Category Archives: Healthy Snacks
Healthy Low-Cal Snacks & Snacking Tips
If you love your salty snacks at night, there are very few choices that may fit your caloric budget. Last night I was feeling adventurous. I looked in the refrigerator and took a mental note of what I had on hand. I was craving chips. Since I had zucchini, I googled “zucchini chips” and saw a few sites to give me some ideas. I didn’t measure anything or even read the full recipes. My thought was – how could you really go wrong?! And I was right!
I sliced zucchini up into very thin pieces. Sprayed pam on the pan and on the zucchini. Then I sprinkled garlic, sea salt, cracked pepper and parmesan cheese on top, baked on 425 for 20 minutes and BAM! I had my yummy loc cal snack! 1 whole zucchini is only 45 calories! It was a fun experiment.
Here are some fun recipes for veggie snacks:
3. Veggie Chips (roots like beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc)
4. Herbed Veggie Chips (zucchini, squash, sweet potato, carrots)
6. Carrot Chips
10. Beet Chips (saving the best for last! These are my FAV!!!)
I first discovered this originally as a “chicken dip” nearly 20 years ago. It was served with wheat thin crackers at a gathering at one of my old friend’s house. I immediately fell in love with this healthy snack and used to make it all the time – until I ate it so much I got sick of it. ha! (isn’t that what we do? We wear something out that we love!)
Although I try to stay away from crackers, this “chicken dip” is great on top of salad greens or eaten alone. It’s also perfect for eating healthy on the go since you don’t have to heat it up. It has a TON of flavor and is super healthy!
Chicken Peppercorn Salad
3 Chicken Breast, cooked chopped and shredded
1/3 Cup Lemon Juice
2 Small Diced Tomatoes
25 Finely Chopped Green Olives
1/2 Cups Green Onion
1 TBS Fresh Minced Garlic (I buy it in a jar for easy cooking)
2 TBS Whole Black Peppercorn (amount is your preference)
Salt to taste
FOR SNACKING: Makes approximately 8 1/2-cup servings. 74 calories per serving, 10gms of protein. Eat with celery sticks, low-cal crackers or alone.
FOR MEALS: Makes 4 1-cup Servings. 148 calories and 20gms of protein. Serve cold over greens with a freshly squeezed lemon or greek style vinaigrette (lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper).
Please forgive me Diane Kawar if I butchered the original recipe. I never wrote it down, so I’m just going by memory here! ha! ….but it’s still a Pfiester Pfav!
This is why many people can’t seem to shake the weight (pun intended). They add protein to their diet, forgetting it’s adding extra calories too. As a result, they gain weight or slow progress.
If you want to lose weight, those calories need to be shaved off somewhere else to make room for the calories coming from protein. Just because it’s protein doesn’t mean it’s “free calories”. Although they are good calories, they are still calories. So, in order to reach your goal, you need to set a budget for your shake matching your needs.
1. The Weight Gainer: Weight gainers can add protein to their diet without really worrying about the calories. If someone is a hard gainer, they probably need both fat and muscle weight in order to increase strength and size. So you are the lucky dog that can ignore this entire blog.
2. The Dieter: Dieters need to be in a caloric deficit. This means, they need to take in fewer calories than they are burning. In order to budget how many calories are coming from protein, simply multiple the number of grams of protein you are trying to get a day by 4. Since there are 4 calories in one gram of protein, this will give you the number of calories that are required to get your total grams of protein per day. But remember, that is just for the protein. That doesn’t include other ingredients you may add in a shake.
3. The Maintainer: This person wants to either preserve what they already have, or reshape their physique but still remain the same weight. This person will need to trade some fat and carb calories for protein calories so it evens out. In the end, they’ll still be eating the same amount of calories, but they will just be getting more protein.
FitStudio nutritionist Toby Amidor points out some of the worst offenders in smoothie land.
Smoothie King – NOT SO SMOOTH!
