6 Super Summer Snacks for those Who Want to be Fit and Fabulous

Written by lyricsmama on June 28, 2017 – 12:57 PM -

Snacking is something just about everyone does. It’s hard to resist the urge to grab some snacks, especially during the summer when you are having fun and on the run. The problem is that many people grab the wrong types of snacks, which may work against their desire to be fit and fabulous. Far too often, people reach for sugary snacks, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can lead to health problems such as weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. For those who want to be fit and fabulous this summer, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the snack choices they make.

“It’s so easy to eat far too many calories simply because we are grabbing the wrong snacks,” explains Coach Sarah Walls, personal trainer and owner of SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc., who is also the strength and conditioning coach for WNBA’s Washington Mystics. “It’s important to have healthy snacks on hand at all times and know what to reach for when you do go shopping or you are in a hurry. It may take only a minute to eat it, but done too often it can have lasting consequences.”

According to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, snacks for those who are not very active should be no more than 200 calories. For those who are active, they recommend not going over snacks that are 200-300 calories. They also recommend only snacking when you are hungry and sticking to recommended portion sizes. It’s also important to keep the added sugar in check, considering that the Harvard School of Public Health reports the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, which is around an extra 350 calories.

Keeping this in mind, here are 6 super summer snacks for those who want to be fit and fabulous:

  1. Chia seed pudding – Chia are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, and other nutrients. Use the attached recipe to create a simple chia seed pudding that is nutritious and delicious.
  2. Homemade fruit popsicles – Use an online recipe to make some healthy homemade fruit and veggie popsicles. They will be great on a hot summer day and will give you a fruit serving.
  3. Yogurt –Opt for varieties that don’t have a lot of sugar. This will give you a boost in healthy bacteria, protein, and calcium.
  4. Apple with peanut butter – An apple dipped in one teaspoon of natural peanut butter or other nut butter is a healthy snack that will give you protein, fiber, and other nutrients.
  5. Melons – Summer is melon season and you can’t go wrong with loading up on watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe. They are loaded with vitamins and are refreshing.
  6. Avocado toast – Using whole wheat toast, spread a half of an avocado on it. That will give you some fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and healthy fats.

    “Don’t deny yourself the ability to have some snacks this summer, just be sure to reach for healthier options,” added Coach Walls. “Whether you are an athlete or you just want to feel better and look great, keeping healthier snack options in mind will go a long way toward helping you to reach those goals.”

Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

This chia seed recipe takes just 10 minutes to make and yields two cups of pudding.

2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
6 tablespoons of chia seeds
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of sweetener (honey or maple syrup), optional
Berries for topping
Mix all ingredients together except for the berries. Stir to make sure there are no clumps of chia seeds. Put it in the refrigerator to set for at least two hours. Top with the berries and enjoy!

Sarah Walls has over 15 years experience in coaching and personal training. Owner of SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc, founded in 2007, she offers coaching to develop athletes, adult programs, team training, online coaching, and more. She is also the strength and conditioning coach for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and has over eight years of experience working as an NCAA D1 strength and conditioning coach and personal trainer. To learn more, visit the site: www.saptstrength.com.

SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc.

Located in Fairfax, Virginia, SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc. is a high performance training club that specializes in helping to develop athletes of all ages. They offer athletic training programs for youth, college students, and amateurs. The company was founded in 2007 by Sarah Walls, a professional strength and conditioning coach and personal trainer with NCAA D1 experience, who is the strength and conditioning coach for the WNBA Washington Mystics team. To learn more, visit the site: www.saptstrength.com.

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Healthy Fall Food Favorites

Written by lyricsmama on October 16, 2013 – 12:15 PM -

Halloween is only weeks away and festive fall treats are popping up everywhere. All though the various sweet and sugary temptations are hard to resist, you don’t have to break your diet to enjoy the seasonal fare. Certified nutritionist, personal trainer and exercise physiologist, Franci Cohen, has provided recipes for fall foods that won’t break your belt.

Pumpkin Cranberry Mini Breakfast Muffins

muffins

Ingredients:
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 cup oat flour (or fresh oats finely ground into a flour)
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 1/4 tsp nutmeg
– 1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
– 1 large egg, lightly beaten
– 1/4 cup canola oil
– 1 cup nonfat milk
– 1 cup fresh cranberries

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray a mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
4. Combine pumpkin, beaten egg, oil and milk in a separate bowl.
5. Make a well in dry ingredients and ddd pumpkin mixture and stir until combined. Lastly, fold in cranberries.
6. Fill muffin cups and bake for 17-22 minutes.

 

Lowfat Individual Apple Pies in their own shell

pies

(Image credit: Google images)

Ingredients:
– Pie crust
– 6 Granny Smith apples
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1 Tbsp brown sugar
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the filling:
1. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut off the top of 4 apples and remove the inside with a spoon or scooper. Be very careful, as to not puncture the peel!
3. With the 2 additional apples, remove the skin and slice very thinly. These apple pieces will be the filling for the mini apple pies.
4. Throw the apple slices in a blow and mix with sugars and cinnamon. Scoop mixture evenly into each of the 4 hollow apples.

