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Healthy Snacks That Can Change Your Life

Healthy Snacks That Can Change Your Life

Healthy snacks don’t have to be boring!

Some of the most delicious snacks are just waiting to be brought to life in your kitchen. Even if you’re not a chef, its possible to combine simple ingredients using everyday tools.

But, why should you give up your usual bag of chips or afternoon muffin? There are a multitude of reasons why. Consider this — over the long term, an unhealthy diet can be a risk factor for many chronic diseases such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and even cancer. People who consume overly processed foods regularly are more likely to suffer ill effects such as hypertension, high cholesterol and weight gain.

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According to Anne Wolf, RD, a researcher at the University of Virginia School of Medicine: “Healthy food is essential. People take it for granted, but we need nutrients.” There is a direct connection between what you eat and how you feel, not to mention how you look. Its important to choose foods that will not only give you energy, but provide your body with the things it needs.

5 Recipes for Healthy Snacks That Can Change Your Life

These delicious and nutritious recipes will improve your overall nutrition, save you time and money, and give you the boost you need to get you through your day.

Chocolate Espresso Protein Smoothie

This delicious smoothie is chock full of healthy ingredients including banana and coconut milk (and it has chocolate!). Instead of your usual run to Starbucks for an afternoon pick-me-up, try this amazing mocha flavored smoothie instead. Pour into your favorite glass, top with a straw, and voila — a yummy and healthy treat!

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ChocEspressoSmoothie8

    Apple Sandwiches With Almond Butter and Granola

    Talk about simple and delicious! This recipe only includes three ingredients, and requires no cooking. Apples provide a good amount of fiber while almond butter introduces protein and healthy fat. Granola is packed with whole grains to keep you full until your next meal. To keep apples from turning brown, consider brushing with fresh Meyer lemon juice. It’s not overly sweet yet will keep your apples looking and tasting fantastic!

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    Apple-Sandwiches-with-Almond-Butter-and-Granola

      Bacon Guacamole Sammies

      Try this amazing guacamole recipe which uses minced shallot, lime juice and aleppo peppers to sandwich between your cooked bacon slices for a delicious filling snack that’s full of protein and can be made ahead of time for easy assembly. Even the pickiest eaters will love these bacon sandwiches that offer a good amount of healthy fat from the avocados. To turn into a meal, simply add lettuce or tomato, and two slices of whole grain bread.

      Bacon Guacamole Sammies

        Basil Pesto Almonds

        Almonds are a super food and its no secret. This nut is full of copper, magnesium, vitamin E and high quality protein. Add a burst of flavor with an herb coating and this is one snack that creates a party in your mouth! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices that you have at home. Consider using curry or cardamom for an extra zing!

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        Basil Pesto Almonds

          Cucumber Feta Rolls

          These cucumber feta rolls are easy and cheesy! Cucumbers are naturally low in calories and feta cheese adds a powerful punch of protein. Mixed with sundried tomatoes and kalamata olives, these rolls are easy to assemble and incredibly flavorful. Top with a tiny mint leaf for a beautiful presentation — who says your snacks can’t look gourmet?

          Cucumber Feta Rolls

            Other healthy snack ideas include trail mix, nuts and seeds, dried fruit, cut up raw veggies, berries and greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese sticks, pretzels, air popped popcorn (just go very easy on the butter and salt or omit altogether), edamame, graham crackers with cashew butter, diced watermelon with crushed pistachios and so much more. Don’t be afraid to try new blends of healthy ingredients because you never know what will be your next favorite flavor combination.

            What other healthy snacks do you love? Leave a comment and share your healthy snack ideas!

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            Last Updated on December 9, 2019

            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

            Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

            Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

            Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

            1. Get Rationally Optimistic

            Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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            This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

            In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

            The result: no more mental stress.

            2. Unplug

            Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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            How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

            It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

            Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

            3. Easy on the Caffeine

            Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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            Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

            4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

            That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

            How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

            • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
            • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
            • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

            While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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            5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

            This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

            The result: mental stress will be gone!

            So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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            Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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