I figured that I snack enough throughout the day for them to deserve their own post. Dear readers, I would like you to know that I eat constantly. All day, every day. It’s a running joke between me and J that I’m always ready to eat or thinking about food, and I don’t take offense to it because I’ll be the first to tell you that three square meals a day is not the style of eating for me. Smaller meals and snacks throughout the day? Yes please.
I tend to get hungry every 2.5-3 hours, so after breakfast at 7:45 the first snack of the day comes around 10:45. Actually around 10 I’ll get my morning coffee with some steamed milk and a tiny bit of sugar. I like the taste of coffee but I prefer to add sugar to take a bit of the bitter edge off. And I stick to one cup a day for the most part because I’m pretty sensitive to caffeine. Too many coffees in a short amount of time make me feel dizzy and sick, and coffee after 5 pm or so means I won’t sleep well that night. Anyway, along with coffee is my morning snack, which is a handful of nuts and dried fruit.
Two hours later comes lunch, and about an hour and a half after that I’m usually ready for a snack again. The afternoon is tricky, though, as I’m sure you all know the mid-afternoon slump, when you start to feel kinda bored and restless. So during that time I sometimes want to snack but I’m not sure if I’m legitimately hungry or just bored. Anyway, I always have something with me like another small apple, a probiotic yogurt drink, carrot sticks, a homemade baked oatmeal bar, a cookie or a digestive biscuit. When somebody in my department has a birthday we usually have a gathering in the afternoon, so my afternoon snack could also be some cheese, fruit, a piece of cake or a glass of wine. If I end up eating a bigger snack or lots of party food, I’ll have a smaller dinner.
A legitimate reason for needing to eat something in the afternoon is that I work out after work and don’t want to be starving when I get home. If I do still need something in my system shortly before a run, I stick to banana and peanut butter (half a banana smeared with peanut butter and honey, or a piece of bread spread with pb and banana slices). This awesome combination has never made me feel icky during a run, ever. A pre-workout snack like this happens more often on weekends, since my afternoon snacks during the week usually suffice.
My final snack of the day comes in the form of something sweet after dinner. I’ve actually gotten better about snacking at night, so some days when I’m really satisfied from dinner I’ll just chew some gum or have a mug of green tea and that’s enough. Those are the good willpower days :-). But often I need something more. If I want something more substantial I’ll usually stick to yogurt or kefir with berries and raisins (similar to breakfast, but a much smaller portion). Dried apricots, a piece of fruit or fresh berries also work, when we have them. But of course when we have cookies lying around (and come on, you know we do) I’ll have one or two.
Since during the week J and I both try to keep our eating healthier, on weekends we allow ourselves to indulge a bit more. We both have sweet tooths, so chocolate doesn’t last long around here. Sometimes we buy chips or candy, and we also like making our own popcorn. I love ice cream, so during the summer that slips in about once a week :-). If we go out to eat, that usually happens on the weekend. And then of course there’s beer, which I don’t really count as a snack but it is an additional source of calories.
Speaking of beer, I guess I could also say a word about what I drink. In short, mostly just water. I drank juice and milk as a kid but now that happens very rarely. Soda (or pop, or whatever you call it) is also something I only drink once in a blue moon. I’m not depriving myself; it’s just not something I crave, especially not diet soda– fake sweeteners leave an aftertaste in my mouth. So I drink water, and tons of it (I would estimate about 3 L per day, but I’ve never actually measured). I drink one coffee a day with milk and a touch of sugar, and I also try to drink a cup of green tea most days. When it comes to alcohol, I mostly drink beer (the cheapest option here in Estonia!) or cider. I don’t mind sweet cider, but dry is better. I also enjoy wine, both red and white, but I’m more likely to drink those at home than out in a bar.