convenience and “density.” But, because breads are “carb-heavy,” I’ll give you some tips on how to choose the right sandwich for you to still enjoy this substantial morsel. So, for those who prefer their snacks on the heavier side, here are some of my favorite economical choices when I’m out of the house:
Ultimate Sandwich Station
Locations: J Centre Mall and JY Square
Sandwiches get more exciting when you get to choose what goes inside it. With Ultimate Sandwich Station’s new Build Your Own Sandwich option, you can make sure that every part of your sandwich only has the good stuff — none of those mayonnaise spreads, more veggies, and white meat for your protein choices. I especially love that they don’t use your regular sandwich slice bread. Choose from baguettini, ciabatta, or focaccia.
My Greek Taverna
Locations: Ayala Center Cebu, SM City Cebu, Banilad Town Centre, J Centre Mall, E Mall
One of the first healthy options in the quick service category, My Greek Taverna easily became a favorite healthy grub go-to. Not to mention, I’ve been interested in Greek cuisine for some time now, since high school. I usually get their Chicken Doner Kebab either as a snack or a meal and request for more vegetables each time.
I also love that their hummus is very affordable and the taste makes you feel like you got more than what you paid for. For an even healthier combo, you can have their homemade yogurt drink with your snacks or meals from this outlet. They definitely make healthy food not only affordable, but most importantly, delectable!
New York Bagels by Kate’s
Locations: Ayala Center Cebu, Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Cybergate
Sandwiches come in many different shapes, sizes, and textures. Bagels make for an interesting variety, providing a texture that is uniquely its own — lightly crisp on the crust and dense and chewy in the middle. New York Bagels by Kate’s offers a wide array of bagels to choose from — both savory and sweet. The best kinds I can recommend are the whole grain variants and the ones with nuts and seeds. You can choose from their sandwich menu or feel free to stock up on these bagels and slather on some nut butter or fresh cheese like our own local carabao cheese (“kiseyo” or kesong puti).
Instagram and Facebook: @realmealsph
Who says you can’t have vegetables for snacks? Salad wraps are a great way to sneak in a serving or two of vegetables, making snack time a more guiltless habit, and it’s a handy meal you can keep or bring to the office with you. These wraps are made to order and delivered to your location of choice for extra convenience.
Basically, smart snacking involves keeping in mind that you must have at least two food groups — either a combination of carbs and protein or carbs and good fat — to achieve the right kind of satiety and nutritional quality that you need to keep your blood sugar in check.
Most people tend to have purely carbs for snacks without noticing it — bread and softdrinks, crackers and juice, fruits only — as what I observed from my own clients’ food journals as well.
The point is, no matter how heavy your snack may feel, it won’t keep you long enough until your next meal because carbs alone do not provide the satiety that proteins and good fat do. To correct this, try to be mindful of the food group combo principle by keeping a list (whether mentally or virtually on your phone) of protein choices to refer to every time you snack or by updating yourself with the possible items you can have from the stalls or restaurants around you. And hopefully, some of my recommendations today make it to your list as well. Eat smart!