Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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15 Ways to Treat Yo’ Self

By: Snap Fitness

Sometimes you simply need to indulge into your cravings and treat yo’ self. But before you run to the candy section, make sure you’re making a healthier choice. After all, you don’t want to ruin your intense workout in two minutes! Instead, try one of these healthier alternatives the next time you feel a craving coming on.

 

1. Strawberries and Cool Whip

For an easy and guilt free dessert dish up a bowl of this sweet, fiber-rich combo.

 

2. Chocolate Avocado Moose

This rich, chocolate dessert is so delicious you won’t believe the creaminess came from an avocado. The chocolate takes over the taste of the avocado, which leaves you with a smooth texture you’d never thought imaginable. 

 

3. Banana Ice Cream

All you need to create this delicious treat is a blender, one frozen banana and some almond milk. If you’d like to give it more flavor you can add peanut butter or a few teaspoons of cocoa powder for some chocolate flavor.

 

4. Dark Chocolate

In moderation, dark chocolate can be a healthy treat to enjoy. It’s packed with antioxidants and can help regulate level of the stress hormone, cortisol.

 

5. No Flour Oatmeal Banana Cookies

These chewy no-flour cookies are free of gluten but full of flavor. We suggest topping your favorite yogurt or ice cream with these cookies. 

 

6. Chocolate Milk

If you’re looking for a refreshing treat and an effective post-workout recovery drink, chocolate milk is a great way to treat yourself!

 

7. Smoothie

Smoothies can make a great breakfast, snack, or dessert.  They are sweet enough to fill any cravings. Try this cinnamon apple smoothie for a cool treat.

 

8. Air-Popped Popcorn

If you’re craving something on the salty side, dive into some air-popped popcorn.

 

9. Yogurt Parfait

Top 1 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt with your choice of toppings: crumbled graham crackers or granola, various nuts and some shaved chocolate!

 

10. Peanut Butter and Jelly Protein Shake


Not only does it taste great, it’s also loaded with protein making it perfect for a post-workout treat. Get your peanut butter and jelly fix any day of the week without wreaking havoc on your health and your physique.

 

11. Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry
There’s nothing better than fresh strawberries in the summer! To give them an extra punch of goodness by dipping them in chocolate and let set in the refrigerator until the chocolate coating has hardened.

 

12. Fruit and Cottage Cheese
This is a great protein packed snack that will satisfy your sweet tooth. You can add more flavor by drizzling honey on it or adding a teaspoon of cocoa powder.

 

13. Greek Yogurt Mini Cheesecake

Finally, a guilt free cheesecake! This recipe is modified to use less cream cheese, and in its place use protein-rich Greek yogurt. It is also crust-less, which is great news to those on a gluten-free diet.

 

14. Frozen Grapes
Enjoy a vine of frozen grapes for an antioxidant packed snack. Simply wash your grapes and put them in the freezer for a couple hours and enjoy.

 

15. Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins

These Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins are quick to make and better yet, are easy to freeze and reheat  – so they are great to have on stand-by in the freezer!

 


 

Tell Us: What’s your favorite way to treat yo’ self? Head to our Facebook or Twitter to share! 

10 Ways to Make Your Groceries Last Longer

By: Snap Fitness

Eating healthy means eating lots of fresh produce. Sadly fresh veggies and fruit don’t stay fresh for very long. Here are some easy tricks to give your groceries some extra shelf life.

 

1. Store delicate herbs like flowers.

Put them in a jar with water, cover them with plastic, secure it with a rubberband, and refrigerate. This keeps delicate herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, and chives fresh the longest.

 

2. Use a vinegar solution to make your berries last longer.

Mix together one part vinegar (white or apple cider) and ten parts water. Soak the berries in the mixture, drain, rinse, and put them in the fridge. The solution is diluted enough that you won’t taste the vinegar. Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft.

 

3. One rotten apple can spoil the bunch.

It’s not just an old wives’ tale. When apples begin to decay, they emit ethelyne gas. If the rotting apple is mixed in with the good, the good apples start to absorb the gas and rot.

