Picture this: it’s 11 a.m. and you’re feeling a little grumbly after an early breakfast. You’re working from home, so you wander into the kitchen and eat a handful of chips.
You make a quick and boring sandwich for lunch. An hour later, you’re hungry again, and you snack on some candy this time. Dinnertime rolls around, and you’re too tired to cook.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.
So may people have shared with me that they’re mindlessly snacking now that their desk is just steps from the kitchen.That can really take a toll on your productivity, especially if your snacks aren’t healthy.
Health and wellness coach Nagina Abdullah knows that there’s a better way. She works with busy entrepreneurs to create snack plans that enhance your productivity instead of undermining it.
On my live-streaming show Inside Scoop, Nagina shared her expertise on how to create better snacking habits.
You can read her top tips and watch our conversation below.
Limit your options.
Nagina says that having too many breakfast options can undermine your mornings if you waste time trying to decide what to eat. She suggests smoothies, which you can customize with healthy add-ins like flax seeds, Greek yogurt, or protein powder. You can even make “smoothie sacks” by blending up enough for the week and freezing them in individual bags.
Simplify dinner with sheet pan meals.
Forget about meals that take lots of pots and pans that you’ll have to spend time washing. For quick but healthy weekday meals, Nagina suggests meals that you can pop in the oven all on one sheet pan.
Here is one of Nagina’s go-to recipes:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a sheet-pan with oil, season chicken or salmon, add veggies, and put the whole thing in the oven for twenty minutes.
Take it out, divide into containers for the fridge, and you’ve got lunch for a week!
Plan before you’re hungry.
When it comes to snacking, Nagina says that the key is to plan your snacks before hunger hits. Pay attention to when you usually get hungry, and have a plan in place for low-sugar, high-protein snacks with fiber.
Nagina suggests celery with peanut butter or veggies and hummus. One of her favorite healthy treats is cottage cheese, sliced apple, and cinnamon — it’s full of protein and satisfies your craving for something sweet.
Spices, spices, spices.
When I was a senior health producer at Fox News Channel, I worked with Nagina to do a whole segment on how spices can improve your health. Nagina says that spices help make healthy foods interesting and delicious so that you’ll actually look forward to eating them.
Spice blends are great for meat, and cinnamon (like in the “apple pie” recipe) is delicious with fruit. When you’re excited about your snacks, you’re not wasting time trying to find things to eat. Time saved!
Sugar cravings don’t mean what you think.
Nagina says that sugar cravings actually mean you need more protein in your diet! If you’re dreaming of chocolate and cupcakes, think about whether you’re getting protein in every meal.
You can also try Nagina’s Apple Cider Detox Drink, which is warm water mixed with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spices, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. She says to drink it when you feel those afternoon sugar cravings coming on.
If you want to try more of Nagina’s recipes, you can check out her free ebook here!
BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.