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Healthy Snacking: What Can I Buy at a Convenience Store?

· nutrition,wellness,tips

We've all had it happen - you're out and about, starving, and there's not a health food store in sight. Maybe you only have 15 minutes to grab something to settle your growling tummy, and that convenience store across the street is beckoning. So is there ANYTHING in there that can work for you and your health goals?

Keep calm and get your snack on.

Don't panic. Going into a convenience store doesn't have to be a slippery slope into a pile of junk food. Here are 5 healthy options that you can consider:

  • Water. Most people think they are hungry when they are actually thirsty. If you know there are better options ahead, chug a bottle of water and hold off those hunger pangs.
  • Nuts. a small serving of nuts will give you a serving of good-quality protein and fat. Look for dry roasted varieties.
  • Dark chocolate. Look for brands that list cacao as the first ingredient (instead of sugar
  • Protein bars. Avoid brands with soy protein isolate and look for brands that contain over 10 grams of whey protein, hemp protein, or pea protein.
  • Yogurt. Look for full-fat organic if possible.  If not, try to avoid the brands that contain artificial sweeteners.

Portion, portion,portion.

Keep in mind that other than the water, all of the options above can have various nutritional and caloric composition. How much do you need to settle your hunger pangs? If possible, start with a small portion, eat slowly, chew, and pause.

You are the master of your health.

You are in control of what foods you put into your body, and in what portions. Think about filling up your car with gasoline - you can choose the maximum octane premium or you can choose the lower level mid-grade. Neither one is likely to kill your car in one tank. Just like maintaining your car, your overall health is your ongoing responsibility, so work on establishing healthy routines and habits (like bringing a healthy lunch to work) and don't sweat the one-off trip to the convenience store.

Call in the reinforcements!

If the prospect of navigating the convenience store is daunting, maybe you would benefit from a little backup to set up your healthy routines. That is exactly the type of thing that a health coach can help you with. I offer a free 20-minute consultation, and I'd love to work with you on your journey to better health.

By Cheryl Devine, "Health is Wealth"