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!
Are You Eating Backwards?
People who struggle with their weight often find their evening meal to be the most challenging. When it comes to dieting, most people don’t have much of a problem watching calories throughout the day. Then they come home and BAM! They eat more calories in one sitting than they did all day long.
One reason this happens is we’ve been conditioned to eat big meals for dinner. Normally that means a meat, a couple of sides, and sometimes bread or dessert – but who said a meal has to be a 7-course meal? It must have been the same person who invented the Pop Tart for breakfast – and they have it all backwards.
Let’s look at food as fuel. Do you need a lot of fuel to power you to sleep? No. Do you need fuel to power you to work? Yes. So why would we have a small breakfast and big dinner? It’s completely opposite from what our body needs.
5 Healthy Food Habits for Weight Loss
1. Eat a 300-400 calorie breakfast with a nice balance of fat, protein and low-glycemic carbohydrates. Stock up on breakfast foods like Egg Beaters, oatmeal, bagel thins, low-carb wraps, grits, Chobani greek yogurt, Designer Whey vanilla protein, peanut butter, granola and fruit. Plan ahead and be creative. Cooking breakfast in advance and utilizing leftovers (like spinach, asparagus and meats) can really help create fast fixings.
2. Splurge for lunch. Instead having your biggest meal at dinner, schedule cheat meals at lunch. At least you will have several hours to burn off what you ate, instead of eating at night and hitting the sack on a full stomach. Even if you are eating healthy, try to save your high-carb meals, like sandwiches, pastas and potatoes, for lunchtime.
3. Simplify dinner. Don’t over-think your evening menu. If you are trying to diet, limit meals to one white meat and one green side. Use a little olive oil or natural fats, like avocado, to help the meal stay with you longer. Green vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, green beans, spinach, zucchini, collards, cabbage and salad greens are normally lower in calories. Be very sparing with beans, even the green kind. Peas, black-eyed peas, lima beans, black beans, pinto beans, navy beans and kidney beans are all higher in carbohydrates and calories. One green bean that’s an exception is the soy bean (edamame). Edamame has a excellent balance of carbs, fats and protein. YUM!
4. Just skip it. Sometimes people eat just because they think they are “supposed to”. Just because it’s meal time, you don’t always have to eat a traditional meal. If you come home late at night, or you really aren’t that hungry, sometimes it’s OK to just make a protein shake and call it a night – especially if you just left the gym. Or maybe you decide to just have a few almonds and a piece of fruit, or some yogurt to curb your appetite. Although you do need to keep a steady small amount of calories coming in to keep your metabolism revved, they don’t have to be anything fancy or complicated.
5. Choose only one 100-200 calorie evening snack. If you are like me, you can snack the entire night away if you let yourself. Instead, choose your snack wisely. Do you crave sweets? Then a sugar-free fudge pop, jello pudding or fruit may be the way to go. Do you crave salty snacks? Then you may prefer 100-calorie popcorn as your go-to snack. Whatever you choose, try to limit your calories to only one 100-200 calories, and only choose one item – that includes drinks. Even if you WANT to snack, you won’t die if you go without snacking – and those little after-dinner calories add up quick so be stingy with them.
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:
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!!
Fitness magazines are always featuring healthy foods for under “whatever” calories – but how often are you disappointed in what they are saying? Although there are definitely times the suggestions are OK, there are many times I’m thinking “Oh yeah, I’ll just whip that 25-ingredient snack right up. NOT!” Or maybe the snack is more like a tasteless piece of cardboard with some light Ranch dressing on it – or it’s a vegetable I’ve never even heard of!
What better way to get REAL ideas than from REAL people who are living to get fit each and every day? So I called on my friends at FitFluential, fit peeps varying from fitness professionals to people on their own personal fitness journey. I asked them to share their favorite 100 calorie food/drink. PS: I didn’t say it had to be healthy – it just had to be worth it!
My Findings? Well, let’s just say the answers are a LOT more simple than you’d think. A snack doesn’t have to be complicated. A snack serves one primary purpose – to keep fuel in your tank so you keep burning calories and have energy. Most people freeze up when they are trying to figure out how to snack at work or how to eat 5-6 times a day. “I’m too busy to eat”, they say. Many of the snacks listed in this blog are great on the go. Read on and learn from the best! Read the rest of this entry
So you want to eat healthy and lose a few pounds but you don’t have time to really look things up and see how many calories in everything you eat. Well, I’m here to help. ALTHOUGH not looking up calories while on a “eating budget” is like writing checks without looking at a price tag, I can at least give you a few “good buys” for those times you just need a go-to quick and easy snack or meal.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.
