Late Night Snacking, friend or foe?

That Sugar Film tidbit for your reading today.  Love these bites of information about eating late at night.  Read on…

 

“Dinner is done, yet something is not right. Not hungry, yet hungry. But is that hungry, or not hungry at all?

There are many reasons potentially behind the evening snack-a-thon. Let’s have a look at a few!

Habit
We have done it for years, and we like it. Which in some ways can make an attempt to kick late night snacking more difficult.

Advertising
So clever, those advertisers! Seeing the chocolate coated Magnum succulently snapped will drive your subconscious mind straight to the freezer. You want it. You need it.

Nutritional deficiencies
Iron, magnesium, zinc vitamin C and B vitamins (among others) are integral in our energy and mood pathways, and deficiencies could lead to you begging for brownies. Raw cacao is a great source of magnesium, so if you are lacking (which many of us are!), your body thinks ‘CHOCOLATE!’. However most chocolate is packaged with detrimental highly processed sugars.

Blood sugar dysregulation
Overeating may leave you tired, and consequently reaching for sugary snacks

Stress
Many of us are victims to the tooth grind when feeling under the pump! So crunching on the crisp can offer a satisfying (if subconscious) de-stress activity. In addition, salt is commonly craved when the adrenal glands are being worked, due to a constant production of stress hormones.

Body programming
It has been suggested that the post 8pm snack attack may be due to our ancestral survival need to store fat and ensure the overnight fast ahead – hence the sugar/starchy/salty junk food cravings. But in this ever-so-comfortable, protected from the elements, endless food supply day and age, these needs are likely not as necessary.2

Each of these underlying drives (and there are more!) behind snacking when not hungry at night can be addressed independently. Hopefully then, the desire for late night snacking will naturally subside.

But why should we care?

The concern

At the end of yet another manic day, the reward of couch and cookie time is understandable. But have you considered that what you eat may be more punishment than payment?

Late night eating has been linked with reduced hippocampus function – meaning the area of brain in charge of memory and learning is unhappy. The timing of food consumption may impact our innate body clocks, and late night snacking is thought to interrupt the formation of long-term memory.1

We must also consider we are not exerting much energy post 8pm – and excess energy is typically stored as fat. Hello, weight gain.

And with food’s impact on blood glucose – specifically the sweet, carby chow – you can encourage increased serum levels, well into the morning, which is not good news for those with or at risk of type 2 diabetes.

Finally, our organs do some serious repair work at night – particularly our liver and intestinal tract. We want – and need – these dudes to work efficiently.

To do so, we need to be sleeping properly. But often if the body is super busy breaking down foods we do not rest fully.

Not only are organ activity, rest and repair compromised, so is our energy the following day, and increased risk of heartburn. Boo.

When you just gotta

Whilst we will ideally feel content and preparing for slumber post dinner, sometimes it just ain’t enough.

You could distract yourself with other activities, or ensure the tempting pack of double-coat Tim Tams are not in the house (both legitimate strategies!). Or try a herbal tea! It mightn’t sound like it will cut the mustard, but give it a try. There are plenty of delicious blends to choose from, so find one you like.

However, here are some ideas for snacks to reach for, with focus on protein and fibre, for those days when you just gotta!

  • Kale chips
  • Roasted and spiced chickpeas
  • Lightly toasted coconut chips
  • Mixed raw nuts and seeds, or lightly toasted with tamari
  • Coconut yoghurt, berries and cinnamon
  • Sliced apple and 100% nut or seed butter (like almond or tahini)
  • Carrot sticks (raw or lightly roasted) with hummus or cashew cream cheese
  • Nut based treats, like Nutty Banana Bread Balls
  • Egg on a cloud or eggs boiled and rolled in a delicious spice

If you want to snack, just don’t feel guilty when you do. Whilst ideally we are eating until 80% full, several hours before bed an blah, blah, blah, if you are going to snack away, snack with joy!

By Angela Johnson (BHSc. Nut. Med.)

Late Night Munchies – why the snacking?

References:
  1. Loh, DH, Jami, SA Flores, RE Truong, D Ghiani, CA O’Dell, TJ & Colwell, CS 2015, ‘Misaligned feeding impairs memories’, eLife, vol. 10, no. 4
  2. Scheer, FL, Morris, CJ, & Shea, SA 2013, ‘The internal circadian clock increases hunger and appetite in the evening independent of food intake and other behaviors’, Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 421-423.”

No-bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Balls

These simple cookie balls are full of multi grains and naturally sweetened.  They make an excellent quick carbohydrate snack when on the go.  Just make sure to pair with a handful of nuts or a source of protein to balance out the snack.

No-bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Balls

recipe courtesy of: Kathryn @ http://www.foodonthetable.com modified by eatlivefit@hotmail.com

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats (old fashioned)
  • 1/2 cup packed Medjool Dates, pitted and chopped (5-6 large aprox)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-3 tablespoons of water, as needed

 

Directions:

Add all of the ingredients, except water,  into your food processor or blender.  Pulse, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.  Once everything is well combined, add water slowly to allow the mixture to come together so it is moldable into ball shapes.

Wet hands and roll mixture into golf ball sized cookie balls.

