I know that when you think of me, the first thing that may or MAY NOT pop into your head is healthy.
But the truth is, I am doing pretty well over here. I make my way through, uh, about half of my fresh produce bin every week…. Well, my intentions are really, really good. As most moms, I bet I do better for my children than for myself a lot of the time.
However, all that aside, when my pants start getting really tight and I am heavy on the muffin top (you know when you have to keep pulling your jeans up? and it’s not because they are too big?) I break out my secret arsenal of low calorie skinny snacks to keep the chub in check!
I actually got to share them on Good Morning America Health last week!
I thought I would share them here with you too. With the Holidays coming, a girls can only eat so many twix cookies, candy bar cupcakes, and whoopie pies while still fitting into a cocktail dress come the party season.
Snacking on this stuff throughout the day will help you go longer between meals, and can be subbed in for less healthy indulgences when you are really jonesing for, say, a bag of chips.
Spicy red pepper dip (this is my VERY favorite weight loss trick.) You whip up a delicious, healthy dip like this, and cut up a huge platter of fresh vegetables. Keep the whole thing in the refrigerator, and pull it out whenever you are hungry. I make it my business to eat a ridiculous amount of veggies with the dip. A quarter cup of this dip is 39 calories. Are you kidding? That is a lot of dip for very few calories, plus you wind up eating WAY more vegetables than usual.
Other amazing dips? Edamame Dip, Baked Cauliflower Dip, Kopanisti, Smoky chickpea dip, White bean dip.
Popcorn. This is my go to late afternoon munchy snack. Most people have this issue late night- mine always hits late afternoon, (when all the caffeine wears off.) It is just old fashioned popcorn, made with olive oil. You get a ton of bang for your buck and at 56 calories a cup, you could wind up eating the entire recipe in a weird moment of weakness, and it would be about the same as a slice of pizza. Oh, except for it is packed with fiber and heart healthy fat and you would be so full, you won’t even need dinner. You will see in the recipe that I like to jazz mine up with fresh herbs and spices.
Baked Chickpeas. Pure fiber and protein, I like to think of these baked chickpeas as a flavorful alternative to a handful of nuts. I toss the chickpeas with a little oil and a sweet or savory spice mixture and then bake them to crispy. At 105 calories a serving, they are a very nutritious hit of serious protein. I like to make these and then pre-portion them in snack bags.
Baked Chickpeas, standard recipe makes 1 ½ cups
-1 can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and lightly dried off
-1 Tbs olive oil
BBQ Spice Mixture
-1 tsp Kosher salt
-1 tsp chili powder
-½ tsp onion powder
-½ tsp smoked paprika
Sweet and Salty Spice Mixture
-2 Tbs sugar
-½ tsp kosher salt
-½ tsp cinnamon
-¼ tsp ginger
-pinch of cayenne
1) Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
2) Toss the chickpeas with the olive oil and spread them on a sheet pan prepared with a silpat or sheet of parchment paper.
3) Sprinkle the spice mixture over the chickpeas and bake for 60 minutes until the chickpeas are crunchy.
Smoothie Popsicles. Ok- having a sweet tooth attack? I will blend up a yogurt and fruit smoothie and then pour it into popsicle molds. I can pull one out any time I am having a major dessert craving and I will get my fill with a delicious, creamy popsicle.
In a blender you combine, 1 yogurt of your choice, 1 cup frozen red raspberries and ¼ cup aloe juice. Blend until very smooth and freeze in popsicle molds.
These are 70-100 calories each, depending on the kind of yogurt you use. I get protein, fiber and digestive soothing since I make it with aloe juice too.
Juice makes great popsicles too. I will use juice, or other flavors of smoothies make delicious treats. Because they are frozen, it takes longer to eat them too.
OK- Just thought I would share with you since I spent all day yesterday baking pies and stuffing and “pretending” it was Thanksgiving- which means today, I will spend the morning cutting vegetables and blending dip!