Friday, January 18, 2008

Nutrition Bars As Snacks
Q: Because I'm constantly on the run, I don't always have time to prepare something for a snack during the afternoon. I usually pick up a protein or nutrition bar to get me through the day. What do you think about nutrition bars as snacks?

A: Well, we wouldn't go as far as calling them "nutrition bars," since many of these highly processed bars are loaded with sugar and chemicals, like preservatives, that won't help you get in bikini-shape. You're much better off getting your nutrients from wholesome, natural foods — many of which are really easy to grab and go. Fruits, for example, are like nature's portable candy; keep a stash in your fridge and grab an apple or an orange as you're running out the door. Veggies are great too. Baby carrots and grape tomatoes are ready to eat as is, and you can also keep chopped peppers and sliced cucumbers or celery in small bags in your fridge. Yogurts are also easy and portable — you just want to make sure you keep them in an insulated bag if you'll be out for more than two or three hours. Low-fat granola bars, air-popped popcorn, or a handful of dry-roasted nuts are other great options. Nonetheless, if a "nutrition bar" is your only option, it's better than skipping a meal.

Be Prepared
Fighting bad habits is all about knowing yourself. Will a late start in the morning mean you won't take the time to fix a healthy snack? Prepare yourself for this by cutting up some veggies the night before — while you're on the phone, watching TV, or waiting for something to come out of the oven. If you don't think you have time to peel an orange, take a minute to slice it in quarters and bring it with you that way. If you're going to be tempted to buy a soda, keep a water bottle handy and sip frequently so you don't get too thirsty. The key to a healthy lifestyle is simply this: Think ahead! Go to: for more information.

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