In today’s video, we’re diving into the world of period recovery snacks and snacks ideal for those on the journey to overcome Hypothalamic Amenorrhea.
Join me as I break down the key components that make a snack perfect for recovery, sharing tips on how to eat enough of the right foods to get your period back.
But that’s not all! I’ll be unveiling my top three favourite snacks that have been absolute game-changers in my own recovery journey.
Additionally, I’m addressing the controversial but necessary topic of snacks and foods to avoid – because let’s face it, understanding what doesn’t serve you is just as crucial. If you’re on a mission to reclaim your period health and embrace a nourishing snack routine (an essential component of recovery), this video is a must-watch.
Hit play, grab your notepad, and let’s explore the delicious world of snacks tailored for your recovery journey! 🍎🥑
Hi everyone, welcome back to Holistic Health Radio. I’m your host, Sarah-Liz King. I’m an exercise physiologist and health coach empowering people to find a healthy balance with food, fitness and their bodies. Today on the podcast, I am going to be talking about three of my favorite recovery snack ideas that you can steal and use in your own recovery journey and also snacks that I…
don’t love when people are talking to me about what kinds of foods that they should opt for. Now I’m not a person that says you should avoid this food at all costs, but there are just some where I’m like there are more helpful swaps. So I’ll also touch on that. Now I think it’s first helpful to consider what makes a snack a good choice and this is kind of in the context of
hypothalamic amenorrhea recovery where your energy needs are a little bit higher and a snack is not going to be you know a teeny tiny handful of almonds. So the first point that makes a snack a good choice is does it have enough energy for your requirements. Now for HA recovery we need kind of that minimum of
at least 2,500 calories a day. Does that mean you need to count calories? No, but that just means that your snacks are probably going to need to be more than one item or just a more energy-dense option in order to help you meet that 2,500 calories per day requirement. Also, if you’re more active, you are going to need more energy. There are other factors at play. Some people just have higher energy requirements when working towards weight restoration.
As you’re looking at these snacks today, if you find yourself thinking, oh, I need more than that good, know your own personal energy requirements are absolutely what you should be following. These are just some general ideas and recommendations. If you find you’re a little bit stuck, or maybe you’re in a routine of always having the same thing and you’re looking for another option to go towards. So the first thing that makes a snack good is obviously the energy component of it.
The second that I would say is, is it convenient? Like does it fit into your life? You have to think about what kind of work you have and your lifestyle. You know, me saying like, oh, go have like a yogurt bowl when you’re on the go all the time just is not going to be convenient. So you have to think about the options that are going to be best for you given what your day-to-day activities are. And I’ll mention in some of my favorite snacks.
who this might be helpful for, and it might give you an idea about how these can fit into your own lifestyle. So convenience is another really appropriate one. I also think, does it kind of fit into the social situation that you’re in? If you have a snack that is normally a music bar, some fruit or some yogurt or something like that all combined, but you’re out and about, it might be a better choice to…
have something when you go to a cafe to pick up your coffee and buy something with that. So that can also make a snack a really good choice is, is it fitting in with what you’re doing at the time, or are you feeling really rigid and stuck with always having to have the same thing? I think recovery can be such a wonderful time to work on that element of flexibility and variety. And hopefully some of these ideas I’m gonna share with you in a minute will give you some of that.
And I think the last component when it comes to a really good snack or a really helpful snack is that you include all different food groups. That means that you’re breaking down all of those food rules and food fears. You’re not just forcing yourself to have the quote unquote healthiest or cleanest, I don’t really like that word, option. You see that there is a purpose in having foods that have, I guess, more…
nutrition in them, so more vitamins, minerals, fibre, all those kinds of things, and foods that are very soul satisfying because both of them serve a purpose, both in helping us meet our energy requirements but also just being like a normal happy healthy eater because at the end of the day sure you can recover your period while only allowing yourself to eat a certain number of
But hey, like, isn’t the whole point of this journey to get to the end and feel like you can be at peace with food? Be able to go to brunch with your friends and, you know, have something really, really delicious and then see that pastry on the way out and decide to spontaneously buy it and grab it and eat it because it’s just what you genuinely wanna do and it looks really, really tasty. Or being able to go out for drinks in the afternoon with your friends and…
even though nobody else might be eating, you feel hungry and snackish, so you order the fries or the wedges so that everyone else can have a little nibble as you have your snack and not feel guilty or uncomfortable in those circumstances. Now, in the context of why do we even need to snack for HA recovery or for eating disorder recovery?
I think it’s really helpful to kind of understand that specifically in HA recovery, our brain is really seeking to feel like it’s in a safe environment and a consistent energy intake is going to help your body feel safe, is going to help you have more stable energy levels, more stable blood glucose levels. It will help you have, you know, a more stable mood. And that is really important to remind yourself like snacks aren’t just something that you
should do kind of like on occasion if you might get hungry between meals. Snacks are something that I recommend for everybody on this journey. And I’ve spoken about kind of the best diet for HA recovery on a separate podcast. So if you are interested in like what kind of way should I be eating in general to regain my period, scroll back down. It’s only a few episodes ago. Or kind of scroll through my YouTube and you’ll be able to find it.
