Whenever I begin working alongside someone who wants to make healing decisions regarding their body, I always ask them to give me a list of the foods they eat during a typical day.
This is what I often receive:
- 8:00 a.m Breakfast: Two egg whites and a slice of toast
- 12:00 p.m Lunch: Kale Salad – no dressing
- 5:00 p.m Supper: Chicken and vegetables
What they fail to leave off is what they choose to eat later that evening after supper.
- 10:30 p.m Snack: 23 Oreos and a ½ gallon of Ice cream
I have been thinking about all the different so called “facts” that I believe simply because I have read it somewhere or someone told me it was true. These facts always cause me to feel extremely guilty, that I am weak with no will power. I’m over feeling guilty about everything. My most recent release of guilt is allowing myself to eat late at night. My Friend, it is ok to eat past the often tabooed time of 7 p.m. There’s a caveat, however. Just like you are choosing to eat whole foods during the day, simply choose healing foods for your late night snack. There is never a good time to harm your body with harmful food.
The guilt makers’ (more often referred to as “the studies show”) argument is that if you eat late at night you will gain weight because your body doesn’t have a chance to burn off the calories you ate before you go to bed. I think we all agree with that fact, but if you choose to eat the right melatonin-rich snacks before bedtime, your body will actually benefit from your late night snack.
So I say stop feeling guilty! Embrace your desire to eat late but instead of eating foods that harm your body and cause you to gain weight, not sleep or an upset stomach, start choosing foods that will actually help you to not only sleep better but add healing benefits to your body as well.
Here are the top 10 best late night snacks:
- Tart Cherries (melatonin-rich). I buy these frozen and just eat them right out of the freezer.
- Brown Rice or Barley (loads of magnesium). I use my rice cooker and keep leftover barley or brown rice in the refrigerator.
- Kale Chips (lots of calcium that helps produce melatonin). Just about every store sells kale chips now.
- Bananas (B6 helps produce melatonin) – a frozen banana run through the blender taste just like ice cream. Add a few cherries.
- Pineapple (B6 helps produce melatonin). I buy frozen pineapple (no syrup, no sugar) and eat it with the cherries.
- Chickpea Hummus (Also high in B6 which promotes melatonin) – look for hummus in all refrigerated sections of your grocery. Check for preservatives.
- Raw Almonds (B-6 which promotes melatonin) – always rinse your almonds before eating them.
- Organic Apple with Raw Almond Butter (apples are high in water content and almonds are loaded with nutrients)
- Walnuts (contain tryptophan which helps you sleep) – always choose raw walnuts. Great for brain health.
- Sliced Turkey (contains tryptophan which helps you sleep) – buy the hormone, antibiotic-free brands. Make sure there is no msg or preservatives.
The main point is to simply choose a healthier snack before bedtime. And honestly, if you want Oreos and Ice Cream once a year, go for it! Tossing and turning during the night is a form of exercise!