Lessons to be learned from the flood

By Athlete's Care on July 16, 2013

After last weeks flooding, many people learned they should not drive into a flooding underpass, or that their basement walls may not be as sturdy as they thought or that neighbours come through in times of need. For those that were stranded in their cars, they learned a different lesson. Hunger.

 I always encourage my patients to carry around snacks – in their purse, backpack, car, or desk drawers. What does this have to do with the flood you may be wondering? Drivers were trapped in their car along the DVP for over 2 hours; 1400 passengers were on the Go Train waiting to be rescued by boat for up to 7 hours! You need to eat at least every 3-4 hours.  At that point, your blood sugar levels start to drop and you may notice symptoms including difficulty concentrating, fatigue, headache, dizziness, irritability and poor behaviour. Poor behaviour and anger combined with hunger is also known as “Hangry” (hunger + Angry).

No one wants to be around someone who is ‘hangry.’

Ways to prevent ‘hanger’ is to always keep high protein, high fibre snacks on/near you. Here are some ideas to keep in your purse, your car or at work:

Bag of trail mix (mixed nuts, dried fruit, seeds), granola bars with at least 4g of fibre (like Kashi, Nature Valley, Kellog’s Or Fibre 1), energy bars ( Lara Bars, Cliff Bars), can of tuna with crackers, travel size peanut butter.

If you have a fridge at the office try these options:

Baby carrots and hummus, Yogurt and granola or berries, Melba toast and cheese slices, banana and chocolate milk.

Keeping high protein and fibre snacks on you or at the office, will help to satiate you towards the end of the day. In turn, you will be less hungry when you walk in the door, consequently less likely to grab anything and everything in site; followed by a full dinner.

If you find a midday snack isn’t enough to tide you over until dinner, try to think of your afternoon snack as a meal. Changing your thinking from a snack to a meal will help you make smart and healthier choices. Snack implies chips, birthday cake or a muffin; meal implies salads, chicken and fruit. Having a good midday snack will help ward off ‘hangry’ sensations, making you more pleasant to be around and help satiate your hunger levels before dinner. Plan ahead, and keep snacks close by so you can avoid the dreaded ‘hangry’ sensations, making yourself and everyone around you happier!

 Article written by Athlete's Care nutritionist Maxine Silberg.