Late Night Munchie Solutions…

Sometimes I get to around 9pm, and suddenly my stomach starts to rumble. Then I realise that I probably missed out a snack or two today, and so my stomach is now complaining. But what to eat? I find that eating a late night meal tends to keep me awake, or cause me to wake up with stomach ache, or even mean that it knocks off my routine for the next day, because when I wake up I’m no longer feeling breakfast (although this is an extremely rare occurrence; the lure of porridge is often too strong). For a long time I would try to avoid eating anything late at night, even if my stomach could have made quite the dent in the Richter scale, which is something equally as unhealthy as eating half the kitchen. So, here I have for you some late night snacks to satisfy whatever you’re fancying. My advice before you head to the kitchen though? Drink a couple of glasses of water first, and wait 20 minutes. Are you still hungry? If not, then you may just have been suffering from dehydration. If you are still hungry, you may now proceed to that temple of late night food: the kitchen.

First things first, what foods/drinks should you avoid in order to get a peaceful night’s sleep, and solve the problem of your grumbling belly? Foods and drinks containing caffeine (coffee, chocolate, and even green tea) give you the same lift in the evening as they do in the morning, so avoid them. Rich and greasy food, alcohol, and sugary food can also all keep you awake, resulting either in an uncomfortably bloated feeling, or an energy boost. This means you should avoid fried foods, heavy foods such as pizza, sugary cereals, cake etc. before bed, in order to get the best night’s sleep.

Foods that are ideal to eat are those which stimulate the release of melatonin (the sleep hormone), are comforting, light, and easily digested. These foods include bananas, tarte cherries, oats, and (I find) warm foods. So, for some suggestions I have provided a list of hot and cold snacks below, ranging from something more substantial, to something a little lighter. I hope that at least one of them will satisfy your food craving, and promote that great night’s sleep…

I fancy something…Hot

  • 1 slice of wholemeal toast with any of:
    1. 1tsp honey and cinnamon
    2. 1/2tbsp any nut butter, and a sprinkle of cinnamon
    3. 1/4 mashed avocado
    4. 1 tbsp. cottage cheese with a little honey and cinnamon
  • Porridge with chopped banana and honey (30g oats with 120ml either milk, or water, or a mixture of both. Microwave for 2 minutes, adding 1/2 of the banana after one minute. Top with the rest of the banana and honey. This makes a thick porridge; if you want a thinner consistency use more liquid, and/or cook for less time)
  • Porridge with tarte cherries (30g oats, microwaved for 2 minutes with 120ml milk/water/a mixture. Top with 1tbsp tarte cherries)
  • Warm milk and honey
  • 1-2 wheet-a-bix with warm milk and a dash of cinnamon (sounds awful, is super satisfying)
  • Mug Muffin (combine in a mug: 1/4 cup porridge oats, 1 egg, 1/2 a mashed banana, pinch of cinnamon. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, turn out of the mug. Top with the remaining banana, and a little peanut butter, if desired)
  • Scrambled or boiled eggs, on toast or simply as they are
  • Homemade microwave cookies (see two recipe ideas from this blog: http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/microwave-prune-walnut-cookies.html or http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/banana-peanut-butter-microwave-cookies.html)

I fancy something…Cold

  • 35g Shreddies with 100-200ml cow’s milk, or plant based milk (Shreddies are my personal choice, but feel free to use bran flakes, or any other no added sugar cereal. I’ve also recently been loving Alpro coconut milk; plant based milks are generally easier to digest than cows milk last thing at night, and this one tastes amazing)
  • A good old banana, with or without a smearing of nut butter
  • 2tbsp cottage cheese on ryvitas
  • 2-3 rice cakes with any nut butter, and sliced banana if you want a little more, or to boost that melatonin production
  • Frozen banana (with or without Greek yoghurt)
  • 50-100g Greek yoghurt with a small handful of berries and a sprinkling of either oats or cereal

I hope that helps you find something delicious to eat, and also get a peaceful night’s slumber! For more food inspiration, head over to my Instagram account- there is a link to the right hand side of this blog post…

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