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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 18, 2020

            7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

            7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

            Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

            Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

            1. Exercise Daily

            It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

            If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

            Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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            If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

            2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

            Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

            One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

            This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

            3. Acknowledge Your Limits

            Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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            Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

            Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

            4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

            Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

            The basic nutritional advice includes:

            • Eat unprocessed foods
            • Eat more veggies
            • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
            • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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            Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

              5. Watch Out for Travel

              Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

              This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

              If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

              6. Start Slow

              Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

              If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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              7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

              Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

              My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

              If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

              I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

              Final Thoughts

              Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

              Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

              More Tips on Getting in Shape

              Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

              Reference

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