Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Healthy Snacks

For me, one of the biggest challenges to eating healthy has always been snacking. How do you overcome that urge to snack in the mid-morning or late afternoon? With my new training as a health and nutrition counselor, I really felt the need to step up and start living what I am preaching! It's difficult, if not impossible, to eat healthy 100% of the time. But I knew I could make major improvements in the foods I was snacking on.

At IIN, it's all about "crowding out" the bad foods and adding in good ones. So I made a commitment to always have a bowl of fresh fruit on my kitchen counter, even if it means I have to visit the grocery store or farmer's market more than once a week! I also committed to eat three of those fruits a day, and then if I still want a not-so-healthy snack after that, like chocolate, I can have it.
I also try to keep a stash of nuts on hand for munching on. Just be sure to limit the amount you eat by putting some in a small cup or baggie. It's easy to eat a lot of this treat without realizing it. Natural (no salt added) is best, but if you must have a little salt, look for nuts flavored with sea salt.
Another great snack I discovered is a brown rice cake with a little natural peanut butter spread on top. It satisfies my sweet craving, leaves me feeling satiated, and has less than 50 calories if you go easy on the peanut butter! It's also awesome with a little honey on top!
There are some days, most days actually, when I just have to have the chocolate! I have discovered this treat is even more special when I treat myself to the really good, more expensive dark chocolate with 70% or more cocoa. It's very rich and creamy, and usually one or two squares satisfies my craving.

A new favorite healthy snack I just discovered is hummus! I've had it at a Greek restaurant, and loved it! I think it would be a great snack to have with some fresh vegies like carrots, celery, red and yellow peppers, etc. I have not really liked any of the ready-made versions from the grocery store, so if anyone has a great recipe they could share with me, I would appreciate it.

Please feel free to share you favorite healthy treats in the comment section below. Healthy snacking!!

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