Healthy Snack–I’m Thinking Not–Part 2 (Makeovers)

Good day, everyone. Looking forward to a great day and weekend filled with tennis. The French Open is seriously sidetracking me from other things I should be doing, lol. Coverage for this tournament has seriously improved. (Thanks, ESPN, NBC and Tennis Channel. You’re all making one girl quite happy! : Maybe I’ll even get all that junk mail sitting on my enclosed front porch separated and ready for the mobile shredder–one can hope and set those lofty goals, right?))

For fellow blogger Janet S: See how the middle of the zucch blossom looks as if there are multiple stamens in there? That’s the bloom you DON’T pick! 😉

Back to business: Last time I went into a mini-rant about the hidden hazards of foods deemed “healthy” by one internet article I read. I also promised a few of my fixes for the problem. Please keep in my mind I AM NOT A HEALTH OR NUTRITION EXPERT. These are simply some tweaks that have worked for me. Check with your physician if you have any questions, and especially if you have any health concerns.

Having shared that disclaimer, here are some ways I “healthy up” a snack:

Flavored yogurts: unless they’re sugar-free (and usually sweetened with aspartame or sucralose), I’m looking at 26 gramsof sugar per 6-8-oz serving or the equivalent of 6.5 added measured teaspoons. On one container from the fridge (hubby likes them), sugar was the second ingredient listed; corn syrup the fourth.

Are you kidding me???? See what I mean about hidden diet dangers? I’ve learned to substitute a fat-free plain yogurt (Greek-strained is awesome), flavor it with natural daniva (i.e., vanilla, as my son used to say), sugar substitute or even some sugar-free coffee creamer.

I know, I know. Honey and fresh or frozen fruits (i.e., strawberries, blueberries, peaches, etc) would be better sweetener choices.  Remind me to work on that. 😉

Cookies: no matter WHAT you choose you’re looking at starch. Starch—good or not—is bound to expand bellies, butts and thighs. I believe no food group should be eliminated, so how about oatmeal cookies or graham crackers? Both made from better grains than most store-bought chocolate chips or shortbread. (Ever do natural peanut butter and jelly on either of my preferred two? Guaranteed awesome snack, dessert or even breakfast. Sprinkle on some plain—preferably not instant—oatmeal for added fiber. (BTW, if you’re into baking, cookies made with whole wheat white flour—especially oatmeal-raisin—usually bake up really similar to their white-flour counterparts.)

Cereals: what a bummer this was for someone who probably made her career weight-gain chomping down on bowl after bowl as a kid watching soaps during summer vacation from school. If you’re under10 gramsof sugar for any box of pre-sweetened cereals, consider that one of your better choices. “Healthy” options (i.e., raisin brans, etc) are usually 15 grams/serving or more.

What’s a weight-conscious person to do?

My super-easy fix: measure half a serving of your favorite mixed with an unsweetened “filler.” Example: I love Honey-Nut Cheerios. I’ll buy a box of that and one of regular Cheerios (which really do have an awesome taste all their own with1 gramof sugar/serving). Mix equal parts of each, or even bump up the unsweetened counterpart—as long as I taste the sweeter one, I’m good! Another ready alternative: have that traditional oatmeal on hand and mix it with your favorite sweet cereal using the ratios I just listed. Takes a bit of getting used because of its chewiness, but easy to love in the long run.

Pre-packed oatmeal is another major trap (unless it’s plain) and easy to healthy-up with little to no effort. So much cheaper too! I stir milk, vanilla and sugar substitute into a serving of old-fashioned oats (the canister kind) and heat for one minute on high in the microwave. Breakfast is served. (Doing the cereal-mix here too, especially with plain Cheerios or shredded wheat makes for a seriously hearty whole/multi-grain breakfast. Add cinnamon, raisins, dried cranberries, bananas—whatever excites you—and you’re talking serious yum to start your day.

So how do you stay clear of pitfalls that look good enough to eat? Please share if you dare and maybe click a SHARE button before you go, too. As always, I thank you!

Here’s to a wonderful day to all,

Joanna

Healthy Snacks? I’m Thinking Not–Part 1

Happy Tuesday, friends. Hope y’all had a great weekend. I’m working hard at getting back on the blogging track. Thanks for taking the time!

Pet peeves: a subject I can have so much fun with on such a broad spectrum, but I’m limiting it to one. (That’s so I don’t use up all my post ideas all at once! ;))

Weight loss, management, maintenance: call it what you like. I’ve had the questionable joy of struggling with it since childhood. Not where I’d like to be weight-wise—probably never will—but I still have to remain conscious of it daily just to tip the scale where I do so that my clothing fits and I feel good being in my skin.

I’ve done my share of reading on the subject and have learned to apply many principles to my eating and exercise as a result. I’ve blogged about my experiences. (Feel free to check some of those posts out; links are listed below.) And I still click on a headline here and there, just to see what the trends are in ‘healthy’ eating these days.

Last time I did I was terribly disappointed.

People, make sure you take everything you read with a grain of salt and look beyond the surface. I won’t link to the article that fired me up enough to write this post. I will, however, caution everyone who struggles with weight and/or simply adopting a healthier lifestyle to be aware of the traps that are out there.

Case in point: the post I read cited ready-mixed, low-fat yogurts, 100-calorie snack packs and some cereal choices. BTW, the oft-lauded pretzel can be a big-time downfall too.

Here’s my beef: every one of the choices listed was high-fructose corn syrup and/or sugar-loaded.  Unless you’re at an upscale market buying real whole wheat or the multigrain variety, pretzels, cookies, etc are most likely made from base flour products, too. Now there’s a recipe for weight gain, even if you do any of these in moderation, especially if you’re not big on exercise!

Am I saying you should never…? Perish the thought! Nor am I an authority on this subject, just someone sharing from personal experience. I just find myself more and more hesitant to pick up any of the above.

In the interest of keeping this short, I’ll do two posts. Look for my way of jazzing up the health-value of the snack foods listed above later this week.

And here are the links to articles I’ve written related to the above topic:

Newsflash! Bloghopping Can Result in Inspiration—Part 1

Newsflash! Bloghopping Can Cause Inspiration—Part-2

Real Life Game-On! Participant

Change My Self-Image? Uh Yeah!

Can One Book Change Your Life?

Until then, have a wonderful week. If you care to, please SHARE via one of the buttons below! Thanks so much!

Joanna