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Snack Time!

Like I said in one of my last posts, I love snacking! I mean who doesn't! Snacking can cause many pit falls, however. The snack I want versus the snack I need is often a dilemma for many, me included. Do I want something salty, sweet, crunchy, creamy...? The thoughts are ongoing. Availability, ease, satisfaction of the snack, and ability for the snack to travel if you need it to are also thoughts that need attention, right? Well, today, I want to give you a few good snack ideas so you aren't left out in the cold the next time a craving hits. Some of the ideas may not be anything you have ever thought of or would even consider trying, but you should try them, you may be surprised!

Apple and Cheddar Cheese - I like to chop up a Golden Delicious Apple and eat it with either a stick or a few slices of Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Don't go overboard on the cheese and this is a good crunchy, salty, and sweet snack. This one is at the top of the list because it is my all time favorite go to!

Deli Sliced Meat and Cheese - I love deli sliced meat, particularly turkey and chicken that has a intense flavor infused into it. My favorite, Jennie-O Sun Dried Tomato Turkey Breast. Do yourself a favor and get some. It's amazing! I discovered it at Wal-Mart, but they may sell it other places too. Wrap a stick or slices of cheese in one or two thin slices of your favorite deli meat for a protein filled snack.

Apple and Peanut Butter - This snack travels well. Just grab an apple and tablespoon of natural peanut butter and head out the door if you need to! I typically keep a few plastic spoons in my car for times such as this. If you need the peanut butter for later, just put it in a very small plastic bowl for travel. We have some tiny Rubbermaid bowls that are perfect for these.

Boiled Egg - Doesn't get much simpler. Boil egg, peal egg, eat egg.

Tuna - Yep, tuna has come a long way. You can find flavored tuna in vacuum sealed packs that very tasty, packed full of protein, easy to travel and are low calorie. Next time you need a snack, forgo the chips and grab some tuna.

Celery Sticks and Hummus - Celery is pretty much a zero calorie food. Pair celery sticks with some flavorful hummus for a treat that will make you think you are eating something you shouldn't be! Don't eat the entire bowl of hummus however, it does have carbs in it since it is made from chickpeas.

Banana and Peanut Butter - This is for a day you need something sweet. This snack also travels well if you need it to. You can also freeze pealed bananas add milk and peanut butter and blend for a ice cream like treat.

Fresh Fruit - Fresh fruit, particularly berries and melon are very low in calories and are packed with naturally occurring fructose for a sweet snack. You can even add fresh unsweetened whipped cream for an even more fancy snack!

Fresh Vegetables and Ranch Dip - Yes, you heard that correctly! Mix your ranch in plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for a protein and probiotic rich veggie dip. You can't tell the difference between the real deal! The Greek yogurt makes the dip much much lower in calories too! Use cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots to dip with.

Edamame - (soy beans) These are great for a protein rich, salty snack. You can typically find them in any grocery store freezer section. Pop them in the microwave, let them steam, and add salt if it isn't already added. Enjoy!

Almonds and dark chocolate - Go ahead and grab a hand full of almonds and have a few (like 2-3) pieces of dark chocolate. Yes chocolate. If you are like me, eating chocolate a little at a time keeps me from gorging myself on 3 candy bars and a pie all at once. (The end result is NOT pretty so I don't advise it). Just don't eat the entire bar of chocolate. Try to stretch that chocolate for a week if you can!

I hope these ideas have helped! Be sensible when snacking and when you can eat fresh do it. Please please don't be fooled by the brightly colored boxes on the shelf promising to be healthy and low calorie. In and of themselves, these "diet snacks" ARE low calorie, but they are also typically low in protein to keep you feeling full. When you eat the "diet snacks" you finish the pack and look for more. With the snacks I have listed above, you will walk away full and confident that you made a healthy choice. Happy snacking!

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