For the topping:
1. Roll out pie crust and slice into 1/4 inch strips. Note: You can also add a strip of pastry inside the top of the apple almost like a liner to add a little more texture and
sweetness to the pie.
2. Cover the top of the apple in a lattice pattern with pie crust strips.
3. Place apples in an 8×8 pan and add just enough water to the cover the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
4. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and sliced apples are soft

 

Ghostly Chocolate Pretzel Rods:

rods

(Image credit: Google images)

Ingredients:
– 1 box salted pretzel rods
– 16 oz fine white baking chocolate
– An edible ink black baking marker
– Wax paper

Directions:
1. Melt chocolate in double boiler or on the stove.
2. Dip 1 end of a pretzel rod into melted Chocolate to cover pretzel approx. 2″ down
3. Lay chocolate covered pretzels on wax paper-lined tray
4. Repeat with remaining pretzels until all are covered in chocolate
5. Place baking tray in freezer for 5 minutes until chocolate hardens
6. Remove pretzel tray from freezer and using baking markers, draw scary ghostly faces on the pretzels.

Your ghostly pretzel rods are ready to eat!

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Black Bean Brownie Bites

Written by lyricsmama on February 28, 2013 – 12:25 PM -

Brownies are everyone’s favorite, here is a healthier version that is just as tasty. These bites are loaded with fiber yet still maintain the chocolatey-goodness of a regular brownie! Your kids will love them too!

You can use a mini-muffin pan or an 8×8 brownie pan. Just adjust the cooking time to longer in the oven by about 10 minutes.

bbbb

Ingredients
2 cups black beans (freshly cooked is best, but canned is ok- drain & rinse if canned)
1 ripe banana
1/3 cup of raw blue agave nectar or Grade B maple syrup
½ cup date paste* (see recipe below) *allow 1 hour soaking time for date paste
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
½ cup raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup oat or almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup grain sweetened or vegan chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350. Grease mini muffin tins with coconut oil or coconut spray.

In a food processor with S-blade, combine black beans, banana, agave nectar, date paste, coconut oil, cacao powder, vanilla, cinnamon & sea salt until combined well and smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Fill mini muffin tins about 2/3 full and bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack.

To make Date Paste: Pour 2/3 cup of hot water over 1 cup pitted dates and then soak for about an hour. Throw all ingredients into a blender and process until a smooth, thick paste is formed.

Makes about 30 mini muffins

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Recipe – No Bake Energy Bites

Written by lyricsmama on February 10, 2013 – 9:31 AM -

energy1

I’ve decided to finally take control of what goes into my body.  I’m not going to say I’m dieting, because diets fail.  What I’ve decided to do was to finally take a stand on what’s going in my (and my families) bodies.  What does that mean?

Eating healthier!  Eating cleaner!  I’m not saying we never go out to eat anymore, because we do, but it’s fewer and far between, I’m not going ALL ORGANIC, I just can’t afford to do that with a family of 4, but when I can, I do.  I’m cooking more at home, cooking a little more naturally, and making healthier decisions when I do cook.

I’ve also decided to use a resource I have, my fabulous Zumba Instructor MiZFitness-Liz Davis.  Liz just had a baby and her motivation throughout her pregnancy and after has inspired me beyond belief.  She’s also a fitness coach, which I’m taking advantage of very soon to help me reach my goals.

A few weeks ago she posted a recipe that sounded really good so I decided to try it out, not only do I like it but so does my youngest daughter and my hubby, so yummy!!!

No-Bake Energy Bites
(makes 18-20 bites)

Ingredients
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup raw honey
1 cup shredded unsweetened organic coconut
1/2 cup ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Directions
Take all of your ingredients and mix them all up into a bowl until everything is thoroughly mixed. energy2Put into the refrigerator for about a half hour.

Once your ingredients have been chilled, roll them into balls, and ENJOY!

The Energy Bites can be placed into an air tight container and into the fridge for about a week.

There are various things you can put into your energy bites, don’t want to go organic don’t, don’t want to use peanut butter you can use any other kind of ‘butter’ that you’d like.

Next time I’m going to try to make them with agave nectar, you can also use that or any other kind of honey or syrup you’d like. I’m also going to maybe add some protein powder and goji berries to them, play around, you can add/omit things and make them your own!

Smashed Peas and Carrots where the recipe originated from, has a ton of other ideas you can use to substitute things in this recipe.

Visit my friend Liz on her Facebook page MizFitness-Liz Davis, Twitter @ZFitWithLiz, and on her blog, she has some amazing recipes and tips daily!

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Watermelon and Feta Salad Recipe

Written by lyricsmama on August 10, 2012 – 11:36 AM -

One of my favorite summer salads, and it’s super easy as well!  Great for summer BBQ’s or dinner parties!

Ingredients:
Feta Cheese
Watermelon
Red Onion
Fresh mint
Cilantro
Agave
Lime juice
Seasoned rice wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Directions:
Cut watermelon into bite size cubes.  Cut red onion into small pieces mix with watermelon. Crumble feta, mint and cilantro on top of watermelon. Mix equal parts lime juice and vinegar, add agave, salt and pepper to taste.  Pour dressing over top of salad and serve!

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