Posts Tagged ‘snack’

Week 2: Power Up Your Plate this #NutritionMonth!

March 4th, 2016 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

When it comes to food choices, quality counts. Nourishing foods promote health and can help you feel your best. Take small steps to bump up the quality of your meals and snacks: get clever with cooking, swap in nutrient-rich choices and enjoy deliciously healthy foods. Here are some tips to get you started.

Jump-start your day! Power through your morning by eating a good breakfast.
A nourishing breakfast gives you a fuel boost plus protein and fibre to help you stay alert and avoid mid-morning munchies.
In a hurry?
• Blend frozen berries, yogurt and milk for a super smoothie. Make it even better with baby spinach and ground flax.
• Wrap peanut butter, a banana and trail mix in a whole-grain tortilla for a portable, crunchy breakfast.
Got time?
• Make a burrito with scrambled egg, lentils or soft tofu, sautéed red pepper, avocado and salsa wrapped in a warm tortilla.
• Top French toast with yogurt, sunflower seeds and warm sautéed apple slices.

Forget the food court! Pack good food fast with “planned extra” leftovers for lunch.
Packing lunch is a healthy, budget-friendly habit. Keep it simple: reinvent “planned extra” leftovers for a lunch that’s way better than the food court. Try these tasty ideas:
• Cook extra chicken for dinner. For lunch, wrap chicken in soft tacos, with crunchy cabbage and shredded carrots, a sprinkle of feta and big squeeze of juicy lime.
• Roast extra root veggies. Layer them on crusty whole grain bread with hummus and baby spinach for a scrumptious sandwich.
• Toss extra cooked whole-wheat pasta, couscous or barley with pesto, cherry tomatoes, lentils and small cheese chunks for a protein-packed salad.

Swap your sip! Sugary and creamy drinks pack a calorie punch.
Your best choice for quenching thirst? Water! Add zing with mint, berries or citrus wedges. Carry a water bottle and keep it fresh all day. Swap your sip with these tips:
• Choose fizzy water with a tangy citrus twist instead of sugary pop.
• Like a latte? Filled with nutrient-rich, hydrating milk, lattes can be a good choice. Go plain, without sugary syrups or whipped cream. Try decaf to cut caffeine.
• Tea lover? Try hot or iced black, green or herbal teas without added white sugar or honey. Enjoy the taste of the tea itself.

Trade your treat! Pack nutrient-rich snacks so you can steer clear of the vending machine.
Nourishing snacks satisfy hunger between meals. To stay energized and satisfied, snack smart with small, portions of nutrient-rich foods. Treat your tastebuds with these good-for-you snacks:
• Fresh veggies + garlicky black bean dip
• A crisp apple + a couple pieces of tangy old cheddar cheese
• Crunchy roasted chickpeas + a sprinkle of dark chocolate chips
• A couple of naturally sweet dates filled with almond butter

Clever cooking! Flavour food with tangy citrus, fresh herbs and fragrant spices.
There are lots of simple ways to cook healthy without sacrificing taste. Try these tips to add flavour to meals:
• Add pizzazz to plain grains and pulses by cooking barley, brown rice or lentils in low-sodium broth.
• Stir ½ to 1 cup of canned pumpkin or mashed sweet potato into muffin batter for a veggie boost.
• Make a luscious mashed potato with roasted garlic, a little olive oil and warm milk.
• Purée vegetable soups, such as potato, sweet potato or broccoli, with low-sodium broth for deliciously creamy texture and taste.

For delicious recipes with a healthy twist, visit: How’s your 100 meal journey going?

Adapted from The Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month Campaign Materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at:

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Posted in Food Revolution Recipes, Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin' | No Comments »

To Snack or Not to Snack? Managing your Hunger Games

September 18th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I recently received this message from a book reader of mine. She gave me permission to blog about it to help others who might have similar issues managing hunger.

Dear T & T,
I just finished your book, Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books and thought it had a lot of great tips. I have started journalling and have set some 3×3 goals for myself. I have a question about how to strike a balance between only eating when I’m hungry and eating to ensure I won’t be too hungry at a later time (to ensure no pig outs happen when serious hunger hits). For example, I tend to workout after work but before dinner. So I will have a snack around 4pm to give me plenty of energy for a solid workout and I’m not dying for dinner right after. But sometimes I am not really hungry when it’s snack time. One of my goals, is to focus on what actual hunger is, and I worry that snacking like this may impede that. Any thoughts?

Dear PO,

You bring up an excellent point about managing hunger with a busy routine. First of all major props to you for working out, keep up the good work on that! Being active is beneficial for you on sooooo many levels. Learning about your own hunger and fullness cues takes time and is a huge balancing act AND certainly worth the effort to work on.

