Adrienne Wolter shares local restaurant reviews, day trips and cooking adventures
Your good friend coffee has helped you pedal through the morning no problem. However, your trustworthy friend has also got you fading fast. Sure, you made it through your work with a smile on your face and some gumption, but once the afternoon rolls around, you start to feel the slump coming on.
Some common symptoms of the afternoon slump include droopy eyes, the pressing desire to find the nearest comfy place and close your eyes for just a minute, and yes, the whole "glazed-over-walking-like-a-worker-zombie-on-autopilot" look. Let's be honest, it's not a very flattering look, especially when a co-worker catches you mindlessly zoning out at a decoration on the office wall.
No matter what you try, like holding your eyes open, pinching yourself, or even the self-slap across the face, it doesn't seem to shake your slump. Plus, you've tried more coffee and of course, caffeine from the soda vending machine, but that's getting a bit expensive and isn't the best option for your health. Where's the cure to the afternoon slump?
Ultimately, preparation is key. There are so many snack options that you can prep for the night before and tackle the afternoon slump before it hits full-force. What's better? You'll save a ton of money and time preparing your snacks to avoid spending another minute and penny relying on a vending machine for a quick pick-me-up.
Believe it or not, there are so many great healthy and tasty snack options that will naturally refuel your body until it's quitting time. Below are a list of 7 of the most convenient snacks that will not only put that perky smile back on your face, but will also get you out of your afternoon funk before you can even begin to step into it!
Just because a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup or a Snickers contains nuts doesn't make them great choices to help you get through the day. If you want to crash again in another half an hour, by all means, go for it. However, if you want to stay full and alert while reaping the benefits, try some good ol' homemade trail mix. Containing some powerful protein and fiber, this is a heart healthy option without all the nasty trans fats. Also, if you buy unsalted, you'll steer clear of unwanted sodium and trans fats that will not only make you thirsty, but add unwanted toxins to your body.
Too lazy to go totally DIY? Wegman's in Mechanicsburg has a pretty sweet trail mix bar in their bulk section.
You know how carrots are supposed to help bring that lovely glow back to your cheeks and improve your eyesight? Well, they do and that's no wives' tale. Slice up some great carrot sticks, celery, cucumbers, and even some yummy, brightly colored peppers. As an excellent source of Vitamins B and C, along with other nutrients, this fresh veggie option is filling and flavorful. Add a couple tablespoons of homemade hummus for dipping to enjoy a low-calorie delight that adds healthy fats to your diet and yummy protein from fresh chickpeas.
Okay, so we all know how John Stamos has made Greek Yogurt the object of bliss and so delectably delicious that it seems almost sinful. The way companies have been developing the rich yogurt makes it taste almost like it's a dessert. With flavors like Key Lime Pie, Cafe Latte and Raspberry Cream, it's no wonder we keep going back for more. Well, keep running to the aisles, because the benefits of Greek Yogurt are worth the indulgence. Full of protein and calcium, it's a great snack option. Add some apple slices for a nice pairing, complete with fiber, and natural sugar for a fun metabolism booster. You can even dip them!
Go bananas with this wonderful, drinkable snack option, perfect for those of us that are always on the go. Blend up a refreshing and filling Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie for a healthy dessert. Honestly, it tastes like you're drinking ice cream. Packed with more than 7 grams of protein and wonderful sources of potassium, fiber, natural sugar, good fat, and yes, calcium, how could you go wrong? If you're still craving that chocolate, don't cave in! Add a small snack cup of sugar-free chocolate pudding and limit your milk. You'll have a chocolately delight that will keep you full for hours.
Okay, spinach is not just for Popeye; he just made spinach look cool. You know what? It is cool. It's amazing how much spinach can do to keep us energized and alert. Supercharged with vitamins and nutrients, you'll feel like a superhero with these dark, leafy greens. Try some of these tuna and spinach recipes to not only boost your metabolism, but give you some Omega-3s and protein. If you get bored with plain old tuna, try some of the specially mixed tunas like spicy tuna or mix up some of your own concoctions.
Who would think that a drink is a decent, filling snack? Believe it... the benefits of green tea with its natural caffeine are that it not only hydrates, but also has the power to reduces stress, boost your metabolism, and what's more, increase your immunity. Oh yeah, that'll pack a good punch, especially if you can't keep food where you work. Also, the power of water can have the same effect. Duh, water hydrates, relieves fatigue, and is a mood booster, because ultimately it makes your body feel better. Add a little zest with slices of lemon. As a natural diuretic, it will flush toxins out of your body while you work. Just make sure you have access to a bathroom!
Sounds like a weird combination, huh? Known by nutritionists as a great weight-loss snack, these three foods are known as "superfoods" and are phenomenal metabolism boosters. The navel orange provides a wealth of Vitamin C, natural sugar and is super sweet and enjoyable. Include some turkey slices for a good kick of energy-boosting protein that's low in fat (go with low-sodium lunch meat too) and filling. Finally, practically all green vegetables are a great source of nutrients and virtually calorie-free indulgence. So, go ahead eat as much of them as you want!
If you're starting to feel a crash coming, always keep in mind that artificial sugars, caffeine and fats are a big "no-no." They may satisfy you for a couple of minutes, but you'll be worse off than when you started. Go for the healthy option for an energizing and filling way to squelch the afternoon slumps. Get creative and always pack it the night before so you don't get stuck without your goodies.