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Health and Wellness


If your stomach starts rumbling and lunch is still two hours away, you’re going to need a snack to make it through the day. What you reach for at snack time can make a big difference in your energy level, weight and overall health. Choose the wrong snack and you’ll feel dragged down and even more tired. Choose wisely, and you’ll get the boost you need.Before your next snack break, think twice about what you are about to eat and remember the following information when you’re craving a snack.Snacking for energyIf you find yourself fighting sleepiness in the afternoon, what your body needs is a boost of energy. Snacks eaten midday should contain good fats and protein to give and sustain energy levels.Here are a few good options when you need an energy-boosting snack.

  • A small apple or sliced banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter. The natural sugars in fruit take longer to metabolize than sugars found in candy; and the peanut butter provides the protein needed for long-lasting energy.
  • A quarter cup of nuts and dried fruit. This slow-burning mixture provides protein, good fats (that’s right ñ fats aren’t always bad) and plenty of fiber, all wrapped up in a delicious package. Just be careful. Eating too many of these carbohydrates can cause low blood sugar and make you feel even sleepier.
  • One tablespoon of hummus spread on four whole-grain crackers. Made from garbanzo beans, hummus is a great energy booster and is also full of fiber. And the whole-grain crackers are made with complex carbohydrates, which help fill you up without dragging you down.
Snacking for weight managementMany people eliminate snacks when attempting to lose weight. Unfortunately, this is counterproductive, as snacks keep you satisfied between meals. If dinnertime arrives and you’re exceptionally hungry, it’s easy to overeat. Eating several small snacks throughout the day will help keep hunger in check. However, avoid eating snacks when bored, stressed, zoning out in front of the TV or not paying attention to what you’re eating while studying for your next exam.The key is to choose snacks that fit with your daily calorie and nutrient needs. If your goal is to lose weight, choose low calorie, nutrient-filled snacks. If you need to gain weight or if you are physically fit and need to replenish energy from a strenuous workout, go for higher calorie, nutritious snacks.Low carb snack ideas include vegetables, reduced-fat yogurt and cottage cheese, half of an avocado and a few deli slices.Snacks for healthy livingWhat you eat for snacks can help you meet recommended guidelines for the amount of fruits, vegetables, calcium, protein and whole grains your body needs to stay healthy. Keeping a variety of yummy, ready-to-eat nutritious snacks available for you and your family is important. After all, when healthy food is easily accessible, you won’t be tempted to stop at the vending machine or the nearest fast food chain.In addition to choosing the right foods, include plenty of variety. If you eat too many carbohydrates for breakfast, snack on some protein. If eating a steak for dinner, munch on some sliced fruit for an afternoon fill-up.Snacks full of goodness for your body include egg salad for protein, a cheese stick for extra calcium, baby carrots for a serving of veggies, canned tuna or a handful of almonds.David Corder NSCA-CPThttp://perfectfitwc.comRECIPE OF THE MONTHEasy Egg MuffinsHere is the perfect snack to enjoy guilt free. Each muffin is packed with protein that will fuel your day and support muscle growth. Make a bunch of these and save them in the fridge for snacks on-the-go.Servings: 6Ingredients:6 omega-3, organic, free range eggs1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped1/8 cup of organic shredded cheesesprinkle of salt and pepperPreheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners or grease lightly. Mix up the eggs; add bell pepper, cheese and seasonings. Fill 6 muffin tins and bake for 20-22 minutes or until the egg is fully set.Nutritional Analysis: One muffin equals: 89 calories, 6g fat, 120mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate, .16g fiber, and 7.5g protein.

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