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As a dietitian, I am asked all the time if snacking is healthy. I’m here to tell you the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Snacking on nutrient-dense foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories will also help you increase your intake of crucial vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals called "phytochemicals."
In fact, snacking is not only delicious, it is important for keeping you satisfied throughout the day so you don't overeat at meals, as well as replenishing your energy stores before and after exercising. But what about snacking on cookies, chips, and candy?
Remember that there is no such thing as a “bad” food. Instead, think of foods as “always” or “sometimes” foods. You can absolutely eat your salty, sweet or high fat snacks as well, but choose them in moderation, or about 1-3 times per week. Try planning your “always” and “sometimes” snack foods ahead of time and keep more nutrient-dense filling snack foods handy for when you need them. If you need some ideas of what types of snacks fit the bill, here's a list of my favorite healthy snacks!
Popcorn without a lot of additives and ingredients can be a great snack. It is extremely filling, full of fiber and low in calories. Pop it yourself and add your own spices: I like to add a bit of garlic and onion powders to mine, with a dash of salt. If you can’t pop your own, healthier options at the store include the Buddha brand and Trader Joe’s olive oil and herbed popcorns.
2. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a delicious anti-inflammatory addition to your diet. Try mixing your own trail mixes from your stash at home or buy premade mixes at the store. Watch out for the trail mixes that are high in sugar and salt, and stick to the ones with whole ingredients that you can recognize and pronounce.
While they can be expensive, berries are a very filling and satisfying snack that packs a nutritional punch! Try blackberries for a good dose of fiber or strawberries for a snack high in vitamin C.
4. Banana with nut butter
This is one of my go-to fast and easy snacks. I usually grab a spoonful of almond butter and have a little with each bite of banana. This is a great high protein post workout snack.
5. Peanut Butter & Dates
Once I discovered this flavor combination, I was completely hooked. This is definitely a rich and sweeter snack option that can double as a dessert.
6. Clementines and Apples
These fruits are great because they are so easy to pack and take with you. Surprisingly enough, research has actually proven that eating an apple a day can help keep the doctor away! Both of these fruits are amazing snacks and full of important nutrients to keep you energized throughout your day.
7. Hummus & Bell Peppers
Some of you may not be on the raw veggie bandwagon yet. I had to force myself for a while until I started loving my veggies every day. I found that bringing cut up veggies to work increased the likelihood that I would actually eat them. So start taking all types of cut up veggies with you: sugar snap peas, jicama, celery, bell peppers, cucumber and more!
8. Baby watermelon
Cut a baby watermelon in half and cover it with plastic wrap if you are taking it to go. It is easy to eat with a spoon and it's especially delightful on a warm day.
9. Granola Bars
Granola bars and protein bars in general tend to be a “sometimes” food because they tend to be high in sugar content and artificial ingredients. However, there are better options on the market, including Larabars. Larabars are a great option because they have wholesome ingredients high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
10. Chia Pudding
Chia pudding is a delightful treat filled with fiber, calcium, protein and heart-healthy fats. Check out this delicious and easy recipe that has the consistency of tapioca and is only sweetened with natural sugar from fruit.
11. Roasted Garbanzo Beans
Roasted garbanzo beans perfectly satisfy your craving for a crunchy, salty snack. You can easily make this snack by yourself or buy them at the store.
12. Avocado on Whole Grain Toast
This is a very versatile snack that you can get creative with. Add the avocado to toast in slices, or smash it onto the toast with a fork. This is good with a sprinkle of taco seasoning or with greens and tomato. This snack is not only delicious, but is also very high in heart-healthy fats!
Edamame is a fancy word for whole soybeans. You can buy them frozen and heat them up in the microwave in their shells or you can also buy them without the shell to save the hassle and mess! I do recommend buying organic since conventionally grown soy is typically genetically modified. Sprinkle with a touch of salt or garlic powder for extra flavor.
It’s safe to say, the way we conquer our daily routines has changed drastically over the last few months. The way we perform our jobs, how we socialize—even the way we workout—have flipped from in-person, group settings to virtual platforms to keep us safe and healthy. There's no denying that navigating this new normal has certainly come with its ups and downs, to say the least. In fact, a recent survey revealed one-third of Americans said this pandemic has caused more stress and anxiety in their lives, which isn’t surprising given the circumstances.
With anxiety levels at a high, people need relaxation, self-care, and movement more than ever. Enter yoga.
Yoga has long been touted for its amazing ability to calm the mind and help folks stay in-tune with their body—which is probably why more and more people are embracing an at-home practice.
Whether you’re looking for a powerful Vinyasa class to help kickstart your morning or yearning for a gentle, evening flow to wind down after a busy workday, taking a yoga class is now more accessible than ever. With 91% of group fitness studios offering or planning to offer live stream and/or on-demand classes, those who are ready to get their asana on have plenty of yoga classes to try all over the country.
While there’s no place like om, most of us could go for a little virtual vacation right now. I know I could! Ready to get a taste of what yoga classes are like all over the country? Here are the U.S. cities with the most virtual yoga classes available.
It seems poetic that Chicago hits our number one spot on this list because it was the first city in America that was introduced to yoga back in 1893. Swami Vivekananda presented yoga at the World Parliament of Religions and made a speech on the concept of body, spirit, and mind. It seems the presentation made a lasting impression on the city.
Try getting your Zen on with one of these studios:
• The Lab Yoga
• Bottom Line Yoga
• Bare Feet Power Yoga
Everyone knows that Washington DC is where you can visit some of the world’s most famous monuments, memorials, and museums. But you may be surprised to learn that it also offers one of the most robust libraries of virtual classes to help yogis sample some classes at the nation’s capital.
Houston is one of the most culturally diverse cities in America—in fact, you can folks speaking 145 different languages and thousands of restaurants serving up food from more than 70 countries. If those facts have you working up quite an appetite, feel free to indulge. They also have plenty of virtual yoga classes available to help you torch some calories.
Did you know one of the first businesses to open in the City of Brotherly Love was a brewery in 1683? If you’re familiar with the ever-evolving trends of yoga, then you have most likely heard of or participated in beer yoga sesh. Get ready to try yoga the Philly way by cracking a cold one and doing some downward dogs in the comfort of your own home at the end of the day.
New York City is home to 8.4 million people, making it the most densely populated city in the entire nation. With that many people, you know there must be a ton of yogis looking to relax from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Start spreading the news and flowing with some of the most dedicated yogis in the U.S.—there are a ton of virtual yoga classes to choose from in the Big Apple.
Get ready to make some virtual yoga neighbors. Did you know that Columbus, Ohio is considered the heart of the country? The reason for that is because nearly half of the America’s residents live within a 600-mile radius of the city. Ready to put your heart and soul into your at-home yoga practice? Then check out what this city has to offer virtually.
San Diego is known as one of the happiest cities in America—mainly because of the beautiful weather, picturesque beaches, and the abundance of yoga classes available. While a vacation to this area may not be in the books for this year, you can certainly flow with the best of them by booking a virtual class at a San Diego studio.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the yoga studios offering virtual classes to help you stay fit, healthy, and calm during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope these offerings inspire you to either start a new at-home practice or are helping you seasoned yogis continue your path to wellness. Interested in seeing what other cities are hosting a bevy of online yoga classes? The options on Mindbody are endless—literally!