Store in refrigerator in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Serves 9-10 cookie balls

Warm Peaches

As we wind down the last week of Palisade Peaches in Colorado,  I wanted to share one of my favorite ways to enjoy a slightly unripe peach.  By all means enjoy the ripe peaches straight out of the bag or box.  However, if you happen to get one that is not quite juicy enough or you are hankering for a different way to enjoy them, try this recipe.

Warm Peaches

Slice peach with skin on into a microwave safe bowl.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and fresh nutmeg.  Heat in microwave on high for 30 seconds, just long enough to warm them and bring out the sweetness.  Enjoy plain or with 1 TBSP plain yogurt or a 1/2 cup milk.

recipe by: eatlivefit.net shared by family friend

 

Dinner Tonight: Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Cauliflower Rice

Love the simplicity of this dish not to mention the taste!! It’s on my table tonight for dinner.

Yep, Cauliflower rice is the “new” rice.  No need to add a cheesy sauce to cauliflower any longer, just substitute it in for rice in your favorite dishes.

Spicy-Shrimp-Cauliflower-Rice-CleanFoodCrush

Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Cauliflower Rice:

recipe by: cleanfoodcrush.com modified by eatlivefit.net

Ingredients:
Makes about 3 servings

  • 1 lb. shrimp
  • 1 Tbsp. avocado oil, or olive oil + an extra tsp.
  • 1 head cauliflower, grated (can buy this already prepped for you in most stores now)
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 3 cups fresh chopped kale

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Once hot, add the shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and set aside on a plate.
  3. In the same skillet and a drizzle of olive oil, garlic, kale and sauté until softened. Add the cauliflower rice, chili flakes and season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir fry for about 5 minutes, then add the shrimp back to the pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes until reheated.
    heart emoji❤Rachel

Banana Bread Nut Ball Snack

Brought these to class last week to share after our workout.  Many of you asked for the recipe.  Easy snack that tastes like banana bread.  Gluten and dairy free.

 

Banana Bread Nut Ball Snack

Ingredients:

3 large dates, pitted

3/4 cup walnuts

1 Tbsp. nut butter of your choice (peanut, almond, sunflower, etc.)

2 Tbsp. coconut flour

1/4 tsp. vanilla bean powder or extract

1 VERY ripe banana

Optional – cacao or cocoa powder or dried unsweetened coconut flakes (to roll at end)

 

Directions:

Pop all ingredients in a food processor and combine until a dough forms.  If too sticky, add a tsp of water or almond milk to soften into dough.  The mixture should not be so dry that it crumbles when you try to roll into small ball sizes.  However, not so wet that if is too sticky to form into ball shape, if so, add a tsp more flour.

Use a tsp to measure out small balls of dough. Using hands, roll each into a small ball shape.  Optional and recommended, roll each ball in coconut flakes or powder to add flavor and keep them from sticking to each other.

Place in freezer in small container to harden up completely, aprox. 30 minutes.  Store in air tight container in refrigerator until ready to eat.  Will stay fresh up to 2 weeks.

These are great for bike ride snacks.  If planning to take them along, keep them in the freezer rather than moving to fridge.  Pack them in plastic bag and they will be cool when ready to eat.

Serving size: 2 balls

recipe by: that sugar film modified by eatlivefit.net

 

Tomatoes, Tomatoes Galore Salad

Looking for a new way to enjoy the fresh tomatoes that are in abundance right now?  Personally, I could eat them right off the vine, and I do often.  But if you are up to your gills in BLTs, spaghetti sauce and the like…here is a fresh new recipe to try.  No cooking allowed here!

Tomatoes, Tomatoes Galore Salad

  • 1 lb mixed variety small and/or large tomatoes ( try a mix of varieties, perhaps purple?)
  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. hot Spanish smoked paprika (or pinch red pepper flakes and 1/2 tsp smoked paprika)
  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 Tbs. small capers, rinsed, drained
  • 1/3 cup smoked almonds, chopped
  • Small handful of flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper

Directions:

Cut the tomatoes into a mixture of disks and wedges; different sizes and shapes add variation to the dish.  Whisk together oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, and paprika in a small mixing bowl.

Add the shallot, capers, tomatoes, half of the chopped almonds, and 3/4 of parsley.  Toss gently to incorporate.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, sprinkle remaining parsley and almonds on top.  Enjoy.

Recipe contributed by: The Naked Cookbook, modified by eatlivefit.net

Black Rice, Salmon , and Mango Salad

Anytime I can make dinner without turning on the oven and with little effort, I’m in!  This recipe was shared with me by a friend as a easy weeknight dish.  Enjoy.

Black Rice, Spinach, Salmon, and Mango Salad

Ingredients

1½ cups black rice
Cooking spray
1 (8-ounce) salmon fillet (about ½ inch thick)
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
2½ tablespoons canola oil
3 cups diced peeled mango (about 2 medium)
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
½ cup thinly sliced green onions
½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach

Rinse rice, and drain well . Cook rice in boiling water 35 minutes or until al dente; drain. Cool. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add salmon; cook 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of done¬ness. Cool; break into bite-sized pieces. Combine juice and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add oil to juice mixture, stirring constantly. Add rice, mango, tomatoes, onions, pepper, and spinach; toss gently. Place 1 cup rice mixture in each of 6 bowls; top each with 1 ounce salmon.

What’s for dinner at your house tonight?  Share your easy summer recipe.

courtesy of keyingredient.com/recipes shared by J. E.