3 Nighttime Fixes

By Kyle Arsenault CSCS

 

“I do great all day but the nighttime kills me”

Sound familiar??

It is 8pm and it’s just getting dark. You had a long day at work (or school) and are planning to wind down for the night. As you sit down to read your favorite novel it hits…the dreaded hunger pangs.

 

nighttime hunger

 

It is too late and you are too tired to construct a quality mini-meal / snack, or so you think, so you make your way to the pantry for a quick “grab and go.” Since you are pretty health conscious, you don’t have the double stuffed Oreos, Little Debbie Honey Buns or other sugar infused garbage that plague many pantries, but you still have the “healthier processed options” for emergencies (please notice the quotes).

You snag a low fat yogurt granola bar (the fat is replaced by a high amount of sugar), an extra-large hand full of double M&M trail mix and pop a few multigrain crackers. After spiking your blood sugar to an epic level, and consume nearly triple the calories you thought you had, you lie down for the night but find it hard to fall asleep.

The high sugar content not only provided you with the excess calorie to keep your dreams of a lean, athletic body far from the near future, but you created a physiological state that promoted a night of restlessness…unwanted fat mass and insomnia, the perfect combo to keep you from health and performance!

 

sugar

 

So what was the problem with the situation above?

Maybe you just can’t control yourself from snagging the easy, not so healthy options.

Maybe you aren’t quite sure what would make a quality nighttime snack.

Or maybe you feel that the choices that are healthy are too hard to whip up, especially at night when you are tired.

As I always say, if it is not there you can’t have it and if it is there you will.

And with that in mind, below are 3 easy, healthy and delicious options that make great nighttime mini-meals that can be put together in less than five minutes. Stock your fridge and pantry with these ingredients, rid them of the other stuff and you will set yourself up for a much healthier nighttime feast.

1)      Cottage Cheese / Greek Yogurt and Berries

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1 cup cottage cheese or plain Greek yogurt

½ to 1 cup berries (blueberries, strawberries, mixed, etc.)

1 to 2 tsp flaxseed

Cinnamon and/or nutmeg to taste

½ to 1 scoop protein powder (optional for taste and added protein)

Small handful nuts (optional for added calorie and healthy fats; either eat on the side or add in)

Instructions: mix all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy…ya, it’s that easy!

2)      Power Protein Shake

protein shake

4 to 8 oz unsweetened almond milk

1 large handful spinach or kale

½ to 1 cup frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries, mixed, etc.) or 1 small frozen banana (freeze without skin)

¼ cup nuts

1 scoop protein powder (favorite flavor)

Cinnamon and/or nutmeg to taste

Instructions: Add ingredients in a blender and blend to desired thickness (the personal sized Ninja, Nutribullet or Magic Bullet work well!). Can add shaved coconut, cocoa nibs or flaxseed for a bit more crunch…just make sure it works into your caloric goals.

3)      “Pumpkin Pie” Bowl: this one is a personal favorite and one I created one a whimb

Pumpkin Pie Bowl

1 cup pure pumpkin (about one half can 15oz can)

1 tbsp flaxseed

1 scoop protein powder

Cinnamon and/or nutmeg to taste

1 to 2 pinches coconut flakes

Instructions: Combine pumpkin, protein powder, flaxseed, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Top with coconut flakes and enjoy.

3 quick and easy options that will not only fulfill your health and performance needs, but will satisfy your sweet tooth!

Try these out and let me know what you think. Share your favorite mini-meal / snack options below and remember when nighttime hunger hits, taking less than five minutes to put together one of these options will help you ward off a future of the morning jiggles!…check out that video and see what unhealthy nighttime feedings can do to your belly and brain!

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