Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Healthy Snacks

Today I am participating in a ‘Tasty Tuesday’ link-up co-hosted by Lacey and Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness. My contribution is a great list of my favorite healthy snacks!

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Training for a long-distance race can have a severe effect on your appetite. Throughout each week of my marathon training, the increased mileage would catch up with me and I would be hungry all the time! I know many runners are plagued with thoughts that running that much will undoubtedly make you lose weight. What they don’t realize is that the type of food and amount they eat due to their increased appetite is most likely much more than the amount of calories they are burning.

It is no secret that you burn a lot of calories while running, but the more you run, the more efficient your body gets, and it becomes harder to burn the same amount of calories as when you first started running. In turn, it becomes much easier to overeat and therefore gain weight while training for a long-distance race; it is almost paradoxical.

Because hunger strikes more often, reaching for those high-calorie snacks can be so tempting, but if you are like me and want to avoid weight gain, then reaching for lower-calorie, yet filling, snacks is the much smarter choice. I’m not saying I didn’t splurge after a double digit long-run on Saturday’s – I absolutely did. But I was also smart about not over-splurging often.

Here are some of my favorite healthy snacks I ate during (and after!) my marathon training; hopefully it can help you get through those extra hunger pains throughout training without gaining weight.

Quaker Oat Granola Bars
There are so many types of granola bars out there. The ones I ate usually ranged between 90-150 calories.

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Halo’s
Each Halo (mandarin orange) is about 40 calories, and is a perfect small snack.

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Almonds/Dark Chocolate Dusted Almonds (100-Calorie packs)
Y’all, these are probably my favorite out of all these snacks – they are delicious! These, along with a Halo were my go-to post-run snack.

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Pistachios
Approximately 25 pistachios is equal to 100 calories, and it is a very satisfying salty snack.
Tip: If you shell them yourself while you eat them, you are less likely to eat more!

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Hummus with Cut-Up Red Peppers or Pretzel Twists
Sabra has so many delicious flavors, and is approximately 70 calories per 2 Tbsp.
Red peppers are about 50 calories for one whole pepper.
Pretzel Twists (mini’s) are 110 calories for 17 pretzels.

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Dark Chocolate Smoothie (150 – 225 calories)
1 Cup Dark Chocolate Almond Milk (100 calories)
½ Small Banana (50 calories)
Opt. 1 Tbsp JIF Whips Peanut Butter (75 calories)
Ice
*Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

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Greek Yogurt with Fresh Berries or Honey (120-150 calories)
I really enjoy Chobani Greek Yogurt, however I don’t really like to purchase the pre-made ones with fruit. There always seems to be a lot of extra stuff on the ingredients list. I always buy the plain non-fat kind, and either mix-in a packet of honey or fresh berries (my favorites are strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries).

Yogurt: 90 calories
Honey Packet: 60 calories
Fresh Berries: Approximately 30-40 calories per half cup

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Green Beans
I enjoy the French Style green beans (1 cup-40 calories) cooked with 1-Tbsp of butter (45 calories), then mixed with salt & pepper, and finally sprinkled on top with a little bit of parmesan cheese. Total calories for this snack is approximately 100-110 calories (depending on how much cheese you put on top).

French Style Green Beans

Sparkling Water
My secret to battling cravings. It is zero calories, and I buy the Kroger brand in the 2-liter bottles so it’s very inexpensive, too. Drink a glass of sparkling water when you get hit with a craving and then if you feel satisfied you won’t need to eat anything, and if you are still hungry, you can go ahead and grab a snack.

QOTD: What is your favorite healthy snack?

18 comments

  1. Apples and any kind of nut are one of my go-to snacks, but I also love peanut butter/banana/cocoa powder/milk smoothies, which is like your smoothie. I could eat that for dessert - it's so good!

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    1. Yes, it is a perfect dessert! Now that it is girl scout cookie season, could even add a couple thin mints in rather than PB - that'd be yummy!

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  2. I have Nature Valley snack bars at work and bring a protein bar in my lunch. That way I can have something with substance before I go to the gym after work.

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    1. I love Nature Valley bars (except for the amount of crumbs they create lol)!

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  3. I am a huge fan of raw almonds. Another go to snack is apples and peanut butter, but that gets messy in the car. I love the almonds because they are easy to eat in the car - seems like I'm always hungry when I drive!

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    1. Haha yes, apples and PB in the car could definitely get messy, but still a delicious snack!

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  4. I love all your snacks! Those chocolate almonds are also my favorite and my sister introduced them to me several years ago before I started running. We also buy that same brand of hummus too!

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    1. The chocolate almonds are definitely the best - very hard not to eat them all in a day lol!

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  5. These are some awesome choices! In the past I've been hit with the marathon training hunger, and not made as wise of decisions and gained weight on them. And can I just say, I love pistachio's I seriously always thought they were not healthy, but I guess I never looked at the package closely. I am loving this little discovery! Thanks!!!

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    1. Glad I could help!! Pistachios are the lowest calorite nut available, I believe!

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  6. YES - I thought I was the only one who liked Sparkling water!!! :)
    I love almonds & haven't ever tried the cocoa ones. Probably not wise for me to try them. #newaddiction

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    1. I go through ridiculous amounts of sparkling water... my husband jokes that I need my fix every day lol!! Those almonds are so yummy, I highly recommend giving them a try. Make it your post-workout treat! :0)

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  7. I love all of the snacks you named besides pistachios- bleck!! Halos and granola bars are my go-to snacks all the time!

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    1. Halos are a perfect little snack and really satisfies my cravings for sweets!

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  8. I love the dark chocolate almond milk! It's like drinking a candy bar!

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  9. Yum, those are some great ideas. I love dark chocolate almond milk and those little clementine cuties are just like candy. Those cocoa almonds are yummy too! My stash also includes the Luna Protein peanut butter and chocolate bars. I like to keep one in my purse and one in my desk drawer to avoid temptation to run to the vending machine to get a candy bar when I get hungry in the afternoon but don't have time to make a healthy snack.

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    1. Luna bars are delicious - great snack idea!

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