I love muffins. Actually, I love most baked goodies. I consider myself a textbook “sweet” person. Chips can sit in my cupboard for weeks, but cookies won’t last a day.
When three o’clock rolls around, if I don’t have a satisfying snack ready to go, I’ll find myself at my local coffee shop picking up a muffin or a granola bar. I literally find myself ordering, while a distant voice in my head reminds me about the apple on my desk.
The reality is, for me, an apple isn’t enough in the afternoon. It took a lot of lattes turned treats to learn this, but now I know, when three o’clock rolls around, with several more hours of work ahead of me; an apple isn’t going to cut it, and I’m (usually) prepared.
It is important to be realistic about your eating. If you pack yourself a bag of chopped veggies for your afternoon snack, and you feel satisfied, that’s wonderful and by all means keep that healthy habit. But, if you pack yourself a bag of chopped veggies for your afternoon snack, and you eat them, and then you find yourself feeling miserable and unproductive, or you find yourself at the vending machine, or milling around the staff room looking for scraps of old doughnuts, it’s probably a good idea to switch that snack to something more substantial, and closer to the food you really want to eat.
We are nearing the end of January. If you made health goals for the new year that are not working for you, give yourself permission to reassess, and try something new. It can take a few attempts to get it right, and what is ‘right’ for you might not be what you hoped it would be. There are a lot of different ways to eat well, and a lot of opportunities in the day to make changes to the way you eat. Reflect on what you have learned about yourself, and go back to the drawing board regularly, keeping your healthy eating goals in mind.
I like to keep a small assortment of home made baked goods in the freezer, and pack one with me on work days, along with some nuts and fruit, or some vegetables. Keeping these snacks in the freezer keeps them out of sight and unavailable for me to mindlessly snack on. Another truth I know about myself is that I will eat way more cookies if they are on the counter than if they are out of sight and less accessible (i.e., in the freezer).
A home made muffin, cookie, or granola bar is almost always a better choice than something commercially made. You are in control of the portion size and the ingredients. Even local bakeries and cafes tend to use less healthy ingredients than you would at home. I recently went looking for some dairy free muffins to bring to a friend’s house for tea. The girl at the cafe informed me that all of their muffins were made with whipping cream. Seriously, who makes muffins with whipping cream? I never would have guessed that a walnut apple muffin would have whipping cream in it.
I also like to play around with recipes to make healthier versions of the snacks I love, so that I can enjoy a snack that satisfies me, and is still relatively healthy. Here is one of those recipes. Full of blueberries and whole grains, and with an added nutritional boost of grated zucchini, these muffins satisfy without sending your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride.