I cannot be the only one who does not think that three meals a day is enough. Maybe it's because I digest food quickly, or maybe it's because I just love to eat, but either way I am of the view that breakfast, lunch and dinner on their own are not enough. So I snack. But I also has a body that hates me, I suffer with a leaky gut, a bastard type of IBS and while we treat (?! don't know if I'll ever get better) it, I am avoiding gluten, dairy and sugar, amongst other things, which makes snacking basically impossible. I only eat fruit in moderation due to it's high sugar content and unless I fancy stuffing a roast chicken in my bag, then finding things to nibble on is really rather difficult; I spend a lot of time wondering up and down the aisles of supermarkets but to no avail, EVERYTHING delicious has something naughty in it (usually sugar) and I am often left disappointed.
This was until last week when I was introduced to a brand called NOM. NOM changed EVERYTHING for me. I was given one of their bars in a goody bag and it was so good I haven't looked back; I genuinely couldn't believe it when I looked at the ingredients and realised that I could eat it, not least of all because the thing was flipping delicious. Since then I've eaten at least one a day and am borderline obsessed with the things. But it got me thinking, since NOM had created something so delicious, surely there was something more out there.
And bugger me. Guys, there's loads.
Now I know that not everyone needs to eat like I eat, and really, if you don't then I am happy for you. A lot of you don't need to go out of your way to find things like this, but if I have learnt one thing over the last few months and however many bloated stomachs and frantic supermarket visits; it's that the things we are being fed every day, are full of absolute shit. I don't think that everyone should give up gluten and dairy and refined sugar, on the contrary I think these things are too delicious and near impossible to avoid, but I do think that we should be aware of what we are putting in our bodies. I also think that we deserve a choice in the matter: it shouldn't have to be a chocolate bar or nothing, a bag of crisps or waiting till tea time, a yoghurt bar disguised as healthy that actually has more sugar in it than a Cadbury's Cream Egg. It's nice to know that occasionally we can eat more healthily without the hassle of making it ourselves. So for the people that have the good intentions but not a clue what to do with them, I have pulled together a list of my all time favourite handbag snacks that don't contain any refined sugar at all.
They don't contain all of your five a day, they're probably not a nutritionist's wet dream and won't make you look like a Victoria's Secret Model necessarily, but they contain half the crap that anything else out there contains and that's got to be a good thing. Peruse at leisure:
These are 100% organic, gluten free, vegan and refined sugar free. They're made with gluten free jumbo oats, coconut oil and super-foods. There are four flavours available: original, banana, raspberry and protein, They're all about 230 calories (not that that matters) and they're sold in boxes of 12. I love them SO much.
These come in three flavours and were inspired by her most popular recipe on the blog. They're for sale in Wholefoods, Planet Organic and Holland and Barratt. They're all made with between four and six ingredients with no additives. My favourites are the ones that I make at home all the time: the cacao and almond ones. (Blue).
"Made using the goodness of vegetables". Literally just green peas and rice, these are my favourite "crisps" now. They're 74% green peas and they come in a range of flavours: sweet chilli & lemon, soy & balsamic vinegar, smoked salt & Szechuan pepper and lightly salted. They're available everywhere now I even see them in the co-op last year.
This is the first thing I've tried from this brand and I flipping LOVE them. They're 100% organic and made from 100% raw superfoods. Ingredients are just almonds, dates, cashew, raw cacao, mama root and chia seeds. For anyone with a sweet tooth, these are for you!
Doves farm make some great stuff and these are no exception. They're made from gluten free oats, agave nectar, palm oil, acacia gum and salt. They're maybe not quite as clean as the Nom bars for example but again if you have a sweet tooth then these are great.
Nut butters are my obsession at the moment and this is no exception. They've got quite a lot of ingredients but make GREAT and really filling snacks. They're over 50% nuts though and cool for someone on my diet, I find them really filling and notice that they give me so much energy.
So not only is this technically chocolate, it's also one of your five a day, it's literally just does, cashews, raisins, cocao and.a hint of natural flavourings. These are really yummy and are now being stocked in loads of places so keep an eye out for them.
OK so I wasn't exaggerating before I really am obsessed with nut butter and now eating it on it's own, something I thought that just I did, has never been easy. Literally 100% nuts these are so great and SO filling. There's a part of me that thinks that these are a little silly but a bigger part of me that thinks that they are amazing.
I know you've heard this one before but it seriously is so good. This really is available everywhere and is so easy to keep in your bag. It's literally just mango so you don't need to feel guilty about messing with fruit, but it lasts for ages, makes no mess and tastes so sweet I love it.
Also by NOM is popcorn, such an underrated snack. NOM have four flavours: salted maple, simply salted, cinnamon maple, tomato pesto. They're all made with organic whole grain corn and are kettle popped with virgin coconut oil. Also, I know that we are not calorie counters but they are only about 100 calories a bag. If you're into savoury things then this is great and much better for you than you would think; we would associate it with the cinema and excess but actually it's a super great one to get into.
If I HAD to choose a favourite go-to snack in all of this, it would be the NOM original bar which I have now decided that I cannot live without but if I'm honest guys, these are all great. I am so limited with what I can eat and deriving happiness from food is so important to me which is why I have made this lists. I'm obviously not telling you to chuck out the packet of skittles too currently have in your bag that you have been waiting all week to tuck into, I just wanted to open your eyes to an alternative, if you wanted to see it!
I'm so excited that we are now seeing more and more of these products in shops but am still incredibly frustrated by how hard and expensive "healthy" snacking can be, alas, some of us don't have a choice and sometimes, in the case of the ones listed above: it really is worth it.