And I go through in depth kind of like my rule of threes, routine of threes, I don’t like the word rules, but it’s just, it rolls off the tongue pretty easily of three meals, three snacks, roughly every three hours, including all three macronutrients, so protein, carbs, and fats, making sure you’re getting all of those throughout the day. Now that rule obviously applies here. Whenever you’re thinking about a snack, try and get like a variety of different things into play.
especially carbohydrates. I know a lot of people fear them but they are really what our body needs and what our brain needs to start feeling safe and like it has enough energy around for our menstrual cycle to come back. And if you’re on the eating disorder recovery journey they really are our body’s preferred source of energy. They will help you feel so much better day to day.
snack ideas. I haven’t put them together but I’m going to show you all the different components. I’m going to do one dairy based one, one sweet based one and one savory based one. So whatever your taste preference is there will be something for you. So we’re going to start off with our sweet one and that is a yogurt bowl. So normally I recommend like full fat Greek yogurt but like…
If you have something like a protein yogurt, that works too. I would just, if you have something like this, make sure you add in some nut butter or some nuts and seeds so you get that nice healthy fats component. I have this because I like having it as kind of like a post-workout meal or snack, and I get that protein component. Now, depending on where you are at in your recovery journey, having a full fat Greek yogurt is something that I would recommend, but again, we’re not here to kind of say that one food
should be completely avoided and the other food is like far more superior. But in this instance, having full cream dairy products can be helpful for people on a recovery journey, just because you get that slightly higher energy intake in the same volume. But also, this is just my personal taste preference. So that is why I have it with me today. Pairing that with nut butter, nuts and seeds and some trusty granola. So a yogurt granola bowl.
Having some fruit in there, it might be an apple, it might be a chopped banana, it might be whatever fresh fruit you have on hand. But yes, a yogurt bowl is a great snack. Now you might be thinking to yourself, oh my God, that sounds like more of a meal. Remember, you have high energy requirements during your recovery journey, and that is likely how much your body needs. I feel like that’s a really good snack because it kind of ticks all of the boxes. There’s enough energy in there.
We’ve got all of the different kinds of macronutrients. So our granola gives us some healthy carbohydrates. We’ve got some fruits for extra carbs and fiber and color and micronutrients. And then we’ve got our protein component with the yogurt and we’ve got some healthy fats in there with the nuts and seeds or the nut butter, which I forgot to grab. So just imagine I’m holding a jar of peanut butter that I have added in.
So that is my first favourite snack idea. Calcium is such a really important ingredient or calcium foods for our bone health. So I’m always really recommending, if we can getting at least one dairy or even like soy based food or snack in there each day, we’re kind of doing ourselves a world of good. Now that is my dairy snack suggestion.
Obviously there’s lots of variations with yogurt that you can use. You can make a yogurt based smoothie. Um, you could do like a bowl of cereal with some fruit as well and using your preferred milk, but a dairy based snack is a really good way to go. That is just my personal favorite. Second one I’m going to do is savory. So savory, a lot of people, including me, love a little hummus.
This is just a really easy grab and go for, you know, if you work or you’re away from home and you just want a quick, easy way to kind of transport it. A little pot of hummus with some rice crackers. I say rice crackers, not rice cakes. Rice cakes are just full of air and we don’t need that in our lives. And most people are like, oh, but can I have this with some carrot sticks? You’re probably better off.
Having the whole grains with crackers and hummus is just gonna give you, again, the energy that you need. A lot of times, depending on people’s energy requirements, I say that they should make more of a little stack plate. So it might be hummus, crackers, my favorite combination, a hard-boiled egg, and handful of nuts, and that is just gonna give you, probably, a little bit more energy to sustain you until the next meal. Just remember all the ideas that I’m giving you.
need to be tailored to what your personal energy requirements are. Now lastly, my favorite sweet snack is always a coffee combo. So going and getting your favorite coffee, whatever milk you want, make sure it is a milky coffee though, that is just going to make sure again that you get calcium energy requirements in. Unfortunately some of the coffee based.
Alternative milks aren’t always calcium fortified, so if you can tolerate dairy, full cream dairy is always going to be your way to go, but I know people have personal taste preferences when it comes to dairy. So a nice milky coffee and then pairing it with either your favourite bakery item, a pastry or what I have today, Tim Tams. So having two of your favourite kind of, I guess.
cream-filled or chocolate-filled biscuits is a little great winning combination. I would say if you’re on the go, grabbing something from a coffee shop is also super convenient and kind of just shows you that you’re at a place where you have a really good healthy relationship with food that you can kind of go like, oh, it’s around that time that I need a snack, everyone else is grabbing a coffee, I’ll grab a coffee and banana bread. Or I’ll grab a coffee and a…
almond croissant. So just keeping in mind that flexibility is so important to work on and breaking down your food rules will allow you to consistently get in the energy that your body needs and that is number one when it comes to recovering your period and how quickly your period will come back is how quickly can you get to a stage where you’re consistently and adequately eating
even on the weekends, even on those social occasions where you’re out of routine, because that will help your body feel safe every single day. And that safety, that energy availability is what helps your menstrual cycle return. Now on the flip side, there are some things that I’m definitely not going to demonize because obviously I showed you like a protein-based yogurt, but there are some things where I would be like if you could have an alternative to this, that’s what I would suggest.
