How to Get Your Mojo Back (Healthy Snacks, Baby!)

21 Apr

 

imagesOpen fridge . . . nothing to eat. Open the cabinet . . .nothing to eat. Lower expectations . . .and then repeat.

You know the drill. Your stomach is rumbling. You glance at your “eat healthier” New Year’s resolution that’s pinned to the fridge and consider the same old snack options: Apple? Ho-hum. Pretzels? Yawn. Yogurt? Snore.

One package of Double-Stuffed Oreos and about 1,680 calories later, despite your best intentions, you find yourself lying on the couch wishing you’d settled for “same old.”

I recently lost my food groove. To get my mojo back, I turned to my friend Meg, who is the picture of health. She eats so nutritiously that her idea of dessert is a sweet potato. Meg recommended five 150 calorie or less snacks from EatingWell.com that will titillate your taste buds and won’t compromise your goals for healthy eating:

  1. Apricot Canapés: Sprinkle a dried apricot with some blue cheese, chopped pistachios, ½ tsp. honey and freshly ground pepper. Now, if you’re like me, you’re thinking, where there’s blue cheese there’s mold. I spend half my life trying to kill the mold in my shower. Why would I want to ingest it? I am here to tell you that mold is your friend. Blue cheese is tangy and tasty—especially in this sweet and savory snack. If you can’t hang with the tang, ricotta is a good substitute. 64 calories each.
  1. Cinnamon Orange: Remove orange rind with a knife and cut the orange into slices. Whisk together 2 tbsp. orange juice, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tbsp. sugar and ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon and spoon some mixture over orange slices. Serve with a knock knock joke: “Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?” 86 calories per orange.
  1. Gorp: (‘good old raisins and peanuts’) is a fun word for trail mix (a mixture of high energy foods such as nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate chips). When I prepared a batch of gorp for my kids I was surprised how they descended on it like locusts. When they cleared away from the bowl, the chocolate chips had vanished. The entire bowl of dried fruit and nuts remained. I adapted the recipe to make it more kid friendly by melting the chocolate with the fruit and nuts in a microwave oven. Combine ½ oz. almonds, ¼ oz. dried cranberries, 1 tbsp. chopped pitted dates, 1 ½ tsp. chocolate chips. Mix the Gorp with a little honey and heat in microwave until chocolate is melted. Drop spoonfuls of mixture onto a wax paper covered cookie sheet and refrigerate until hard. I call it “gorp candy.” About 100 calories per cluster.
  1. Spiced Chickpea “nuts”: When roasted, garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chick peas) become super crunchy. Who knew? Blot chickpeas dry and toss in a bowl with olive oil, cumin, marjoram, allspice and salt. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet (or spend the rest of your afternoon retrieving stray chickpeas from the bottom of your oven). Bake, stirring once until brown and crunchy, 30 minutes. ¼ C. = 103 calories.
  1. Avocado tea sandwich: Combine 1 tbsp. mayonnaise, ½ tsp. lemon juice and 1/8 tsp. pepper in a bowl. Thinly spread on thin sliced wheat bread and top with thinly sliced smoked salmon, a ripe, sliced avocado, and thinly sliced cucumber. If tea sandwiches sound pretentious to you, they can be served without the “upper crust.” 143 calories per sandwich.

Meg taught me that you don’t have to lower your expectations to enjoy quick and easy food that’s good for you. Bypass the boring and break the mold . . . with or without blue cheese.

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49 Responses to “How to Get Your Mojo Back (Healthy Snacks, Baby!)”

  1. Burns the Fire April 21, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    Hunger triggered. Love all these snacks, thanks!

  2. Traci April 21, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    Something about this post makes me want to whip up some guacamole … I’d also add a sliced apple with peanut butter to the list. I’d have to go through a detox program to quit peanut butter, and the salty with the sweet of the apple is a great blend of sugar and protein.

  3. Terri L. Spilman April 21, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    Yum! I love blue cheese and also loved your shower mold analogy. I always forget about the roasted chickpeas. They are delicious. Definitely trying the dried apricot canapes.

  4. Carrie Rubin April 21, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    “The entire bowl of dried fruit and nuts remained.”—-Hahaha, I expected that might be the case. 🙂

    I can’t stomach blue cheese–icky–but that orange snack sounds wonderful as does the “gorp candy.”

    • Main Street Musings Blog April 22, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

      There’s something about blue cheese that makes it look like it’s already been stomached.

      • Carrie Rubin April 22, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

        Ha, yes! The same can be said of pâté.

