Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Are you a snacker?  For many of us foodies, we LIVE to snack.  It's a way to get you over the hump of your ho' hum day.  I used to believe a few crackers weren't so bad.  An afternoon Starbucks treat would give me both an added boost of energy and tide me over until dinner.  WHOOSH!  I had no clue how much crap I would mindlessly consume.  And I never thought a beverage could be an offender.

For instance, if you check out Starbucks nutritional stats you'll see for yourself that it sure ain't pretty.  I used to 'treat' myself to an afternoon hot chocolate.  I had a tough day, sure I'll get it with non-fat milk so I can justify the whipped cream.  HOLY CRAP ON A CRACKER...a grande has 50g of CARBS and 370 calories!  HOT CHOCOLATE?!  Looks sure can be deceiving!

I used to believe this was an ok selection.  Which it could be, if you didn't want to eat much else during the day.  I'm now a savvy foodie and stick to my Americano when I'm craving something hot and delish from Starbucks.  This delightful little number only has 15 calories and 3g of carbs, for a grande size.  

Lets talk about the reality of snacks.  They are calories, plan and simple.  Just because it's a handful of crackers or a coffee drink, calories count.  I am not a calorie counter, far from it.  But I am conscious of how they add up, and quickly!  So now I have learned to snack on high protein snacks that fill me up faster and I don't have to mindlessly throw them at the hole in my face without even thinking.

Snacking on fruits and veggies, without ranch dip, is always a safe bet.  A banana in the afternoon helps curb the sweet tooth.  Grapes are always fun to munch on.  I'm not a huge fan of raw broccoli, unless there's a dip to go with it, so I opt for a few raw carrots.

I'll freely admit that there are certain times of the month when chocolate is non-negotiable.  What I do, is partner a few M&M's with some almonds.  I'll fill up from the almonds and the chocolate is still there so I get my fix!

This combo is so darn yummy!  And they also aid in reducing the risk of heart disease.  More and more studies are also revealing the benefits of a bit of chocolate.  This does not mean I eat an entire bag of these goodies every time I have this snack.  7:2, as shown in this shot, is usually what I consume. It's such a great alternative to crackers or the aforementioned bad hot chocolate.

Another personal chocolate favorite is Lindt's dark chocolate with a 'touch' of sea salt.  I mean HOLD THE PHONE AND GET OUT OF TOWN!  Yummo!!!!

For three squares, which I seldom ever consume three at a time, there are 10g of fat, 15 g of carbs and 150 calories.  Most days one square hits the spot.  There are flavonoids, anti-oxidants and protein in dark chocolate.  Studies are also showing the positive correlation between dark chocolate and reduced heart disease.  YIPPEE!  Again, don't think I'm eating the whole darn thing.  One of these bars will tide me over for about a month.

I think one of the keys to success is moderation.

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