Quick, easy snack ideas

Quick easy Snack Ideas

Something that I’ve always struggled with is the snaking…. it’s always so easy to just grab a bag of chips or box of crackers. I’ve come up with a list of some easy healthy snacks to help myself and my family make better choices. I find for us the best way is to keep this list handy and visible in the kitchen. You can add new ideas to it at anytime, and when your having a hard time thinking about ideas its right there for you. Another good tip I find helps is to wash and cut up your veggies right when you get home from the grocery store.

I use Rubbermaid Freshworks containers to help my veggies last longer in the fridge.

Here are some examples of healthy snacks we like:

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Natural nuts
  • Veggies with hummus
  • Greek yogurt
  • unlimited Green Veggies
  • Rye toast with a natural Nut butter
  • Roasted Chickpeas
  • Piece of Fruit ( Pear, Apple, Banana, Grapefruit)
  • Piece of Fruit with Natural Nut butter
  • Smoothie
  • Protein Shake
  • Tuna(canned in water) with some hummus & veggies
  • Air popped Popcorn

Eating before and after a workout

Eating Before and After a Workout


Eating before you work out is very important, it fuels your body and feeds your muscles. 
Anywhere from 3hrs to 30mins before is ideal. That seems like a big-time frame but I look at it like this if you are eating a Full well-balanced meal you probably want to keep it around the 2-3hr mark, if you’re having a lighter meal/snack its ok to eat it closer to your workout time. I typically try to keep it around the 2hr. – 1 1/2 hr. mark. 
I find for me it gives my body the energy and fuel it needs and I don’t cramp up while working out.

Find what works best for you!
Types of Food to eat Prior include HEALTHY CARBS with some Protein.
– Fruit (Banana, Apple)
– Oatmeal
– Smoothie
– Sweet Potatoes
– Whole Grains
– Eggs
– Chicken Breast

You NEED to eat after a workout. This helps you repair and strengthen all the muscles you just used and helps to Replenish your body. 

You want to try and keep it within 20-60 mins post workout.
Think PROTEIN with some healthy Carbs!
– Eggs
– Chick Breast with Veggies
– Fish
– Fruit with Nut butter
– protein bar or shake
– Chocolate milk
– Nuts & dried fruit

Also, DON’T forget to drink plenty of WATER before, during and after a workout.

Staying Hydrated.

How much water should I drink every day?

Why is drinking water so important?

These are questions I have asked myself many times.

Below are some easy ways to remember how much you need, why your body needs it and some helpful tips to reach your daily goal.

So How much do you really need?

Equals number of oz.
Divided by 2
Your Weight (lbs)

(Example 160lbs / 2 = 80oz.)

Some Benefits to drinking water:

– Keeps you skin looking healthy

– May prevent headaches

– protects joints

– energizes muscles

– increases metabolism

– more energy

– Protects internal organs

– Regulate body temperature

At first it can seem a bit daunting … I definitely asked myself how am I supposed to drink this much water in one day?

But it is possible!

Here are some tips and tricks to reach your goal:

– pick favorite mug/glass/bottle you love drinking from.

– add flavor using lemons, limes, cucumber, some berries.

– keep full jug/ glass beside you… if you see it you’ll remember to drink!

– get an app to remind you

– start a water challenge with your friends and family

– Take a water bottle and Mark times of the day on it.

– set small goals within the day.

  • Before I have a shower drink one glass,
  • after I have a shower drink one glass,
  • at breakfast drink 2 glasses and so on.

Remember Water is the BEST thing you can put into your body!

Recipe: Mashed Cauliflower

My name is Sheila Daniel and I am writing some blogs for Body Design Fitness. I am 53 years old and living with kidney failure due to a hereditary kidney disease. Because of my condition, I  have been working harder to increase my health and fitness in order to be healthy enough for a kidney transplant. I have always been interested in health and nutrition and completed the Integrated Health program in 2003 with a Registered Holistic Dietitian designation. Though I do not currently work in that field, I am pleased to share some information and recipes. I hope you enjoy these blogs! 