· Forty fluids ounces of “The Hulk Strawberry” weighs in at 1,928 calories, 64 grams of fat, and a whopping 250 grams of sugar.
Jamba Juice – IS JAMMING YOU WITH CALORIES!
· An original “Peanut Butter Moo’d” creamy treat has a staggering 770 calories and 109 grams of sugar.
CLICK HERE for fun and creative Designer Whey shake & protein recipes
When Chobani hit shelves here locally, the news quickly spread around the gym. This healthy snack was not only delicious, but it was higher in protein than regular yogurt. That’s why we literally have a whole drawer dedicated to it in our refrigerator. We actually eat so much of it, we have an overflow in our 2nd fridge in the garage.
There really aren’t a lot of snacks to choose from that are naturally high in protein. Before Chobani yogurt, the closest thing we could come to was cottage cheese. And, if you are like me, there is no way anyone is getting that lumpy mess down my throat. I just can’t get over the texture.
Then Chobani came and saved the day. Before Chobani I was eating regular yogurt, which can have double the carbs as greek yogurt, especially if you get the kind with fruit in it. It also had practically half the protein Chobani has. For a girl who’s not a big meat eater, the more protein I can get the better.
Why Eat Chobani? Well, for my fitness peeps, eating high-protein snacks, like Chobani (and Designer Whey bars, my other favorite high-protein snack), means preserving muscle and giving your body what it needs to repair muscle after hard workouts. For my non-workout folks, it means preventing muscle loss, which is even more important as we age.
This is why there was no surprise Chobani sponsored for the Olympics. What a perfect FIT! (pun intended!) They naturally power people every single day!
Way to go Chobani! Thank you for powering me – and Team USA!
- B -
I Am a Proud Chobaniac:
If you’re like me, and crave salty snacks, then you are always happy to discover something healthy to feed your craving. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of salty healthy snacks available beside popcorn, so imagine my sheer joy the first time I tried edamame (boiled or steamed soy beans in the pod).
My first edamame experience was at a local asian restaurant, Bangkok. After they came out, I remember thinking “what do I do with that? Do I eat the whole thing or am I supposed to pop the beans out?” Yes, Steve and I were edamame tards. After gnawing on the whole thing for a bit, shell and all, it didn’t take long to discover the stiff stems were not very chewable. We quickly figured it out and they became a part of our regular diet.
They are easy to cook too. I buy the bag of frozen edamame and steam them (which can be done traditionally or in a microwave oven for 5 minutes). Then I sprinkle soy sauce, and/or salt, on them and begin snacking!! Today I cooked them and then threw them in my cooler for the beach. They were an awesome cold snack too.
The greatest part of this salty wonder is they are truly healthy. Most people are just happy to find snacks that are just “not unhealthy”, but edamame is as healthy as it is tasty. Half a bag of edamame is only 150 calories – and a very equal balance of calories I might add! 12.5gms of protein, 6gms of fat, 11gms of carbohydrates and 5gms of fiber. Look at the graph to the left. You can see that edamame gets 31-36% of the calories from each substrate.
Another thing I like about edamame in the shell, is it takes work to get the bean out. Not that it is a big job, because it’s not a bother at all. However, it slows down how fast we typically eat snacks. I enjoy the taste more and the entire snack takes longer to eat than many other similar snacks. Any snack that can slow us down from inhaling it is a good snack!
So, instead of reaching for a bag of chips, next time you are craving something salty to snack on, go steam up some beans!
How to Destroy a Diet in 2 Hours: So, you are dieting and you do good aaaaaaall day long, only to blow every salad, protein shake and healthy snack down the drain in the last 2 hours of the day. Sound familiar?
Why is it we feel the need to snack at night? Will our life really come unraveled if we don’t have a grip on a chip and a drink to sip? Honestly, Steve and I are amazed how much of a struggle this is – and I believe it destroys a lot of very healthy diets.
I eat squeaky clean all day long, only to blow it with popcorn, pretzels or nuts. I always have good intensions, but I always eat more than I should in the end. Could it be worse? Sure it could, but is it preventing me from getting rid of that last bit of fat? Of course it is!
