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How to Snack Right

food-vegetables-italian-restaurant

Snacking, we love and hate to do it. We love the salty chips, the sweet candy, but we hate the feeling we get after finishing a whole bag of the things. What if you could snack without the guilt?

Now, it’s not completely possible, because too much of anything really is not a good idea. But you can start moving in the right direction when it comes to what you’re eating and what you’re buying at the store to keep on hand.

The problem many of us have is temptation and the ability to resist. We all know that going to the store hungry is not the best idea. But what if you’re getting a craving for chips and decide to just get a bag to last the month? You know what will happen during that next movie night, the chips will be gone!

There are a few solutions to this, which we’ll discuss below.

Limiting Your Quantity of Bad Snacks

Bad snacks are all the ones we love to eat: chips, Oreos, cookies, candy, donuts, gummies, Pop Tarts, etc. You know the ones I’m talking about. The problem isn’t that you’re eating them, it’s that you’re eating too much. If you eat out of the whole bag of chips, it’s impossible to know exactly how much you’ve eaten. There was a study about giving people at a movie theater a big container of popcorn and giving others a smaller container. Who do you think ate the most popcorn? Those with the big container. These people even ate more stale (14 day old) popcorn when it was given in a big container!

We can use the results from that study to help us limit our bad snacking, but still get to indulge every once in a while. Instead of eating from the bag, put the chips or cookies on a plate and only eat that amount, no more. Once you can see what you’re eating, you’ll slow down so you can savor the flavor.

Eating More of the Right Stuff

If you need to snack in order to quell your appetite, you need to be eating the right stuff. This means vegetables, fruits, nuts, granola, yogurt. This is all stuff we don’t think of as fun snacking. But if you want to snack smart, especially at work or on the go, start making your on snack packs. This will prevent you from allowing yourself to get chips or a candy bar from the vending machine because you’re hungry. Now there’s no excuse because you have your own snacks with you.

We don’t eat enough healthy snacks because the flavors don’t excite our brain as much as unhealthy snacks do. Bring a variety of snacks with you when you’re on the go and keep them in your pantry. Having a variety means you won’t get tired of eating the same celery sticks over and over.

Here are some ideas:

  • Celery and nut butter
  • String cheese
  • Beef jerky
  • Protein bars
  • Strawberries
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Pistachios
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Bean or kale chips
  • Dark chocolate
  • Mixed nuts

Snacking doesn’t have to be hard. You just need to make the conscious effort that you’re going to stick with the healthy stuff and that you can indulge every once in a while with portion-controlled amounts.


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Healthy eating as we age

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Eating well should be a goal at any age, but especially as we get older. When we age, we need to watch how the changes in our bodies interact with the items that we’re consuming.

A healthy diet is key to living a better life. It will help improve energy levels, allow you to better fight off illness, and give you the mental acuteness you need.

How does our body change?

There are multiple processes that take place in our bodies as we age.

These include:

  • Lowered senses: Our sensitivity to salt and bitter leave first, which may make you want to add more salt to items.
  • Digestion slows: Your digestive system slows down, meaning it is more difficult to process certain vitamins and minerals that are important for mental alertness.
  • Metabolism slows: Adopting a healthy diet and exercise routine will help avoid unnecessary weight gain

What should I be eating?

The key is the find foods that are healthy and delicious. It is one thing to try to eat lots of kale and spinach, but if you dislike the taste you will end up getting sick of the items quickly.

Here are some foods you should be including in your diet:

  • Fruit: (2-3 servings per day)
  • Vegetables: (2-3 cups per day) of dark, leafy greens (spinach, broccoli) and colorful veggies (carrots)
  • Grains: (5-10 ounces) Stay away from processed white flour and try more whole grains with nutrients and fiber
  • Oils: (5-8 teaspoons) Eat foods full of healthy oils like olives, avodacos, and nuts
  • Calcium: Limit your milk consumption to 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat types. 1 cup of yogurt, 1-1.5 oz of cheese, 1 cup of cottage cheese.
  • Protein: (5-7 oz) Eggs, tofu, nuts, peanut butter, fish, poultry

Snack smart

You can snack between meals if you feel yourself getting hungry. But be sure that they are healthy snacks low in calories, sodium, saturated and trans fat. These include items like Greek yogurt, nuts, seeds, and grilled chicken.

More fiber

As we age, our digestive systems become less efficient. That means we need to be eating much more fiber than we used to. Women over 50 should be eating at least 21 grams per day and men over 50 should eat at least 30 grams.

