One of my tips of healthy eating is to never go into a meal starving. Whether you are eating a snack 2-3 hrs prior to a meal or eating a snack 20-30 min. before a meal, both options can set you up for a portion, calorie and craving controlled meal. Not to mention, the ability to eat (or order if dining out) consciously and to feel in control of what you put into your body. The key to snacks is to think of them as mini meals. Aim for balance so that a snack is another opportunity to fill your body with healthy nutrients - think about: healthy fats, low fat/lean protein, complex carbs, fruits, veggies.
Here's my idea of a filling afternoon snack or a healthy appetizer as you are preparing your meal:
Hummus, Celery, Carrots, Part-skim Mozzarella cheese, nuts
I got a little creative with my salad and topped my beautiful veggie selection with a Chickpea Ball. It was super delicious!
1 can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1/4 cup green pepper (sliced)
1 clove garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1. In a medium pot, add olive oil and chopped garlic. Heat to medium heat.
2. Add chickpeas and cover for 5-10 min. Stir occasionally.
3. When chickpeas get soft, add peppers and seasonings and mash/crush with a spatula (or fork).
4. Continue cooking for 2-4 more minutes and turn off burner.
5. Take a few spoonfuls and form into a ball.
(you can also use this as a spread/substitute for hummus
Egg whites (hardboiled with a little yoke added to the salad)
Shredded cheese (a little pinch)