My Five Favorite Go-To Snacks

March 2, 2010

In the last three months, I’ve made radical changes to my eating habits. Anything remotely close to a processed carb (bread, rice, pasta, crackers, cereal, etc.) is gone. As a carb addict  [My name is Maria Connor, and I’m a carboholic], it’s safer to avoid temptation. Instead, I eat several small meals/snacks throughout the day.

Here are a few examples:  Fruit with yogurt and sprinkle of wheat germ * string cheese and cherry tomatoes * slices of turkey dipped in spicy mustard with sliced veggies * hard-boiled eggs * almonds and a piece of fruit * peanut butter and celery sticks * glass of soy milk and a pumpkin muffin (yes, it’s a carb, but it’s an “okay” carb!)

I usually eat one larger meal at lunch or dinner, depending on my schedule. If I go out to lunch with a friend or attend an event, I’ll scale back the rest of the day. Even for my “regular” meal, I try to avoid loading up on too many calories, so I incorporate lots of veggies, fruit and a modest portion of protein, such as black beans, chicken or cheese.

I will admit it took some time to get accustomed to eating clean, and, as anyone with an eating disorder will tell you, food isn’t just about calories or nutrition or health. Some foods are more powerful than others: They represent comfort and tradition and family and habit. Virtually every day I find myself fighting not to give in to mood foods – those delicacies that soothe a troubled spirit, ease a stressful day or numb a painful emotion. The good news is that I’ve found a few healthful goodies that taste great and make me feel like I’ve indulged myself. See what you think about my five favorite go-to snacks:

Emerald  Cocoa Roast  Almonds – oven-roasted for flavor and crunch, and slightly sweetened with hint of dark chocolate-flavored cocoa powder. Preportioned in 100-cal packs. A fabulous choco-fix.

Clif Bars – at 180 calories, the Mojo Bar is my sweet treat (how about peanut butter and pretzel or nuts, raisins and chocolate chips!). My top choice is Clif Minis – just 100 calories, so I never feel guilty. A Clif Mini and an apple is my favorite post-workout snack.

Chuck E. Cheese String Cheese – I’ve tried different brands of string cheese and this is the ONLY one I like. 80 calories. I’ve been eating these long enough to reconnect with the kid inside – who wants to jump rope!

Archer Farms Real Fruit Strips – available at Target, these cellophane-wrapped goodies are just 45 calories. When I start craving something sweet or I’ve already eaten, one of these usually gets me through the moment without feeling like I’ve made a poor food choice.

Luna Bars – turned on to these little gems thanks to Mammy Jammy. A bit smaller than the Clif Minis, the Luna Minis come in at just 80 calories. A gal can have two and not have to log extra time on the treadmill!

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