5 Go-To, Easy Snacks For Your Winter Break

5 Go-To, Easy Snacks For Your Winter Break

For the food junkie in you.

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These are 100% my favorite snacks to make at home that truly make me feel happy and at home. Today I wanted to share them with you!

1. Homemade Chex Mix

Heat 1/4 butter, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 2 and 1/4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder until melted and combined.

Pour over 4 cups of Corn Chex, 4 cups Rice Chex, and 1 cup salted peanuts until everything is combined.

Bake at 250, stirring the mix every 15 minutes.

Let it cool completely!

Mix in chocolate chips, m&ms, pretzels; the possibilities are endless.

2. Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

Heat a half cup of butter, half cup of milk, 2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup peanut butter, and 1/4 cup cocoa powder until melted and combined. Add in a teaspoon of vanilla.

Pour over 3 cups of old-fashioned oats.

Scoop 1 tablespoon (ish) into cookies onto wax paper to cool.

I put these right in the fridge and I think they're best nice and cold.

3. Puppy Chow

Heat 1/2 cup of peanut butter, 1/4 cup butter, 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until everything is melted together.

Pour over 9 cups of Chex cereal. I prefer the rice Chex but corn Chex is another option.

Stir everything through until all the cereal of coated.

In a large zip lock bag or a paper grocery bag, add in 1 and a half cups of powdered sugar and your cereal mix. Shake the bag to coat everything and set it aside to cool and dry.

I put it in the fridge right away; I like it super cold!

4. Buffalo Chicken Dip 

Either boil a chicken breast or use some shredded rotisserie chicken, around a cup depending on how much chicken you prefer.

Combine 1/2 cup Franks Red Hot sauce (add as little or as much depending on how spicy you like it), 1 block of cream cheese, 1 cup of ranch or blue cheese dressing, and 1 cup of shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese.

Mix in the shredded chicken and then place in a crockpot or bake at 350 until hot.

I prefer it with tortilla chips but you could do bread crisps, veggies, crackers, whatever you're feeling!

5. M&M Pretzel Bites

Layout a package of square pretzels.

Top each one with a Hershey kiss of your choice - my favorite is the hugs!

Bake at 200 for 3-5 minutes, just until the chocolate is glistening but not yet melting!

Top them with an m&m and let cool.

A lot these recipes take very little time to prepare and are a great option to bring to any holiday party or potluck you have coming up this holiday season.

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The Unspoken Dangers of 'Mukbang' Culture

Ever wondered why you can't stop clicking on these addictive, self-made eating shows?

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Unless you've been living under a rock for the past five years, you've probably heard of the internet trend commonly referred to as a mukbang, or "eating show." These self-produced video clips typically involve one hungry individual, their filming device, and an obscene amount of delicious foods.

Though these broadcasts originated all the way from South Korea (hence the foreign vocabulary), the growing popularity of eating videos has taken the internet by storm. Nowadays as you scroll through YouTube, you'll find an outrageous amount of uploads with titles like "10,000 CALORIE PASTA MUKBANG," "EATING EVERYTHING ON THE MCDONALD'S MENU," or "THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CHALLENGE."

Popular 'mukbangers' such as Peggie Neo, Megan McCullom, and Steven Sushi have made a sizable profit off of their viral eating shows, some collecting tens of thousands of dollars in revenue.

So, what's the big deal you say? You order a large quantity of food, indulge in said food, film yourself completing this menial task, and upload to the internet for money and fame. On the outside, this may seem like a luxurious lifestyle, but behind the camera lens sits an individual battling their own demons and influencing the world of social media to partake in their harmful behaviors.

Mukbanger Livia Adams ("Alwayshungry" on YouTube) has opened up about her unhealthy relationship with food in the past, praising herself for fasting several hours in order to justify her over-indulgence on camera.

Similarly, internet sensation Trisha Paytas claims to diet and starve herself for weeks just to be able to satisfy her subscribers with epic mukbangs, which are essentially binges.

In all actuality, these social media celebrities are negatively impacting (and possibly triggering) vulnerable viewers.

