• What to snack on before going to sleep… if you must

    Posted on March 18, 2012 by Elaine in 5 minute meal, Budget Conscious, Calorie Counter, Detox, Get in My Fridge!.

    So it is the day after St. Patty’s Day – a day of gluttony in every sense of the word for most people. Manhattan streets were filled with green clad revelers both young and old. Being that it fell on a Saturday, which happens very rarely, this weekend was a time to drink and eat merrily without considering the consequences.

    My most guilty pleasure from this weekend was eating a decadent red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting from Sprinkles on 59th and Lexington Avenue. YUM!
    The downside is that one of those things will set you back 500 calories, in addition to 60 grams of carbs and 30 grams of fat. Yes, I told you I succumbed to the gluttony of the weekend too. And I ate it before going to bed! I was a bad nutritionist! But, alas, I am only human.

    I must add that I rewarded myself with the cupcake after a 6 mile run in Central Park Saturday, although I ate it before going to bed. So today I felt inclined to do some laps at the pool. Despite the gluttony of the weekend and the high intensity work-outs, I am hungry right now before going to sleep.
    Does that ever happen to you too?

    We all know that if you want to stay skinny and sleep better, you should NOT EAT anything 3 hours before your scheduled bedtime. But what if you ARE really craving something to munch on, especially since your body is still excited from the weekend gluttony? You just HAVE to eat a little something so that you’re not imagining red velvet cupcakes dancing over your head as you lay in bed? Ok, maybe that’s just me, but whatever your guilty pleasure is to eat, it’s dancing over your head.

    To satisfy your late-night craving, the best options are to eat raw vegetables such as carrot sticks or celery sticks. They are easy to digest and low calorie, low carb yet filling. If these choices are too bland for your late night craving, you can dip your carrot sticks into some hummus. I like to eat Sabra’s Supremely Spicy Hummus, which is made with red chili peppers. It gives my carrot sticks and hummus a bit of a kick! Two tablespoons of this hummus is only 70 calories, 4 grams of carbs, and 6 grams of fat. Never eat fruit because there is sugar and fiber and would make it harder to digest, therefore, harder for you to fall asleep.

    Another option is to eat a handful of raw almonds. Never buy roasted or salted almonds. Nuts in their natural form are the healthiest. If you are used to the roasted or salted kinds, your tasted buds will take a while to get used to eating raw nuts. But once you get used to eating raw nuts, you can actually taste the wonderful aroma of the nut itself. The hard crunch from the almonds will satisfy your desire to chew on something and will tell your brain that you are eating something formidable, thereby quench your late-night snack attack. Almonds also contain magnesium, which helps your muscles relax, and tryptophan, which makes you drowsy. Many of you know this from eating turkey on Thanksgiving.

    So if your body is still excited from all that eating and drinking yet wants more food even though it is time for bed, feed it something healthy yet satisfying enough so that you can get a good night’s sleep and get back to your normal routine – bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for Monday work!

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