A couple of years ago when we were shopping for a car, my husband met a salesman who also owned a local gym. The man, who looked to be in his sixties, chatted away during the test drive about training for martial arts. He also happened to mention that he had spent the last decade of his life without any fast food, pop, or refined sugar. Tales of a middle aged ninja who sold cars for fun was already interesting enough, but it was the last little tidbit that really inspired me.
I am a huge sugar fiend. I love to bake, I love the occasional little sweet treat. Giving up sugar has always seemed to me an all or nothing mission, and one that I wouldn’t win. However, after examining just how much processed sugar sneaks into the average diet (and how aging and harmful it can be to the body), it became my new goal to lower my daily intake. On a plant based and whole foods diet, keeping processed sugar to a minimum is easy enough, but I find that at night I still get that craving for a little dessert. Below I’ve listed my favourite late night snack options. Try reaching for one of these the next time a craving hits. Be sure to share your healthy late night snack choices in the comments!
Fresh Fruit: A small bowl of sliced strawberries, apple slices, frozen grapes, or a chilled orange. Yea, fruit has sugar in it, but the anti aging and immunity boosting benefits of antioxidants are worth it.
Rich Chocolatey Goodness: Try a coconut cacao protein shake. Cacao is one of my favourite superfoods. It’s a great source of magnesium, and satisfies a chocolate craving without the sugar. Pour it in a tall glass and it will feel like a rich chocolate shake.
Sweet Treat: My dad spent some time in the Yucatan, and while he was there he drank platanos con leche for breakfast every morning. It’s basically a super quick milk shake.
Directions: In a blender, combine one ripe banana, 1 cup of ice, a cup or two of your milk of choice (awesome with almond or coconut), and a dash of cinnamon. Blend until frothy. Pour in a glass and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Ice Ice Baby: Sparkling ice water with a lime wedge. Sparkling water on the rocks with lime served in a highball glass kind of rocks my world. I used to love love love pop. During my first pregnancy I realized it was the carbonation I missed most, and sparkling pellegrino curbed any soda cravings I had.
Toast It: Ezekiel bread with 1-2 tbsp. nut butter. Peanut butter can be ridiculously high in sugar (and sodium for that matter) so watch out. However, I’ve read that a lot of the time when you’re craving sugar, it’s actually your body wanting an easy burst of energy. Avoid the sugar high and inevitable crash and feed your body with a quick snack full of whole grains and easy protein. It will keep you satisfied much longer than that snickers bar.