If you’re not hungry at 4pm I suggest you forgo having a snack. It is, however, totally trial and error. Keep yourself equipped with fruit for afterward – a perfect post-workout and pre-dinner snack so you’re not ravenous when you get home. I think marketing ingrains in our heads that we need a pre and/or post workout snack even though we’re not elite athletes. Follow your cues and act accordingly.

Also I find different times of the month like when I’m PMS’ing I feel more hungry. If that’s the case I’ll have a snack. Fruit is my go-to option or a handful of unsalted nuts if I need more staying power. Boredom can do the same thing with playing funny mind tricks disguised as hunger when it isn’t! Reviewing the 3 R’s (review, reflect, reframe) from your journal and observing the patterns will help you figure out true hunger. Plus it will help you with to how better you manage hunger. I find when I’m ravenous it’s too easy to automatically overeat so my personal trick is to avoid getting to that point. Easier said than done, but an ongoing goal. It’s a true balancing act and takes time to figure out and manage.

It’s a worthwhile effort to discern what actual hunger is for you as well. There are times when my tummy plays gypsy music disguised as hunger, esp post vacation and what I actually need to do is to get back on track, ensure I drink my fluids (water at my workstation), eat more fruits and veggies, choose a balanced diet including enough protein at each meal while I retrain those stomach stretch receptors to snap back to normal. As I like to say: Awareness is bliss! Keep me posted on your progress and let me know if you have further questions.

Nutritionally yours,
T & T

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »

Twitter Tattler – Sweet Goodness Give Me Fruit!

August 18th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

I was doing my daily scanning of the Twittersphere recently and read a tweet from a woman’s magazine about sugar and fruit, good grief. My eyeballs get frosted when this sort of negative messaging about amazing food gets airtime. What gives?

The author discussed high and low sugar levels in various fruits and even dared to mention some having as much sugar as a candy bar. Ya I know that sugar is the new villain on the block these days, but the last thing we want is for people to cut down on fruit because of it when it possesses so much goodness.

We all know that added sugar is in a variety of packaged foods and drinks and having too much of the white stuff isn’t a good thing. That’s what we need to cut back on, NOT fruit.

Before setting out to write this segment I took a snack break and washed a bowl of cherries, ahhh. How I love cherries in season. The first sighting of them in the grocery store makes my heart skip a beat with glee. That article noted 4 fruits with higher sugar content – cherries, figs, mangos and grapes. First of all folks I never judge any one food using 1 parameter, such as calories or sugar unless that’s all it contains. Mother Nature’s candy IS fruit and each type does contain natural sugar but so much more goodness in its natural form it’s ridiculous.

Cherubic Cherries – Take cherries for example they’re a good source of vitamin C and fibre and have shown they can alleviate inflammation. I love how these are eaten, one juicy morsel at a time around the seed, one by one. They can’t be gobbled down mindlessly or you could crack a tooth if you’re not careful.

Fabulous Figs - Then there are figs. I have fond memories of my Dad nurturing a fig tree in our yard growing up. These provide a good source of fibre plus iron, calcium and potassium plus polyphenols. I love enjoying figs on an antipasto platter or for dessert.

Magnificent Mangos – These are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A which can promote healthy skin plus benefit immune function. I enjoy sweet succulent mango in one of the lunch salads I have most days.

No Griping About Grapes – Lastly the grape is an excellent source of vitamin C, K and manganese with polyphenols. They’er a perfect snack – so portable, so tasty perking up your taste buds naturally.

I would never in a million years steer clear of these four fabulous fruits or any other for that matter. And neither should you. I don’t see any nutritional benefit from candy bars which were compared to some of these foods from the gods. Fruit helps fill you, taste delectable and are inherently lower in calories than other foods. They serve as an excellent snack and are my first line of defence for my hunger strategy offence. Enjoy all fruit each and every day.

I add mixed berries to my morning oatmeal, enjoy a banana mid morning, plus a seasonal fruit during late afternoon’s “witches hour” that tides me over to dinner time. I add fruit to salad to punch up the flavour.

Choose Mother Nature’s candy – fruit throughout your day. I discuss a Fab Four Food Changes to make in my ebook, Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books. Check it out.

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In the Mood for this Fresh Fast Food!

June 6th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

I was meandering around the train station in Leipzig, Germany a short while ago and just so happened to stroll by a new outlet in among the fast food stalls. This one was different. How different you ask? It was chocked full of fresh fruits and veggies galore for those folks on the fly wanting to power up in the richest way possible. Check out every colour in the rainbow without food packaging other than the natural skins you find them in.

