As many of you already know, I gave up junk food for lent. The first week was the worst, I literally craved anything and everything with sugar in, felt dizzy, tired and couldn’t concentrate on anything but those feelings seemed to fizzle away as time went on. I have always been one to challenge myself, just giving up chocolate or crisps isn’t enough for me, I’ve got to go the full cold turkey. I’ve participated in lent since I started school at 4 years old, I went to a Church of England School and we were all told to give something up, whether it be biting your nails, or a favourite food; I’m sure one of my friends tried to give up talking once too! I did it, and succeeded, each and every year so 18 years later it wasn’t going to be any different.
What made giving up junk food difficult was the concept of not being aloud to snack throughout the day, before lent began I was constantly snacking on crisps, biscuits, even chunks of cheese, anything I could get my hands on with ease, not thinking about the fact that reaching for fruit or vegetables would have been just as easy.
‘If you’re not willing to eat fruit or vegetables, you’re not really hungry, you’re just craving’
I made it my mission during lent to find some guilt free snacks to help me through lent and have included 10 of my favourites in this post…
Moral Fibre Banana Berry Bites* – I was sent these along with 3 others from their range of snacks to try and these were my absolute favourite along with the Chilli Crunch. With just 22 calories and 0.9g of fat per bite, it’s definitely guilt free snacking, they’re really filling too. All of Moral Fibre’s snacks are suitable for vegans and contain only natural sugars.
Granny Smith Apples – these were my saviour throughout lent and made any sugar cravings vanish. I was eating about 4 a week by the time lent finished and I’m still loving them now.
Nakd Fruit Bars*, especially Berry Delight – I did a post a couple of weeks ago on Fruit Bars that are ACTUALLY good for you and included these within it. It’s so easy to think cereal or fruit bars are a healthy option but 80% of the time they’re worse than that chocolate bar you were trying to avoid; full of refined sugars and fats. Nakd Bars are gluten, wheat and dairy free and contain only natural sugars, they also contribute as one of your 5 a day, they’re also lovely for baking with too!
Graze Granola and Muesli – I’m not sure whether these are pushing the boundaries a little bit and I wouldn’t call them a snack but I was having granola for lunch quite often throughout lent. My favourites from the Graze Breakfast box are Strawberries and Cream and Toasted Quinoa with Zested Orange, you can read my full review here. The calorie content ranges from 250-350 but they do contain high amounts of sugars as do most granolas.
Vegetable Crisps – as crisps are my downfall, I tried so hard to find some healthy alternatives to satisfy my cravings. I discovered Quinoa Crisps* which were in my hamper from Clean Snax, these are suitable for vegans and are gluten free with no artificial colours or preservatives. I’ve since discovered Apple Crisps from Tyrrell’s too, I bought and tried one pack and had to go back into the shop to buy 5 more, I love them!
Bananas – these were great for giving me energy and satisfying my sugar cravings. I was having a piece of fruit, usually an apple or a banana, with my lunch every day, although this is something I should have been doing already and am now continuing. I tried Kiwi for the first time too and realised how much I’d been missing out over the years, I used to tell my mum I didn’t like them but I think I just didn’t like the idea of eating the pips.
Jam On Toast – I know this is pushing it and I ended up having to give this up half way though lent as it was a ridiculous snack. Although I was having wholemeal bread and organic jam the quantities I was having really pushed the boundaries. I was having it as a snack about half an hour before dinner because I was hungry and I know it was helping me consume far to many calories (it even got to the point where I was having 4 slices in a day), I’ve limited myself to a slice, if that, every other day now.
Urban Fruit Snacks* – another discovery from my Clean Snax hamper, I said in my post (read it here) that these were as good as sweets, the taste and texture resembled wine gums or fruit pastels but they’re pure baked fruit with only a slight bit of apple juice or rice flour added (to prevent sticking). The pineapple is my favourite so far but they do so many other flavours including banana, cherry and blueberry so I’m going to have to get myself some more to try.
Green and Fruit Tea – Could you call this a snack? Fruit Teas have been great for satisfying my sweet tooth, especially Clipper Organic Raspberry Burst, this contains Hibiscus, Apple, Rosehip, Orange Peel and Raspberry and tastes divine. I’ve also been loving Tetley Green Tea which is my everyday tea and Teapigs Darjeeling Tea.
Pulsin and Beond Fruit Bars* – this was another brand I became very fond of during lent although a lot of their bars contain cocoa and I couldn’t bring myself to eat anything remotely to do with chocolate throughout lent without thinking I was going to let myself down, as healthy as these bars were. I loved the Beond Organic Acai Berry bar and I enjoyed incorporating their Protein Powders into meals and baking (you can read my Protein Pancakes Recipe here).
What are your favourite snacks when you’re on a health kick or diet? Have you tried any of the snacks I’ve included here? What did you think?