Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The Perfect Snack
Even though I eat three meals a day, I constantly snack. This habit began during high school and was so pervasive my mother would often tell me that I grazed like a cow and to please close the refrigerator door that nothing new materialized in the five minutes since I last opened it. I have had many years to perfect my art of snacking. I have tried everything from Little Debbies to beef jerky. In this snacking pandemonium, I have discovered that there is no one perfect snack. Snacks are situational, and the food must fit the setting.
Driving in the car
I confess that I eat in my car often. I have inhaled bagels (sesame seeds bagels are the worst. I end up with seeds all over my lap, the crevices of the seat and the floor) and have been spotted balancing a sub in one hand and the steering wheel in the other. The best car snacks, though, are ones that meet several criteria: they don’t melt, they don't freeze, they don’t leave a residue on your hands, if you drop it no mess will occur, they don’t go stale, and they don't ruin your next meal by filling you up. After trial and error, my number one choice for the perfect car snack is pretzels. They are crunchy, salty, and not messy.
I go to meetings armed with food. I never know when one might run too long and my stomach starts making embarrassing noises. I cringe when people bring apples or other such loud edibles to meetings. The noise of a person masticating their food is very off putting. I, myself, prefer to eat yogurt. It is noiseless, filling and simply delicious (I am currently on a Chobani kick). There is also the added benefit of using the empty container as a receptacle for chewed gum and used tissues.
I often do workouts back to back, going directly from the gym to a swim, or running shortly after a swim. It is not a brick, per se, but the workouts are stacked close together. The between workout snack is pivotal. It must provide the calories needed to fuel the next workout, but must not sit too heavy in the stomach. It must be portable and not spoil if sitting around too long. Between workouts is when I rely heavily on energy bars or gels. My favorite right now is the PowerBar Gel Blasts. They are chewy like candy with a surprise center. They are edible if they melt or get a little stale and hey I am sponsored by PowerBar, so they deserve a plug.
Sitting at the computer
Eating while working on the computer is risky business. Spill something on the keyboard and your work day is done amid a storm of profanities. I have sat at my workstation and snacked on crackers, fruit, cookies, and chips. Many of these snacks leave my hands sticky or filled with residue which then ends up on the keyboard, so I have ruled them out at the perfect computer snack. Trail mix wins this category. The combination of sweet and salty, crunchy and soft is delectable. My favorite brand, of course, comes from Trader Joe's and is therefore imported, like fine wine.