Healthy Snacks!

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Healthy Snacks!

Healthy snacks- is there such thing!? It’s easy to reach for a bag of chips, chocolate covered raisins, pretzels, leftover pizza, and other processed food for a quick snack, however, all of these snacks are EMPTY calories, adding zero nutritional value to your body. Instead, they draining the energy out of your body. Let’s call them energy-suckers!

Also, most processed snacks include high fructose corn syrup (SUGAR) and other chemicals and ingredients that are highly addictive which is why we can eat an entire bag of chips without even noticing it.

My number one piece of advice for healthy snacking is learning to read labels and looking at the ingredients. Just because something is fat-free, low-fat, gluten-free, low-calorie, or vegan DOES NOT make it healthy. The FDA allows these statements with very minimal ingredient regulation.

Let’ take a look at a Nutri-Grain Bar that claims to be “healthy” and a “morning energy bar”. In addition to these ingredients pictured, this bar has 11g sugar and 24g carbs (carbs turn to sugar).

FUN FACT- 1 tsp is 4g of sugar. This bar has nearly 3 tsp of sugar.

Now take a look at the ingredients: if you cannot pronounce it or do not know what it is, I recommend avoiding it!

FUN FACT- Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, are all artificial dyes to give food their color. In other countries these ingredients are BANNED because of the adverse side effects (especially in children), however, in the U.S. they are legal.

Okay so what snacks can you have!? Of course, I want to say veggies/hummus, fruit, and leftover healthy meals but I GET IT. Sometimes we want chips and salsa, or potato chips, or a protein bar! It’s fine to have processed foods in moderation- the key is to be able to select better products, so you’re not eating a slew of chemicals.

Snacks labeled as Paleo are usually a good option because the Paleo diet follows a whole food model. But again, turn the package over and read it!

If you are someone who wants to make their own healthy snacks, here are a couple of recipes! These snacks are a bit higher in fat. However, healthy fat is what keeps our energy and blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. Don’t be afraid of healthy fats and don’t be afraid to switch up the recipe for your liking! You can add protein powder, switch up the sweetener, etc!

Note- these can be made in bulk and you can store them for the week!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Power Balls

INGREDIENTS:
-1 cup plain oats (make sure these are unsweetened)
-1/3 cup cacao powder (not cocoa powder. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate and sugar-free)
-1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (healthy fat)
-2 tbsp chia seeds (fiber and protein)
-3 tbsp of peanut butter, melted (or your favorite nut butter. Make sure there are no added sugars in the nut butter of your choice)
-5 dates, pitted (dates are high in sugar, however, they are lower on the glycemic index compared to honey and maple syrup. If you want to remove the sugar you can swap out for Monkfruit Sweetener or Stevia.)

INSTRUCTIONS: Blend all ingredients in a food processor, roll into balls (12 or so), and freeze!

 

CHOCOLATE PUDDING!

INGREDIENTS
-1 can of coconut cream (make sure the only ingredient is coconut!)
-3 tbsp chia seeds (fiber and protein)
-3 tablespoons of pure cacao powder (not cocoa powder. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate and sugar-free)
-Splash of vanilla extract.
-1.5 droppers of Stevia or natural sweetener of your choice

INSTRUCTIONS: Blend, refrigerate for 2 hours, and enjoy! Store in small Tupperware about 1/4 cup in each.

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