Shari Duncan

Tag: Healthy Snacks

Frozen Grapes….Nature’s Popsicle

by on Apr.04, 2010, under Fruits and Veggies, General Nutrition, Healthy Snacks, Recipes

If you’ve never tried them, you should.  You will be hooked.  PROMISE.

It’s like eating little frosted candies and how I wish I could take credit for this one!   I buy grapes, I eat grapes; but I never once thought about  freezing grapes BEFORE snacking on them… until I tried some this weekend while visiting my son .

Could something so simple REALLY taste THAT good?

The flavor of the fruit is truly enhanced when frozen.  The sweetness is intensified and the center becomes almost “creamy” in consistency. It is the freshest frozen popsicle!

Grapes are rich in vitamins and minerals and rich in antioxidants that are found in the skin.  The deeper the color of the fruit, the  more potent the antioxidant profile.  Grape seed extract is often used as a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory agent.

So today I went right to my local market and picked up a bag of the deepest, reddest grapes I could find.    And, yes, I did a side by side tastes test:  Frozen verses fresh.  Hands down. – frozen won. Oh, another plus to frozen; they take longer to eat; which means you won’t eat as many in one sitting!

Frozen Grapes; Better than ice cream - REALLY!

Frozen Grapes; Better than ice cream ? I SAY YES!

Here’s what you do:

1)    Buy grapes (red are more nutritious than green)

2)  “Pluck” grapes from stems.  Wash and dry on paper towels.

3)  Stick them in the freezer in airtight bag or bowl.

4)  Forget about them for a while.

It really is that simple.

Next time you crave a frozen sweet treat, reach for the grapes … instead of the ice cream.    You will be glad you did.

Frozen Grapes (red or green) Serving: 1 cup
Calories: ~104
Fat: 0g
Carbs: 27g
Protein: 1g
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Lemon – Coconut Power Bars

by on Feb.27, 2010, under Healthy Snacks, Recipes, Whey Protein Recipes

These bars pack nearly 16 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbohydrates and only 2.5 grams of fat.

They are low sugar; and a good source of vitamin C and fiber.  The shredded coconut and coconut flour not only add sweetness, but moisture.  Perfect as a breakfast bar or as a snack in between meals.

less than 150 Calories per bar


3 scoops Vanilla Protein Powder

Perfect breakfast bar or snack anytime of the day.

Perfect breakfast bar or snack anytime of the day.

1C Low Carb Flour

1C Oats

2 TBSP Coconut flour

2-3 TBSP shredded coconut

1sm package sugar free Lemon pudding

baking powder/soda

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _

Juice and zest of ½ large or 1 medium fresh lemon

1C Egg Beaters

1 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened (1/8 package)

1 C light soy (or low fat) milk

~2-3 TBSP Splenda Blend, stevia or desired sweetener.

OPTIONAL:  If batter is too thick (or dry) add unsweetened applesauce; or flax or coconut oil to add moisture.  Mix until bars are desired consistency.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Coconut Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease bottom of 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with coconut oil (or no stick spray).

Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and sweetener to taste. Mix very well.

Evenly spread batter in baking dish.  Bake approximately 18-20 minutes  or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cut into 12 bars.

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CHOOSING and STICKING to a Healthy Eating Plan

by on Feb.17, 2010, under General HEALTH, General Nutrition, Motivation, Weight Loss

Are you controlling your diet or is your diet taking control of you?

To be successful in anything, including eating to lose weight, the process need not be too extreme or complicated. You will never stick with a diet plan that is not reasonable for you or your lifestyle. Strict diets and resolutions may seem good in theory, but they have a huge flaw built into them. More often, these fad diets will only set you up for failure. If your diet seems like some form of torture and the foods you eat give you no pleasure, you will not be successful.  Rather than trying to follow the exact rules of a particular diet, use sensible guidelines to point you in the right direction.

Add variety and Color to you menu

Add lots of variety and Color to you menu


  • Don’t limit yourself to 5 or 6 foods.  This makes absolutely no sense.  Eat from all food groups. There are unlimited nutritious foods available to you and variety will keep you from straying.  “Grapefruit” or “cabbage soup” diets may take weight off temporarily but they will not work for the long term.
  • Shop around the edge of the grocery store. These tend to be the fresher, less processed items. You’ll have better nutritional options in those areas. Fresh produce, whole grains, dairy, meats, fish and poultry are found around the perimeter of the store. Sticking to the basics also keeps it simple.  Preparing and eating healthy need not be complicated.
  • Choose whole grains whenever possible.  Bright colors over white.  Wheat for white breads and pastas.  Brown for white rice. Sweet potatos instead of white,  etc.  Make a habit of preparing extra portions so leftovers can be placed in reusable containers for the next days meals.
  • Bake, broil, grill, sauté but do not deep fry.  It is more about HOW you prepare the food.  Use healthy oils like olive oil or non-stick sprays and experiment freely with herbs and spices for different flavors.  Stay away from butter, cream sauces, and added sugars.
  • Do not forget about the value of water.  Staying well hydrated is not only vital to good health but drinking at least 8–10 glasses of water daily will also help you feel full.  Add fresh lemon or lime.