  5. LuAnn April 21, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    I make my own almond butter and when I am looking for something sweet to eat, I will grab a piece of celery and smear with almond butter…yum!

    • Main Street Musings Blog April 22, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

      Sounds terrific. I know what I’ll be snacking on today, though I’ll have to settle for Skippy . . .

      • LuAnn April 22, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

        😀

  6. G M Barlean April 21, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

    Lower your expectations. I’m really good at that.

  7. Kathryn McCullough April 21, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    Gosh, I need some healthy snack options, as well. And these all sound yummy. Thanks so much!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

  8. August McLaughlin April 21, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    Yum! They all sound so fancy. LOL Healthy food that tastes great and makes us feel respected and cared for are triple-wins, IMO. Thanks for the ideas!

  9. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer April 21, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Not that I’m lazy, but a cute little mandarin orange sounds sweet, easy, and takes no prep time. I’m big on instant gratification these days; after surviving this horrendous winter I am entitled to the easy life.

  10. sportsattitudes April 21, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    Orange you glad you didn’t travel the road marked double stuffed Oreos? These snacks sound pretty cool. You have to love anything called Gorp. It seems to me the key to sticking with healthy snacks is similar to healthy exercise…variety. If you have a number of different foods…and activities…to both choose from and take advantage of based on your mood each day you’ll be more likely to be happy and successful in attaining your nutritional and health goals.

  11. Jennifer April 22, 2014 at 1:31 am #

    Love all of these, might be making myself some very soon. And making sure I have all these things on hand for future snacking

    • Main Street Musings Blog April 22, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

      Good point, it is wise to have healthy ingredients on hand, otherwise it’s too tempting to reach for the Oreos.

  12. atempleton April 22, 2014 at 8:00 am #

    I’m going to try the chickpea recipe. Sounds good, and better, certainly, than eating a bag of chips.

    • Main Street Musings Blog April 22, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

      I love chips, but sometimes I find that it’s just the salt that I’m craving, so if I can find a healthy, salty alternative, I’m golden.

      • atempleton April 22, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

        I agree that it’s the salt that I want.

  13. Ruth2Day April 22, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    the avo sandwiches are right up my street 🙂

  14. Lou April 22, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

    Mojo?
    The recipes are terrific.
    Getting there……fuggetaboutit.
    If nothing hits me in 30 seconds after staring into fridge or pantry, I fall back to chewing gum.
    Gum: +5 calories
    Chewing: -15 calories
    So there you go..

  15. pattisj April 23, 2014 at 2:13 am #

    Eating healthier. Exactly what I need to do.

  16. Professor Taboo April 25, 2014 at 9:03 am #

    Wonderful snack ideas Lisa (and Meg), especially No. 5! OMG! I love avocado and salmon — nom nom! 😛

  17. Dawn@LightenUp! April 25, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    Good stuff! I’m a big fan of lowered expectations, though.
    Great to see you posting again!

  18. earthriderjudyberman April 26, 2014 at 11:04 pm #

    Some great suggestions, Lisa., After the shock I had when I stepped on the scales this morning, I know I have to check this out. Yeowch!

  19. totsymae1011 April 27, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

    I’m working on that whole mojo thing. It’s an absolute bugger when you don’t have it. Thanks for the tips.

  20. funnysister April 27, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    Fantastic ideas!
    Now I’m feeling inspired and off to Trader Joe’s I go. THANK YOU!

  21. LB April 29, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    Yes to the avocado! I just take one whole one and eat if for lunch 🙂
    and I’ve been meaning to try those roasted chick peas!
    Nice post!

  22. reocochran May 3, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    Such a great variety of choices and I have become more healthy due to my youngest daughter’s pursuit of a natural way to ‘beat’ her JRA. She had been on meds from age 13 to 28 and this takes a toll on your blood, organs and immunity system. She is trying to stay on a close to vegan or vegetarian diet. Although, she does occasionally eat meat or fish! I admire all of these ways to become healthier. Isn’t strange how once we get older, it becomes even more important? I find this to be my motivation! Smiles, Robin

    • Main Street Musings Blog May 4, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

      How nice that your daughter is a source of inspiration to you when it comes to healthy eating. I hope her changes in diet improve her condition. All the best.

  23. sherrystanfastanley June 13, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    I’m totally with you on this thinking. In fact, last night I bought a bag of healthy pre-popped popcorn, advertised as having no additives and only 100 calories a cup. Unfortunately, the bag contained a bit more than one cup, as I discovered 675 calories later.

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