Snacking, Choose Wisely

There is nothing worse than that hungry feeling in between meals. You don’t want to ruin all the hard work in your weight loss program by eating snacks throughout the day. You don’t have to have that feeling, there are lots of healthy snacks for weight loss that are delicious and still nutritious.

A good rule to follow when looking for healthy snack foods is to make sure you look for snacks that are high in protein and contain complex carbohydrates. Protein is critical because it is a primary component of every cell in the human body. The body uses protein to make and mend tissue as well as to reproduce bone, muscle, hair, nail, skin and blood cells. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy and come in two forms, simple and complex. Complex carbohydrates are your better choice, such as whole grains. However, you can choose simple carbohydrates as long as you choose “good” simple carbohydrates, like the ones found in fresh fruits.

It is important to try to keep your snack foods within the range of approximately 100 to 150 calories and not to have them in an amount that would take you over your daily calories count. If you are allowed 1600 calories per day then it is reasonable to have three meals of about 400 calories each and two to three snacks of approximately 100-150 calories each. This should keep you within a calorie count to lose weight and remain on a healthy diet eating plan.

In addition to selecting snacks containing high protein and low carbohydrates, making sure to snack regularly in between meals is vital. It’s a great idea to get in tune with your internal hunger clock; don’t wait until your stomach starts talking to you. Practicing portion control will make snacking more effective for you. Instead of grabbing an entire bag of nuts from the kitchen cabinet, try measuring out the appropriate serving size ahead of time.

Here is a list of some good snack choices.

  • Apple slices
  • Whole grain bread sticks
  • Unsalted rice cakes
  • Baked tortilla chips
  • Nuts (1 ounce or less)
  • Whole grain cereal
  • Fresh fruit
  • Unsweetened canned fruit
  • Baked apple
  • Raisins
  • Frozen grapes
  • Celery
  • Dark chocolate
  • Air popped popcorn
  • Low-fat/fat free fruit yogurt

Eating healthy snack foods is just one part of a health maintenance strategy that should incorporate eating healthy and being active. Talk with your trainer and plan out your meal plan and workout routine.

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Healthy Picnic

When you think of picnics you think of delicious food, family, friends, outdoor activities. It’s a great way to get outside to enjoy the weather and get some exercise.Many conventional picnic foods really pack a punch when it comes to calories, fat, salt and sugar. But you don’t have to ditch the picnic all together. Instead, try streamlining your picnic basket with some healthier food alternatives.

Dessert at a picnic usually is sweets. But try the natural sweetness of fruit salad as a healthy twist. A combination of sweet fruits topped with coconut pieces or served with a fruit dip satisfies the sugar craving.

When it comes to drinks, opt for bottled water or juices. Sugar free flavor packets can be mixed into bottled water for a fruity drink if you don’t want to drink juice. If picnickers will be active, water offers better hydration than soda drinks.

A picnic doesn’t have to equate to a departure from a healthy eating regimen. Nutritious menu items can be managed even on the grill. Pre-planning can keep the menu more nutritious but just as delicious, not to mention simple and stress-free.

Try these top 10 Healthy Picnic Foods:

  1. Edamame
  2. Hummus and Pita
  3. Grilled Burgers
  4. Roast Chicken
  5. Whole Grain Sandwiches
  6. Tossed Salads
  7. Veggie Packed Pasta Salads
  8. Grilled Vegetables
  9. Angel Food Cake with Strawberries
  10. Fruit Kabobs

Picnics are also a great opportunity for physical activity. Add some healthy food options and you’re bound to have a great day.

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Healthy Baking

The best part of the holidays is indulging in the yummy baked goods. However, they don’t all have to be unhealthy. Believe it or not, there are actually some good choices out there that won’t you leave you feeling guilty for having a little too much.Granted most of them are full of refined flour and sugar, so you still must eat them in moderation, healthier choice or not. However, if you are doing the baking, making the right ingredient choices will also help in making healthier baked goods.