I love finding gem places like this that create a new mood for fresh fast food. People might not be partaking in their 5-10 servings a day of these nutritional powerhouses because they’re not readily available when away from home, as much as that other fast food is.

I couldn’t help myself and loaded up on a few to have on hand when afternoon hunger strikes, my first line of stealth snacking strategy to combat the tumble grumbles. It’s easier to make top choice snacking decisions when you act like a girl guide by being prepared!

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Pulp non-Fiction, Think About Your Drink!

May 14th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

While grocery shopping recently I mistakenly wandered up and down the seemingly mile-long beverage aisles, zigging and zagging the river of empty calories that flowed in those parts, swoooosh. Ok folks I haven’t railed on about what we drink in a long time. Since warmer temperatures are sneaking up on us, I thought I’d plant the seed of drinking wisdom in your noggin before you stock up at a grocery store near you.

The plethora of bevy’s that have infiltrated our lives are staggering from hot beverages, to cold, to bubbly, to flat. I say it’s time we wake up on this and dial it back, don’t you think?

Fruit Fix – Fruit juice and drinks have a health halo like no other. They tantalize your sweet-loving taste buds but fall flat on the fiber front and more. Get in the habit of eating your fruit rather than drinking your fruit. It’s way too easy to guzzle back a few 8 ounce glasses of juice which adds up to 4 fruit servings. Eating fruit helps fill you up and never lets you down. Nix that fluid fruit juice fix now!

Burst of Effervescence - How I love to rail on about soda – pop goes the weasel! Oh ye sweetened vat of food calorie nothingness that makes me crave gallons upon gallons, glug, glut, glug. It’s time to cave to the craving and put a lid on this nasty habit. Choose mineral water instead and add mint, lemons, limes or even a freshly cut cucumber and keep jugfuls in your fridge.

Blender Bender – If you are a ole smoothie lover, make a U-turn at the fast food smoothie counter and make a vat of your own. Add fruit, yogurt, skim milk and more to create a perfect fast and hearty meal or snack. Check out my Food Revolution Recipe section for a few smoothie recipes.

Caffeine Kick – Do you wonder why you and/or your kids count so many sheep at night trying to fall asleep? Maybe it’s the caffeine that has infiltrated your drinking repertoire that’s keeping you up at night, a baaaaahd habit indeed. Awareness is bliss remember! Evaluate how much your getting and cut back if you’re indeed overdoing it.

White Wonder – Milk is a white knight of beverages that is so versatile and nutrient rich it’s ridiculous. Kick hunger and nutrient emptiness to the curb with this bold bevy and include it at mealtimes every day.

Are you now soaking up some beverage wisdom? Read more about this in my e-book Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books. Before you stock up on liquid emptiness for the whole family think about your drink and be wise without compromise!

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Food Phobia Foible? Nuts to That!

April 30th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’ve been doing more reading about the benefits of nuts lately, hmmmmm. I already divulged my stealthy and healthy snacking strategy including these in my personal eating repertoire posted last week. Decades ago, these tasty morsels with a powerhouse of nutrient richness never made it into my shopping cart until I cracked that eating code of wisdom, CRRRRUNCH.

The adoption of a Mediterranean diet of sorts certainly sets the stage for nutrient richness by including olive and/or canola oil, nuts, beans, fish, dairy products and that horn of plenty of fruits and vegetables that fills half your plate.

Focusing in on nut noshing – one study observed “those who ate more nuts were slimmer”. I wrote about the altruistic almond before. I add slivered almonds to my oatmeal along with berries and skim milk every weekday morning and enjoy almond butter on toast on weekends. I make a tossed salad most evenings and always add any variety of nuts to top it off to add extra flavour and crunch, which always disappears.

Certainly a very versatile and noble food these can fill that void in your eating repertoire. Put an end to that nutty food phobia foible and sneak nuts in to your eating repertoire and enjoy!

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The Flaw of the ‘Forbidden Food’ Strategy

April 28th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

I read yet again about another study on forbidden food and kids. You know what I’m talking about folks. Those empty snack foods loaded with nothingness except sugar, salt and/or fat that goes crunch that are brought into the household and hidden in hard to reach places from our half-pints. You don’t even need to tell your child they ought not eat this freely, they intuitively know by your actions. Kids are certainly smarter than you think! They don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure this out. Half baked home food strategies like this backfire every time and can create disordered eating in your kids for a lifetime.

The study I read about described the “reactive eater”. Studies show that children who grow up in homes with restrictive food rules, where a parent is constantly dieting or desirable foods are forbidden or placed out of reach, often develop stronger reactions to food and want more of it when the opportunity presents itself. Talk about a strategy that backfires with a capital “B”.

