Have you noticed kale chips have jumped from the health food aisle to more prominent shelf positions at the grocery store? Many traditional snack foods are coming up with vegetable ingredients like sweet potato chips instead of white potato chips, multigrain and brown rice crackers instead of white flour crackers, and even totally original snacks like roasted seaweed snacks and wasabi coated peas. Are these foods really healthy?
It is important to remember that while these foods contain dehydrated vegetables, they are still processed taste sensations, full of fat, salt, and sugar. Even though a kale chip does start off with a vegetable rather than a flour, it is anyone’s guess how many of the nutrients in the original kale leaf we are getting after all the processing. Homemade kale chips are not hard to make and are likely much better for us. Wash and dry kale leaves, toss lightly with oil, and spread on a baking sheet. Cook in a medium hot oven until crispy. Sprinkle with seasonings. (I often take the pan out of the oven several times to pull out kale leaves as they become crispy.)
Snacking is a common eating habit. My husband loves crackers and the original Triscuits are one of the few brands that contain simple and healthful ingredients. One of his favorite snacks is to put a slice of avocado on a Triscuit and sprinkle it with caviar. I like humus and often eat it with carrot sticks, cucumber slices, or cherry tomatoes. These snacks can easily serve as a meal. They are quick and easy and will fill us up with nutrients rather than fats and sugars.
Trying to find time to cook and prepare meals is difficult in our fast-paced lives. Snacking is not bad if we choose healthful foods. Even so, a few hours in the kitchen preparing toppings for brown rice and beans or salad greens can save time throughout the week. Preparing black bean veggie burgers or collard leaf wraps, or a hearty soup can also provide an on-the-go meal that will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. Throw some veggies, greens, pre-soaked beans, and vegetable broth into a slow cooker for a meal that cooks itself, or use a pressure cooker to speed up cooking time for rice and beans.
Trying to find a quiet time to pray or meditate is just as difficult. Using down time to talk with God can draw us near to Him throughout the day. Driving to work is an excellent time to pray or sing to Him. It can be a great way to exorcise road rage, too :). Using time to talk with God while walking, cooking, or any time we are not actively engaging our thoughts can offer a “God chip”, a quick snack on God who is, after all, the Bread of Heaven. Bringing God into the now is snacking on Him throughout the day, and have no doubts that He is listening. God hears your every thought.
Cast all your anxious thoughts on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7