Here are the Top 5 healthiest baked treats you can choose from:

  1. Biscotti is one of the best choices that you can ever make. Each slice is only 100 calories and the nuts that are added, usually almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts, add protein, monounsaturated fats, and fibre to your diet which keep you in good shape. A daily serving is about 4-6 nuts, so a slice or won’t do that much damage to your diet. Stay away from the biscotti with chocolate or caramel chips, though. These are simply extra calories and extra sugar. Opt for ones stuffed with dried fruits instead.
  2. A favourite with oranges, cranberries and apples, these make for delicious cakes and muffins. So if you’re offered a slice of cranberry-orange cake, say yes. But this doesn’t mean you can have cakes with white chocolate chips in them.
  3. Although the classic fruitcake weighs in at about 80-100 calories a slice, most people may opt for a nut-free slice of carrot cake instead. They’re both low in fat and have lots of fibre . It’s the icing that is the unhealthiest part of the carrot cake, so use low fat icing and don’t put too much on.
  4. Choose a square or a regular-sized muffin of chocolate-chip banana bread. With a sprinkling of chopped walnuts, they’re high in fibre and monounsaturated fats. Plus, semi-sweet chocolate chips are also a better option.
  5. Cookies are generally thought of as an unhealthy sinful treat, but sometimes you just have to have them. Your best bet would be oatmeal cookies with added dried fruit and chopped nuts.

Choose the right ingredients when making your baked goods.

Bittersweet chocolate, dark chocolate and raw cocoa have less sugar, plus the high percentage of flavonoids make it an anti-oxidant. They also contain resveratrol, which is an antimicrobial that is believed to lower blood-sugar, enhance physical performance and potentially prolong life.

Use bran instead of refined white flour to make healthier cakes and muffins. You can also try options of oat flour, whole wheat flour, almond flour, hazelnut flour or coconut flour. Oat, almond and coconut flours are great options as they are also gluten-free. They’re all also high in fibre which helps to keep you full and satisfied for longer periods of time.

Replace refined white sugar with other options such as coconut sugar, raw sugar, agave nectar, maple syrup, honey or fruit puree. All healthier options to limit your sugar intake.

Dried fruit, seeds and nuts are healthy baking additives. They are rich in minerals, vitamins, healthy fats and linked to promoting good digestive, bone and oral health. Dried fruit adds natural sugars and can give a little moisture and texture to your favourite recipe as well.

There is no need to deprive yourself of baked goods just to stay healthy. Just like everything, moderation is the key as well as choosing the baked goods made with the right ingredients.

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Snack Attack

Making your own healthy snack is a great way to avoid the unhealthy snacks high in saturated fats, sugar and food preservatives or additives. Choosing a healthy snack is a great way for the body to maintain its energy levels in between meals. The key to making healthy snacks is to make them the same day, or no sooner than the night before for optimum freshness.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Probably the easiest healthy snacks are fresh fruits and vegetables. Some fruits and vegetables don’t even need any prep work. Just grab, wash and enjoy. Some may take a little more time and effort to wash and cut them up and place in snack size containers. Try berry mixes (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries) or home-mixed fruit cocktails. In addition, fruits are great by themselves, and do not need any additional dressing. Or you can add some chopped up fruit to another healthy option of your favorite yogurt flavor.

Pre-cut and pre-package your vegetables. Celery sticks, carrots, cucumber, grape tomatoes and peppers make a colorful snack that can easily be taken almost anywhere. Add some protein to your celery by spreading on some natural peanut butter. It’s a great way to get you through the afternoon before dinner.

Vegetables don’t have the “sweet” taste like fruit and many enjoy them with a dressing. Try and make your own dressing to avoid food additives, high calories and other harmful ingredients that are found in store bought dressings. To make your own dressing, you can use ingredients such as nut milk, greek yogurt and fresh herbs and spices.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are great for making healthy snacks. You can combine them into a trail-mix and package them into single serving sizes for easy grab and go convenience.


Yogurt, some protein powder and your choice of fresh fruit is an easy and delicious way to curb your hunger until your next main meal. There are lots of delicious recipes out there for all kinds of smoothies, you can almost try a different one each day of the year.

Try this easy recipe that that can help with those sweet tooth cravings. Loaded with raisins and nuts, they’ll give you energy to burn.

Peanut Butter Oat Bites

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts


  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove pan from heat and stir in peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, honey and vanilla. Stir in Rice Krispies and oats and allow mixture to cool.
  2. Stir in raisins and chocolate chips. Form mixture into 1-inch balls, then roll each ball in chopped peanuts, pressing to coat. Store in refrigerator.

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