Here’s how you can get your fiber in:

  • Whole grains
  • Wheat cereal, barley, oatmeal
  • Beans and nuts
  • Vegetables like carrots, celery
  • Whole fruits (including the peel)

Skip the sugar & empty calories

We probably don’t need to be reminding you, but stick to drinking water. Sugary drinks like soda, sweet tea, and energy drinks may taste great but they are not doing your body any good.

Also stay away from “empty calories” which include many items in the middle aisles of the grocery store including cookies, alcohol, and chips.

Resources

Healthy Eating after 50
National Institute on Aging

Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors
National Council on Aging

Eating Well As You Get Older
NIH Senior Health


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Summer recipes you can’t wait to try

Summer is a time for the beach, swimsuits, and backyard BBQs. With July 4th coming up soon, you need some delicious summer recipes and drinks to bring to the bash. Get ready to impress your friends with these tasty appetizers, meals, desserts, and beverages! Once you see the recipes below, you won’t want to wait ’til July 4th to make them.

Some of these dishes take just 15 minutes to prepare and require no cooking (Watermelon Feta Skewers) while others will take a bit more time and energy to get everything ready (Grilled shrimp tacos). Be sure to read the recipes and decide whether you want to make these dishes on the day you plan to eat them or the day before.

If you plan to have your BBQ out on the beach without much shade, don’t let the sun and a sunburn ruin your day. Read our article on sun safety so you keep safe all day long.

Now onto the recipes!

Appetizers

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Watermelon Feta Mint Skewers
Impress your friends with these intriguing summer-friendly appetizer that take ust 15 mins to make. (Bites of Bri)

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Tex Mex Fresh Corn Dip
This creamy, cheese corn dip has a touch of spice and goes perfect on any chips. (Five Heart Home)

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Bacon Wrapped Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Glaze
A sweet and savory mixture that your friends will love. (Foodie Crush)

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BLT Sliders with Basil Ranch Mayo
Tasty little bites of BLT with a hint of basil. (Mom by the Beach)

Entrees

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Best Homemade Chicken Strips Ever
Make your own strips, you’ll love them! (Buter with a Side of Bread)

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Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Wrap
Add a little Hawaiian style to your BBQ chicken (Tastes Better From Scratch)

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Beer and Honey BBQ Chicken Skewers
The perfect grilling recipe! (Jo Cooks)

Grilled-Shrimp-Tacos

Spicy Grilled Shrimp Tacos
For the seafood lovers (and taco addicts!) (The Healthy Maven)

Desserts

Sand-pudding

Sand Pudding Cups
Cute little puding cups that are beach inspired. (Food Fun Family)

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Strawberry Kabobs
Because who doesn’t love things on a stick? (Sugar Apron)

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Classic Oreo Icebox Dessert Nice and cool for a hot summer day. (The Kitchen is My Playground)

Beverages

mango lemonade

Mango Green Tea Lemonade
So many flavors in this tasty summer drink (Strawberry Blonde Kitchen)

sweet tea

Southern Sweet Tea
A must have for any backyard (or beach) BBQ (The Country Cook)

 


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Tasty Christmas Treats to Get you in the Spirit

Christmas is a time for family, festivities, and, our favorite, FOOD! Who doesn’t love walking in to the smell of fresh baked Christmas cookies? Or cooking the holiday ham? Maybe you have your own family Christmas traditions. It’s always fun to make those good ol’ recipes, but it’s also fun to change it up and make some new items. Here are some delicious Christmas recipes we think you should be trying this season.

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Christmas Crunch
Cookingclassy.com
A perfect treat while you wait for dinner or snack on while the kids open presents.

peppermint hot chocolate

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
Gimmesomeoven.com
It’s a spicy take on the traditional Christmas beverage.

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No Bake Peppermint White Chocolate Cheesecakes
Cookingclassy.com
No baking? Count me in!

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Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites
Afewshortcuts.com
Bet you can’t wait to make these.

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Eggnog Snickerdoodles
Amyshealthybaking.com
Combining two of the classics of Christmas: cookies and eggnog.

Christmas-trees

Krispie Treat Christmas Trees
Raininghotcoupons.com
These are too cute not to try and make.

kahlua hot choc

Kahlua Hot Chocolate
damndelicious.net
The hot chocolate for adults.

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Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
therecipecritic.com
Ok, these aren’t really a treat, but they’re sweet and delicious.

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Oreo Peppermint Bark
Crazyforcrust.com
Oreos AND peppermint? What could be better?

Reindeer Cupcakes
withsprinklesontop.net
These are perfect to make with the kids!

