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7 Easy Snack Hacks That Everyone Should Know

7 Easy Snack Hacks That Everyone Should Know

Reaching for a bag of potato chips or a box of cookies can seem like the easiest option for those times in-between meals, but there are healthier ways to snack, even for those who hate the thought of cooking. Preparing snacks are always healthier than their store-bought counterparts, because they have less preservatives, salt, and sugar. Here are six recipes that will suit the couch potato in all of us.

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    1. Strawberry banana smoothie

    This filling frozen treat takes only a few seconds to make and is a great healthy alternative to ice cream or frozen yogurt. Add one cup of vanilla yogurt, one cup of frozen strawberries, one cup of frozen bananas and 1/4 cup of orange juice. Blend until smooth. You can also substitute different frozen fruit according to personal taste, such as this simple mango smoothie recipe for the perfect tropical treat.

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      2. Sweet bagel chips

      Do you have a few stale bagels lying around? Don’t throw them away. Instead, turn them into yummy bagel chips that will satisfy your sweet tooth. Cut the bagels in half and lay them on a baking tray. Spread butter on each half and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake in the oven at 325 F for 10 minutes. Flip the halves over and repeat on the other side with the butter, cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 10 minutes and let them cool a bit before you dig in.

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        3. Fruit skewers with yogurt dip

        For a delicious, healthy snack, look no further than these easy-to-construct fruit treats. Cut a variety of fruit into bite-sized pieces (strawberries, pineapple, bananas) and put them one-by-one on a wooden skewer. For the fruit dip, mix one cup low-fat sour cream and two teaspoons of brown sugar and lime juice. For a finishing touch, sprinkle the dip with cinnamon sugar.

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          4. Cheesy Chex Mix

          This recipe is a great alternative to cracker mixes that are filled with extra preservatives. Best of all, it only takes only a few seconds to prepare. Mix 3 cups of Chex cereal, 1 cup of cheese crackers, and 2 cups of mini pretzels with 3/4 cup grated parmesan, a pinch of garlic powder, and 1/2 stick of melted butter in a mixing bowl. Spread the mixture evenly on a baking pan and bake in the oven at 325 degrees F, occasionally stirring it to avoid it from getting burnt. Let it cool off a bit before eating it.

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            5. Caramel popcorn

            This delicious treat is a twist on the traditional movie night snack and is bound to please those major sweet cravings. Melt 1/3 cup butter with 1 tablespoon of honey and a dash of salt. Mix with 12 cups of popcorn and add 1 cup of pecans. Lay on a parchment-lined baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 325 degrees F, occasionally stirring it to avoid it from getting burnt. Make sure it cools off a bit before eating.

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              6. Pita nachos

              Nachos can be quite a calorie bomb, but this snack is a healthier alternative without sacrificing the taste. Use whole wheat pita bread instead of white pitta to be extra healthy. Cut a pita bread into 2 round halves and then divide further into smaller wedges. Broil until they turn golden brown, and then sprinkle with shredded cheddar and salsa. Broil once again until the cheese melts. Garnish with sliced scallions if desired.

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                7. Nutella egg cream

                Sometimes there’s nothing better than a cool, chocolate drink to quell a cocoa craving. This recipe is great because not only is it delicious, but it is a great source of calcium. Mix 3/4 cups of milk with 2 tablespoons of room-temperature Nutella in a glass. Stir quickly and then pour in 1/2 cup of cold seltzer.

                Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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                Last Updated on November 19, 2019

                20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

                If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

                1. Create a Daily Plan

                Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

                2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

                Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

                3. Use a Calendar

                Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

                I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

                Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

                4. Use an Organizer

                An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

                These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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                5. Know Your Deadlines

                When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

                But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

                6. Learn to Say “No”

                Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

                Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

                7. Target to Be Early

                When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

                For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

                Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

                8. Time Box Your Activities

                This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

                You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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                9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

                Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

                10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

                Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

                You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

                11. Focus

                Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

                Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

                Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

                12. Block out Distractions

                What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

                I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

                When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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                Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

                13. Track Your Time Spent

                When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

                You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

                14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

                You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

                Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

                15. Prioritize

                Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

                Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                16. Delegate

                If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

                When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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                17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

                For related work, batch them together.

                For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

                1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
                2. coaching
                3. workshop development
                4. business development
                5. administrative

                I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

                18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

                What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

                One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

                While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

                19. Cut off When You Need To

                The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

                Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

                20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

                Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

                More Time Management Techniques

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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