How to Snack Smarter!

Posted on March 5, 2024

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1505276256281{padding-top: 80px !important;padding-bottom: 80px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text]It’s 4pm and that little voice in your head is telling you to reach for a packet of crisps. Yet those extra kilos are still lingering  – and you’ve still got a dinner to go to that night.

But you’re hungry. Plain old starving. So what to do?

Truth is, the worst thing is to ignore the craving and/or hunger. The best thing (and let’s face it, we all know it yet continue to ignore it) is to make a healthier, lower fat, lower sodium and more nutritious choice.

And that’s the conundrum. How can we make that choice easier?

Here, founder of digital wellness and travel publication, Destination Deluxe ( Vivienne Tang and Flex yoga instructor and detox programme aficionado, Michelle Ricaille, give us their best ‘snack swap’ options.

“I think snacks are important,” says Michelle. “Especially for kids. But I believe you need to make them yourself. If you want to make the change, that’s just what you have to do. This is Hong Kong. If you have a helper, give her the recipes to try out (links to recipes below).”

For Vivienne, being on the run and travelling often means she has to buy smart so she’s prepared for hunger pains and cravings.

Here, Michelle and Vivienne list the best snack-swap tactics:


Michelle – make them yourself! Thinly slice a few organic red potatoes. The darker the vegetable, the higher the antioxidants. Drizzle then with a little olive oil, sprinkle on some sea salt and lay out evenly on baking paper. Bake in a very hot oven until crispy. Eat.

Vivienne I’m a big fan of seaweed with activated pumpkin seeds. A great snack and much healthier than crisps.

Sweet Biscuit/cookie

Vivienne – I often opt for a banana smoothie. I just blend 1 to 2 bananas with some coconut water and voila. It’s really filling and gives you that natural sweet kick.

Michelle – make your own vegan cookies (gluten-free), using flax seeds, dark chocolate and almond butter. They’re high in protein and calcium (see link to recipes below):

Pizza/something with melted cheese

Michelle –  “Cheese isn’t all bad for you,” she says. “What is, though, is homogenised, pasteurised processed cheese. So if you want pizza, make a gluten-free whole-wheat flour base and dot it with raw milk French cheese (goat or cow – you can buy it at Jason’s supermarkets) and drizzle a homemade pasta sauce with steamed vegetables on top. That’s an amazing pizza. But if you use tomato sauce from a can, it has so much sugar in it. Either way, avoid highly pasteurised mozzarella, as that’s the stuff that contributes to being overweight. Obesity is increasing the world over, except France and they eat so much cheese! Why? They eat raw cows milk or goats milk.”

Vivienne – I used to make myself creamy pasta quite regularly and have now replaced the cream with a cashew nut sauce, which basically consists of cashews and water that I blend for less than a minute. I normally season it with a bit of Himalayan salt.

Chocolate bar

Michelle – Always carry mixed nuts and seeds. And throw in some dark chocolate chips as well. Raisins are one of the worst fruits to add because of the high sugar content. Cranberries are better (less calories and more protein per .75 of a cup serving).

Vivienne – I still have chocolate occasionally but try to go for organic raw chocolate instead.

Bread with butter and your fave spread

Michelle – nut bread! (see link to recipes below). It has no flour and instead, seeds. People actually lose weight eating this. Smooth on some avocado. That really fills you up. And peanut butter as a spread or in cooking has a flavour that is not for everyone, so use almond butter instead.

Vivienne – Not that much replaces bread, really. But I often find myself reaching for organic almonds these days, which are lightly salted. They are much healthier than most snacks and a great source of protein. Can also replace crisps.

Websites for recipes and ingredients: (for harder-to-find ingredients)

Need a healthy kick-start for summer? Join the Face of Flex, Heather Thomas Shalabi, for two transformational weeks of intensive yoga, Pilates and Barre classes at awesome prices. All the amazing physical benefits of Flex retreats without having to leave Hong Kong. Prices start from $2,000 for 10 classes. July 10-22. Sign up now.


Share this article


Typically replies within an hour