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Chocolate Covered Pretzels
lovefromtheoven.com
Salty, sweet, and just a touch of festivity.


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Hanukkah Decorations and Treats

With December comes those big holidays many of us look forward to. Maybe you celebrate Christmas, maybe it’s Hanukkah, or maybe it’s something completely different like Festivus (Seinfeld fans will understand). If you are planning to celebrate Hanukkah this year, or maybe you are hosting the festivities at your house, you want to have your house decorated in the Hanukkah spirit.

star of david garland

Star of David Garland
You can buy this cute blue and white Star of David garland, or even make it yourself.

Star of David Wreath
Let everyone know you’re celebrating Hanukkah with a Star of David wreath.

dreidal app plate

Dreidel Appetizer Plate
Don’t be surprised when all your guests ask where you got this plate.

tea light menorah

Tea-Light Menorah
See how to make this simple, cute glass tea-light holder set. It’s a classic take on the menorah.

dreidel gift box

Dreidel Gift Box
Use these festive gift boxes shaped like dreidels to hide small treats or candy.

dreidal garland

Dreidel Garland
Make this paper dreidel garland to decorate the mantel, window, or doorway.

pumpkin challah

Pumpkin Challah Bread
Turn the classic Challah bread into a new favorite by adding pumpkin!

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Spiced Apple or Pear Fritters
Make plenty of these, they will be gone before you know it.

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Curried Sweet Potato Latkes
Spice up those plain potato latkes.

mandel brot

Mandel Brot
Think of this like the Jewish biscotti. Mandel means almond and Brot means bread in Yiddish.

nutella sufganiyot

Nutella Sufganiyot
This delicious Jewish doughnut just got better with some Nutella!


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Our Favorite Fall Foods and Drinks

In celebration of fall, we posted a few tasty Thanksgiving day foods to try out. But there’s more to fall than just Thanksgiving. There are so many great ingredients and tastes that epitomize fall. Pumpkin, spices, warmth, nuts, apples, soups, hot chocolate. Getting hungry, huh? Here are some of the tastiest fall foods we could find from desserts to drinks to delectable entrees. Enjoy!

cream cheese pumpkin bread

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Bread
Say no more! You had me at cream cheese, then stole my heart with pumpkin bread. This sounds like the ultimate fall food. (Averie Cooks)

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Apple Pie Bites
These are perfect for those watching their figure, but who don’t want to compromise and eat boring, tasteless food. These apple pie bites are a shot of dessert in miniature form. (The Blond Cook)

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Pumpkin Waffles and Apple Cider Syrup
Now who wouldn’t want to wake up to the smell of that? (Cooking Classy)

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Caramel Apple Sangria
This is for those of you who love to pair their alcohol with the season (is that a thing?). (A Night Owl Blog)

biscuit pot pie

Biscuit Pot Pie
This just screams warm fall food and brings you back to eating at home as a kid. (Damn Delicious)

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Apple Cider Donuts
Skip Dunkin’ Donuts. These are a mouthful of fall’d favorite fruit in donut hole form. (Sally’s Baking Addiction)


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8 Thanksgiving Day Recipes

Now that October is over, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. You already started taking down the Halloween decorations and pulling out the Thanksgiving boxes from the attic. The best part about Thanksgiving? The food! Nobody can deny that the ample amounts of food on this day will cause you to gain a few pounds, but not to worry, you workout daily…right? If you are looking to change up your Thanksgiving day foods, here are some tasty recipes!

dinner rolls

Rosemary Dinner Rolls
These rolls from Cooking Classy are a nice twist on your ordinary fare.

sweet potato

Sweet Potato Casserole
Some tasty sweet potato casserole with toasted marshmallows and pecans from Le Creme de la crumb.

mini pumpkin pies

Mini Pumpkin Pies
Teeny, cute pumpkin pies that will make you go Aww, from Home is Where the Boat is.

mini apple plies

Mini Apple Pies
Who doesn’t love apple pie? Especially in miniature form. (Pillsbury)

pumpkin french toast

Pumpkin French Toast
Start Thanksgiving Day off with this tasty pumpkin french toast. (Cooking Classy)

caramel apple cream cheese

Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Spread
Let your guests snack while you prepare! (She Wears Many Hats)

crispy potato roast

Crispy Potato Roast
Those potatoes look so delicious! Make them as a side dish for the big day. (Joyously Domestic)

caramel apple bars

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Crumble Bars
Finish off dinner with these tasty Thanksgiving-inspired treats. (Averie Cooks)