Here are some of the lies we feed ourselves so we can feed ourselves.
1. I’ve eaten so good today, I can afford it.
2. At least they are healthy snacks.
3. It’s probably not that many calories.
4. I’ll just have a few.
5. I can run it off in the morning.
1. You’ve eaten so good today, that’s exactly why you should skip it! Protect your hard work!
2. You can get fat on healthy foods too. Extra calories are extra calories.
3. It’s probably a lot more calories than you want to admit.
4. You never have just a few. You will have “just a little more” and “just a little more” until you’ve eaten too much or you’ve eaten the entire thing!
5. If you are trying to lose weight, you should be running off stuff you’ve already eaten, not more stuff.
6 TIPS TO COMBAT LATE-NIGHT SABOTAGE
1. Plan to be disciplines. Decide BEFORE you get a snack-attack what you can and can’t eat.
2. Avoid alcohol, because not only is that MORE calories but it makes you stupid! The relaxation you feel from a glass of wine is just enough to make you “relaxed” about your diet – and before you know it, you want some cheese with that wine.
3. Stick to prepackaged foods if you have a problem with stopping, like 100 calorie popcorn or jello pudding.
4. Make room for 200 calories of snacks at night so you don’t completely deprive yourself. When you countcalories, you are much more in tune with your body and your food choices. Be creative – try something new like sliced cucumbers with vinegar, salt & pepper or sliced strawberries over a cup of frozen fat free Cool Whip. The thinner the slices, the longer the snack lasts.
5. Have a protein shake. If you are craving sweets, a protein shake can be tasty and super satisfying – plus it helps muscle repair overnight. I like Designer Whey protein powder because it tastes great and is low in calories.
6. Just say no to snacks and yes to your goals. It wouldn’t kill you to just sip on water instead. Sometimes it’s best to not even start snacking – because you may not stop!
Cool Cucumber Salad, by McCormick:
2 cups thinly sliced cucumbers (4 small or 2 large cucumbers)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar (STEVIA)
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Dill Weed
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Black Pepper, Coarse Ground
Pinch McCormick® Red Pepper, Ground
Bonnie’s Strawberries Parfait:
1/2 Cup Frozen Fat Free Cool Whip
6 Thinly sliced strawberries
1 Tablespoon of Grape-Nuts
The frozen cool whip has texture more like ice cream. The thinner the slices of strawberry, the more bites you get. Grape-Nuts just add a bit of crunch to it!! Trade the cool whip for vanilla greek yogurt for more protein and nutrients. Totally yummy!
If you are like me, you are always looking for a new healthy high-protein treat. So, after my shout out on twitter, I got some twitterific recipes which I’ll be sharing periodically right here!
Meet Natalie Christman
Natalie is a fitness instructor, hair stylist, licensed massage therapist, music, dance, art, wife, sister, family and motivator.
Natalie’s Protein Balls Recipe:
3tblsp- natural peanut butter
1/2c- Chocolate Protein
Mix ingredients. If too sticky add a little more protein powder until dry and clumpy. Roll into ping pong sized balls and place on wax paper. Freeze until firm.
I am SO trying these!!
To jerk or not to jerk, PART 2: You Won’t Eat Jerky but you’ll eat Chips?
This blog is about helping my fellow salty snack lovers find a solution to their snacky habits, as well as answer your questions (and I have gotten a lot of questions about sodium). EVERYONE is ALWAYS asking me what to eat – so I’m telling ya.
To follow up on my PerkyJerky review, I decided to continue researching sodium content. I compared 1 oz. of PerkyJerky to 1 oz. Baked Doritos. Results were really cool so I thought I’d share them with you! NOTE: I am not even using the highest fat, highest sodium, highest calorie snack to compare PerkyJerky too …because that’s how I roll.
2. Less Calories: Chips had 120 calories. PerkyJerky had only 50 calories! So all the taste and NO guilt!
3. More Protein: This goes without saying, but felt I should rub this in too. The chips had a measly 2gms of protein compared to 9gms in the jerky.
