Snack Smart

Raise your hand if you agree that being sick is the worst.

*Raises hand*

Over a week and I have no progress. I am not okay with this ūüė° So, what do I do? Take a break from studying medical nutrition therapy a midst my self-proclaimed “bed rest” and de-stress with a little blogging. I think I am addicted. Whoopsie.¬†(not a horrible addiction though, right?)

My wonderful (and kind of crazy) parents went camping Sunday night. Empty-Nester’s syndrome? just kidding….kind of. On their way back they stopped at Trader Joe’s in Ann Arbor and then popped by East Lansing to drop off some goodies for me. How sweet. Apple-pumpkin butter, spinach and kale Greek yogurt dip and white fudge/cranberry oatmeal cookies were among my surprises. All-natural and all-delicious!¬†

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a SNACKER. I can’t go long without food (well, I can but I will be cranky and annoyed…. just ask my family and friends. Not pretty!) I have people tell me ALL the time that they don’t believe in snacking and only stick to 3 square meals a day. Pish Posh! You can snack away, as long as you do it correctly! Here are some tips to help you improve your snacking. Remember, snacking can help hold you over from meal to meal and help you avoid a binge the next time you sit down at the dinner table!

English: Healthy snack
English: Healthy snack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How to become a smarter snacker

  1. Plan out your snacks. Planning healthy snacks in advance, like carrots and dip or an apple and peanut butter, will help you avoid going to the hostess cupcakes sitting in the vending machine.
  2. Snack consciously. Evaluate if you are actually hungry or if you are bored! Sometimes you don’t need a snack, you just need to occupy your time. It is key to ensure you are not chowing due to boredom.
  3. Make sure snacks are portable if you are an on-the-go person. Know you will be out running errands for hours? Maybe pack a granola bar or an apple rather than yogurt (yogurt needs to be refrigerated! The other options don’t!)
  4. Know where to snack. This one goes back to eating consciously. ¬†Try not to eat in the car or at your desk. Even though you aren’t eating a full meal you should still treat it as a separate activity. Don’t eat on auto-pilot!

Here are some great examples of smart snack swaps (Say that ten times fast!!) from Fitness Magazine

Healthy after-school snacks
Healthy after-school snacks (Photo credit: isthisREALLYmylife?)

Old standby: Carrot sticks with ranch dressing
New favorite: Spicy citrus sticks and avocado

  • Toss 1 cup jicama matchsticks in a bowl with the juice of 1/2 lime, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.¬†Enjoy¬†with 1/2 avocado.

Old standby: Microwave popcorn
New favorite: Pumpkin-spice popcorn

  • Toss 4 cups air-popped popcorn with 2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Old standby: Apples with peanut butter
New favorite: Baked pear with honey

  • Halve a small pear and bake at 375¬į for 30 minutes. Top with 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts and 1 teaspoon honey. Dust with ground ginger

Old standby: Low-fat yogurt with fruit
New favorite: Cheesy apple slices

  • Mix 1 ounce goat cheese with 1 chopped date and a splash of vanilla. Spread on a sliced small apple.

Old standby: Whole wheat crackers
New favorite: Kale chips

  • Drizzle 1 bunch chopped kale with 2 teaspoons olive oil and salt to taste. Bake at 300¬į for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crisp.




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