photo courtesy of Gray Malin Pack these 7 sneaky ingredients for a nutrient boost on the fly We all want to find the best way to get the most bang for our buck when it comes to nutrition. But it’s especially key as the weather warms and we’re flying around after the sun, chasing kids […]

energy boosting snacks

Little twinges of hunger can strike at nearly any point during the day, and it’s nice to be able to enjoy a snack between meals to maintain energy and keep that nagging hunger at bay.

Unfortunately though, most of the “quick fix” foods we have available to us today are filled with empty calories, excess sodium, high fructose corn syrup… and basically none of the things that your body actually needs out of a snack!
Because a key part of snacking is convenience, it’s so much easier to reach for those corner-store treats or processed, pre-packaged foods that will stave off hunger, but do very little for providing you with nutrition.

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We all know that after school snack time is critical. Somehow, that time of day transforms your kitchen into the set of The Walking Dead, where you might find yourself hurling pizza bagels at the snapping jaws of your 4th grader – just to stay alive.

While it is easy to rely on the convenience of processed, microwavable foods, there are healthy alternatives that are just as quick to prepare, and tastier too. Why not try a smoothie to curb that afternoon hunger?

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Now that you are on board with a whole foods diet, let’s incorporate some spices to your grocery basket! Maybe you avoid the spice aisle because it seems overwhelming, but here are three spices that pack a punch to any dish – and supply healthy benefits to any kitchen.



Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in India and China because of its healthy benefits. Turmeric is a medicinal spice that contains Curcumin, a pharmacological agent that has powerful antioxidant benefits, proven to be helpful in treating arthritis, heartburn, stomach pain, intestinal gas and bloating, headaches, colds, and menstrual problems. Its properties have been proven to be as effective as hydrocortisone and Motrin for treating inflammation.

Turmeric can be a well tolerated alternative in treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes, but is not limited to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Curcumin has also been touted as having cancer preventative properties. The antioxidant properties protect against the free radicals that can damage cells.

Last but not least, turmeric can improve liver function and contribute to lowering cholesterol levels.

It can be added any sauce, or I like to grate fresh turmeric and add it to my smoothies in the morning – to start the day with a quick jolt of that caffeine feeling, but without the caffeine!

It can be found in the grocery aisle of any health food store.

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Pumpkin Seeds:

A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains half the recommended daily amount of magnesium. This mineral is important for proper bone formation, relaxation of blood vessels, and the production of proteins. These seeds are also a rich source of zinc (that supports immune function) and a rich source of omega-3 fats. They are an important food for men and prostate health. In addition, they are loaded with tryptophan, an amino acid that your body converts to serotonin, which then turns into melatonin for a restful night’s sleep. I like to throw these in salads or in with roasted vegetables.

Serving Size: ¼ cup
Calories: 190
Fat: 16g
Carbs: 1g
Protein: 10g

77% fat, 2% carbs, 21%protein

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Cashews are rich in copper, manganese, phosphorous, and vitamin K. These vitamins and minerals help to diminish frequency of migraines, lower blood pressure, protect against heart disease, and provide bone strength. They contain NO cholesterol. They contain oleic acid, which is also found in olive oil – both are good for you!

Serving Size: 1 oz.

Calories: 157
Fat: 12.4g
Carbs: 8.56g
Protein: 5.17g

66% aft, 22% carbs, 12% protein

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Goji Berries:

Goji berries is both a fruit and an herb and an excellent source of antioxidants. They are loaded with beta-carotene that promotes healthy skin. They are also high in fiber that contributes to regular bowel movements. There are claims that it is a remedy for diabetes, hypertension, malaria and fever. You can eat them raw or soak them before eating. I eat these plain or mixed with cashews. They are also a nice addition to any smoothie.

They can be found at any natural food store or even online.

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