Who doesn’t want to have abs of steel or toned stiletto legs like a model? With the plethora of fitness videos and diet blogs flooding various social media platforms lately, feeling and looking fit does not seem like a far-fetched dream any more. Those perky, energetic fitness instructors have ignited the fire within, motivating us to believe that anyone can have an amazing body with determination. And most importantly, they stress over and over again one very important message: stick to a healthy diet.
However, it’s hard to take the time to create healthy dishes when our schedules are jam-packed with classes and term papers. The result? We start munching on unhealthy snacks such as chips, cookies, donuts and more.
To help you snack healthier, I’ve provided some of my guilt-free (yet tasty) snack options that satisfy your cravings. Snacking on these options can help you get fit faster and stay fit easier. Indulgence is not bad; moderation is the key!
1. Make Your Own Soda Substitute
Soda could be a huge obstacle on your fitness journey, especially if you are living in the dorms. Most dorm residents succumb to the temptation of “free” unlimited sodas and end up drinking much more than they should. A solution to this alarming problem is to make your own healthy substitute:
Fill 2/3 of your cup with sparkling mineral water (e.g. Perrier), and then fill the rest of the cup up with orange juice. Finish it off by adding a slice of pineapple, orange or lime on the rim of the cup (drinks/food that look pretty improve your mood). Or, you can add your favorite 10-calorie individual pack of Ocean Spray or Crystal Light. This low-calorie carbonated soda substitute can be made in less than 5 minutes. Being busy is not an excuse to eat unhealthily.
2. Sliced Bread with Banana Slices (pair with prune juice)
As headlined by a lot of nutritionists and health publications, breakfast is unarguably the most important meal of the day. However, on those days when we have to pick between getting more sleep or having breakfast (which is every day for the majority of college students), squeezing in that extra few minutes of sleep almost always wins. As a result, breakfast often ends up spilling over into lunch.
This option offers a fast and easy way to prepare a nutritious breakfast. It will take only around 5-10 minutes to prepare. First, you will need one slice of wheat bread. Then, spread 1 teaspoon of almond or peanut butter evenly on the slice of bread. After that, fill the surface of the bread with banana slices (you will need at least half of a banana). Drizzle some honey on top for a nice (and healthy) finish. Pair the bread with some prune juice, which provides your body with fiber and helps your digestive system. To give your body even more fiber, mix a teaspoon of Metamucil powder, a fiber supplement, with the prune juice. This supplement may lower cholesterol, promotes heart and digestive health, and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Meet your new best study companion – edamame, a Japanese appetizer that is pretty low in fat. It is a very easy snack to munch on while studying, and it will not leave you feeling guilty. As a “meaty vegetable,” it is rich in protein and dietary fiber that helps you get full faster. Thus, it prevents you from over-eating. Edamame also serves as a good finger food at parties. Consider getting some of these immature soybeans from your local Asian grocery store the next time you have guests over. Below are instructions on how to prepare edamame:
1. Boil a pot of water.
2. Put the edamame into the boiling water and cook for just 3 minutes. (Any longer and the edamame’s nutrients will be lost).
3. Drain the water right away.
4. Transfer the edamame onto a serving plate.
5. While they are still hot and wet, sprinkle a little salt on them.
4. Trail Mix / Kirkland Signature Fruit and Nut Medley
Can’t decide whether to have something sweet or salty? Trail Mix is an easy solution for those sweet and salty cravings (opt for the Fruit and Nut Medley, which includes peanuts, almonds, walnuts, apples, kiwi, mangoes, papayas, pineapples, strawberries, bananas, cherries and golden raisins). Trail mix is a perfect on-the-go snack, whether you are hiking or walking to class. These yummy mixtures can also boost your metabolism. My favorite mix is a blend of cranberries, almonds and cashews. Add some low-fat popcorn, dark chocolate or more dried fruit for more variety.