4. Less Carbs. Another no-brainer, but it still should be mentioned - PerkyJerky only has 2gms of carbohydrates versus 21gms of carbs in the chips.
5. Less Fat: Even though the Baked! chips are low fat, they still had 3.5gms of fat in them compared to PerkyJerky’s big fat NADA, ZILCH, ZIP, ZERO grams of fat.
Share YOUR favorite salty snacks with me (below)!
After a fantastic morning run with my BFF, Kristie, we started gabbing about our diets. She said “it seems like any bite you take you can just count on it being about 50 calories”. That not only cracked me up, hearing her say that in such a matter of fact way – like “that’s just the way it is” but it was SO true!
So often we think “I’ll have just one bite” or we have a bite or two while we cook and not even think twice about it. After doing the math, I realized that someone on a 1200 calorie diet is only allowed to have 24 BITES a DAY if they are not controlling the calories in each bite. This means, if you are just eating the same food but trying to eat less of it, you literally are going to eat LESS! OR you can rethink each bite so you can have MORE bites. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have MORE bites with LESS calories than MORE calories and LESS bites!
So, I did a little research for ya to see exactly how each bite we take adds up – and how we can get more bites for the same amount of calories. ENJOY!
50 CALORIE BITES
1 bite of Starbucks Blueberry Scone
1 bite of a Burger King Whopper
1 bite of 1 TGI Fridays Mozzerella Stick with Sauce
1 bite of a Subway White Macadamia Nut Cookie
1 bite of Boston Market meatloaf
1 bite of Cupcake Royale Red Velvet Cupcake
1 bite of Arby’s Pecan Sticky Bun
1 bite of a Snicker’s Bar
1 bite of a KFC Honey BBQ Wing
1 bite of an Avocado
1 bite of Banana with Peanut Butter
1 bite of Cheddar Cheese
OR you can have…
50 CALORIE LOTS-OF-BITES
1. 1 Whole 3.5oz Green Apple
2. 20 Pepperidge Farms Cheddar or Pizza Flavored Gold Fish
3. 7 Sliced Large Strawberries with 2 tablespoons of Fat Free Cool Whip
4. 1 Diet Rootbeer Float with 1/4 cup light ice cream
5. 1/2 a bag of 100 Calorie Popcorn with Butter Spray
6. 43 H.K. Anderson Ultrathin Pretzel Stix
7. 14 Watermelon Balls
8. 2 Cups of Publix Classic Salad Mix with 1/2 teaspoon of Honey Roasted Sliced Almonds & Roland Balsamic Vinegar
9. 2 tps of Whipped Peanut Butter on a whole Celery Stick
10. 1 Publix Fudge Pop
11. 14 Frozen Grapes
12. 10 Teddy Graham Cookies
13. 1 Chips Ahoy Reduced Fat Chocolate Chip Cookie
14. 10 Celery Sticks with 2 tablespoon Athenos Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
15. 1 Cup of Coffee with flavored creamer
16. 1 Cup Steamed Asparagus or Broccoli
17. 7 Special K Crackers with 1 tablespoon of Cedar’s Fresh Taboule Salad at Publix
18. 1/2 banana sliced with cinnamon, drizzle of sugar-free maple syrup & 1 tsp cool whip
19. 1 small slice of Angel Food Cake
20. 1/2 Glass of Merlot
Maintaining your weight is about eating smart – but that requires a little knowledge. NO, you don’t have to go to Nutrition school to gain that knowledge. All you have to do is know how to look it up on Google! Gain freedom in knowledge and ENJOY eating without the extra pounds of fat and tight jeans!!
Like I always say “EAT what you KNOW, KNOW what you EAT“.
Disclaimer: Of course the calories are approximate depending on how big your mouth is! ha!! If I based it on Steve‘s “bites”, you could triple these numbers!! hahaha Hope you enjoyed my blog!
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