One of the foods I love, especially during all the holiday season dinners, is mashed potatoes. As I need to watch my weight, and watch my potassium due to kidney disease, I found some yummy alternatives. 

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower 

8 cups bite-size cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
⅓ cup nonfat buttermilk (see Tip)
4  teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon butter
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Snipped fresh chives for garnish

Preparation 15 minutes 
Ready In 30 minutes

Place cauliflower florets and garlic in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover and steam until very tender, 12 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, place florets and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl with ¼ cup water, cover and microwave on High for 3 to 5 minutes.) Place the cooked cauliflower and garlic in a food processor. Add buttermilk, 2 teaspoons oil, butter, salt and pepper; pulse several times, then process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garnish with chives, if desired. Serve hot.

Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.

Nutrition information 
Serving size: ¾ cup
Per serving: Kcal 107, Fat 7 g, Saturates 1 g, Fiber 4 g, Carbs 10 g, Protein 5 g, Sugars 5 g, Sodium 339 mg

Celeriac, Apples and Horseradish Mash – serves 4

1 celeriac peeled and roughly chopped
2 eating apples, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp creamed horseradish

Preparation 10 minutes
Ready in 20 minutes

Put the celeriac in a large pan of water and bring to the boil. Cook for 15-20 mins until tender, adding all the apple apart from a few pieces, for the final 5 mins.
Drain well and return to the pan, then mash until smooth. Stir through the horseradish and some seasoning. Garnish with the remaining apple slices, if desired.

Nutritional Information 
Per Serving – Kcal 73, Fat 2g, Saturates 1g, Carbs 11g, Sugars 9g, Fibre 11g, Protein 3g, Salt 0.5g


Sheila Daniel, RHN 

Natural Detox Recipes

Natural Detox Recipes 
Further to last weeks blog on natural detox, here are some quick and easy recipes to help with your detox. 

Green Smoothie – 1 serving

1 cup filtered or spring water
2 cups spinach 
1 cup romaine lettuce
½ cup celery
1 small pear
½ banana
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Add water, chopped spinach, chopped romaine lettuce and chopped celery to the blender. Starting the blender on a low speed, mix until smooth. Gradually move to higher speeds and add the pear, then the banana and lemon juice. Enjoy immediately or sip throughout the day. 

Eat Your Greens Detox Soup  – Serves 3 
Prep Time – 25 Minutes 
Cook Time – 20 to 30 Minutes 

1 ½ teaspoons coconut oil or olive oil
1 sweet onion 
3 cloves garlic
3 cups sliced cremini or white button mushrooms 
1 cup chopped carrots
2 cups chopped broccoli florets 
Fine grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 ½ to 3 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
5 cups vegetable broth
2 large nori seaweed sheets, cut into 1 inch strips (optional)
2 cups torn kale leaves
Fresh lemon juice, for serving (optional)

1.      In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté  for about five minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.
2.      Add the mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli and stir to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper and sauté for five minutes more.
3.      Stir in the ginger, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon and sauté for one to two minutes, until fragrant.
4.      Add the broth and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 10-20 minutes.
5.      Just before serving, stir in nori (if using) and kale and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, if desired. 

Sheila Daniel, RHN

10 ways to detox the body naturally

 It’s not hard to give your body a little break from all the chemicals and additives in our food and you can do so without any expensive shakes or products. You should try to do this detox for at least seven days, though you can do for up to thirty days. Try to do two to four times a year for maximum benefit. 
Here are 10 quick and easy tips on how to detoxify the body naturally anytime of the year. 

1. Do eat lots of fresh organic fruit and vegetables in your diet. Even if you don’t usually buy organic, invest in it for the period of detoxification. You want your body to flush out toxins, not be adding in additional chemical residues for your body to battle with. 

