What is a snack? Simply put, it is the gateway cure to a hunger pang, without consuming an entire meal between meals. It is a bite-sized or a few bite-sized foods that satiate a craving or irritable belly, before actual meal times.
Having grown up in a family where it was essential to stick to meal and snack times, because my father was a strong believer in keeping our bellies full nutritiously. Gently reminded me of this routine recently by the COVID lockdown, where we were all at home. And what happens when we are at home? Hunger strikes every hour. Literally.
Gone are the days we would eat three square meals per day and feel satiated with them. We are a pro-active generation, the walking around, running around, go-getter crowd; the hustlers. Three meals a day are just not going to cut it. Now, for that, we cannot make them 6 large meals - we need 3 main meals, and 3 quick small meals to-go or to-bite. This could be anything - a salad, a fruit bowl, a trail mix, a handful of nuts, a fresh bhel or simply the most nutritious energy bars, minis and laddoos (you guessed right, they come from Gouri’s Goodies!). If you still aren’t convinced, think of your belly as a fuel tank. An empty fuel tank tends to bring a car to a stop, imagine what an empty belly will do to you day after day?
Before a nutrient dense meal, it is essential to keep feeding your system bursts of energy-giving snacks. I, for one, cannot do without my 3 time snacking in a day! Some days it is a yogurt bowl with some cereal and fruit, some days it is my sambhar bowl with my millet cereal and other days, I treat myself to a belgian dark chocolate energy bar - the most sinful and decadent of all!
Most of the time, snacking holds a negative reputation is because everyone choose snacks that are high in sugar, fat, salt and calories. This is not true. There are so many snacking options that one can come up with that uses natural and whole foods!
So essentially, where will you be when those hunger pangs strike? At home, at work, or in the car commuting back or forth from work? Snacking can be done at any of these places. Just a quick bite, or a quick cup of snacking goodness! Here’s a few tips on how to plan your snacking regime:
My favourite go-to for any time snacking are:
- A cup of yogurt, with any cereal sprinkled over and tossed up with fresh fruit!
- A bowl of home-made peanut butter, and some fresh carrot & celery sticks to go with!
- A fresh bhel: skip the murmura, use a millet-based cereal instead!
- An evening cup of coffee with a Palm Jaggery & Honey Energy Bar!
- A smoothie with some fruits, a cup of cereal and some energy bars of my choice!
- A bowl of any cereal, instead of a bhel mixture - namkeen is not healthy!
These are just a few ideas. I am the kind of person that can put any 5 ingredients together, and whip up a quick snack - tasty and delicious most of the times! It could be any healthy ingredients at your home - you should try this.
The easiest way, is to plan your snack a day in advance. Finish dinner for the evening, and while cleaning up the kitchen, go over the ingredients in your cabinets and refrigerator and what you can whip up in tiny boxes and jars - pick into them at work, at home or while driving around!
At Gouri’s Goodies, I was inspired to begin my journey because of my children. When they would rummage through the supermarkets for fun things to eat in the evenings, I would be running behind them looking at the nutrition labels of each choice. I was so unhappy with these choices, that I decided to create my own variation of these snacks for them. I began with some simple Energy Balls and Energy Bars - made of so many whole seeds, dry fruits, organic sugar and natural flavouring!
Whether it is buttery goodness from and Oats & Almond Energy Bar, the decadent satiation from a Belgian Dark Chocolate Energy Bar or the spice and everything nice from a Black Pepper Happy Laddoo - the choices were endless.
I decided why not share these ideas with my friend circle, with my network around? A healthy snack is what people are always looking for, and these variations just make snacking more fun! Thus, was born Gouri’s Goodies, a small-batch production house for handcrafted snacking delicacies with various flavours - natural and honestly, delicious. What you see is literally, what you get!
During the lockdown, I took to the internet to read up about how immunity can be boosted. The top kick to accelerate your immunity was ‘eat right’. Apart from formulating a rich mix of turmeric, almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg, and many more ingredients, also known as the Hearty Haldi & Almond Mix, I realised, snacking plays a major role here, yeah!
The more nutrition we take in, the healthier we are. So here goes my quick suggestion: GET SNACKING!