Low Calorie Snacks

Healthy Snacking

When we think of snack foods, we don’t automatically think of the word “healthy”. Words that come to mind when we think of snack foods are usually “fried,” “greasy,” “saucy,” and of course “fattening.” Wings, chips and dip, and any breaded bite-size morsels are usually what we think of when it comes to snacks and appetizers. We mindlessly consume snacks because we think that since they are petite portions, we are not taking in as much as we would during a full meal. Unfortunately at times, we end up consuming MORE while we are snacking then we do during a regular meal!

If we can’t help our mindless snacking habits, we can at least control WHAT our snacking consists of. Yes, there are healthy, easy to make and TASTY snacks that make great alternatives to your average, fattening snack foods. If you fall in love with anything you make, next time make a huge batch so that you wont have to make them as often, and you’ll have healthy snacks on hand.

Spiced Chickpea Snack Mix

  • 2 15-oz cans drained chickpeas
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 1/2 TBS sugar or sweetener
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp each cayenne and black pepper

Bake at 425°F for 22-24 minutes.

Buffalo Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower, cleaned and cut info bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk (it has less fat than whole milk)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 TBS unsalted butter, melted
  • Dash of salt and pepper

Whisk together milk, flour and spices until smooth. Gently toss cauliflower in mixture. Bake cauliflower  at 450°F for 15 minutes. Combine butter and buffalo sauce in bowl. Pour over cauliflower, coating as best as you can. Bake for additional 5 minutes and serve.

Roasted Eggplant Dip

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, minced
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup canned, drained petite diced tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes chopped)
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 TBS each chopped fresh parsley and chopped fresh basil
  • 2 TBS grated Parmesan

Cut eggplant in half lengthwise, cutting through stem. Scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Brush the insides with lemon juice, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Finely chop eggplant pulp. Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pulp, onion, bell peppers and jalapeño. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper and crushed red pepper. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and tomatoes; sauté for 5 minutes longer. Let cool for 10 minutes, then stir in vinegar, parsley, basil and Parmesan. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely. (Dip can be made up to 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Serve with variety of chopped veggies (red pepper strips, cucumber slices, etc.)

Skin Care Myths

We all know that companies selling a product will say just about anything to make their margins, but what’s this rumor about some skin creams being better than Botox? Botox® Cosmetic, “a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) in adults younger than 65 years of age for a short period of time” (source botoxcosmetic.com), cannot even be compared to an over the counter topical cream. So, let’s look at some other myths about skin care:

  1. Mineral Oil helps you to feel ‘baby smooth’: False. Mineral oils, such as the ones found in ‘baby oil’, is a liquid petrolatum, and clogs the skin’s pores causing a number of problems such as acne, allergies, irritation and photosensitivity. In fact, some believe that adding mineral oil to moisturizers is a marketing tactic as it strips the skin’s natural oil balance and thus the skin becomes ‘addicted’ to the oil to feel smooth.
  2. Retinol doesn’t work: False. Retinol cream is a prescription topical medication (sold as Retin-A, Renova, Tazorac, etc.) that increases the production of cells in the top layer of skin, helping to rejuvenate skin. Because of this, the skin gradually looks younger in appearance. Retinol cream also causes more collagen production, making the skin appear plumper. It may also reduce pigmentation issues that stem from sun damage.
  3. Drugstore products are as good as department store products: True. Ok, maybe the $50 cream at the department store is a little better, but they share many of the same ingredients. The only truly different cream is bought from a doctor’s office or a medical day spa because they are licensed to sell prescription-strength skin care not available over the counter or to the general public. Your skin is a complex structure known as an extracellular matrix (ECM) made up of structural proteins, such as collagen and elastin; adhesive proteins, such as laminins and fibronectin; glycosaminoglycans and proteglycans. Because of this structure, the skin has elasticity, fullness and strength. Remember, your skin is the largest organ of the body and visibly reflects the condition of your health.

To help maintain this complex structure, it’s important to do the following:

  1. Drink healthy water. For example, Evolv is natural spring water that helps you feel energized, increases absorption of minerals, vitamins and other important nutrients; as well as supports the immune system. Evolv is the only water that contains the Archaea Active formulation which measurably improves the cells oxygen utilization. Just like giving a wilting plant a cool glass of water, drinking water not only helps you feel great, but also look great.
  2. Healthy Skin Care. European Wellness has several skin care brands that we feel comfortable sharing with you because we’ve seen the results! A great skin care regime can help slough off dead skin cells, shrink pores, minimize fine lines and wrinkles and brighten your skin. To find out what skin care products are best for you, click here to book an appointment with us.
  3. Antioxidants. Antioxidants are not produced by the body, but are essential to a healthy immune system and beautiful skin. Vitamin C has been shown in clinical studies to destroy harmful free radicals created by sunlight, smoking, pesticides, heat, cold and pollution. It’s also been shown to reduce wrinkling, photodamage, dehydration and brown spots. While reviewing the ingredients of your skin care, make sure there is the bioavailable form of Vitamin C – L-ascorbic acid.
  4. Broad-Spectrum Sun Protection. UVA and UVB radiation have been linked to many issues, including premature aging, skin discoloration, skin cancer and weakening of the immune system. Make using sunscreen a daily part of your skin care regime to prevent these health problems. Be sure to buy a new sunscreen at least once a year as their efficacy diminish over time and increase your risk to the suns rays.
  5. Vitamin D: Vitamin D, which is easily obtained through sunlight, is an essential part of healthy skin, bones, and immune system. In fact, studies have shown it helps in the following ways: the formation of healthy and strong teeth, bones, and nails, healthy eyes, the proper absorption of calcium by the body and the regulation of calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood, enhancing the absorption of vitamin a and vitamin c and other important elements, proper neuromuscular function, preventing osteoporosis (because it aids in calcium absorption), depression or schizophrenia, prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, helping to treat conditions such as diabetes and obesity, and maintaining a healthy immune system. However, we know that exposure to the sun’s rays can be very damaging to the skin, so I recommend a supplement, such as the ones found in HealthProNutrient‘s vitamins.
  6. Non-surgical treatments. Such as Botox, Juvederm, and Laser Treatments help reverse the signs of aging and help prevent future ones. Laser treatments are especially great for stimulating new cell growth while taking off layers of dead and scarred skin tissue and removing ugly brown spots from sun damage. Click here to learn more about laser treatments for acne scar removal, sun damage and anti-aging. The skin is a complex organ that needs a network of care from the inside out. To be sure you have the best skin possible get your rest, drink your water, take your vitamins, and see your skin care specialist on a regular basis.