Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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Featured Recipe: Peanut Butter & Yogurt Fruit Dip

By: Snap Fitness

Have you ever come across someone that doesn't love to dip? Especially when it comes to dipping fresh fruit into a creamy mixture? Well we haven't. You just can't pass up a combination like that. But most fruit dips, especially those you buy in-store, are too sugary, high in fat and calorie packed.


Look no further for a healthy, EASY alternative! This fruit dip contains only two ingredients and is ready for dipping in less than 60 seconds. It is so easy to make you can put the kids in charge!




1/2 cup Peanut butter - your choice, chunky or creamy!

1 cup plain greek yogurt




Combine the peanut butter with the yogurt in a medium bowl until well mixed. Serve with your favorite fresh fruits. It can be stored in a refrigerator up to 3 days. 


This dip is versatile too! Try dipping pretzels or graham crackers in. Or top the mixture with your favorite granola. Going to a large gathering? Create a fruit dip trifle with layers of the fruit dip between layers of fresh fruit! 



Fuel Your Body for Every Type of Workout

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

To maximize energy and performance based on your fitness goals, you’ll need to fuel your body pre and post workout.


Stumped on what to eat and when?  Use this as your guide.


1.  High Intensity Cardio Sprints



Go for easily digested carbs and a little protein.  My go-to snack for this type of workout is a banana with 1T peanut butter.  The banana provides the energy and calories to keep performance high, potassium to prevent cramping, and is digested before you begin.  The protein and fat in the peanut butter will keep you satiated for the long haul.



After high intensity sprints, your body is running on empty – meaning, low muscle-glycogen stores.  You must refuel post cardio sprints so that you avoid muscle wasting.  If you wait longer than 45-minutes to refuel, your body finds the energy it needs through muscle tissue, rather than fat.  Refuel your glycogen stores and feed your muscle with a combination of carbohydrates and protein - ideally, a ratio of 1 carbohydrate and 2 proteins.  This can be accomplished with 8-12 ounces of chocolate milk.  It’s quick, easy, tasty, and the right balance of nutrients post-workout.


2.  Total Body Strength Training



Focus on a balanced combination of both carbohydrates and protein since you will not be depleting your muscle glycogen stores as much as you would with cardio sprints.  My favorite pre-workout snack for strength training is a whey protein shake, combined with fruit – simply shake or blend with ice and go.



It’s important to replenish the hard-working muscles post strength training.  Fuel them with a combination of carbohydrates, protein, and little bit of fat (preferably quality fat that is a medium-chain triglyceride – don’t let the name scare you!).  Try one cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 Tablespoon of cacao seeds (course ground, typically found at natural food stores), and 1 sliced banana.


3.  Combination of Strength and Cardio



For a workout with both strength and cardio, you’ll need the carbohydrates for energy and stamina and protein to satiate you throughout the length of your workout plus, keep muscle repair in check.  Shoot for a carbohydrate and protein rich snack like, plain Greek yogurt, with fruit and ¼ oats or granola an hour before your workout. 



You need to refuel with complex and simple carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores – plus, protein for muscle repair.  Try 1 scoop of whey protein mixed with oatmeal (½ cup oats, hot water and cinnamon)!

Featured Recipe: Cucumber Salsa

By: Snap Fitness

This recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser at your upcoming Summer parties. It takes little skill and time to prepare. The most time-consuming part of this recipe is the chopping of the ingredients - if you have a chopper though, it will be a breeze! 


Makes: 5 cups


Cucumber Mixture Ingredients

4 cups chopped, seeded and peeled cucumber

1 cup finely chopped seeded tomato

1/2 cup chopped red onion

4 Tbsp fresh parsley minced

1-2 (to your liking) jalapeño  peppers, seeded and chopped

2 T (or to your liking) fresh cilantro minced 

2 garlic cloves minced


Dressing Ingredients

1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream

1 Tbsp Lemon juice

1 Tbsp Lime juice

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp seasoned salt



In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and let chill while combining the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour the dressing over the cucumber mixture and toss gently to coat. Can be served immediately or chilled in the refrigerator.