One thing I know is if I don’t shop smart, I won’t eat smart. Although I’d love to cook fresh meals and snacks, that’s not always realistic. So, it’s important to keep your needs in mind and be prepared to fuel your body when life forces you to eat on the run. Here are a few items that are always on my shopping list so I have something quick when I’m crunched for time.
This is an AMAZING amount of protein for a portable snack or meal. I also love the plain yogurt with honey, granola and blueberries as well as their fruit flavors for when I’m in a rush and on the run.
The flavor is fresh, smooth, fruity, sweet and tart – a great recovery drink right after a hot run or intense workout. You can’t even taste the protein and the texture is amazing. They offer various flavors but be sure to watch for the Protein PLUS label as not all their smoothies are high in protein.
This is one of Steve’s favorite treats when dieting. It’s sweet, packed with protein and filling. If it doesn’t stick with you long enough, try switching to the 1% Low Fat version for 240 calories, 24gms of protein & 2 gms of fat. Fat typically helps foods stick with us longer, which keeps a dieter more content and tummy satisfied.
When I’m in a total pinch and need something to throw in my purse, this is a great tasting bar that leaves me feeling satisfied to hold me over for a real meal. The great thing is this is available at most grocery stores so you don’t have to hunt down a nutrition store to get a decent snack bar. NOTE: This does not qualify as a protein bar. In my opinion, a protein bar should have at least 25gms of protein.
With 8gms of fiber, 18 whole grains, no high fructose corn syrup & 9gms of protein, you’ll feel fuller longer with this fun cereal with a nice berry kick. One thing I LOVE about Simply Smart Fat Free Milk is the expiration date is nearly two months away from the purchase date, which means less waste for people like me that don’t drink a lot of milk.
This is a easy on-the-go way to throw together a great tasting sandwich or salad. I use a whole packet on mixed greens with onion, tomatoes and Roland balsamic vinegar, with a sprinkle of olive oil to make the salad stick with me. Also try it heated or try one of the StarKist recipes like the Sweet & Spicy Tuna Wrap.
Of COURSE it’s always best to eat fresh meals but if you don’t have the time and you need something quick – this is one tasty, high-protein find! It’s 30% larger than most frozen diet meals and has DOUBLE the protein than most other pre-packaged meals. The flavors are good and it tastes pretty fresh as well. Not bad for frozen!
Edamame is an awesome side dish or snack. I love to steam it and sprinkle low-sodium soy sauce over it for a salty healthy snack. You can also add shelled edamame to salads and meals. Since they are a nice balance of fats, carbs and proteins, as well as packed with fiber, they keep you feeling full. My favorite part about them is it takes time to eat them when they are still in the shell so the snack entertains you longer.
9. Crunchmaster’s Multi-Grain Cracker
16 crackers: 120 calories, 2gms of protein, 3gms of fiber and 2gms of fat
Not only can you have 16 crackers for the same amount of calories for 6 stinkin’ Triskets, but these tasty crackers are all natural and Gluten Free. Since it doesn’t have MSG, which is normally added to boost flavors in flavored chips like Doritos, you are not only eating a healthier snack – you’ll likely eat less of them. MSG has been thought to make people want to eat more, so this is one snack you’re more likely to control. Try it with THIN slivers of low-fat pepper jack cheese and a few grapes for an awesome treat! TIP: Don’t eat them out of the bag – count them out and put them on a plate to help manage how many you eat.
10. Peanut Butter & Green Banana Wrap on Flatout Whole Grain Wrap
Calories for 1/2 of banana, 1TBS peanut butter & wrap: 250 calories, 13.5gm of protein, 7-9gms of fiber (depending on Flatout flavor) 10.8gms of fat
This is one quick, tasty and filling snack or light lunch. Add alfalfa sprouts for a fresh and unique added crunch. This wrap is PACKED with fiber, which keeps you feeling full but it also has another amazing benefit – it boost fat loss! Slightly green bananas have high amounts of resistant starch, which greatly reduce as the banana ripens. Resistant starches can’t be broken down like regular starches so your body treats it more like a fiber. In addition, experts believe they block the use of some carbohydrates, forcing our body to use stored fat as energy instead of what we ate. One Colorado University study concluded that replacing 5.7% of standard carbohydrates with resistant starches could boost fat lost over time – as much as 30%!
DON’T LIKE WATER? TRY THIS!
For those of you who just can’t STAND the thought of guzzling large doses of water and you KNOW you need to increase your water intake, this may be your answer. I personally love water but Steve loves sweet drinks but keeping pitchers of Crystal Light can be a drag. Mio is easy and can be taken on the go. Squirt it in your water bottle or add it to your glass of water from you refrigerator door. It’s easy, it’s tasty and it’s totally customizable to YOUR liking!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAV FOODS!
Share some of your favorite foods by commenting below. The more you share, the more people we can all help!!
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