 

4. Don’t store onions with potatoes.

They spoil faster together. Instead store separate in a cool dry place with good air circulation, onions will last 2-3 months.

 

5. Store potatoes with apples.

The ethelyne gas produced by apples prevents potatoes from sprouting.

 

6. Put onions in pantyhose, and tie knots between each onion.

Onions stored in pantyhose will last as long as 8 months.

  

7. Wrap the crown of a bunch of bananas with plastic wrap.

They’ll keep for 3-5 days longer than usual. Bananas also produce more ethelyne gas than any other fruit, so keep them isolated on the counter.

 

8. Wrap celery, broccoli, and lettuce in tin foil before storing in the fridge.

It’ll stay crisp for 4 weeks or more.

 

9. Mason jars are your friend.

Produce will keep a few days longer if stored in a jar. Mason jars also provide a healthier and longer-lasting alternative to plastic tupperware, which deteriorates and stains easily. 

 

10. Clean your fridge.

Once something goes bad in your fridge or cupboards, it leaves behind mold that's ready to eat up your new food. Disinfect the fridge, it’ll make everything last longer.

 

What's your favorite trick that helps your groceries last longer? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

5 Ways to Eat Less Sugar

By: Snap Fitness

These days we’re drowning in sugar. It’s estimated that Americans eat 22 teaspoons of added sugar each day, which adds up to 56 pounds each year! This added sugar not only leads to weight gain, but some serious health problems.

 

Here are 5 easy ways you can cut down on your sugar intake:

 

Cut out sweetened beverages.

Nearly 40% of the added sugar in our diets comes from sugary beverages like soda, juice, and sweet tea. Trade out your sweet drinks for good ole water. If you still need some flavor add in lemon, lime, fresh mint, or even some mashed fruit.

 

Beware of hidden sugar.

Sugar can be sneaky. There are many foods that have more added sugar than you may think.  The best way to avoid added sugar is to check the ingredients list. Avoid foods with corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, molasses, cane sugar, and evaporated cane juice.

 

Sweeten things yourself.

Buy truly unsweetened goods (not products made form calorie free sweeteners) and sweeten them yourself. For example greek yogurt, oatmeal, and almond milk. You can then add in organic honey or maple syrup, both contain some nutrients and antioxidants.

 

Go Natural.

Replace your favorite sugary treats with fruit. Strawberries and blueberries are naturally sweet and just as satisfying. Also there are many tricks to replacing sugar in your recipes with delicious fruit options for less calories. You can add pureed fruit to any recipe form cookies to coleslaw.

 

Establish your limits.

For many a life without sugar just isn’t as sweet. It’s not realistic to cut it out all together. Everyone once in a while you need to treat yourself. Pick a day each week or even a number of when or how many sugary treats you can have. Use this to help you avoid temptation during the rest of the week.

 

What’s your trick to cutting down your sugar intake? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

 

Sources:

 

Sass, C, (MPH) 5 Ways to Eat Less Sugar (2014) Health.com. Retrieved May 14, 2014.

       

5 Ways to Eat Avocado

By: Snap Fitness

Guacamole is only the beginning! Avocados are filled with a ton of nutrients, like potassium, folate, and vitamins C and K. In fact, an avocado has about 60 percent more potassium than a banana. Did you know avocados are actually fruit? Additionally, they're low in fat and have no cholesterol.

 

The best part about avocados is that they can easily be added to any meal! Breakfast, lunch, or dinner is the best time for some of this green fruit.

 

Here are five quick ways to add avocado to your diet:

 

-Plain: cut the fruit in half, take out the pit, and enjoy! If you need a little more flavor, add some lemon juice or a favorite seasoning.

 

-With cottage cheese: a snazzy version of the plain avocado! Put a scoop of cottage cheese in where the pit used to be. You have a pre-made bowl that you can take on the go!

 

-With an egg baked in it: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and crack an egg into an avocado half (sans pit). Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy!