Featured Recipe: Salsa and Avocado Salad

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

One of my favorites!  This easy dish is my “go-to” food when looking to enjoy something quick, healthy, and tasty.  This dish takes very little skill but, some time to chop all the ingredients – it makes for a nice dish to prepare with friends or visiting with family.  I chop and chat, they nibble and laugh – I hope you enjoy it too.


Serves – 6 (1 cup servings)


Salad Ingredients

  • 1 can – Black Beans (drained)
  • 1 can – Kernel Corn (drained)
  • 1 can – Black Olives (sliced)
  • 1 Red Pepper – chopped and seeded
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper – chopped and seeded (use gloves or wash hands immediately to avoid getting the peppery oil into your eyes)
  • 1 pint – Cherry Tomatoes (sliced)
  • 1/2 bundle – Cilantro (leaves only – chopped)
  • 1/2 bundle – Green Onion (cleaned and chopped – white and greens parts)
  • 1 Whole Avocado (pitted and sliced)


Dressing Ingredients

  • 4T – Olive Oil
  • 4T – Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1-2 T – Cumin
  • 1/4 – 1/2 t – Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 – 1/2 t – Black Pepper
  • 1/4 t – Sea Salt (or more to taste!)
  • Juice of 2-3 Limes



Whisk dressing ingredients together to combine.  Pour over remaining ingredients, stir gently.  Add avocado and chill for 30 minutes or more.  If you plan to serve this later (1/2 day or more), add the avocado just before serving.



Fueling Your Body- No Matter When you Work Out!

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

To have enough drive and energy to hit the gym hard, you need to fuel your body.  You also need to refuel once you are done.  But, how do you juggle pre or post-workout fuel with regular meals and a busy schedule?  Whether you prefer to get your gym time in before the sun comes up or choose to exercise after a long day at the office, these fueling options will ensure that you remain on top of your game.


Early-Morning workout:


Pre-Workout:   For most people, eating can be difficult early in the morning but, it’s important to get certain nutrients in prior to a workout (especially after a 6-9 hour overnight fast!).  To get the most of your gym session, eat something with a small amount of protein, carbohydrate and healthy fats.  My go-to food is a banana and 1T peanut butter. Carbohydrates to boost energy and brain function, fats and protein in the peanut butter to slow absorption so that I maintain that energy boost throughout the entire workout. Bonus, the potassium boost from the banana will also prevent cramping!


Post-Workout:  Whip up a quick smoothie for post-workout readiness.  You can even make it ahead of time so that it’s ready to go when you are dashing out the door after your workout.  Post workout fuel should include a ratio of 1-carbohydrate to 2-proteins for maximum absorption and recovery for hard-working muscles.  Try one cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 Tablespoon of cacao seeds (course ground found at natural food stores), and 1 sliced banana.  I add a sprinkle or 2 of cinnamon to make it extra tasty!  Recommended at least 45 minutes post workout – wait any longer and you can lose that hard earned metabolism boosting muscle.


Midday workout:

Pre-Workout:   When I work out midday, I can’t rely on the breakfast that I had 3-4 hours ago to fuel me through my workout. Plus, I am already thinking about lunch. Think of this pre-workout fuel as your mid-morning snack - to be enjoyed 1-2 hours prior to your workout.  This snack should be convenient, easily digested and nutritious.  I love a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts.  The fat and protein in the nuts keeps me satiated until the start of the workout and the carbs gives me energy needed to pull me through until lunch time.


Post-Workout:  Don’t mistake post-workout refuel for lunch.  Often your midday workout falls something around lunchtime but, soup and salad doesn’t sound as appealing right after you’ve completed treadmill sprints and weights – likely you are still a little heated from your workout.  My go-to here is a simple protein shake with whey protein powder, ice and fruit (try mangos, oranges, or pineapple –they are high in vitamin-C which is known to decrease oxidative damage from free radicals that can cause muscle loss).  Again, protein for muscle repair and carbs to aid in absorption.  Keep it light and enjoy a healthy lunch an hour or two later. 



