Want to Know How to Snack Smart?

Snacking between meals can keep you from getting too hungry and help you maintain a more consistent energy level throughout the day. The secret is eating the right kind of snacks, ones that will give your body the nutrients that it needs.

Nutrient Intake
It can be difficult to get all of your daily recommended nutrients from breakfast, lunch, and dinner alone. Eating small, healthy snacks between your regular meals can add to that nutrient intake.

Snacking on a combination of fruits and a few nuts can be a great and easy way to introduce more vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fats into your body. Grain crackers and vegetables can give you a fiber-rich boost, and low-fat dairies can provide an increase in calcium.

Feel Fuller, Longer     
If you’re concerned about snacking because you’re trying to manage your weight, smart snacking with fiber- rich foods is one way to actually help you out.

Take almonds, for example. A one-ounce serving of almonds (approximately 23) contains about six grams of protein, four grams of fiber, and is only around 160 calories.

A healthy snack fills you up with the right nutrients and can actually allow you to stick to a moderate amount of food when you do eat your next meal. High-fiber snacks take longer to digest than other snacks, causing you to actually eat less.

Have a Plan
One of the best ways to avoid reaching for unhealthy junk foods is to create weekly meal plans that account for cravings between meals. Put tasty, convenient pairings—like apples or celery with peanut butter—and healthy snacks such as cherry tomatoes, olives, and pickles on your shopping list.

Just make sure to mix up your snacks. While it’s important to incorporate whole, low-glycemic foods into your diet, it’s easy to fall into a snacking rut and just go for the same old, same old. And boredom can lead to the sugary, empty-caloric dark side.

Plan your snacks and save yourself any post-eating guilt.

Consider These Snack Options:
These delicious and quick snacks are under 300 calories:

4 Tbsp. hummus + 1 large carrot = 170 calories
1 medium apple + 2 oz. cheese = 235 calories
1 oz. almonds (approximately 23) + ¼ c. dried cranberries = 255 calories
1 slice whole-grain bread + ½ an avocado = 260 calories
1 cup Greek yogurt + ½ c. granola = 290 calories
2 Tbsp. peanut butter + 1 banana = 295 calories

Got Heartburn?

According to the National Institute of Health, 20% of Americans suffer from heartburn symptoms at least once per week, and nearly half of these people experience symptoms every day.

The pain associated with heartburn is caused by stomach acid backing up into the esophagus through the valve at the entry point of the stomach. The lining of the esophagus is not able to handle the extreme acidity of stomach acid, and because of this, acid reflux can cause considerable damage and lead to ulceration and even cancer.

According to Jonathan Wright in his book Why Stomach Acid is Good For You by, the best way to avoid heartburn and prevent acid reflux is to support proper function of the lower esophageal sphincter. The following are some practical ways to do this.

  • Drink more water. Dehydration can lead to acid reflux by causing the lower esophageal sphincter to relax.
  • Avoid foods and beverages that can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter. This includes chocolate, coffee, mints, sugar, alcohol and onions.
  • Don’t overeat. Excessively large meals put pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter and encourage it to open when it shouldn’t.
  • Elevate the head of your bed by 4 to 8 inches. This will keep gravity working in your favor and make it less likely for stomach acid to drain into the esophagus.
  • Get tested for food sensitivities and avoid the reactive foods that may be interfering with the function of the lower esophageal sphincter. Consider a trial of eliminating grains and dairy from your diet. These are the two most likely food groups to cause sensitivities.

It’s also helpful to avoid foods and beverages that can irritate the lining of the esophagus. This includes citrus fruits, tomatoes, spicy foods, coffee and carbonated beverages.

For more information on heartburn and acid reflux, I highly recommend that you read Why Stomach Acid is Good For You by Jonathan Wright, MD.

Join my FREE WEBINAR this Thursday April 20th at 6pm Pacific on Healthy Gut, Healthy Body – Unlocking the Power of Your Second Brain.” REGISTER HERE 

Easter Reflections – A Heartbeat at A Time

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, it is such a special time of year. Spring in the Northern Hemisphere brings new life from Nature. At a time in our world, where there seems to be such anger and fighting for who is right and making other cultures or religions wrong, I choose a different path.

I choose to see the gift of life.

In the last few months I have witnessed the loss of two amazing young men. Both amazing athletes in the best shape of their lives. Taken too soon by totally unexpected and unimaginable medical tragedies. The loss of young life reminds me how precious, and how short each of our lives are.

Easter for me, is to remember each day as a new gift.

On the physical plane, Easter offers chocolate and eggs and egg hunts and baskets full of candy. What a beautiful metaphor for the sweetness of life and birth of new ideas, new ways of caring and overflowing good we can be in the world.

Speaking of doing good in the world. Let me share the Easter story that will be my prayer for today.

If you know anything about baseball, you probably know the name Rod Carew. He is now 71 years old and a Hall of Fame baseball player. An 18- time All-Star and 1977 American League most valuable player. Rod Carew was gifted the heart of one of those young men who recently died tragically. That young man was 29 year old Konrad Reuland. A tight end in the NFL. It was the heart of a young man who did so much good in the world in his short life. My thoughts today go to Konrad’s family and the gift of his life that keeps making a difference.

May this be the sweetest Easter ever! Count your friends, your eggs and your blessings.