 

-Sliced up in your salad: Slice and dice up pieces and shake them into your favorite salad. We recommend making them a staple for Cobb salads!

 

-Spread on your sandwich: A BLT with avocado? Delicious. A grilled cheese with avocado? Mind-blowing!

 

Got any other fun ways to eat avocado? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter!

Best Heart-Healthy Foods

By: Snap Fitness

In order to lead a healthy lifestyle, nutrition and exercise are equally important. Working out an hour a day is great, but it doesn’t do much if you’re hitting up a fast-food joint upon leaving the gym. A well-balanced diet makes your workouts more effective and keeps you energized throughout the day. Eating well is important, but do you know what foods help promote a healthy heart? 

 

Make the most of your meals with these five heart-healthy foods:

 

-Blueberries: full of antioxidants and anti-inflammorties, you can eat these berries plain or add them to a smoothie.

-Oatmeal: great choice for breakfast! A bowl of oatmeal is filled with omega-3s, potassium, and fiber.

-Olive oil: an easy swap for your current salad dressing of choice, olive oil lowers the bad LDL cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease.

-Salmon: another great source of omega 3s. Studies show that eating salmon helps reduce blood pressure and the risk of having a heart attack.

-Spinach: perfect for salads, spinach is an excellent source of folate, fiber, and potassium. 

 

What’s your favorite way to incorporate these foods into your meals? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Superfood of the week: Flaxseed

By: Snap Fitness

Flaxseed is one of the world’s most powerful superfoods. Not only has it been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes, it is also good for the skin, hair, and proper cell function. Can you believe all of that goodness comes from a tiny little seed?

 


Flaxseed is found in a variety of foods such as frozen waffles, crackers, oatmeal, and salad dressing. Flaxseed is a wonderful addition to your morning smoothie, or you can take it as a daily supplement.

 


Although flaxseed contains all sorts of health benefits, it’s best known for these three:

 


-Omega 3 fatty acids: Also known as the "good” fats. These acids have been shown to provide heart-healthy benefits. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of omega-3s.

 


-Fiber: Most Americans do not get enough fiber in their diet. Each tablespoon of flax contains about 8 grams of fiber. This helps keep your bodily functions regular and promotes proper digestion.

 


-Antioxidants: Contribute to protection against cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants are also good for cell rejuvenation, clear skin, and acne.

 

What's your favorite way to enjoy flaxseed? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!

The Best Pre and Post-Workout Fuel

By: Snap Fitness

Eating before and after your workout is a must! However, you shouldn’t eat the same thing both pre and post-workout. Did you know your mini-meals should differ a little depending on your type of exercise?

 

Use this helpful guide in determining what you should eat when:

 

High-Intensity Cardio

Pre-Workout: Don’t stuff yourself before running! Go for easily-digested carbs and a little bit of protein. We recommend a banana with one tablespoon of peanut butter. The banana is a great source of energy to keep your performance high and has potassium to prevent cramping. The protein and fat in peanut butter will keep you satiated for the tough workout.

Post-Workout: Whew! Your body is spent after sprinting. If you don’t refuel within 45 minutes, your body burns muscle tissue instead of fat. Boost your glycogen levels and feed your muscles with a carbohydrate-protein combo. We recommend eight to 12 ounces of chocolate milk. It’s like you’re a little kid again!

 

Total-Body Strength Training

Pre-Workout: Have a balanced combination of carbohydrates and protein. We recommend a whey protein shake with fruit. Simply shake or blend, and you’re good to go!

Post-Workout: Replenish the hard-working muscles you worked with a carbohydrates, protein, and a little fat. A parfait is perfect! Try a cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt, one tablespoon of cacao seeds, and a sliced banana. 

 

Combination of Strength and Cardio

Pre-Workout: If you’re doing both strength and cardio training, carbohydrates are needed for energy and stamina, and protein for muscle repair. You’ll need a snack rich in both. Eat plain Greek yogurt with fruit and a 1/4 cup granola an hour before your workout.

