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20 Healthy Snacks For Your Sweet Tooth

20 Healthy Snacks For Your Sweet Tooth

Giving up sweets can be one of the hardest things to do when trying to live a healthier lifestyle. How can you address your desire for ice cream and candy without actually consuming those products? You can whip up some sweet snacks that are healthy instead! It sounds like an oxymoron, but if you try hard enough, you can put together something dessert-y that’s also good for you. Here are a few you can try for yourself!

1. Smoothie.

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    Smoothies are great, especially if you are fond of milkshakes. They aren’t quite as rich as their dairy based cousin, but still hit the sweet tooth spot. Simply blend some ice and fruit together, add a little yogurt or protein powder for texture, and voila! It’s like dessert, but healthy. Here’s a list of recipes to get you started!

    2. Blueberries.

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      A humble bowl of blueberries works wonders when you’re craving something sweet. Instead of going crazy with something wildly unhealthy, chow down on some sweet berries and absorb some awesome antioxidants while you’re at it!

      3. Raisin bread.

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        It’s like bread, but with raisins in it. Add a little bit of your favorite cheese spread if you are feeling adventurous. As you know, raisins are pretty sweet, so this will almost be like eating a slice of healthy cake if you prep it correctly.

        4. Dark chocolate.

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          I’m not saying you can go out and eat several bars of dark chocolate, as some might have you believe. A small portion however, will sate your desire for sweets while simultaneously imparting the beneficial effects of dark chocolate upon you.

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          5. Pancakes.

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            Surprised? The key here is to lay off the syrup, using fruit alternatives, and making the pancakes out of something healthier than just plain flour. Recipes I’ve seen use anything from whole wheat flour to a cinnamon oatmeal blend.

            6. Vegan ice cream.

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              Turns out vegans like ice cream so much that they decided to come up with their own version that doesn’t rely on dairy or artificial sweetening. What this basically is is frozen, pureed fruit (or pureed cashews in the case of the image). It won’t be as creamy as ice cream, but it will be sweet and smooth. See all of the ways you can make ice cream without any dairy products!

              7. Frozen yogurt.

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                Another ice cream alternative, though a bit creamier in consistency than the vegan option. It almost tastes like its unhealthier cousin (there’s a slight tang), while being far better for you. Top it with fresh fruit (not bits of candy) and you’ll have yourself a satisfying sweet tooth snack.

                8. Apple pie without the crust.

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                  This one’s pretty straight forward. All you do is bake the apple pie filling, sans the rich, buttery crust. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top and enjoy!

                  9. Peanut butter.

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                    I used to do this in college when I craved something sweet and had no access to anything decent. I’d simply grab a spoon and a jar of peanut butter, and dig in. It’s sweet, filling, and even has some protein to help you recover from workouts. Just don’t eat half the jar.

                    10. Fruit pouch.

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                      You probably see these at your local supermarket. They’re basically little pouches of pureed fruit, that you open with a twist of the cap. It’s like eating an apple, in a much more optimized format. Good if you want a quick jolt of something sweet on a busy day!

                      11. Sesame bar.

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                        You’ve probably seen these at your local Asian buffet. It’s basically sesame seeds held together by honey. While a bit difficult to eat, and certainly bad for your teeth, honey is fairly healthy as far as sweet products go.

                        12. Figs.

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                          Whether it’s the fruit itself or fig bars, figs fulfill your sweet tooth with a gusto few on this list can match. If you get raw ones, be sure to eat them quickly because they tend to go bad rapidly (I found this out the hard way).

                          13. Chocolate strawberries.

                          Delicious Chocolate Strawberries

                            It’s so good it’s almost unhealthy! Just don’t go too heavy on the chocolate dip and these can be a good alternative to your favorite candy bar.

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                            14. Parfaits.

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                              Greek yogurt has a great, creamy consistency that goes well with granola and fresh fruit. See what all the hipsters are raving about and try one!

                              15. Vanilla latte.

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                                As a heavy coffee drinker, I usually use lattes or cafe mochas to satisfy my sweet tooth. They aren’t the healthiest drinks in the world, but if they prevent you from consuming a thousand calorie dessert then it’s totally worth it.

                                16. Protein bar.

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                                  My preference is the chocolate peanut butter Zone bars, but there’s tons out there for you to choose. These bars almost taste like candy, except they’re chock full of essential nutrients instead of mostly sugar and fat.

                                  17. Fruit leather.

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                                    You’ve seen these at your local Trader Joe’s, I’d bet. It’s basically a healthy alternative to Fruit Roll Ups.

                                    18. Pudding!

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                                      Dean Winchester’s favorite. I like the chocolate variety, but sometimes stray to strawberry. Strawberry yogurt plus granola is awesome, I won’t lie.

                                      19. Whipped yogurt.

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                                        I can’t believe people aren’t aware that this stuff exists. Yoplait makes an awesome version of it that’s super cheap and always satisfies my sweet tooth. My favorite flavor is the strawberry, but chocolate and orange cream bar are pretty good as well…

                                        20. Cereal.

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                                          Ah, cereal. Good for breakfast, dinner, and dessert! Any kind will do, though if you go for Cinnamon Toast Crunch I won’t blame you. Pretty much all cereals are better for you than a bowl of ice cream, so have at it! You can even watch some cartoons while you’re eating it.

                                          Do you have any secret sweet-but-decently-healthy snacks you turn to on a daily basis? Share below!

                                          Featured photo credit: Blueberries!/ FromSandToGlass via flickr.com

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                                          Last Updated on September 10, 2019

                                          7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                          7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                          Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

                                          Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

                                          This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

                                          One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

                                          Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

                                          Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

                                          1. Gratitude

                                          Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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                                          The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

                                          Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

                                          So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

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                                            2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

                                            This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

                                            For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

                                            What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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                                            Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

                                            3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

                                            This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

                                            Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

                                            An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

                                            Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

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                                              4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                                              According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                                              There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                                              5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                                              Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                                              Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                                              6. Rise Earlier

                                              The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                                              For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                                              So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                                              Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                                              7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                                              Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                                              Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                                              It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                                              Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                                              More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                                              Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                                              Reference

                                              [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                                              [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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