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Battling 3pm cravings

For some reason, when I’m at home I can quite easily make it through the afternoon without needing a snack, but when I’m at work it’s a different story. As mid-afternoon comes around the hunger pangs start talking and I see colleagues lose a battle against the chocolate bars in the ‘honesty shop’ snack box in the kitchen. If I’m ill-prepared I might not go for the chocolate, but I still often find myself picking a less-than-healthy treat.

Here are some simple things I’ve learned. When I buy vegetables, I cut carrots, radishes, celery, and capsicum up into strips and put them in a container. If I don’t do this STRAIGHT AWAY, the vegetables will stare at me from the fridge drawer like some major obstacle I can’t overcome. But if they’re already cut up – woohoo! I throw them in a bag each day and have them for an afternoon snack.

I also try to remember to eat ‘mindfully’. This concept was introduced to me by the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Instead of eating an apple whole, and on-the-go (which for me means eating while holding a baby on my hip and trying to write an email), try to take your time. Cut the apple up, put it on a plate and SIT. Don’t look at your phone, don’t watch TV, read, or do anything else. Enjoy the apple. Eat it mindfully. I really encourage you to try this. You’ll be amazed at how satisfying and long-lasting that small meal can be when you really pay attention to it.

If an apple just isn’t going to do it for you, here are some other suggestions:

  • Boiled eggs – these will keep for a week in the fridge, so hard-boil half a dozen on a Sunday and pack with some salt mixed with ground cumin. Dip the egg into the cumin salt for a delicious afternoon snack.
  • Pimp your piece of fruit with some sugar-free nut butter – these are all readily available at the supermarket, so try that piece of cut-up apple spread with a little almond butter for an extra energy kick.
  • Seeds & nuts – keep a tub of mixed seeds and nuts by your desk. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds matched with tamari roasted almonds are a favourite.
  • Crispy Roasted Chickpeas – put a tin of rinsed and drained chickpeas in a bowl and toss with some salt and chilli flakes. Spread in a single layer on a baking tray and roast for up to 45 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius until dried out and slightly crispy. Pack in a tub to take to the park or the office.
  • Avocado and sparkling water – keep some chilled sparkling water in the fridge and when those cravings hit, pour yourself a sparkling water, squeeze in some fresh lime juice, and sit down with an avocado. I like to half it, then drizzle a little olive oil and cider vinegar into the centre with plenty of salt and pepper.

By Victoria Thaine,
Recipe Contributor

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