Snacking is essential in keeping your metabolism high. I am a snacker through and through and feel this has helped me lose weight in the past. Some people do not understand why they can not lose weight. For the broad population, I usually have to ask them one question... "How many times do you eat in one day?" They usually respond with one to three times.
To me that means their portion sizes are either too big or their meals are way too calorically dense. Making meals a lot smaller and adding in a couple snacks throughout the day (1-3) allows your metabolism to function optimally and at a higher level (burn the food you eat plus body fat).
Grab and Go snacks:
The grab and go snacks listed above are perfect. My fav concoctions out of the list are:
Crackers, cheese and pepper slices
Tortilla, peanut butter and apple slices (with cinnamon)
Cereal, greek yogurt and berries
Toast, avocado, and hard boiled egg slices (with red pepper flakes and sea salt)
Cottage cheese, nuts and grapefruit
Pretzels, hummus and celery sticks
Fancier Sweet Snacks for the whole family:
Chunky Money Popcorn: Idea from Running In a Skirt Blog (Revisions from Health with Julie)
I decided to make her recipe even a tad bit "healthier":
-3 cups skinny pop popcorn
-1/4 cup dark chocolate
-1tbsp coconut oil
-1/4 cup peanut butter chips
-1 cup unsweetened and baked banana chips
-1/2 tsp of sea salt (or more)
Place popcorn onto a baking sheet, making sure there is only one layer. Melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil together and drizzle on top of the popcorn. Sprinkle on the sea salt. Let the chocolate cool and then top with peanut butter chips and banana chips. Place into a big bowl. Make sure not to have more than a cup at a time!
Healthy Peanut Butter Blondies from Laura Fuentes
Yield: 6 squares
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut flour, sifted
1/2 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
Line an 8×4 loaf pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mash the banana, add peanut butter, honey, and vanilla. Once the mixture is cohesive and creamy, add in the coconut flour and combine well. The final step is to add in chocolate chips and combine.
Spread mixture into a lined pan with your hands, pressing down and spreading evenly, to about 1/2 thick. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours until firm.
Picking up the parchment paper, remove from pan and cut into individual squares.
You can wrap them individually or in an airtight container and refrigerate them for a week. They can also be wrapped individually and frozen for up to a month.
Make sure to measure the mashed banana since coconut flour is not a very forgiving ingredient. You can add up to 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder for an extra protein boost (not included in nutrition facts).