Many fans only see the highlight reel of YouTubers shoveling bowls of cereal or boxes of doughnuts into their mouths, yet remain completely unaware of what truly goes on behind-the-scenes. Messages saying:

"I'm on a diet... watching this is giving me some sort of satisfaction, like as tho I ate, you know?"
"I watch these videos because I know I physically can't afford to eat like this because I gain weight too easily."
"When having an eating disorder, watching Trisha's mukbangs is sorta comforting in a way omg"

flood the comments sections of Paytas' videos. Quite obviously, fans young and old are heavily influenced by this content and continue to support these creators to fulfill a self-destructive need.

Additionally, famous mukbang accounts never seem to include the painful after-effects of their ginormous feasts in videos. Fitness model Stephanie Buttermore flaunts her slim physique just days after consuming over 10,000 calories for a challenge, giving the impression that her previous overindulgence had no repercussions on her health whatsoever. Because Buttermore is a trained, athletic young woman, she was able to quickly bounce back after a series of workouts and low-calorie meals.

On the contrary, if a sedentary woman of about the same age were to attempt this challenge, she would most likely feel sluggish, irritable, bloated, stomach discomfort, and even vomitous post challenge. Eating regularly like this could lead to bigger issues such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer. Unfortunately, because topics like these aren't glamorous and attractive to subscribers, mukbangers often edit them out.

Now don't get me wrong. Though not everyone who uploads a mukbang to the internet has an eating disorder or an evil agenda, they have to realize the kind of audience they're appealing to. This generation is more susceptible than ever to emulate the actions and words of their favorite celebrities. Young boys and girls look up to successful adults, and influencers should be remembered for the change they inspired, not the disease they encouraged.

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Understanding The HUGE Difference Between Your Diet And Dieting Will Change Your Life

Everyone has a diet, but nobody has to "go on one."

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Whenever I speak publicly about Health at Every Size™ and the dangers of dieting and fatphobia, it's inevitable that I hear at least one comment trying to catch me in some sort of mistake or call me out. "If people can eat whatever they want, what about people with peanut allergies! Can they eat peanuts?!" "I have diabetes, are you trying to kill me by telling me to eat cake?!?"

My answer? Well, no, of course not. To understand this, we have to understand the difference between our diets and dieting, or as I like to say, between dieting and nutrition. At its root, a diet is the type of food a person, animal or community habitually eats. However, diet culture has given diets a whole new definition. Now, a diet is about restrictive eating—cutting out certain types of foods, eating at specific times, or minimizing intake in order to control one's shape or weight—which we often use with the verb "dieting."

Dieting, or restrictive eating, is harmful and not healthy. It is the most common predictor of an eating disorder and is also associated with a myriad of other mental and physical health issues such as depression, heart problems, and low metabolism. However, our diets, or nutrition, are neutral. They are simply what we feed our bodies, and food has no moral value.

Obviously, though, there are certain limitations to intuitive eating and for many eating whatever we want isn't possible. There are people who are gluten-free, have certain allergies or insensitivities, live with diabetes or deal with other limitations to what is available. The answer to this, though, is not "going on a diet," it is making certain changes to our nutrition. Refraining from eating peanuts because you're allergic is not a diet, substituting pasta for a gluten-free kind is not a diet, and drinking dairy-free milk because you're lactose intolerant is not a diet. The only reason we call certain changes in nutrition for people with diabetes "diets" is due to medical fatphobia.

Following the Health at Every Size™ teachings and research, fat people are not inherently unhealthy and it is possible to be healthy and fat. However, because of statistics showing that most people with Type Two Diabetes are in higher weight bodies, many believe that their weight, rather than imbalances in insulin levels, is the cause of Diabetes-related health issues. In reality, with the help of a nutritionist and/or doctor, a person could make changes to their nutrition to regulate their insulin levels and restore their health and remain the same weight or even gain weight.

Dieting is not a necessary part of life. Not for fat people, not for skinny people, not for people with celiac disease, allergies or even diabetes. Yes, sometimes changes in our nutrition are necessary to maintain health. But the facets of diet culture which involve striving for weight loss by restricting intake should be avoided by everyone at all costs.

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