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Healthy snacks can keep you trim, cool

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POSTED: April 6, 2014 6:30 p.m.
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Yogurt can be just as good as whipped cream on berries, if not better.

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Healthy snacks often can be difficult to find or make in a pinch, especially when you are starving and a satisfying nibble is nowhere in sight. It is far too easy to reach for junk food when nutritious options aren’t accessible.
I am an avid snacker. I need to graze throughout the day or else I am ready to eat my own hand by mealtime. Munching throughout the day — especially if the snacks are high in fat, calories and sugar — can throw a wrench in an otherwise healthy diet.
Keeping healthy snacks on hand is easier said than done. Stocking up on a ton of fruits and vegetables isn’t a great idea because they are perishable and may go bad before you are able to eat them. Also, when I find something healthy that I like, I fail to pay attention to portions and end up eating more in a sitting than I should. The next thing I know, that bowl of grapes is gone and I am off to search for something else.
I recently came across a recipe that intrigued me because it contains two of my favorite ingredients — strawberries and yogurt. In addition, this recipe’s portions are easy to gauge, and it can be made ahead of time and kept on hand.
Florida’s strawberry season is under way. Nice, ripe berries are making their way into Georgia, and prices on strawberries — even organic ones — are dropping. The cost likely will continue to decline over the next month or so, making this a great time to stock up on these fresh, red beauties.
I love strawberries because they’re sweet, delicious, low in calories and high in fiber. They also contain anti-aging properties, such as biotin for healthy hair, skin and nails, and ellagic acid, which helps protect the skin’s elastic fibers to prevent sagging. Really, ladies, we should be eating strawberries by the barrelful.
Don’t get me started on yogurt. If you aren’t eating it every day, you are not eating enough. The live cultures in yogurt help balance good bacteria in the digestive tract and promote healthy digestion. Yogurt can help maintain normal levels of candida, a naturally occurring bacteria in the body that, when built up by poor diet and digestion, can cause a range of health problems.
This recipe for yogurt-dipped strawberries is great because a pound or more can be prepared in advance and kept in the freezer. They never go bad, and you can reach for a quick snack anytime.
Try experimenting with different flavors or types of yogurt for the best taste. Greek yogurt is much creamier and will leave a thicker coating on each berry.

 

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