2. Do drink 2 – 2 ½ litres of clean water daily. Best to drink between meals and not with meals. Water helps your body eliminate waste and clear out fatty deposits. Your kidneys can’t work properly unless your body is properly hydrated, which adds to your liver’s workload. Start each day with a mug of warm water and lemon juice. This helps your body flush out the small intestine. Remember that your body is about two thirds water. As excess water isn’t stored you need to top yourself up daily. Fill a large drink bottle or container and keep it handy while you work so that you are constantly rehydrating your body throughout the day.

3. Do eat meals based around natural detox superfoods such as leafy greens. Increase the percentage of these highly alkaline foods for the detox period. Increasing the alkalinity of your body raises your blood’s solubility so that foreign chemicals and heavy metals can be cleared out of your system. Eat fruit and vegetables instead of creamy and sugary snacks, and up your intake of green smoothies and vegetable soups. See next weeks blog for some recipes. 

4. Do listen to your body. For example, we are told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You may eat breakfast first thing upon waking in the morning or soon after. You may even eat early “for energy” when you’re not yet hungry. Your new rule about breakfast is this: never eat when you are not hungry! If your body is not telling you that you’re hungry, it’s telling you that you don’t need any food. We all need to start listening to our bodies more instead of trying to follow any diet formula. 

5. Do get enough rest. Your body works hard once you give it the chance to clean out accumulated toxic debris, so allow yourself plenty of sleep in order to recharge your energy. Cravings for unhealthy food often appear at the end of the day when you’re particularly tired, so getting to sleep earlier will have a double benefit. You’ll be able to avoid the time of day when you are most tempted to break your detox routines and you’ll also feel well rested the next morning.

glass of water amongst olive leaves

6. Don’t drink coffee, try herbal teas instead. Health food stores carry an interesting range that will inspire you to prepare yourself a steaming hot cup of an exotic detoxifier. You’ll actually feel pampered rather than caffeine-deprived. Strong herbal detoxifiers include dandelion and milk thistle. Juniperberry teas and cranberry juices are useful for getting your body’s water balance evened out.

7. Don’t drink alcohol – substitute sparkling waters and fresh fruit juices. Drinking alcohol swings your body through a false high/depression cycle and can cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. Breaking out of the pattern is easier when you can replace your cherished daily habit of a glass or two of wine or beer with a drink that will ultimately make you feel just as good, if not better. Blend up a green smoothie, try a cocktail of watermelon, mint and cranberry juice or go for a deep cleanse with fresh beetroot juice.

8. Don’t eat meat for the detox period as it slows your digestion and protein dominant animal foods are acid-forming. Eating a vegetarian diet has distinct health benefits so it’s worth considering giving your body a break, at least for a while. Environmental pollutants such as pesticides and the chemical sprays used on fodder accumulate in the fat cells of farmed animals. Unless you’re eating organically farmed meat you are likely to be loading yourself up with toxins just as fast as your body is flushing them.

9. Don’t forget to breathe and exercise. Sweat out those toxins and work your muscles to break down the residues trapped in fats. Being conscious of breathing contaminants out gives you a psychological boost too.

10. Don’t be surprised when your natural body detoxification leads you to consider detoxifying other areas of your environment. Cleansing your body will give you a surge of clarity that enables you to evaluate what you do and don’t need in your life. Detoxification and healing go hand in hand, and having fresh eyes may inspire you to make changes in a proactive and positive way. 

Sheila Daniel, RHN 

10 PreWorkout Snacks

PreWorkout Snacks

Working out is one thing on our to-do lists that can sometimes be skipped over. In between work and suppertime, there’s a small window where we can maybe get 20-30 minutes of working out squeezed into our day. But what if we’re already hungry for supper? The answer is to pack a quick snack that you can enjoy before hitting the gym that will tide you over until your next meal. Nothing is worse than working out on an empty stomach. Check out these nutritious and beneficial snacks that will nourish your body before your next quick workout.

