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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 July 10, 2020

                                          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                          We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                                          We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                                          So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                                          Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                                          What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                                          Boundaries are limits

                                          —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                                          Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                                          Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                                          Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                                          Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                                          How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                                          Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                                          1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                                          Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                                          You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                                          To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                                          You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                                          • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                                          • When do you feel disrespected?
                                          • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                                          • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                                          • When do you want to be alone?
                                          • How much space do you need?

                                          You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                                          2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                                          Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                                          Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                                          3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                                          Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                                          That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                                          Sample language:

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                                          • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                                          • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                                          • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                                          • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                                          • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                                          • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                                          • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                                          Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                                          4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                                          Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                                          Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                                          Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                                          We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                                          It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                                          It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                                          Final Thoughts

                                          Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                                          Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                                          Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                                          The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                                          Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                                          Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                                          They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                                          Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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