Healthy Swaps: Snack Edition
Hope you’ve found my “Healthy Swaps” series helpful. Choosing healthier options increases the likelihood of a healthier life. With that said, let’s talk healthy snacks! So you’re hungry and you want something quick to nibble on…what do you grab? Let’s take a glimpse into the wonderful world of healthy snack options.
The Salty Snacker
Resist the urge to grab those potato chips or any type of chips for that matter-heck lets even remove pretzels out of the equation because they’re loaded with empty calories. Chips are often the go to snack when something salty and crunchy is craved. Next time you have a taste for a salty, crunchy snack..try rice cakes? They are crunchy and come in a variety of flavors ranging from salty to sweet with half the calories and sodium. I like to get the plain rice cakes (salt free if you don’t need the salt craving) and spread almond butter on them. There’s a tinge of salt in the almond butter just enough to satisfy a salt lover’s taste buds. Top with fruit or dark chocolate chips for a tasty touch of sweetness. I came across another creative combination many years ago, I saw a mom giving it to her child as a snack. It may strike you as an odd mixture but it actually taste great. You simply take a rice cake and spread avocado on it. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar and a touch of Himalayan sea salt and viola….you have an extraordinary snack. You might also try mixing up some tuna with mustard and putting it on a rice cake as a yummy way to get your salty crunch fix with an added protein boost!
The Sweet Snacker
If you like a little sweetness throughout your day and find yourself reaching for fruit snacks or something of the sort, why not try the real deal-fruit? I know this might seem extreme for some. Initially, fruit may not squelch that scorching sweet tooth, but with time, you’ll probably start to notice your taste buds re-adjusting. It’s a fact, the less sweets you eat, the less you’ll desire them. Thankfully, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a little good old fashion dark chocolate. Not only does it make for a nice topping on rice cakes, but it also takes yummy with a handful of nuts. I try to stick with at least 75% dark chocolate or higher ….absolutely scrumptious!
If you love regular yogurt, I would highly recommend making the switch to Greek yogurt (0% fat or 2% fat). It has a lot of protein which regular yogurt doesn’t tend to offer. Try and eat it plain if you can and add your own berries if you want to add some sweetness or if you need to ween yourself from your fruit yogurt down to a plain Greek yogurt, try one of the 100 calorie Greek yogurts. It will still have the sweet fruit flavor in it with less sugar.
You can’t go wrong with this kid’s classic……
Did you ever eat ants on a log? It’s a great veggie, protein and healthy fat all into one snack! Try placing raisins on your veggies, especially celery, cucumber and cauliflower. You might even want to add some hummus,try using it sparingly- a little can go a long way.
One of my personal favorite snacks is a fresh cold pressed green juice. It delivers great energy by way of a variety of vitamins and minerals. It helps to reduce bloating by giving your digestive system a much needed break. If you like more substance, you can place veggies from your green juice into a blender, which will aid in maintaining the fiber and nutrients from the vegetables. Spinach protein smoothies also make a great liquid snack-combine two handfuls of spinach, one serving of berries, and a little almond milk….pure goodness in a glass!