It’s that time again. Welcome back to Carol’s Corner. My picture for today, showcases another blouse that I got on one of my thrift store shopping trips. It looks like two pieces, but is actually one. Love the purple-lime green color combo, and note my matching FitBit band. Been waiting to use it. I’m loving my FitBit. The only times I take it off, are to change the band or charge it, and I charge it when I’m in bed and not leaving it for awhile. If you’re considering getting one I highly recommend it. So, I decided tonight , that I’m going to take a break on the walking series and do something on snacking. The source of information I’m using tonight on snacks and weight loss, is going to come from The Mayo Clinic Healthy Lifestyle Section, on weight loss and snacking. I’ll link it first and then go through what it has to say on the subject. What about snacks? Are they important? How should they fit in your weight loss plan? Well planned, healthy snacks can compliment your weight- loss plan . The right snack can keep you from over eating later on. The right snacks help you manage hunger and keep you from binge eating . Eating a healthy snack such as a piece of fruit or some raw veggies, will tame your hunger , without ruining your appetite for your next meal. The key to snacking in your daily food plan, is moderation and balance. How and what should you choose for snacking? Select foods that satisfy your hunger, supply your body with energy, and provide valuable nutrients. Try to keep your snacks at 100 calories or less, to stay in your daily calorie limit. What could be some smart choices? Here are a few they suggest. 1. 1 cup of any fresh fruit 2. 2 cups of baby carrots. 3. 5 Melba toast crackers. 4. 3 1/2 cups of air popped popcorn 5. 2 Tbs. of peanuts 6. 2 domino size slices of low-fat Colby or Cheddar Cheeses.

One key to snacking is to know what foods to reach for. You can eat more of foods with high water or fiber content, and less calories. Examples are grapes, carrots, and air popped popcorn. This is called getting more bang for your buck by choosing these. In other words, you get more food per serving for your 100 calories. Choose your snacks from the following food groups. 1. Fruits and vegetables. Eating from this group, provides a feeling of fullness, for a small amount of calories , and also provides vitamins , minerals, fiber, and other valuable nutrients. 2 Whole Grains. Whole grain snacks are rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates , which give you energy with staying power. Try to find low fat whole-grain crackers, whole-grain pretzels, or whole-grain crisp breads . 3. Nuts and Seeds. Both of these provide protein , helping you feel full longer. They may be high in fat, but are mostly mono saturated, the healthy kind of fat. They are higher in calories, so need to be eaten in smaller quantities. 4. Low-fat dairy products. Cheese , yogurt, and other dairy products are good sources of calcium and protein, as well as other valuable nutrients. Choose the low-fat versions whenever possible and look out for the sugar content in some of the yogurts, especially if you happen to be Diabetic. Plan ahead to make better choices. With careful planning and some preparation , you can always have healthy options on hand , whenever temptation strikes. Planning and preparation is key. Examples of this would be: 1. Prepare and pack healthy meals for children and /or adults to eat at school or work. 2. Have healthy snacks available at home and nutrient dense snacks to eat when on the go. 3. Before attending parties or other social events , eat a small healthy snack at home. Then when you are at your event, take small portions, and try to focus on healthy options. Some times a snack needs to fill in as a meal. We know how in today’s busy world, healthy meals often lose out to busy schedules. It is these times we need to have a fast and healthy option to go with. Try these healthy snack ideas, that minimize calories and maximize whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. These are all in the 200 calorie range. 1. Toast one half of a whole wheat english muffin. Top with one slice Canadian Bacon, a tomato slice, and one slice of low fat American or other variety cheese. Microwave or put in toaster oven until cheese melts. I have actually done this myself. Very good. You could also substitute half of a small bagel in place of the english muffin. 2 . Take one half of a small cinnamon raisin bagel and spread with 1 Tbs. part skim Ricotta cheese. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired and top with an apple slice. 3. Layer a soft 6 inch corn or flour tortilla with 2 tbs. shredded low-fat Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese. Microwave until cheese melts. Cut into Bite sized pie shapes. Dip in salsa if desired. Remember to heed your hunger pangs and forget the guilt. It’s far easier to choose the right options if you plan ahead, and keep your refrigerator and pantry stocked with healthy options. Prepping things ahead, will make your life and your choices, much easier and I am sure much wiser in the end. Tune in tomorrow, to find find more great info and ideas for healthy snacks, that will aid you on your journey to health and wellness in 2015. This CAN and should be YOUR year. Believe in yourself and make each day a fresh start. Yesterday is gone, but a new day dawns the minute you open your eyes, and see that the Lord above has blessed you with another day on this earth. Take it and run with it. Own it and all the possibilities it holds. Above all never EVER give up. Till next time, God bless. A little PS. I apologize for the two different fonts and sizes. When I realized this happened , I can’t seem to fix it to be the same, so it just has to stay that way. So again ,God Bless.




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