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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 September 28, 2020

            The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

            The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

            At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

            Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

            One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

            When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

            So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

            Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

            This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

            Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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            When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

            Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

            One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

            Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

            An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

            When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

            Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

            Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

            We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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            By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

            Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

            While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

            I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

            You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

            Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

            When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

            Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

            Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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            Con #2: Less Human Interaction

            One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

            Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

            Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

            This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

            While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

            Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

            Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

            This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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            For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

            Con #4: Unique Distractions

            Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

            For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

            To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

            Final Thoughts

            Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

            We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

            More About Working From Home

            Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

            Reference

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