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Quick And Easy: 15 Tasty Ways To Replace Junk Food

Quick And Easy: 15 Tasty Ways To Replace Junk Food

After a long day at work, you just want to fall down on the couch and eat all the junk food you can find. Understandably, working hard gets you tired so you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen just to have a quick snack to eat. But are you really going to be happy after you eat all the sugary, salty or unhealthy food? Most likely you will feel bad about the decision and the food itself won’t make you feel better or give you any energy. What you need is some healthy ways to snack!

Here are 15 delicious foods to replace your lazy snacks!

1. Zucchini Chips

zucchini-chips

    Let’s start with that bag of chips you got waiting for you. It’s easy and delicious, but there are quiet a few replacement possibilities. Try zucchini chips.

    It’s easy to make: just cut the zucchini in thin slices, season to your liking and bake them. Easy as that!

    2. Apple Chips

    apple-chips

      So I also looked up a sweeter version of chips. So try these apple chips. They are super easy and delicious. I promise you won’t eat store-bought chips any more after this.

      All you do is cut an apple in thin slices, possibly with a mandolin slicer. Than you line them on a plate and leave them in the microwave for about 5 minutes. Enjoy your apple chips!

      3. Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn

      rosemary_parmesan_popcorn

        Popcorn is the next easy-to-buy  and also easy-to-make snack. It’s so good to just buy ready-made popcorn… But does it really taste that much better than homemade? I personally love it when it’s fresh, crispy and warm.

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        So here is the option to make it at home. First you pop the popcorn, than add the parmesan and end with drizzling the rosemary oil over. Let is rest for about 5 minutes and you can enjoy delicious fresh made popcorn!

        4. Frozen Banana Bites

        frozen-banana

          If you ever researched for healthy snack options, I’m sure you have seen these. The perfect combination of banana, peanut butter and chocolate. But this time you can make it a little more fancy by adding almond butter instead. Little tip: On the page with the recipe, you’ll find a way to make almond butter at home!

          So how can you make these heavenly bites? Well, put some almond butter between two slices of banana, Freeze the bites. Melt chocolate and dip them in it. And freeze again. Your frozen bites are ready to be enjoyed!

          5. Mini Pizza

          cauliflowercrust-pizza

            You want to know how healthy they are? You want to know the secret? The crust is cauliflower. Yeah, I said it. You are going to enjoy these babies without a worry.

            First you make the base by shredding cauliflower, heating it and combining with egg, mozzarella and herbs. You bake the crust first. Than you add toppings and bake again. And that is all, delicious and healthy mini pizzas!

            6. Ants On A Log

            Ants-on-a-log

              Yeah, you most like have had these before. But not with this twist. I think we left the junk food behind and moved on to the good foods.

              Try the beans on a stalk version. Cut up some pieces of celery, add guacamole and black beans. Healthy, quick and very tasty.

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              7. Frozen Yogurt Fruit Bites

              frozen-yogurt

                This is one of those great ideas where you can add your own twist. You can use any fruit you like or whatever you have left over.

                Simply place some yogurt in a silicon cup, press fruits of your choice in and put it in the freezer. Let is there overnight and done are your frozen yogurt treats.

                8. Trail Mix

                trail-mix

                  Easy to make at home and adjust to your own liking: trail mix! Mix and match all kinds of nuts and add you favorite extras.

                  Try this version with walnuts, cashews, pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, raisins and dried cranberries. Put all the ingredients in a bowl, mix it and it’s ready to go!

                  9. Cucumber Roll-ups

                  cucumber-roll

                    On the warmer summer days, you probably want a refreshing snack to eat. Cucumber is one of the best refreshing foods out there. These roll-ups will make you very happy.

                    You start by making slices of the cucumber. You top it with some humus, feta, red pepper and season it with some salt and pepper. Roll up and secure with a toothpick. Refreshing, delicious and healthy.

                    10. Peanut Butter Honey Yogurt Dip

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                    peanut-butter-honey-yogurt-dip

                      Yep, all the ingredients for this recipe are in the title. I think if you simply want to eat fruit and want to all a little something to it, a dip is a great option. It doesn’t take long, but you might just enjoy your fruit that little bit more.

                      Combine the peanut butter, honey and yogurt in a bowl. Stir until smooth. Dip in your favorite fruit.

                      11. Yogurt Ranch Dip

                      greek-yogurt-ranch-dip

                        If you need a healthy dip for fruit, you also need a healthy dip for vegetables. Or for anything else. Just add it when you want, because it’s healthy.

                        Combine yogurt, garlic, parsley, chives, dill, onion powder, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk. Let is chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Serve with your favorite vegetables.

                        12. Chocolate Mousse

                        healthy-chocolate-mousse

                          I had to add this. Chocolate is my favorite thing in life. And I have had this healthy version before too. I can tell you it is the best thing in life.

                          Combine maple syrup, vanilla, avocado and cacao in a blender. Mix for about 30 seconds. Add some water and set in the fridge.

                          13. Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream

                          healthy-banana-peanut-butter-ice-cream

                            You can make almost any ice cream healthy at home, but this seemed like a good basic recipe. Everybody loves banana and peanut butter.

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                            Combine frozen banana, peanut butter, almond milk and cinnamon in a blender and mix till smooth. Freeze for one hour and serve with toppings.

                            14. Oatmeal Cookies

                            oatmeal-cookies

                              The smell of fresh baked cookies is possibly the best smell ever. So why not bake some? Here are some healthy oatmeal cookies.

                              In one bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. In a different bowl, combine egg, oil, sugar and vanilla. Combine all the ingredients together. Line up balls of the dough and bake for 15 minutes.

                              15. Granola Bar

                              granola-bars

                                Make this and you got a to go snack for a week. Healthy and filling granola bars.

                                Combine oats, sunflower seeds and almonds and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, add honey, sugar, butter and salt and heat it on medium heat. When the oat mixture is done, add it in the honey and mix all the ingredients together. Bake for 25 minutes.

                                Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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                                Florence Carmen Bukasa

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                                Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                                Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                                Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                                Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                                Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                                The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                                There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                                How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                                According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                                Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                                Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                                The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                                Listen carefully:

                                We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                                The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                                Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                                8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                                There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                                Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                                1. Pray Daily

                                You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                                When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                                Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                                Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                                2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                                A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                                By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                                Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                                If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                                This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                                How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                                3. Smile Often

                                Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                                Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                                Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                                The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                                4. Organize Your Working Desk

                                A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                                When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                                Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                                Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                                5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                                I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                                Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                                What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                                6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                                God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                                I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                                I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                                7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                                You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                                How do you do that? This is my formula:

                                First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                                If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                                If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                                If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                                Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                                8. Go Exercise

                                Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                                The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                                You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                                12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                                The Bottom Line

                                It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                                It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                                Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                                More Resources About Mindfulness

                                Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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