1. Bananas
Bananas may seem like a simple snack that you can grab anytime you’re hungry, but do you understand how incredibly beneficial this fruit is for your body?
Bananas are packed with potassium which helps prevent muscle cramping and also promotes the build-up of muscle tissue as you work out at the gym.

2. Eggs
If you’re less into eating meat and more into enjoying other lean sources of protein, eggs are a great pre-workout snack.
Scramble a couple up and enjoy on a slice of toast before you head to the gym for the combined superpowers of lasting carbohydrates and protein.

3. Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a complex carb that helps your body have longevity in the gym as it slowly releases energy into your body.
Enjoy some oatmeal with berries as a great pre-workout snack that will coat and fill your stomach for hours to come.

4. Apples
Don’t have time to make a whole snack ahead of your workout? If you have an apple on hand, it is a perfectly suitable pre-workout snack option.
Apples assist with your weight loss efforts and can also help control your blood sugar levels, ensuring you won’t have an energy crash halfway through that circuit you love to hate and hate to love.

5. Whole Grain Bread
Whole grain bread is a fantastic source of complex carbs before a workout.
One way you can enjoy whole grain bread is by toasting it and topping your slice with a nut butter of your choice. It’s the perfect combination of complex carbs and protein

6. Sweet Potato
What if you were told that you could make some delicious baked sweet potato fries and enjoy them as a healthy snack with a little salt and pepper? It sounds too good to be true.
Well, the reality is, sweet potato is a great snack to have before working out. It is a complex carb and isn’t packed with unneeded sugar.

7. Nutrition Bar
Nutrition bars are a delicious food to have on hand if you decide to zip to the gym after work and you don’t have time to make a snack.
The key is to find nutrition bars that aren’t packed with sugars and syrups. While they may taste good, these additional ingredients will only contribute to an energy crash before you are done your workout.

8. Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter is not only good for you when you get up in the morning and need a quick breakfast. It’s also a wonderful pre-workout snack.
Whether you’re enjoying a scoop of peanut butter all on its own, or topping some toasted sweet potato with it, you will find that its protein is long lasting. Perfect for a workout!

9. Smoothie
If you have a blender at home that is waiting to get a little lovin’, making a pre-workout smoothie is a great way to get started.
Pack your smoothie full of berries which have less sugar than other fruits, greek yogurt, coconut oil and some avocado for a balanced, protein-packed snack.

10. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt has been all the rage for a few years now and the truth of the matter is, it’s not going anywhere soon!
You simply can’t beat the high amount of protein in each spoonful, making it a great pre-workout snack.

Benefits of a food journal

Food Diary Can Keep You on Track

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just attempting to eat healthier, keeping a food journal can help you make positive changes. Writing down every snack, sip of soda, and carb that you consume will make you more accountable for what you are eating. Here are a few benefits of keeping a food diary.

Weight loss
Keeping a food diary can help reveal the unhealthy habits that are stopping you from losing weight. Writing down everything you eat will make you less likely to pick up the handful of M&M’s in the office or order the extra side of ranch for your salad. Often people forget about the little snacks that could potentially be keeping them from losing weight. Maintaining a food diary will help you say no to the extra calories that may be stunting your weight loss.

Detecting food intolerances
Food diaries can also help determine if you have a severe reaction to certain foods. In some cases, reactions to different foods can happen hours after the food has been consumed. Writing down what you eat and how you feel afterwards can help you realize what foods your body reacts negatively towards. If you feel bloated and nauseous after eating eggs, dairy, or gluten, then you may be intolerant to these foods.

Portion control
Keeping a food diary is also an excellent way to manage the portions of your food. It can be hard to control your portions when restaurants offer enormous plates, and gas stations have jumbo size cups for soda. Even cake tins and dinner plates are larger than ever. Using a food diary will keep you accountable for the size of your meals. Before starting your food diary do some research on the proper portion sizes, then base your meals off of the information you find.

