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The season of love is upon us. Everywhere you look, it seems like that little rascal Cupid is taking aim and taking down another unsuspecting victim. Love is one of the most profound – and confusing – experiences in the human condition. So, much like 90s dance sensation Haddaway, we wanted to know – what is love?
It might seem like a cultural or even spiritual experience, but when you really get down to it, love is biological. It’s a phenomenon of the mind and body – and is therefore influenced by nutrition. And despite “love at first sight” cliches, love doesn’t happen all at once. It’s a journey, one for which psychologists and other experts have identified distinct stages.
So in honor of the Feast of St. Valentine, we’ve created this snack-centric guide to falling in love, featuring five snacks that will see you through every step of this wondrous, frustrating, and altogether beguiling odyssey called love.
1. Initial Attraction – Square Bar Chocolate Coated Cherry
It all starts with that initial spark. In this first stage, you might feel giddy when you think about the object of your affection. That’s because your brain is flooding with dopamine, a feel-good chemical that produces a sense of euphoria and keeps you interested in potential romantic partners.
To keep those butterflies from flying around an empty stomach, we recommend Square Bar’s Chocolate Coated Cherry. Dark chocolate and tart cherries are a classic romantic pairing, while the extra virgin coconut oil provides a creamy coconut finish. 12g of Complete Protein mean you’ll stay fuller longer.
2. Early Courtship – Lawless Jerky BBQ Sparerib Pork Jerky
In the early courtship stage, you’re still putting your best foot forward, trying desperately to impress the guy or gal of your dreams. Demonstrate your impeccable taste with Lawless Jerky’s BBQ Pork Sparerib jerky.
Lawless is a beloved brand by SnackNation members, renowned for the quality of its grass fed beef and world-inspired flavors like mango habanero. Their newest jerky variety is also their first foray outside of beef. Lawless BBQ Sparerib pork jerky is their take on a traditional Chinese classic, marinated with all natural ketchup, gluten-free soy sauce, and honey, and then finished with authentic spices, including cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.
It’s everything you love about spareribs… without the sticky fingers.
3. The Fall – Pure Protein Peanut Butter Crunch and Double Chocolate Crunch
Now that your crush sees what a great catch you are, your brain goes into overdrive, literally becoming addicted to spending time with or thinking about your new boo.
This is the “falling” stage of falling in love.
During this stage, your brain sends signals to your adrenal gland to release adrenaline, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, causing an addicting sense of infatuation. Here’s the thing – your brain relies on protein to send those signals. That’s because brain cells talk to each other via neurotransmitters, chemical messengers made out of (you guessed it) protein.
To make sure your body has the protein it needs during this stage, munch on Pure Protein’s Peanut Butter and Double Chocolate Crunch balls. Getting your protein fix has never been easier or more fun. Pure Protein uses only non-GMO, gluten free ingredients to deliver 10 grams of high quality protein (and just 150 calories and 5 grams of sugar).
Pro-tip: eat them together. What goes together better than you and your new boo? Peanut butter and chocolate!
4. Attachment – Vegan Rob’s Brussel Sprout Puffs & Vegan Rob’s Tumeric Chips
Oxytocin (aka, the love hormone) takes center stage during the attachment phase. The body releases oxytocin in mothers during breastfeeding, hugs and high fives, and other forms of (ahem) intimate contact, causing feelings of intense bonding. But unlike the feel-good neurochemicals in earlier stages, oxytocin is long lasting, and helps promote a long term attachment between partners.
Foods that are high in saturated fat stress your body, and slow down the production of this all-important love chemical. Fiber and nutrient-rich vegetables, on the other hand, actually promote it. To keep the oxytocin flowing, snuggle up and get down with Vegan Rob’s. In just 110 calories, Vegan Rob’s plant-based snacks pack in a gram of dietary fiber and 2 gram of protein per serving – not to mention ZERO saturated fat.
It doesn’t hurt that love is a big part of the Vegan Rob’s story. Legendary snack entrepreneur Rob Ehrlich founded his namesake brand to inspire people to love themselves, the planet, and all living things.
5. Stability – Lundberg Sriracha Rice Chips & Lundberg Santa Fe BBQ Rice Chips
The last stage in this process is all about transforming your brightly burning infatuation into something more sustainable. This is when you find out if you and your love interest have the potential to put down roots together. Not coincidentally, this is also the stage where the idea of staying in becomes preferable to going out.
For this reason, we recommend Lundberg Farms Rice Chips. Demonstrate your deep reverence for family by going with a brand that’s been family owned and operated since 1937.
Today, the third and fourth generations of Lundergs carry on the family tradition, using eco-positive farming methods that produce wholesome, healthful rice, rice cakes, and rice chips, while improving and protecting the environment for generations to come.
It also doesn’t hurt that their rice chips are downright delicious. Their sriracha and BBQ flavors will spice up your next Nachos + Netflix night. Great right out of the bag or with your favorite dip or salsa.
So there you have it – five snacks that will serve you on your journey from flirtation to courtship and beyond. Of course, even if you’re single, all of these snacks are still better for you, delicious, and a whole lot of fun. So eat up! And if you haven’t started your home box subscription yet, what are you waiting for? Sign up to try your first Gluten-Free box, FREE today!