I’m an Eating Psychology and Nutrition Coach. I help people work on their relationship with food - anyone that overeats, emotional eats, yo yo diets, feels out of control around food or simply needs a healthier mindset around food.
Are you plant-based?
No not purely, I do eat meat, fish, eggs and dairy. But I certainly eat a lot less meat these days and sometimes can have several consecutive days eating purely plant based. I have definitely organically starting eating less meat and don’t eat a lot of dairy, but I still eat a lot of fish and I couldn’t live without eggs.
Would you consider yourself a healthy eater?
Yes, because I eat a wide variety of foods, lots of different fruit and vegetables, a good balance of protein, healthy fats and Wholegrain carbs. But I also balance that with all different types of food. I don’t restrict any food at all, I just listen to what I feel like.
Do you encourage snacking in between meals?
If you’re hungry yes. Snacking can be a life saver, it can stop you getting too hungry (and therefore overeating at your next meal,) it can stop you getting hangry (I find my mood is increasingly affected by low blood sugar as I move through my forties.) Sometimes we can wait too long between meals, we can only keep our blood sugar stable for 4/5 hours so a snack is a good way to carry you through those long periods.
What are your 'go to' snacks? If homemade...what are your 'go to' pre-packaged snacks?
- Peanut butter on ricecakes with banana
- Homemade energy balls
- Medjool date with almond butter
- Or just a piece of fruit and some seeds or nuts
I always choose something with protein and healthy fat so it keeps me full. Prepackaged options I have found quite limiting, but occasionally have a Deliciously Ella peanut butter oat bar or a Naked bar.
How often do you snack on a normal day?
I snack on average twice a day. I always need something sweet in the afternoon and to keep me going between lunch and supper. If I didn’t have that, I’d be scoffing biscuits and chocolate. I know my body and that it needs good food regularly!
What do you look for in a snack? ie calories, ingredients, taste, savoury/sweet?
I never look at calories at all. I stopped doing that a long time ago when I decided that dieting wasn’t working for me. It causes you to be obsessive and they aren’t an indication of the health value and nutrient benefits of the product. For example, a cereal bar might be 90 calories but it will be full of sugar and contain little protein or good fat to keep you full! Instead I look for good ingredients - ingredients I recognise, and as few as possible. I try to avoid anything with palm oil, emulsifiers or something chemical I don’t recognise. Basically something that is close to whole food as you can get!
Do you have time to scour supermarkets for the latest healthy snacks?
No, I think it’s confusing as to where to look in the supermarkets, and which aisles! There's a free from aisle but that doesn’t have a huge range and I don’t want something to be free from an ingredient, only for it to be stuffed with an unhealthy alternative! I don’t think the supermarkets have a very comprehensive range.
Thank you Sarah - it was a pleasure to chat to you and get your expert opinion on the subject.