Take Part in Regular Snacking

Eating more frequently with sensible portions will keep you from getting too hungry between meals and will keep your mind off of food.   There is a common misconception that snacking is wrong and that it is what puts most people’s weight on. However, the truth is that snacking actually benefits the body by accelerating the metabolism; it is what you are snacking on that matters!

Snacking stops the body from becoming hungry. It is unhealthy to leave the body without food for a long period of time and so snacking helps to bridge the gap before meal times. Just ensure that you are snacking on the right foods and you should be ok.

Some good snack choices include: low fat air popped popcorn, fresh fruit and veggies,  cottage cheese, greek or low sugar yogurt, cereal bars, protein bars or  nutrition shakes and smoothies, rice cakes with peanut butter, whole grain crackers with hummus, boiled eggs, turkey roll-ups,  low fat cheese, nuts or seeds.

Have a realistic approach. Healthy weight loss is about 2 lbs a week.   If you’re losing only 1 or 2 pounds a week, you shouldn’t experience tremendous hunger. Not if you plan your meals and snacks correctly.

Go ahead, dine out.

Dining out is easy when you know how and what to order

Dining out is easy when you know how and what to order

Eating out is fine if you know how to order. You do not need to socially isolate yourself or avoid going out with family or friends…

Don’t be timid to ask your server to prepare the food a certain way.  Here are a couple of things to remember:

. avoid fried entries and those made with cream sauces. Baked or grilled poultry or fish are best options.
. ask for steamed veggies or fresh fruit as sides.
. salads – ALWAYS order dressing on the side (vinagrette much better than ranch)
. if you order an appetizer,  order a broth based soup and skip the rolls!
. Drink Water with lemon or lime.

When you know you will be going out to eat, DO NOT starve yourself all day. BAD IDEA! Continue to eat your smaller size meals through the day so you will not be FAMISHED by the time you get to the restaurant. When you get too hungry, you tend to not only overeat but also make bad choices.

Participate in some form of exercise program.

Just like your meal plan, exercise should not be another form of torture.  Find an activity you enjoy or find a partner to work out with you to make it more fun.  If you are not self motivated or uncertain about what to do once you get to the gym, join in a group fitness class.  Match the activity to your interest and you will be more likely to stick with it.  Group classes also add the element of accountability.  Think of it as a weekly appointment that you cannot miss.  Open your mind up to try something new; you may surprise yourself at what you can do.

REMEMBER THIS, one of the many benefits of working out is that it builds lean muscle.  And the more muscle you build, the more you continue to burn the fat!

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Chocolate-Flax PROTEIN Muffins

by on Jan.01, 2010, under Healthy Snacks, Recipes, Whey Protein Recipes

Best so far, (if I do say so!) Healthy and totally satisfies those chocolate cravings.

AND…nearly 9 grams of protein per muffin!!

½ c oats

½ c low carb baking powder

1-2 TBSP Coconut flour

3 TBSP Milled Flax*

High in protein, fiber & Omega-3; with a sweet, nutty flavor.

High in protein, fiber & Omega-3; with a sweet, nutty flavor.

2 scoops chocolate protein powder

1 TBSP Hershey’s Cocoa Powder

2 TBSP Splenda Brown Sugar

Baking Soda/Baking Powder



1 whole egg and 2 egg whites

4-6 oz unsweetened applesauce

2 TBSP low fat sour cream

1 TBSP Vanilla Extract

~1/3 c water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients well. Add wet ingredients to dry. Adjust amount of water to achieve desired consistency for muffins.   Spray muffin tins with butter flavor spray. Fill muffin tins approx 2/3 full and bake for approx 14-15 minutes, until toothpick comes clean.

Recipe makes one dozen protein packed muffins.

Available at most supermarkets (EVEN Wal-mart!)

Available at most supermarkets (EVEN Wal-mart!)

*Flax seeds are one of nature’s best health foods. They are one of the richest sources of omega-3. They also are rich in soluble fiber and contain high quality protein. Vitamins B-1, B-2, C and E, and minerals iron and zinc, plus smaller amounts of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium are found in flax seeds.

(Look for future blogs about the power of Flax)!

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Oatmeal Peanut Butter PROTEIN “Muffies”

by on Dec.06, 2009, under Healthy Snacks, Recipes, Supplementation, Whey Protein Recipes

Satisfies your sweet tooth, but with NO SUGAR!…   Made with wholesome oats, high fiber coconut flour, natural honey, and added protein.

  • 1/2cup unsweetened applesauce (use more if needed)

    Peanut butter "muffies" made with added protein

    Peanut butter "muffies" made with added protein

  • 1-2 Tbsp honey
  • ~2Tbsp Splenda (or Splenda Blend – white or brown)
  • 1 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup low carb baking flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 heaping scoops protein powder (vanilla or chocolate – or try a scoop of each!)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash salt and cinnamon to taste

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix first 5 ingredients very well in large bowl.

Blend in protein powder, oats, flours, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and powder.

Shape into small balls; placing 2-3 inches apart on cookie sheet.          pbcookies 002

Dip a fork into flour and flatten slightly in pan.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes.
“Muffies” should set and brown slightly but don’t let them get too hard.

Recipe yields about 3 dozen, depending on size of Muffies.

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