Better nutrition
Keeping track of your every meal will reveal more than just calorie intake and food intolerances; it can also show whether you are eating enough of each food group. If your food diary consists of mainly carbohydrates and proteins, then you’re not getting the vitamins you need from fruits and vegetables. Keeping a food diary will allow you to analyze what foods you are not eating enough of, or which ones you’re eating too much.

Identifying triggers to unhealthy eating
It can be beneficial to jot down your location, time of day, and mood when keeping a food journal. Keeping track of these things can reveal how stress, work, or certain people affect your food choices. For example, if you reach for a candy bar each time you enter the office, then stressful environments may cause you to crave sugary foods. If you eat every meal standing up, then you’re probably rushing and eating more calories than if you sat down and took your time. Using a food diary to note certain triggers will help you get rid of the unhealthy habits.  

Now that you know some of the benefits to keeping a food journal, manage your progress easily  by using an app. There are some free apps available such as MyFitnessPal or WW (Weight Watchers).

Top 6 hunger tips

Hunger Tips

It can be hard not to overeat. You eat a healthy meal at home, think you’re doing well, then you head out (to almost any destination) and are surrounded by junk food. You get hungry, and pretty soon you’re at the local burger joint, diet forgotten.

Or maybe you stick to the “right” foods, but they’re just so good that you can’t have just one portion. We’ve all been there. That used to be me.

The following six tips can help you be healthier, enjoy meals more and curb your appetite throughout the day. 


Looking to add some flavor to your food and noncaloric drinks? Forget the sugar; there are plenty of spices and flavors that will make your food both tastier and healthier. Vinegar, which has been shown to lower the glycemic index (which means you metabolize the food more slowly), adds acidic flavor to salad dressings, sauces and roasted veggies without a lot of calories.

For sweet-smelling warmth, add cinnamon to everything from coffee and smoothies to chili. Like vinegar, cinnamon slows the rate at which food transits from your stomach to your intestine — this keeps you full longer, and helps prevent the post-meal slump.


Instead of trying to resist hunger, beat it to the punch. If you eat when you’re either not hungry or only slightly hungry, you’ll eat less and tend to eat more slowly. Eating less throughout the day is great, but having more energy is certainly a nice bonus, too.


In addition to tiredness and brain fog, mild dehydration can cause a sensation that’s easily mistaken for hunger. On the other hand, liquid calories such as juices and sodas don’t fill you up, and their rapid digestion causes insulin spikes. So pass on the sweetened drinks and stick with sparkling or still water — you can flavor it with lemon, strawberries or cucumber if you want, but don’t pack your drinks full of calories.

Aim to drink at least three-quarters of a gallon of water a day. Also, be sure to drink a glass about 20 minutes before each meal to take the edge of your appetite.


When you swallow food, there’s a sizable delay before you feel any satiation from it. This delay is usually between 10–30 minutes. Because of this delay, we tend to eat more food than we really need. And the faster we eat, the more we tend to consume, particularly later on in a meal.

The solution: Chew each bite 10 times. Following this simple rule will cause you to eat more slowly, allowing your mind to catch up to your stomach. You’ll also enjoy your food more when you take the time to savor it.


This trick was discovered by the late Seth Roberts: What he did was consume a shot of olive oil or a glass of water with a tiny bit of sugar (an exception to the rule on sugared beverages above) between meals. A handful of unsalted almonds is a quirky and easy way to do this tip. Doing this once a day dramatically reduces appetite — this can be particularly true if you have a lot of weight to lose.

The reason this works: It apparently regulates ghrelin, a hunger hormone, by weakening flavor-calorie associations. For this to work, the snack must be bland, and you should consume nothing else but water for at least an hour before and after the snack.