Post-Workout: Both complex and simple carbohydrates are needed to boost your glycogen levels. You also need (you guessed it!) protein for muscle repair. Do one scoop of whey protein mixed with 1/2 cup of oatmeal.

 

What’s your favorite pre or post-workout snack? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

Superfood of the Week: Goji Berries

By: Snap Fitness

Goji berries are a nutrient-rich fruit containing high levels of antioxidants. People have been eating goji berries for thousands of years, but they have only recently become a popular superfood. We recommend adding dried goji berries to your smoothie or cereal. They are also perfect as a snack by the handful.

Here are a few health benefits:

Sun protection: Goji berries reduce sunburn reaction by supporting the skin's immune response, thanks to special compounds in the fruit’s antioxidants.

Tons of nutritional support: Goji berries contain 19 amino acids, 21 trace minerals, protein, vitamin C, the B family of vitamins, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids. They are also shown to regulate metabolism.

Protect the eyes: According to a recent study, goji berries contain a compound related to vitamin A that has been shown to protect the eye retina.

Low-glycemic index: The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food affects your blood-sugar levels based on its ability to be digested. Diabetics are often told to consume foods that have low glycemic indexes, which deliver sugar in a slow, but steady stream to the blood. The sweet goji berry has a glycemic index of only 29, which is extremely low compared to most fruits. Goji berries won’t spike your blood sugar and keep insulin levels low.

Best Green Foods

By: Snap Fitness

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! The best things in life are green – especially when it comes to food. Green foods are loaded with nutrients that help you fight disease and stay healthy. Go green with your meals today with these five foods! 

 

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy these superfoods:

 

1. Kale: Have you tried the healthiest salad green? Forget iceberg or romaine lettuce, kale is all the rage these days. Kale is great because it’s high in fiber, low in calories, and zero-fat. One cup of kale has 36 calories and five grams of fiber. It’s high in iron, vitamin K (good for your bones!), vitamin A (good for your immune system!), and omega-3 fatty acids.

 

2. Brussel Sprouts: True, they’re not a popular vegetable, but they’re so good for you. An excellent source of protein, potassium, and iron, brussel sprouts aid in preventing heart disease and maintain a healthy digestive system. We recommend roasting them with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

 

3. Kiwi: The perfect addition to your salad or yogurt, kiwis are nutrient-dense and extremely high in vitamin C. Surprisingly, a kiwi has more potassium than a banana! It’s also a good source of vitamin E, folate, and fiber.

 

4. Green Beans: You can steam them, roast them, or eat them plain; they’re delicious any way you like them! Green beans are packed with fiber; they’re a great choice for diabetics because they can lower cholesterol and blood sugar. Green beans are also a good source of vitamins A, C, and K.

 

5. Green Tea: One of the healthiest drinks in the world, green tea has a ton of antioxidants that can lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other health problems. Trying to lose weight? Green tea increases your metabolism; the polyphenol found in green tea works to changes the levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which your body turns food into calories.

 

What’s your favorite green food? Share it with us on our Facebook page.

Superfood of the Week: Walnuts

By: Snap Fitness

Did you know that walnuts can do wonders for your overall health? Walnuts are not only delicious; they pack a nutritional punch. Add them to salads, oatmeal, yogurt, or as a snack on-the-go. They’re a perfect addition to your diet.

It’s scientifically proven that people who eat walnuts on a consistent basis have a lower body mass index and smaller waistline. Here are some other health benefits:

-High in Omega-3s: a diet rich in omega-3s is beneficial in reducing depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

-High in antioxidants that boost heart health.

-Feeling stressed? A recent study found that walnuts and walnut oil lowered both resting blood pressure and blood pressure responses to stress. The researchers said the study shows that a dietary change could help our bodies respond to stress better.

-Beneficial for hair growth: Walnuts contain biotin which helps strengthen hair and improve hair growth to certain extent.

-Prevent diabetes: According to a study, women who consumed 28 grams of walnuts twice a week were 24 percent less likely to develop type II diabetes. Even though the study was conducted on women, experts believe that the benefits would be similar for men, too.

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