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First Responder Wellness Week Day 3: Sweet or salty on-shift craving crushers

A simple approach to selecting healthy snacks involves thinking in terms of “good, better and best”

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By Mandy Nice

A simple approach to selecting healthy snacks involves thinking in terms of “good, better and best.”

Let’s say you’re craving something sweet during a night shift. Our “good, better and best” strategy has you covered. Starting with “good,” opt for snacks that provide nutrients without excess sugar or saturated fat, like a protein bar containing minimal fat and sugar but packed with protein and fiber to keep you full and energized. For a “better” choice, consider a cold protein shake with low saturated fat and sugar, combined with fresh fruit for sustained energy. My favorite is a shake made from grass-fed protein, without added sugars or artificial colors.

Moving to the “best” snacks, these not only meet your protein needs but also include healthy fats and carbohydrates for maximum energy. An upgrade from a shake and fruit might include adding mixed nuts for omega-3s, supporting heart health. This strategy applies to savory cravings as well. Start with a “good” snack like your favorite chips and lean protein, then upgrade to “better” by choosing chips with fewer calories and more nutrients. The “best” snack might involve natural foods like carrots with ranch seasoning, maintaining that lean protein intake.

Get more resources to share with your team at the First Responder Wellness Week resource center.

About the author
Mandy Nice has over 18 years of experience developing and implementing national award-winning physical fitness and wellness programs that measurably improve the health, strength, quality of life and resilience of first responders. Her work has been featured in the highly esteemed International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Police Chief Magazine and the FBI National Academy Associate Magazine. She has served as an SME and professional speaker for industry-leading organizations including the U.S. BJA, National Justice Clearinghouse, National FOP and the IACP. As the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Tactical Program Manager, Mandy teamed with world-renowned subject matter experts to create educational resources that have continued to advance law enforcement wellness nationwide. Mandy is Lexipol’s Senior Strategic Wellness Director and Chair of the IACP Physical Wellness Working Group. Her greatest motivator is helping first responders optimize their health so that they can enjoy strong, rewarding careers and long, healthy retirements.