Snacking – Making It Work For Your Diet Plan


Snacking. What can be said about such a saboteur of diets worldwide? Lots of diets have gone by the wayside (maybe even yours) this year due to snacking and temptation… Here is a respite… well-planned, healthy snacks can complement your weight-loss plan. Here are creative and healthy ways to satisfy your hunger.

Your stomach is growling, but lunch is hours away. You could grab a snack, but you think it’s best to grit your teeth and wait for lunch. Not so, if weight loss is your goal.

In fact, well-planned weight-loss diets allow for healthy snacks to help manage hunger and reduce bingeing at mealtime. The key is to eat healthy snacks that satisfy your hunger and keep the calorie count low.

Healthy Snacking

The best snacks are those that fill you up quickly, make you feel full until mealtime and add relatively few calories to your daily total. Fruits and vegetables meet these ideal snack requirements for several reasons:

  • Few calories. Most fruits and vegetables are low in calories. Even when you eat a portion that satisfies your hunger, the calorie count is low.
  • Lots of water. Most fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water, which helps fill you up.
  • Lots of fiber. Fiber is the part of plants that you can’t absorb and that passes through your digestive system slowly. Fiber fills you up and helps you feel full longer.
  • Lots of nutrients. Fruits and vegetables provide healthy vitamins, minerals and other beneficial plant chemicals (phytochemicals).
  • Little fat. Most high-fat foods are high in calories, but usually low in water content and fiber. In order to feel full of high-fat foods, you need to consume lots of calories. Most fruits and vegetables have very little fat.

100-calorie goal

A good goal for a between-meal snack is something with fewer than 100 calories. Generous portions of fruits or vegetables can easily help fill you up while staying below that calorie count. All of the following servings have fewer than 100 calories:

  • Medium apple: 95 calories
  • Small banana: 90 calories
  • Two kiwis: 84 calories
  • 20 medium baby carrots: 70 calories
  • 20 grapes: 68 calories
  • Medium orange: 65 calories
  • 20 cherry tomatoes: 61 calories
  • Medium peach: 58 calories
  • Medium red pepper: 37 calories
  • 20 pea pods: 28 calories

For comparison, one reduced-fat cheese stick has about 60 calories 100-calorie but it also has 4.5 grams of fat. While the protein and fat may help curb your appetite, a single cheese stick may not be as satisfying as, say, 20 baby carrots, which add up to nearly 10 times the weight of the cheese stick, have 70 calories and less than 1 gram of fat.

Fresh is best, but . . .

While fresh fruits and vegetables are the best choices for between-meal snacks, frozen fruits and vegetables are a suitable alternative. And canned fruit packed in its own juices or water — not in syrup — is a reasonable choice even though the processing does somewhat lower the nutrient value.

Other snack options

Other snacks that are healthy and low in calories include the following:

  • Popcorn. Two cups of air-popped popcorn have 62 calories and is a good source of nutrients, such as magnesium and potassium.
  • Whole-grain crispbreads. Toasted whole-grain bread crackers, such as rye Melba toast, are good sources of fiber and complex carbohydrates. Five pieces of Melba toast have about 97 calories.
  • Hummus. Hummus is made primarily from chickpeas, a small amount of ground sesame seeds and olive oil. It’s a reliable source of protein. Although it contains fats, they are mostly healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Two tablespoons of hummus — a good dip for a low-calorie vegetable snack — has 50 calories and 2.8 grams of fat.
  • Nuts. While nuts may have a bad reputation, research studies have shown that they don’t generally contribute to increased calorie intake or weight gain when eaten in moderation, in part because you feel satisfied after eating them. Nuts also have been associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and overall mortality. Thirteen almonds provide a 100-calorie snack with 7.8 grams of healthy fats.

Making snack time work for you

  • Healthy snacking requires planning. Here are some tips to snack sensibly:
  • Keep your house stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables. Buy a variety so that you don’t get bored with your selection.
  • Keep a supply of frozen or canned fruits at home and work for backup.
  • Don’t keep conventional snacks, such as candy or chips, in the house.
  • Have a small number of mixed nuts when hungry, which will go a long way toward decreasing hunger sensations.
  • Experiment with herbs or spices to make fruits and vegetables more interesting.
  • Prepare snacks in the evening for the next day. For example, before bedtime slice up a red pepper, wash an apple or count out a snack-size serving of grapes. Put the snack in a container so that it’s ready to go in the morning.
  • Planning by having healthy choices on hand can help make your weight-loss or weight-maintenance plan a success.

In closing, “bodies are made in the kitchen”. You must make that commitment to being great…. dieting, exercise, whatever it is you are looking to do. Never forget the basics. THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN!!!


John Cena’s 5 most important ‘Man Laws’ of the gym



WHEN IT COMES to pumping iron, we understand that guys like to walk the line a bit between being a private gym rat and embracing a little bit of that public persona. We all know what it takes to get in a good workout—and so do you—but sometimes the rest of the dudes at the gym seem to miss the so-called “common sense” rules of hitting the weights.

So, for a crucial man-to-man primer on the pillars of gym life—man laws, if you will—we asked none other than one of the biggest, most experienced gym rats of all time: John Cena, 24-time WWE champion, ESPYs host, and chief American exporter of Attitude Adjustments.

Here, the All-American icon dishes on his five most absolute, fundamental gym commandments.


  • Demand effort

The gym is a fantastic place. I call it church, for me, because it’s a place where I just forget about everything else. If I’m not focused on what I’m doing, I’m going to hurt myself. I see folks casually trudge along going through the basics. Now, you don’t have to train for the Olympics. But you should use your time to become a better individual.

