Friday, January 8, 2016

Plate for One: Healthy Snacks

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I announced changes for the blog? One of them was that my Plate for One series would be returning in January. I've got a major announcement coming up in the future about this series but in the meantime, I'm going to continue posting new tips and recipes on Fridays! (Don't worry - it's a good announcement that's going to take the series to a new level!)
 
 
It's the start of a new year and that means a lot of resolutions about being healthy and getting in shape. If you've followed the blog for any length of time, then you'll know that I've been working towards a healthier lifestyle for a while now. I am still a work in progress and make a lot of mistakes, but I'm moving closer each day!
 
I originally had a different recipe in mind for today (stuffed shells), but I decided a focus on healthy snacks might resonate with you more. It seemed to fit the feel of the first week of January better. I'll be posting my stuffed shells recipe later this month, so make sure you check back for it!
 
Snacking. It can get us into so much trouble. It can also be a big help towards our health if we make the right choices. It's the perfect opportunity to help us meet our daily fruits and veggies. Below you'll find a list of snack ideas that you can add to your list. After that, I'll be sharing a few tips for making the most of these snack ideas when you're living alone.
 
In order for something to make this snack list, it has to require little to no preparation to be enjoyed. The items on the lists do not require cooking as I think snacks should be easy to attain. You could definitely expand the lists by including cooked vegetables. (A tip to make those easier to include - cook them at the beginning of the week and reheat as necessary throughout the week.)
 
Veggies
- carrots
- cucumbers
- celery
- peppers
- tomatoes
- kale
- lettuce
 
Fruits (most fruits can be enjoyed without cooking)
- apple
- orange
- berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc)
- pomegranate
- grapefruit
- banana
- pear
- peach
- watermelon
- pineapple
- cherries
- grapes
 
Other
- Shakeology and other protein shakes
- yogurt
- cheese
- nuts
- deli meat
- hummus
- whole wheat crackers*
- rice*
- oatmeal*
 
*Remember that these items are heavy in carbs and should be enjoyed in moderation.
 
Now that you have a basic list of healthy options, how do you enjoy them and how do you insure they don't go to waste for the week? (This is a common problem I have when eating for one.)
 
1. Buy vegetables and fruits that are in season. This will help you save money.
 
2. Select the smallest package available. If you can buy something one at a time, opt for that option. (For example, apples and oranges can be bought individually. Choose this option rather than a large bag that will likely go bad before they're all eaten.)
 
3. Select a fruit for the week and enjoy it all week. Select a new fruit next week. This really helps with berries that are packaged in bigger quantities and go bad within a week of not using them.
 
4. Keep a close eye on your berries and freeze them before they go bad. I love fresh blueberries but I rarely eat the entire container in a week. I keep an eye on them and freeze them before they go bad.
 
5. Keep bags of frozen fruit in the freezer. Combine the fruit with kale (or spinach), yogurt, and almond milk for a delicious smoothie.
 
6. Prepare your snacks at the beginning of the week. Wash and cut your fruits and veggies before portioning them out into small containers. This will create grab and go snacks. People love convenience after all.
 
7. Try to keep a healthy snack in your purse to help curb cravings when you're out and about. Just a small handful of nuts could help you avoid a bad decision while shopping.
 
What are your favorite healthy snacks? Do you have any tips that you would add to this list? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!
 
Don't forget to check back next week for a healthy recipe in the Plate for One series.
 
 
 

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