Monthly Archives: January 2017

A Midnight Snack

Are you a night time snacker?

 

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For some, the evening isn’t complete without a little bite of something before bed.  I asked around to gather a list of the most common bedtime snacks and this is what I came up with:

  1. Bowl of cereal
  2. Bowl of ice cream
  3. Bowl of chips (potato, pita, tortilla)
  4. Cheese and crackers
  5. Cookies
  6. Glass of wine or a beer

Is this you?

It’s no wonder that many blame their weight gain on their post dinner treat.  Most of what people are snacking on at bedtime shouldn’t be part of a  daily menu any time of day, especially at bedtime when we are winding down to go to sleep.

Evening eating doesn’t have to be banned, though.  You can include a nighttime snack in your evening routine and still achieve your weight loss goals.  You just need to be a little more strategic in what you choose.  It appears as though many people are craving fat and carbs at bedtime.  This actually makes sense scientifically for 2 reasons:

1 Carbs cause an insulin spike that helps remove most amino acids from our blood leaving tryptophan behind.  Tryptophan is a precursor to Serotonin which is a hormone that can help reduce anxiety and induce sound sleep.

2. Fat helps slow digestion and keeps us feeling satiated white we sleep, preventing a growling stomach to act as an alarm clock.

With these 2 reasons in mind, not all fat and carbs are created equally.  Throwing highly processed junk foods down your gullet and then hitting the sack will actually have the adverse affect.  Your body will work hard to process the toxins and then you’ll wake up on a sugar high in the middle of the night.  Be strategic when choosing your evening snack.  Here is my absolute favorite:

Tart Cherries and Walnuts

Ingredients:

2/3 cup tart cherries (I get them from Costco in the freezer section.  They are already pitted and always taste delicious

1/4 cup walnuts

 

1 tsp coconut oil

Directions:

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Heat the coconut oil in a sauté pan.  Add the cherries and walnuts.  Scoot around until warmed through.  Transfer to a bowl and serve warm.  Add cinnamon if desired.

Cherries are even more powerful as a sleep aid as they are one of the few natural sources of melatonin.  Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate our sleep cycle as well.

Walnuts are a good source of tryptophan, which we discussed the importance of above.

While coconut oil can give you a good energy boost during the day, it also helps your body regulate it’s hormone cycle at night.

This is likely the most perfect pre-sleep snack.  If you have one that works well for you, I’d love for you to share it with me!

Related links and sources:

Sleep

Does Coconut Oil help you sleep?

10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Sleep Hormone: Melatonin