Picture this: You are sitting at your desk immersed in your work a few hours before lunch. All of a sudden, you stomach growls and you realize that you have a severe desire to consume a very particular food. This feeling is stronger than normal hunger since eating just anything won’t make your tummy any happier. If you are longing for something sweet, creamy, salty, acidic, or even crunchy, you are experiencing what I call a workplace craving.
There are no definite explanations for why we get cravings. One interesting study found that it may be based on the body’s production of endorphin (which, when released, give us a feeling of well-being) as a result of eating carbohydrates or fats. Health experts have found that because we tend to eat more with a variety of flavors, if we focus on one craving at a time when they come, the chance of overeating will decrease.
Here are some quick recipes for healthy snacks that will curb your very specific workplace cravings and keep your energy up for the rest of your day:
- Salty: Toss air-popped popcorn with olive oil, chili powder (or a little Cayenne pepper), and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for the Wilder Popcorn.
- Sweet: Stir a little low calorie maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar into fat-free Greek yogurt, and dunk slices of apples, pears, pineapples, or mangoes for a Yummy Yogurt Dip. (Pictured below: mango apple salsa that I paired with sweet potato chips)
- Acidic (but heart healthy!): cut up your favorite vegetables into sticks, in a small travel bowl, mix 2-3 TBS of Tahini (a very delicious vegan sesame seed paste), 1-2 tsp of lemon juice, your favorite vinaigrette dressing, and a pinch of chili powder. Dip and savor the flavor!
- Crunchy: Chop pears into endive spears and season with a bit of balsamic vinegar, some almonds, and cottage cheese, if you like.
- Creamy: Spread hummus, guacamole, or peanut butter on a whole wheat English muffin, pita, or cracker.
These suggestions can be altered to fit your taste, but remember to focus on the craved and desired food. Most items are found at great prices at your local market or grocery store. Enjoy!
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