Evening Workout:

Pre-Workout:   Squeezing in a workout between the end of your workday and dinner?  Miss fueling up first and it’s a recipe for post workout sugary snack attack disaster!  Enjoy a snack that includes carbs, protein, and fat.  Shoot for a carbohydrate-rich snack that fuels muscles and boosts energy levels, try plain Greek yogurt, with fruit and ¼ oats or granola an hour before your workout.  The protein will satiate you until your workout and the carbs will provide focus and energy to get you through the work out.


Post-Workout:  If you’ve pushed off dinner for after your workout, chances are that you are famished.  But grilled chicken and mixed greens won’t cut it after an intense workout.  You need to refuel with complex and simple carbs to replenish glycogen stores – plus, protein for muscle repair.  In the evening, there is nothing better than 8-oz of chocolate milk post workout.  Sounds indulgent if you are looking to lose weight but, it’s the right balance of carbs/protein/fat that will refuel your body quickly with fast digesting nutrients.  Plus, the calcium and magnesium in milk will help your muscles relax while you sleep.  


Featured Recipe: Overnight Oats

By: Snap Fitness

Looking to kick-start your morning with a healthy, delicious breakfast but don’t have the time? Take a look at this easy-to-make recipe that you can put together the night before!



- 1/3 cup dry oats- old fashioned oats work best
- 1/2 cup milk or milk substitute- depending on thickness add more/less
- 1/3 cup plain or vanilla yogurt


Add your own toppings:

Chia seeds
Flax seed


Place all ingredients in a bowl overnight. In the morning top with something crunchy and something with healthy fats – like nut butter or nuts. Peanut butter is also a good topping option. 

Let your imagination run wild, and start your morning on the right foot!


The New Health Foods – or Diet Saboteurs in Disguise

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

Many food products on the market today have good-intentioned dieters losing BIG…but, not necessarily the weight.  Products are being touted as Healthy only in how they are marketed – the name on the box can mislead even a savvy shopper.  Here are some examples of “health” foods to avoid. 


Super Protein Drinks-
Many of us are looking for ways to keep our protein intake high – especially if you are trying to balance blood sugar,  or repair and build muscle post workout.  Convenience protein drinks have made this convenient, but it comes with a price.  These products contain soy protein isolate which is a heavily processed form of soy.  Dr Mercola recently published an article stating that soy protein isolates can suppress thyroid function, cause digestive problems such as diarrhea, and promote an increase in hormonal estrogen. 

Keep it simple, stick with protein from real, unprocessed foods: animal meats, beans, lentils, eggs and dairy.


Trendy Cereal-

Stroll down the cereal aisle of your favorite grocery store and you will notice some new items competing for your attention.  Since Greek yogurt has enjoyed a surge in popularity due to its high quality protein content, the cereal companies don’t want to miss out on the buzz and the bills (that is, dollar bills). Unfortunately, this means that they simply toss a pinch of heavily processed yogurt powder into the mix of sugar, wheat, oats and rice.  This yogurt powder is created by heat treating, killing the active yogurt cultures and is only a fraction of the “greek yogurt” product.  The rest is made up of non-fat dry milk solids…not yogurt.

Maybe enjoy some actual Greek yogurt (that is milk strained in a cheese cloth or muslin, retaining its creamy texture and high protein content) – then, add a little of your favorite cereal for crunch – or better yet, throw in some nuts, seeds, or ground cacao seeds to boost the nutrition without the processed junk.


Veggie Pasta-

Ok, I’ll admit I was a little tempted by this one…vegetables infused into my pasta, my kids will love it!  What I’ve learned is that you just need to eat and enjoy the actual vegetables – can’t blame a mom for trying!  Here’s the scoop:  Veggie pastas promote vegetables in disguise.  Their small amount of vegetables per serving turns out to be a ¼ cup of vegetable solids from dried carrot, tomato, and spinach.  Each heavily cooked serving leaves you with 4 percent of a day’s vitamin A….ummm, that’s one sixtieth of a carrot or three baby spinach leaves. 

Save your money, and eat real vegetables!


-Jodi Sussner


Tips for the Final Week of the Lose Weight Challenge!

