3 pm is always the time of day when we lose energy and focus. We reach for another cup of coffee, tea, or a snack to keep us alert for the rest of the work day. We look for convenience because we’re busy- and often choose quick sugary processed snacks. Just a little planning ahead for this time of day can include snacks to give you increased energy and focus without added calories or a crash later on.
It’s helpful to combine protein and fiber to sustain you until dinner. Most importantly, be mindful of what you are eating and how much. Take a few seconds at your desk to think about your food choice, take a deep breath, and indulge in your snack. Avoid mindlessly eating while working on your computer or other project. When we do this, we consume more calories than we think, and just a few extra calories a day can add up to several pounds gained over a year.
Here are some of my favorite snacks I prepare for added energy (they are all about 200 calories or less):
- 1/2 cup carrots + 1/4 cup hummus (shown: spiked zucchini hummus)
- 1/2 cup edamame pods (soybeans) or 1/4 cup dried
- 1 cup celery + 2 T tahini (sesame see butter)
- 2 cups air popped corn sprinkled with sea salt
- 1 oz. dark chocolate (70% cacao or above) + 1/2 cup berries
- 1 small apple + 10 raw almonds
- small banana + 1 T nut butter
- 2 dates + 1 T nut butter