I consider myself lucky for many reasons... one of them being my sweet tooth is just a baby one. It's easy to forgo desserts for weeks on end (until a tub of ice cream lands in my cart at a weak moment.) Soda pop has no appeal, and, thank goodness, I've never been a big baker.
BUT... I grew up snacking on giant bags of roasted, salted sunflower seeds -- whether laying in bed reading before sleep, or traveling to a campground in the back of our noisy camper, there seemed to always be a Cool-Whip tub full of salt-dusty seeds, and another one slowly filling with damp, empty shells. They're still my road-trip snack of choice, although now, the three or four times a year I indulge, I buy the small bag.
Potato chips were always a special treat at our house, so they never became habit, but... tortilla chips? Oh yeah. Bring on the salsa and guacamole, baby! Again, I try to keep my intake to a dull roar, knowing the carb and salt numbers are off the charts after the first five chips. Since they're corn, and most corn is now GMO, we only buy organic tortilla chips these days, and attempt to stretch each bag out a few weeks.
Well... last weekend, driving the four hours home from the racetrack, we stopped to gas up, and I went bonkers in the snack store: bought a bag of Spitz sunflower seeds (which never seem to be as deliciously fresh as my childhood Hoodie's or David's--less tempting is good!), AND a single-serving-sized bag of salt-and-vinegar potato chips. About an hour away from home I realized that I'd devoured the chips and was half-way through the bag of sunnies! YIKES! My mouth was numb! And my water bottle was empty.
The next morning not only could I not see my ankle bones, but my face looked as though someone had injected mini-bananas under my eyes! It was weigh-in day, and although I'd tracked and eaten really well the week before, the scale said I'd gained two pounds. (That's a LOT on my 5'0" frame.)
Obviously most of that gain was water retention, so I went to the Internet for natural diuretic solutions, and here's what I did:
1. Created a delicious Water-Weight-Losing Smoothie containing
PG Tips unsweetened, brewed ice-tea
Unsweetened cranberry juice
Plain Greek yogurt
2. Meditated laying on the couch with cucumber slices over my eyes.
3. Drank 10 cups of water throughout the day. (Yep, extra water helps.)
4. Took an hour-long walk even though it was a hot-hot day. (Sweat it out, honey!)
5. Got a good night's sleep.
The next morning my eyes and ankles looked "normal" again, and I stepped onto the scale.... TA DAAAA! Right back down to my maintenance weight -- a full two pounds less than the morning before!
Does this mean that I'll let myself go crazy on salt since I now know how to bounce back? Not on your life! With a family history of high blood pressure and dementia, I know the value of keeping salt intake low. Pretty sure I never need another mouth-puckering bag of salt-and-vinegar chips this lifetime. And it seems that a bag of crunchy mixed veggies would do a great job of keeping me awake while driving, and be far healthier and tastier than those over-the-top-salty, slightly rancid seeds.
How about you? Do you have a favourite go-to snack that is actually good for you?