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Hello weight loss challenge participants. Congratulations on making it to the final week of the Lose Weight Challenge! It has been a long road so I want to give you some final tips on how to lower the scale in the final days:

Tip #1 - Limit your simple sugars. Try to stay away from candy or anything that is high in sugar. Sugar is a carbohydrate and excess carbohydrates tend to make you retain extra water weight. Limit your candy, fruit juice, regular soda, or anything that is full of empty sugar calories.

Tip #2 - Avoid heavy carbohydrates. Stay away from heavy morning cereals, pancakes, waffles, pasta, white bread, and potatoes. Think more green vegetables like broccoli, green beans, asparagus, and spinach. Try to focus on keeping your carbohydrates lower this week and adding higher protein foods.  If you do this you may see some additional water come off of your body.

Tip #3 - Don’t miss a workout day. You have made it this far in the challenge. Do not allow yourself to miss a single workout at this crucial time. You are almost there and the finish line is in sight. Focus, Focus, Focus!!!


Tip #4 - Get in a good workout prior to weigh-ins the final day of the challenge. Make sure not to eat a huge meal prior to weigh-ins and instead get a nice intense workout in. This may account for 1 – 3 pounds of water weight on the scale. Time it right so that you are on top of your game.

Try implementing one or all of these tips and you should see some minor changes in body weight before you do your final weigh-in this week!  

Best of luck and let’s see who is going to make the top 10!!!



The Secret to Weight Loss

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Hello Lose Weight Challenge Participants!  Congratulations on getting to week four of the challenge.  This week I want to share what I consider the secret to weight loss.

To lose weight you have to take in fewer calories than you burn! - Period

1.    If you eat 2000 calories and burn 3000 calories, you lose weight
2.    If you eat 2000 calories and burn 1000 calories, you gain weight
3.    If you eat 2000 calories and burn 2000 calories, you don’t move

Most people are at a maintenance level when they begin an exercise routine. This means that in example #3 above they are taking in the same amount of calories as they are burning. If you know you are at a maintenance level, all you have to do is write down what you eat for a few days and figure exactly how many calories you are taking in on average. We have a free calorie tracking tool in for you to utilize to track your calorie intake, should you want to use that. Once you know this information, you have a couple options.

  1. You can eat fewer calories. When you eat fewer calories you will begin to lose weight as your caloric input number is lower than your output. However, by dieting alone, your body will adjust to this and lower your metabolism, eating away at your muscle to get there. In the end you have lost weight but most of it will be muscle mass. This is why DIETING ALONE DOES NOT WORK.
  2. You exercise more and eat fewer calories. This is good in that you are creating a larger caloric deficit.  You add 20 minutes of weight training and 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise and the numbers start to move. (I.e. 1500 calories coming in with food and 3000 calories being burned through exercise).  Because you are at a 1500 calorie deficit you will begin losing about 2 pounds per week. This is because 3500 calories equals one pound of body weight. Weight training will help you burn more calories and help you maintain lean muscle mass which increases your metabolism. Cardiovascular fitness will help you burn more calories and will help you begin burning stored body fat. By eating less and healthier you will not be adding any more stored fat.

To summarize this whole idea, it can simply be said to, "Eat less and exercise more." Don’t overcomplicate it.  Be consistent - especially during the weekdays when you are on a strict routine. Keep your eating clean and don’t let anything get in the way of your workout. It really isn’t rocket science; it is consistency and dedication to make the right decisions each and every day.

Once again, hope the challenge is going well for you and best of luck in your finish.


Reminder: At 7:00 p.m. CST on April 11th I will be hosting a live Facebook chat on the Weight Loss Challenge. "Like" the Snap Fitness page on Facebook at for Lose Weight Challenge tips, motivation, and to get in on our live chat!

Ask the Trainer: Eating Post-Intense Workout

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: Hey Snap, how about some advice on what to eat post-workout - after serious weight training and cardio?

Answer: Protein is essential to repair muscle post-workout. I would recommend a minimum of 30g within the 1st 30 minutes after your workout, and definitely within the following hour. Whey protein shakes are the easiest way to get protein quick - you can purchase jugs of the powder that you mix with water to get the essential nutrients to repair muscles. Eggs, chicken, and steak are also great - but preparation time might prevent you from getting them within the immediate time window.

Posts 81 - 90 of 91