After several weeks of cupcakes and chocolate surprises, many of us at IMAGE HQ are trying our very best to avoid all the sweet temptations that come our way between nine and five. It's really, REALLY hard. As soon as one person reports a sighting of cake in the office kitchen, we're faster out of our seats than we are to gobble down whatever delicacy awaits us. In a bid to ease off the sugar - you don't need us to tell you it's a bad idea - and incorporate more goodness into our days (while at the same time satisfying our need for regular nibbling and our insatiable sweet tooth) we've picked our top four favourite office snacks.
1. Pistachio nuts
Be warned, pistachio nuts, while a healthier option, will do nothing for your productivity. Roughly an hour went by before we copped that all we'd done was created a mound of empty pistachio shells on our desk. Nevertheless, pistachios are more of a friend to you than Reese's Peanut Butter Cups will ever be. Though some people worry about their fat content, this is the kind of fat that's good (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated). Plus, these tasty nuts pack a powerful nutritional punch. In one ounce of pistachios, you're getting 5.94 grams of protein and 2.8 grams of fiber. You'll also get 1.8 grams of iron per the same portion. Add to that Vitamin E for lovely skin, as well as your Omega 3 Fatty Acids and pistachios are hella attractive. Word of warning though, avoid the salted variety; one serving provides 121 mg of sodium, and that's too much for your beloved blood pressure.
For what it's worth, we also reckon you'll burn calories from the effort of cracking open their shells; we had sore thumbs for at least a few hours after our pistachio binge.
2. Frozen blueberries
Yes, blueberries are super good for you (hence their superfood description), but when you snack on them frozen, they're transformed from a squishy ball of navy goo into tasty, chewy, satisfying sweets. If you're yawning at the thoughts of your regular box of blubes, just try it; frozen is far better. Packed full of antioxidants and some studies have even showed that just one cup of blueberries per week can lower your blood pressure levels, cholesterol levels, and speed up your metabolism. They've also got 14% of your required daily intake of fiber as well as 24 percent of your recommended Vitamin C intake. So there you go, choose frozen blueberries over that Starbucks blueberry muffin, and your body will love you for it.
3. Apple, sweet potato or kale crisps
Sometimes, you just want to stick your fingers into a bag of crunchy treats and lick your fingers 'til you're done. If a pack of King crisps has ceased to serve you well, we've discovered dried apple crisps from M&S. All they are is dried out slices of apple that are delightfully crispy, tasty and sweet. What makes this deal even sweeter is that a bag of these counts as one of your five a day. We'll take five so. We're also loving Natasha's Living Food kale crisps and any of the roasted vegetable crisps that you'll find in most health stores, supermarket health aisles and Avoca too.
4. Sliced banana with peanut butter
Satisfying our sweet tooth in a way that isn't loaded with refined sugar is a task for which we will go to any length; chopping up a banana and smearing on a dollop of peanut butter is as close as we've come. Yes, there's sugar in your banana but if you compare it to the refined sugar found in that bar of Dairy Milk luring you from under your desk, it's like the Mother Teresa of sweet treats. Adding peanut butter satisfies your yearning for something salty too. Peanut butter contains healthy fats, is high in fiber, potassium, protein and boasts antioxidant properties too. What's more, a plate of these little treats makes for the perfect elevenses or... threesies.