The first one is any like, I guess, specific diet based food. So the one that comes to mind the most is like sugar-free protein bars or sugar-free ice creams or desserts. The reason being is they have a lot of sugar alcohols, which can actually upset your digestive system quite significantly. And they’re also usually filled with a lot of fiber. And sometimes that fiber can make us feel really, really full.
But we actually, you know, that fullness might prevent us from getting the energy that we actually need in our entire day. So normal ice cream, even if it’s like a dairy free version, so maybe you get like one that’s made from coconut milk or something like that, is going to be much better for you than the sugar free, low calorie, kind of like halo top version of ice cream.
So that’s what I would definitely recommend if you’re having kind of like a sweet snack for your dessert, for example, but those foods don’t need to be only at nighttime. You can have them at any time of the day. The second one is kind of like a food that I find is most people’s safe food. And the reason why I’m not readily recommending this one is mostly because I feel like people get really stuck in their comfort zone with this one. And…
removing this food and swapping it for something else is often a really big turning point for people being able to have a snack that actually has enough energy in it. And that food is rice cakes. Rice cakes are flying disks of air. They don’t have that much energy in them, but they are a higher volume food. And some people go, well, you know, I put X, Y, and Z topping on it, but
it would take a lot of those rice cakes for you to actually get enough energy in that your body’s requiring and if we’re having that many we could get the same amount of energy just in one you know slice of beautiful sourdough bread for example and I know it can be really hard to think about moving away from foods that you might have felt more comfortable around but get curious you might actually find a food that you enjoy way more because
Hands down, I thought I was like, no, I just really love rice cakes. And now I realized I was like, no, I’m actually depriving myself of what I really enjoy, which is breads and toasts and other foods that are actually much, much more enjoyable than flying discs of air, which is what I lovingly refer to them as. Now, the last thing when it comes to snacks that I don’t really recommend is just one single piece of fruit.
It’s not going to be enough for you if you’re on a journey of recovering your period. Your energy requirements are just too high. Normally most people need a combination of a few different foods to make up an energy dense snack. So you know, having a piece of fruit and a really big size granola bar, having a piece of fruit and like a generous serve of trail mix.
you’re going to need more than just one thing. Similarly, like a handful of nuts is not going to get you to where you want to be. You need to be choosing energy dense snacks. So if there’s anything that you take away from today, and I know I’ve been harping on about it is don’t skip your snacks. And at the same time, make sure that your snacks are working for you. Don’t skip out on having beautiful energy rich.
snacks because that is what your body needs to recover your period and to keep your period regular. We often think that you know once I get to the point of my period coming back that I don’t need to eat these kinds of foods or I don’t need to snack. Hands down it is the biggest thing that I see as a reason why people often have their periods go missing again is they built up all of these really great habits and they get into a really good rhythm but then once their periods are
they kind of stop making snacking a priority. And snacks, if you have a history of hyperthymic amenorrhea, are going to be something that you need to kind of keep in your life in some way, shape or form for probably the foreseeable future. So whatever helps you get your period back is probably what you’re going to have to maintain at least for a little while until you kind of like get into a place where you feel like you can eat quite intuitively and respond to your body. And it signals.
really reliably, but until that, don’t just stop having your snacks once you’ve gotten your period back, keep it around so that your periods stay regular. So that is my little guide on snacks. Now if you’re like, okay, well those were some great ideas, but I want more specific concrete ideas, you can grab my snack options guide. I’m going to leave the link just down below in your show notes.
It has over 70 snack ideas that are absolutely perfect for your recovery journey. So if you ever feel stuck, if you’re not sure what to go towards, if you’ve been in kind of a routine of having the same thing and you’re wanting to break free, definitely grab that super affordable and will just help you make decisions so much easier. Because I know decision fatigue is something that we all struggle with from time to time.
So I’m gonna leave it there today. If you really enjoyed today’s episode and you’re watching on YouTube, give it a thumbs up. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. If you’re listening on Apple, give us a five-star rating and review. It really helps support the podcast and helps other people on a similar journey find our podcast and specifically maybe this episode. And if you want to share wherever you are listening, you can tag myself at Sarah Liz King.
and I will be sure to reshare those stories on Instagram. But until then, keep looking after yourselves and I will be back next week with a fresh new episode. You can wrap your ears around.
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