If you want to socialize, there are a ton of other places that have happy hours. There should be some form of social activity in the gym, but there should be some work getting done. And when that balance shifts to more of a place to hang out and less of a place to do work, that’s when my temper boils over a little bit.


  • Be humble enough to admit when you don’t know what you’re doing

You want a real man code law? That’s it. If you’re certainly doing something incorrectly, you don’t need me to correct you—you’ll know it because you’ll be injured.

If you don’t know how to do a new exercise, or you’re just not sure you’ve mastered the technique, then search out someone who has proper certification to show you the right way. There’s no harm in asking for help. Otherwise, stick to what you know.


  • Eat Right

Nutrition is paramount to actual athletic activity. If you just regulated nutrition, you could completely redefine your physical presence. When you add exercise, it’s like a hyper booster. I had a great understanding of this when I was 12 years old. Put some gas in the tank and then run the car. That’s pretty much it.

We all know what crap is. Don’t eat crap all the time. Only a little bit.


  • Stay consistent

Training is simple. Training is really, really simple. Obviously, you guys like to get into the nitty-gritty. But if you continuously go to the gym and do something every time you’re there and you give some effort to get better, you will see a physical transformation.


  • Understand gym etiquette

Every gym is different. Whether you’re at a private gym, or an MMA gym, or an NFL or NBA locker room, or a CrossFit box, you need to learn what people expect of you there. If you go to Hard Nock South—that’s kind of our little shack—the protocol is in a giant vinyl banner that is printed next to the American flag. It’s easy for everybody to read and it’s pretty self-explanatory.

And don’t take your etiquette on the road. I don’t. Adapt to your surroundings, and move forward. It’s easy.

Chewy sugar-free banana, chocolate and macadamia nut bars

These chewy fruit and nut bars topped with nut butter make the perfect healthy snack for any time of day.

Servings: 12


  • 1 cup bananas

  • 1 cup coconut flour

  • 1/2 cup milk powder

  • 60 ml dried prunes, pitted

  • 2 Tbs macadamia nut butter + extra, to serve

  • 2 Tbs cocoa powder

  • 2 Tbs olive oil

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup macadmias, roughly chopped


Pre heat the oven to 180°C. Line a 15cm x 22cm baking dish with baking paper.

Place the bananas, coconut flour, milk powder, prunes, nut butter, cocoa, olive oil and baking powder in a food processor and puree until smooth. Stir in the oats and macadamias.

Press the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 30 minutes. Let it stand for 5 minutes before cutting into portions. Transfer to a cooling rack. Once cooled, store in an airtight container. Serve with extra nut butter to spread on top.

The macadamias can easily be replaced with your favourite nuts or nut butter.

Festive Prawns On The Braai

With chorizo, garlic and lemon dressing
Servings : 4


1/4 cup olive oil
1 chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 fresh tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
100 g chorizo, thinly sliced
juice of 2 lemons
salt and freshly ground pepper
10 g parsley, roughly chopped
1.5 kg prawns, de-veined and butterflied
olive oil
lemon wedges for serving


Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and sauté chilli, garlic, tomatoes and chorizo together for a few minutes until tomatoes just begin to soften.
Add lemon juice, remaining oil and season with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and add chopped parsley.
Drizzle prawns with a little oil and season with salt and pepper.

Grill prawns over hot coals or on a grill pan for a few minutes until the shells turn pink and fish is just cooked.
Serve immediately with lemon wedges and the chorizo dressing.

Recipe reprinted with permission of Source Food.

Super-sized chocolates a threat to health


As if it wasn’t easy enough to pile on the kilos at this time of year, along come these festive treats.
Retailers are selling super-sized Christmas chocolates that can contain the equivalent of more than 600 teaspoons of sugar. The giant Toblerone, 12 times the size of the original bar, weighs nearly 4.5kg and costs £108 (R1836).

It contains 1.3kg of fat, 2.7kg of sugar (650 teaspoons) and 24000 calories -10 times the recommended daily intake. John Lewis is selling a £100, 60cm-high House of Dorchester Giant Gold Santa which contains the equivalent of 560 teaspoons of sugar.

Montezuma’s, Hotel Chocolat, Ferrero Rocher and Lindt are among others cashing in on the trend. Health experts warn that overindulging on chocolate products helps cause obesity and tooth decay. They want a 250-calorie limit on chocolate bars. Public Health England chief nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone said: “Christmas is a time to treat ourselves but the fact remains we consume too much sugar the whole year round. Too many children suffer the consequences of tooth decay or being overweight as a result.”

Jenny Rosborough, of Action on Sugar, which recommends a maximum daily intake of seven teaspoons of sugar for an adult, said: “Manufacturers need to be more responsible.”

Angus Thirlwell, chief executive and co-founder of Hotel Chocolat, said: “Our festive wreaths are designed to be cut into 10 pieces.”

Nutritionist Fiona Hunter said: “Obviously these products are meant for sharing but for some people that doesn’t happen.” – Daily Mail

Asparagus & Chive Frittata


  • 150g fresh baby green asparagus
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 6 jumbo eggs, beaten
  • 1cup cream
  • ½ Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 15g garlic chives, chopped
  • ½ cup feta, crumbled
  • sea salt and black pepper


Preheat the oven grill. On the stove top, heat butter, olive oil in a non-stick pan, add asparagus; sauté until golden.

  • In a bowl, combine the eggs, cream and Dijon mustard and whisk together. Add garlic chives to the mixture and pour over asparagus.
  • Crumble feta cheese on top and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place pan on a low heat, and allow to cook until almost set.
  • Place frittata under grill; cook until puffed up and golden.
  • Slice and serve hot with a green salad.