Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Guiltless Goodies

Well, after the flu, getting yourself back into the swing of eating can be a little hard to do, especially when you've spent the entire week eating less than 500 calories each day! ;)

This is a topic I've wanted to add for a while, but didn't really feel that I had enough good suggestions to make it worth the time - how to snack without paying for it. Amazingly, there are lots of really tasty, easy, and calorically cheap ways to snack. Some of them have more of a "health" feel, like celery and carrots, while others almost scream junk food. So, here's our little list of snacks that you don't have to feel bad about eating.

First, the healthy type ones. These are the ones that have something more than just a way to fill your tummy.
  • Celery and peanut butter - so long as you keep the PB limited to the serving size, this can be an very filling snack. The celery gives a great amount of fiber and a portion of protein from the peanut butter. This was one of the favorites of my youth.
  • Carrots - Take a small bag of baby carrots and chomp away. Carrots have a great crunch and are basically free when it comes to the calories. The only bad thing is getting a carrot that's bitter - not much worse to eat in my opinion. But usually, you only get two or three bad carrots in the whole bag.
  • Deli-sliced chicken and turkey - these were the most surprising snacks we've come across. Oscar Meyer Fresh Select Shaved Turkey and Chicken Breast are AWESOME! Only 45-50 cal per serving and one serving is enough to make a sandwich! We were so shocked the first time we actually weighed the serving size and realized just how much meat it was.
    • Related is making a deli meat and cheese sandwich - take a serving size of shaved deli meat and wrap it around a single slice of swiss or cheddar cheese. The meat is only 50 cal and the cheese is 90 cal - that's the same total amount as a small granola bar and way more filling.
  • Fresh fruit - this can be almost anything: apples, bananas, pears, strawberries, kiwi, blackberries, grapes, etc. Anything you can get fresh from the produce section of your local grocery store. And when you find good fruit, you can't help eating it. The only problem is that some of it is really pretty sweet and as such lots of fruit sugar calories. But it's better than eating a Snickers.
Now most of those healthy ones are things you probably already know you should snack on. But what about the less obvious calorie cheap snacks? If you need to feed a sweet craving or just don't have time to grab a healthier snack, these can really help you make it through the day so you don't feel like you're missing out on the good things in life.
  • Popcorn - Air popped, with a tablespoon or less of butter and a dash of salt. Five cups of air popped popcorn are only 200 calories! Do you realize how much 5 cups is? I didn't but it's a ton - more than you would normally eat (unless you happen to be Stacie or I - we LOVE popcorn!)
  • Gum - as I've mentioned previously, this is a great way to beat the sweet bug with 5-10 calories. Pop a slice of gum, drink a decent amount of water and voila!
  • Pudding - made with 1% or 2% milk and kept to a serving size, vanilla pudding was a nice sweet treat last night. It was also a good way for us to use up our nearly expired milk.
  • 100 Calories Snack Packs - I was really skeptical of these snack packs you can buy in the store. Chex Mix, Oreo Crisps, Gold Fish, crackers, and even FritoLay brand chips come pre-packaged in snack packs of only 100 calories. But I thought they would just keep feeding the sugar addiction but they really haven't been bad at all.
Well, if you've got some snack suggestion, please leave them in the comments section!

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