Monday, December 14, 2015

8 Healthy Snack Tips

Disclaimer: The following post is sponsored by Big Slice. I was not compensated for my opinions, but I did receive free product to facilitate this post and my review. My opinions are, as they always are, my very own.

Do you eat snacks? Do they pretty much dominate your day? Then we can be friends because I, friend, am a snack monster. I eat healthy and balanced meals, but I can't go from breakfast to lunch, or lunch to dinner without eating a good snack. I know I'm not alone. See, snacks are important. They're little sparks of delicious energy that keep us moving through our day. True, some snacks are better than others, and it's really easy to pick a bad snack. But it's also really easy to pick a healthy snack. One that's delicious AND nutritious.

Let's talk about that today.
Let's talk about healthy snacks.

First and foremost, you need to know this: While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not a registered dietitian or nutritionist. If you have serious dietary questions, I urge you to speak with one of the aforementioned food professionals. But if you're like me, if you're looking for snack advice, then you might find these healthy snack tips useful.

Because I promise you, healthy snacks are totally easy to master. Proof:

1) When in doubt, choose produce.
You know the saying: An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Perhaps not really, but I won't discredit the apple as an excellent snack option. In fact, almost all fruits and vegetables fall into this category. Apples, specifically, are filled with fiber and Vitamin C (and flavor). And they're a healthy carb option.

8 Healthy Snack Tips
2) Pick protein with a side of carbs.
Carbs fuel you, and protein fills you. Balance the two and you'll eat happy. Hummus and crackers, anyone? Or maybe an apple with some peanut butter. You pick.

3) Stock up on grab-and-go options.
The innermost aisles of your local grocery store are filled with a zillion different prepackaged snacks. Some of which are quite tasty. And healthy, even nutritious. You just have weed through the snacks  that aren't. My kids are big fans of applesauce packets. And admittedly, so am I. In fact, I've been known to steal from their supply. Thanks to these packs of Big Slice kettle-cooked apples, I don't have to:

4) Always consider the ingredients.
This is especially important with grab-and-go snack options. Many of them, as you know, are filled with unhealthy ingredients. Check out your options and choose the one with a small, recognizable list of ingredients. Fruit packs generally fit this bill. (Just watch out for added sugars.)

5) Control portions with containers.
In other words: Don't eat the whole bag of chips. Or the entire jar of applesauce. There's a reason you own so many dishes, right? Use them!

8 Healthy Snack Tips
6) Balance bad with good.
If you desperately want chocolate, please eat it. If you desperately want French fries, please eat them.  If you eat healthy for the most part, know that eating one unhealthy snack is not necessarily going to send you over the edge. It just won't. But the more you obsess about not eating that one thing you really want, the more it literally starts to consume your every thought. Not healthy, not at all.

7) Snack prep on Sunday.
Do you spend time prepping meals for the week? What about snacks? Turn bulk options into grab-and-go options with some snack prep. Cut fruit, slice cheese into cubes. Whatever your snack of choice, make it ready (and easy) to eat.

8) Employ an emergency stash.
I keep a granola bar in my bag at all times. If hunger pangs ever kick in while I'm out and about, my granola bar saves me from grabbing something unhealthy out of desperation. I've also been keeping a pack of Big Slice apples in my gym bag. Definitely easy to eat, especially when I'm bouncing in between thing (not literally) at the gym.

8 Healthy Snack Tips
Interested in Big Slice kettle-cooked apples? You totally should be. Local friends, I found them at Meijer. Everyone else, there's a search feature on the Big Slice website that will help you hunt them down. I'll admit, they're slightly pricey with a MSRP of $2.29-$2.79/pack, but you're paying for some great nutrition.

8 Healthy Snack Tips
Big Slice is:

• All-natural without any artificial ingredients or preservatives
• Made with real fruit and superfoods
• Naturally gluten- and fat-free
• Vegan (and obviously vegetarian)
• Around 100 calories per pack

Oh, and with 16 different flavors to pick from, Big Slice is also delicious. Like, seriously delicious. Cherry Vanilla reminds me of a sinfully good cherry pie. There's even a Peach Green Tea and Aloe combination, which sounds completely great. Also great: This product stems from a company that grew out of a family kitchen.

Those are always the best kind of companies, right?

Now, here's where it gets fun. To inspire you to implement the healthy snack tips above, I'm giving away a Big Slice prize pack to one lucky Daily Dose reader. It will be something like this:

8 Healthy Snack Tips
Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Contest ends Friday, December 18, 2015 at Midnight EST. Winner will be notified via email. Good luck, healthy snackers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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