3 Delicious and Healthy Snacks to Cure Your Nighttime Hunger (Or Any Time Hunger!!)

Here is an article I wrote a few years back, and I still rotate through these options as my nighttime snacks! I wanted to share this with you as I always receive questions about what we can eat for snacks, especially at night, that will support our us health and performance goals (and help us achieve a body we are proud of!)…Here we go!

“I do great all day but the nighttime kills me”

Sound familiar??

It is 8pm and it’s just getting dark. You had a long day at work (or school) and are planning to wind down for the night. As you sit down to read your favorite novel it hits…the dreaded hunger pangs.

It is too late and you are too tired to construct a quality mini-meal / snack, or so you think. So you make your way to the pantry for a quick “grab and go.” Since you are pretty health conscious, you don’t have the double stuffed Oreos, Little Debbie Honey Buns or other sugar infused garbage that plague many pantries, but you still have the “healthier processed options” for emergencies (please notice the quotes).

You snag a low fat yogurt granola bar (the fat is replaced by a high amount of sugar), an extra-large hand full of M&M trail mix and pop a few multigrain crackers. After spiking your blood sugar to an epic level, and consuming nearly triple the calories you thought you had, you lie down for the night but find it hard to fall asleep.

The high sugar content not only provided you with the excess calorie to keep your dreams of a lean, athletic body far from the near future, but you created a physiological state that promoted a night of restlessness…unwanted fat mass and insomnia, the perfect combo to keep you from achieving your health and performance goals!

So what was the problem with the situation above?

Maybe you just can’t control yourself from snagging the easy, not so “healthy” options.

Maybe you aren’t quite sure what would make a quality nighttime snack.

Or maybe you feel that the choices that are healthy are too hard to whip up, especially at night when you are tired.

As I always say, if it is not there you can’t have it, and if it is there you will.

With that in mind, below are 3 easy, healthy and delicious options that make great nighttime mini-meals that can be put together in less than five minutes. Stock your fridge and pantry with these ingredients, rid them of the other stuff, and you will set yourself up for a much healthier nighttime feast (or any other time of day!!).

1)      Cottage Cheese / Greek Yogurt and Berries

1 cup low fat cottage cheese or plain low fat Greek yogurt

½ to 1 cup berries (blueberries, strawberries, mixed, etc.)

1 to 2 tsp flaxseed

Cinnamon and/or nutmeg to taste

½ to 1 scoop protein powder (optional for taste and added protein)

Small handful nuts (optional for added calorie and healthy fats; either eat on the side or add in)

Instructions: mix all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy…ya, it’s that easy!

2)      Power Protein Shake

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Breakfast to kick off Sunday ➡️ Carrot Cake Shake – freeze 1 cup of carrots, add 2-3 handfuls of spinach, 1 scoop protein powder, small handful walnuts, small handful raisins, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 8-10oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk and blend. ➖ On the side I had a piece of Ezekiel toast with natural jam, a small handful of mixed nuts, and green beans with hot sauce…I know the last part is a bit odd but had it once in a pinch and is now a staple when I have a shake…spicy and sweet I guess! #healthyliving #healthybreakfast #healthyfood #deliciousfood #breakfast #proteinshake #protein #ezekielbread #coffee #nutrition #nutritious #healthylifestyle #healthyeating #fit #theathleticway

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(shake only…not all the other stuff!)

4 to 8 oz unsweetened almond milk

1 large handful spinach or kale

½ to 1 cup frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries, mixed, etc.) or 1 small frozen banana (freeze without skin)

¼ cup nuts

1 scoop protein powder (favorite flavor)

Cinnamon and/or nutmeg to taste

Instructions: Add ingredients in a blender and blend to desired thickness (the personal sized Ninja, Nutribullet or Magic Bullet work well!). Can add shaved coconut, cocoa nibs or flaxseed for a bit more crunch…just make sure it works into your caloric goals.

3)      “Pumpkin Pie” Bowl

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I have to admit, my nutrition hasn't been as "spot on" as it usually is. We have had a lot of treats around the house from the Easter holiday, and recently one of the AWESOME!!! TOP Fitness athletes made a special treat for my wife (which is absolutely delicious!).•• So needless to say I've been munching on some things in greater amounts than I usually do. But this morning I made sure to throw together my "pumpkin pie bowls" so later tonight I have something a bit more conducive to my fitness and aesthetic goals to snack on. ••Not to say I won't eat the rest of the treats, just not all at once now! ••Having good options prepared and readily available is key and is one of the biggest pieces of advice I give to my athletes in order to help them reach their goals. #foodprep #foodprepping #healthysnack #healthysnacks #healthytreats #nutrition #athlete #theathleticway

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(Again, just the bottom pick of the ingredients for the pumpkin pie bowl!)

1 cup pure pumpkin (about one half can 15oz can)

1 tbsp flaxseed

1 scoop protein powder

Cinnamon and/or nutmeg to taste

1 to 2 pinches coconut flakes

Instructions: Combine pumpkin, protein powder, flaxseed, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Top with coconut flakes and enjoy.

Fix Your Nighttime Snacking!

There you have it, 3 quick and easy options that will not only fulfill your health and performance needs, but will satisfy your sweet tooth!

Try these out and let me know what you think. Share your favorite mini-meal / snack options below and remember when nighttime hunger hits, taking less than five minutes to put together one of these options will help you ward off a future of the morning jiggles!…

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