Knowing that your willpower is reduced when you’re hungry, and there’s more tempting junk food outside the home than in it, you should fill up on healthy food before leaving home. Keep a healthy snack, such as jerky, almonds or kale chips, right next to your front door, and eat some before you leave home. This will cause healthy food to “crowd out” unhealthy food in your diet, and make it much easier to pass on the junk food.

Top tips to Getting Motivated to Workout

Getting Motivated to Workout

For many, the hardest part of working out is just getting to the gym.

Often, after a long day of work (plus a long commute), the only thing you feel like doing is relaxing. And if you have a busy family, you might have all kinds of obligations that keep you busy until you go to sleep.

So how do you find the motivation to exercise when it’s hard enough just to get started? Luckily, there are simple methods to start working out consistently, build new habits and overcome almost any obstacle in your journey.


Many people struggle to exercise because they choose massive, overwhelming goals. It’s nice to have big ambitions, but when you throw too much at yourself at once, you’re only setting yourself up for failure.

Instead, start with smaller goals to build momentum and confidence, and then give each one 100% effort. For example, instead of trying to eat healthfully 100% of the time (which can be tough if you’re just starting), start with just 80%.

Other great bite-sized goals include:

Running at a certain pace
Losing your first 5 pounds
Lifting a certain weight
Cooking a certain number of meals per week at home


You already know smaller goals are better than trying to move hypothetical mountains. Once you actually achieve those goals, it’s important to reward yourself for your hard work.

Treat yourself to a day-trip to your favorite getaway, cool new workout clothes or tickets to your favorite show. Just make sure your reward doesn’t undo the health improvements you just made (That means limiting the ice cream reward after each tough workout!).

Rewards make fitness more fun, positive and motivating. Plus, the right incentive might be all you need to achieve incredible things.


Fitness is a long journey with many ups and downs, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or an Olympic athlete. When you’re only focused on your goal, you’ll struggle. That’s because you might get frustrated if all your hard work and sacrifice still doesn’t help you achieve your desired results, which hurts your motivation and confidence.

Instead, turn your focus to the journey. Lean into the moments and efforts that lead to the goal: making sure you exercise enough each week, eat the right number of healthy meals, get the appropriate amount of sleep, etc.

When you concentrate on each step, your chances of reaching your destination are much higher.


Having a trusted friend join you in your fitness journey can make a huge difference in your success. Get them involved by going to the gym together or messaging each other when you’re about to work out. You can even keep each other accountable and give each other a kick in the backside when needed.

If you can’t find a partner, try joining workout classes, bootcamp groups or running meetups to find new friends who share your goals.


It only takes a few seconds to add your workout to your calendar, but doing so goes a long way toward helping you build habits and stay consistent. When you put exercise into your calendar (no matter how short or long), you prioritize the workout in your day and it creates a mini-commitment to get it done. As a result, you have to schedule your appointments around your workouts — instead of the opposite — so you never run out of time by day’s end. This takes a lot of the obstacles out of exercise, which makes it easier to get it done.


What you say carries more weight than you think. For example, do you ever say things (or hear other people say things) like:

I can’t do it.
I’m just no good at this.
It’s too hard.
I’ll never reach my goals.
Unfortunately, these phrases can limit your results and become self-fulfilling statements. Start being very careful and intentional with what you say (and think!), and try using more positive and empowering statements like:

I can do it.
I commit to becoming good at fitness.
It’s getting easier and easier every time.
I will reach my goals.
Change your thoughts, and you’ll change your results.


It’s normal to feel tired and unmotivated after a long day of work; it will be even harder when you have to drive home from work, find your workout clothes, find your workout shoes, get dressed in those workout clothes, grab water or a snack and then finally drive to the gym.

Instead, take the friction out of exercise. Have your gym bag with all your essentials packed and ready to go, and bring it with you to work so you don’t need to make an extra trip. If you want to jog before work, have your running shoes, clothes and nutrition laid out by your bed so you can do it first thing in the morning.

This goes a long way toward making life easier and helps keep your motivation levels high.