{S I M P L E Series} Breaking Down ‘Healthy’ + Simple Snack Ideas

Hey Hi Happy Tuesday!

I am SO pumped about this five-part series kicking off today, and the best part is…it’s s i m p l e – literally. My goal in creating Living Everyday Strong has been to take what I’ve learned on my journey to a healthier and happier lifestyle and make it s i m p l e and manageable for you. While my journey is on-going, I hope to be able to help you bypass some of the speed bumps I’ve encountered. This series is intended to take some of the guess work out of creating simple, yet healthy and nutritious meals.

So, what exactly is ‘healthy and nutritious?’ By definition, ‘healthy and nutritious’ means “to nourish and promote good health” [thanks, Merriam Webster]. When looking for foods that are both healthy and nutritious, I look specifically at the ingredients and the macronutrients [fat, carbohydrates, and protein]. Foods with fewer ingredients are always the ‘healthier’ option. Fruits, vegetables, and meats [basically the perimeter of the grocery store] are always going to be your best bet for nourishing foods that promote good health [healthy + nutritious]. These foods are also lower in calories, which is a double win for those with a weight loss goal. That being said, there is no shame in shopping from the inner aisles…just be nutritionally aware of the foods you’re picking up. I’ll be wandering the aisles until they move the ice cream and peanut butter to the produce section. Who’s with me?!

Here’s where we pay more attention to the ingredient profile and macronutrients. Again, the fewer ingredients, the better… While overall calorie-intake is important, it is also important to know where those calories are coming from. Protein and carbohydrates each contain 4 calories per gram, while fat contains 9 calories per gram. For example, a food with 7 grams of protein gets 28 of its total calories from protein (7×4=28).

To put it s i m p l y, too much of any one nutrient is not going to give you the results you’re likely looking for. And, if you’re aiming to lose weight, eating in a calorie deficit [burning more calories than you consume] is definitely the way to go! As a general rule of thumb, I typically try to stick to foods that are lower in fat and carbohydrates and higher in protein. And – I try to stay away from foods that are high in both fat and carbohydrates. Look for more of one or the other! However, it is totally OK to eat foods that are higher in both fat and carbohydrates – in moderation!

Of course, nutrition is far more complicated than that…and I’m really no expert. BUT – you don’t have to understand it all to successfully live a healthier lifestyle. For me, the simpler, the better – and that’s what I aim to share with you!

If you’re still here, I’m sharing some of my favorite ‘healthy + nutritious’ simple snack foods. Whether your journey involves losing weight or just making better food choices all around, these snacks are all great options!

*weight-loss tip: peanut butter is nutritious and does contain a decent amount of protein, but it is NOT a low-calorie food…PB2 and PB Fit are both great substitutes, and they taste even better mixed with plain, non-fat, Greek yogurt*

  • sliced apples, 1 serving of peanut butter, + hard boiled egg
  • carrots/cucumbers/celery/bell peppers + hummus

    veggies and hummus

  • pretzel thins with turkey + sliced cheese
  • fruit [apples/grapes/strawberries/melon] and cheese cubes

    fruit and cheese

  • apple nachos
  • no-bake, protein energy bites
    • mix old fashioned oats, peanut butter, honey, raisins, chia/flax/sunflower seeds together – guesstimate measurements until mixture is sticky enough to roll into balls – chill and enjoy 🙂

      protein bites

  • peanut butter + banana bites
  • popcorn trail mix
    • Boom Chicka Pop popcorn, mixed nuts, raisins/dried cranberries, chocolate chips

      popcorn trail mix

  • jerky [great option for on-the-go!]
  • protein shake
    • blend 1 cup almond milk, 1 scoop protein powder, 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp peanut butter [or powdered pb], handful spinach, cinnamon

      protein shake

Enjoy! 🙂

XO, Kristen

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*Disclaimer: I am not a certified trainer, dietician, or nutritionist. Any health and fitness information provided is just a recommendation based on my personal experience and knowledge.* 

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