5 Healthy Go To Snacks

5 Healthy Go To Snacks

Snacking isn't bad if you look for the good stuff.

I'm here to talk to you about the thing that everyone does each day, sometimes shamefully.. snacking. If you're like me, snacks throughout the day are my favorite thing, sometimes even over a good meal. The problem with snacking is that most people will do it mindlessly, and not because they are hungry, but rather bored. Some people say to not snack at all because it just leads to extra calories. I don't know about you, but if I don't have a snack here and there it leads me to go crazy at meal time because I'm so hungry. So I am here to tell you that you don't need to be ashamed or afraid of having snacks in between or after meals; it helps with hunger control, and keeps your energy up. While it is really easy to go grab a bag of chips or a candy bar, those will do you no good! Here are a few healthy snack choices that will satisfy your hunger, give you a little pep in your step, and are easy to bring with you.

1. Apples paired with a side.

Now I suggest never eating an apple alone, the fruit will leave you still feeling hungry and after the sugar has left your system, you will quickly feel like it did nothing to help with you energy. Pair your apple with a serving of almonds, low fat cheese, or all natural peanut butter/almond butter. You'll feel more satisfied with the additional snack and not have a growling stomach.

2. Vegetables with hummus.

Vegetables pretty much have no calories. This means that you can technically over eat some veggies and not feel bad about it. Cut up a variety of vegetables and take a small bowl of hummus (homemade or store bought). Little to no mess and it will give you what your stomach is asking for.

3. Low-fat Greek yogurt with berries.

Yogurt is one of those things that is falsely believed to be healthy, but that solely depends on what type you are eating. If you go for the simplest yogurt, preferably Greek, you don't have to worry about it being unhealthy. I recommend throwing in a few berries and maybe some granola if you want to spice it up a bit.

4. Trail mix.

The best type of trail mix you can have is one that is homemade, or at least one that isn't full of candy and salt. For making your own, or buying in a store, you want to have a balanced mix of dried fruit and nuts. If you want a little sweet addition, don't go for those M n M's or marshmallows, look for some that has solid dark chocolate instead.

5. Popcorn.

Now I don't mean a huge bag of buttered movie theater popcorn. Make some air popped popcorn at home and put it in individual bags/containers. Popcorn is a low calorie snack when you don't add all that salt and butter. If you want a little taste, add some nutritional yeast, spices, or drizzle a little dark chocolate over it. This is easy to have on the go, or at home.

Cover Image Credit: Jennifer Anderson

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Sweet Potatoes Are The Most Underrated Vegetable Of All Time

Everything you need to know about the pieces of edible gold we call "sweet potatoes" and why they will always perish over any plain old potato.


The potato. The heart of the American food industry. A versatile vegetable crop soaked in grease that brings us some of our favorite appetizers and sides. From french fries, to curly fries, to tater tots, to baked potatoes, to hash browns, this hallowed vegetable has become the Johnny Depp of the vegetable family. Now, we are all aware that the configurations of potatoes are limitless, but we commonly disregard the potato's delicious and neglected brother: the sweet potato. I, a credible food connoisseur and highly experienced eater, am here to tell you why you are missing out on a world of flavor if you choose to dismiss the beloved sweet potato and its many entities.

Let me first start this tirade by proving to you my credibility...I, too, once believed that regular french fries were better than sweet potato fries. I scoffed at the idea of choosing those ridiculous orange sticks over my tried-and-true plain boys. I could not be convinced that any sweetness should impede on my savory snacks.

These were dark times.

It was not until a mere month ago that my mind was changed forever.

It was a sunny (scary) Sunday morning, and my pounding head led me on a mission to indulge myself in the finest breakfast foods. I entered my favorite breakfast diner, Angelo's, and waited anxiously for my waiter to stroll over. She filled our water cups and asked if we wanted to start with any appetizers. Before my stingy self could even decline the offer, my best friend ordered a round of sweet potato fries for the table and the waiter scurried away. I stared blankly at her for a solid minute. I could not wrap my head around the concept of munching on sweet potato fries at 8 in the morning. She just stared back and said, "Trust me." Suddenly, a tray of blood orange sticks and a mysterious tan sauce appeared in front of my face. As much as I wanted to ponder the morality of this decision, the hunger began to take over, and I shoved one of the fries into my mouth.

In an instant, it was as if time and space had lost all meaning. When my teeth hit the fry, the perfectly crusted outer shell crunched softly making a sound much like your foot crushing a dried leaf. The now exposed inside of the fry was the perfect blend of mush and warmth that felt like your mouth was receiving a hug. The flavor...unbelievable. It didn't take me long to realize that this wasn't a fry — this was a culinary experience. This fry single-handedly blew the roof off of any predisposed ideas I had about American cuisine.

I am well aware that my fry experience cannot be simulated again by any average food-goer, but I challenge you, the reader of this article, to get out there and enjoy a sweet potato in any form. Stray from your basic fries or tater tots and dabble in a sweet treat which will undoubtedly bring you flavorful satisfaction.

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