“The message is that restriction is counterproductive — it just doesn’t work very well,” said Brandi Rollins, a Penn State postdoctoral researcher and lead author of the study, which was published in February in the journal Appetite. “Restriction just increases a child’s focus and intake of the food that the parent is trying to restrict.” The same thing happens with kids and adults alike when are posed with the forbidden food.

The take home message here is to have food and snack options at home that are better for you, but still enjoy treats such as having an ice cream once a week outside of home setting.

When I think more deeply about this flawed strategy my thoughts wander to schools that have been cleansed of any sort of treat yet are surrounded by them with fast food joints, coffee shops and junk food havens. School boards cheer of their accomplishment, but I shutter at the thought of how the students have reacted to this same sort of strategy. Are we creating a new generation of reactive eaters that will take longer to help cure in the long run? Something to gnaw on, that’s for sure….

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Miss Behavin', Policy for the People, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »

Facts on Snacks

April 23rd, 2014 4 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Well folks, snacks have significantly nibbled their way into our daily eating repertoire. In fact, they account for about 20% of what we eat daily. In addition to that, about that same proportion of our diets are filled with empty foods considered extras, hmmmmm.

I find snacks in the day help keep my appetite at bay. I remember my Grandma used to say not to eat before dinner or that’ll ruin your appetite. Now curbing extreme hunger can certainly help slow you down to be in control for your meals.

What’s a stealth snacking strategy you ask? Its one I talk about in my ebook Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books having a healthy and stealthy approach. For me, my first line of hunger defence is fruit. Ya you heard me right, fruit- an apple, an orange, a pear, a few small plums, some grapes, a banana and the list can go on. I don’t leave home with one or two. The trick here is to eat a piece of fruit and take 15 minutes to reevaluate your degree of hunger. Often times that’s all I need to tide me over until my next meal, be it lunch or dinner.

My second line of defence when I’m still hungry after eating fruit is having food that contains protein. My go-to choices are a glass of skim milk, portion of yoghurt or cottage cheese an ounce or two of almonds, pistachios or walnuts in the shell. I love to snack on nut in the shell at home because you can’t gobble them down by the handful. You crack each nut and enjoy it’s freshness and crunch which satisfies me every time.

Take last week for example, I was travelling on a biz trip that found me on the run from the airport to my meeting while my blood sugar took the plunge. Luckily I had a banana and a package of unsalted almonds in my purse that saved the day as my power snack on the fly, literally.

Take a few minutes to think about those snacks that have nibbled their way into your repertoire. Are they filled with nothingness from a nutrient perspective that makes your blood sugar go boing or are they rich with nutrients that hold you up and never let you down? Maybe it’s time for a change!

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | 4 Comments »

Pomegranate Gems

April 16th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Oh ye heavenly fruit
Ruby red jewels to boot

So hard to believe
It’s so good for me!

I must contest
That I make a mess!

For crying out loud
I need to wear a shroud!

Cutting open one
Deep staining has begun

A bite of Mother Nature’s sweet
A taste explosion that can’t be beat

A super food for sure
For a fruit that’s so obscure

Oh ye pomegranate gems
Makes me say “amen”

An unparalleled natural food
That makes me feel unglued!

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Orange is the New Black – Citrus Smoothie

February 26th, 2014 1 Comment Tags: , , , ,

I recently read that orange is the new black, hmmmmm. Funny when I was at the grocery store the other day I had a hankering for citrus – oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits. My food processor called out to me to try yet another smoothie recipe so I obliged and am glad I did!


1 peeled, cut up orange
1 lemon, quartered
1 cup plain Greek style yoghurt

Add peeled orange pieces to your food processor or blender. Toss in small pieces of the orange and lemon rind to punch up the taste. Squeeze the lemon quarters into the food processor after the seeds have been removed. Spoon in the yoghurt put the lid on tight and blend thoroughly until smooth. Add juice to adjust the thickness to your liking and a dash of sweetener if it’s too tart for your tastebuds.

I will certainly try this again with other citrus fruits to see which combination is most satisfying. I’ll add some springs of mint leaves too. My favourite flavour of yoghurt is Oikos key-lime and I will definitely give that a try as my yoghurt base.

This combination was a refreshing and tasty treat on this fine weekend sweetened by mother nature herself. I put the rest of the mixture in individual containers to enjoy during the week as work piles up as a perfect grab and go snack. It’ll be a perfect pick-me-up when I need it, without an additional jolt of caffeine.

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Posted in Food Revolution Recipes | 1 Comment »