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What is the easiest way to stay faithful to your healthy diet? In two words: Power Snacking!

I love cooking simple, delicious and healthy meals. They taste great, are wonderful for my body and give me energy to keep up with my son and my busy life. I have found that staying on a healthy meal plan is the easy part. The hard part is healthy snacking. Cravings always seem to creep up in the late morning or afternoon. Unfortunately, this is when most of us are tempted to grab a quick and easy fix like a candy bar or a bag of chips. These are high calorie, high fat, low nutritional foods…and these sneaky little snacks can kill an otherwise healthy diet.

So how do we conquer these pesky snack cravings and maintain a diet that will keep us fit and full of energy? Look for high protein, high fiber, high water content foods with low calories and saturated fat. Why? Simply put; foods full of fiber, protein and water make you feel full. Here are my favorites.

1. Plain Greek Yogurt with Strawberries: 135 Calories & 16g Protein! This is my favorite morning snack. A generous serving of plain Greek yogurt (about ¾ cup) and 1 cup of strawberries is not only delicious, but exceptionally filling. Make sure to carefully select your product and only go for a Greek yogurt with 0% fat. They are typically labeled very clearly. Don’t worry, unlike other fat free foods, it tastes wonderful. Even better, with 16g of protein in one serving, you will find yourself full for hours.

2. String Cheese and a Large Apple: 205 Calories, 8g Protein, 6g Fiber.
Quick, easy, nutritionally significant and most importantly…delicious. This snack is a winner.

3. An Orange and Almonds: 229 Calories, 7g Protein, 7g Fiber. A medium orange and one ounce of almonds (about 15-24) will leave your satisfied, energized and, as an added bonus, studies have shown that almonds reduce cholesterol.

4. Reduced-Fat Triscuits Topped with Avocado and Tomato: 202 Calories, 4g Protein, 5g Fiber. This snack is fantastic. Seven crackers, four grape tomatoes and three tablespoons of avacado may not seem like much, but it packs a punch that will have you feeling great until your next meal. It looks pretty, it tastes great, it fills you up, and if that isn’t enough, it has lots of heart healthy oleic acid from the avocados and anti cancer properties from lycopene, which is found in the tomatoes. It’s definitely my favorite afternoon snack.

5. Lean Turkey Slices and Grapes: 200 Calories & 16g Protein.
A healthy portion of lean turkey slices (3 oz.) and 1 cup of red grapes delivers a quick dose of protein and energy that feels great. When faced with the choice between red or green, choose red. The dark skin of the red grape is a great source of resveratrol, which is a powerful anti-aging substance!

Happy Snacking!

Robin

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