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10 Low-Calorie Snacks To Satisfy Sugar Cravings

 

Sugar is one dietary component that many of us get addicted to, and the reason is simple. Consuming foods rich in sugar triggers our brain to release dopamine, and we feel terrific. There is also an evolutionary aspect to our sugar cravings. Apparently, our primate ancestor ‘the ape,’ survived on sugar-rich fruits.

Even though we enjoy fruits now and then, most of our ‘current’ sugar intake does not include fruits but unhealthy, processed sugary snacks like confectionery items and soda. Shockingly, over 156 pounds of sugar is consumed by the average American in a year!

Fortunately, there are other healthier options of satisfying those devilish sugar cravings than eating foods with added sugar. Continue reading to find out more.

Whole wheat waffle topped with fruits and low-fat cream:

Delicious, filling and healthy, this divine treat is an excellent evening snack as well as a breakfast item.

Warm whole wheat waffle topped with sweet, and tangy berries and a little bit of low-fat cream sprinkled with cinnamon can make your day as bright as the sunshine. You can make your own waffles or grab any whole wheat waffle available commercially for a scrumptious treat.

Dark Chocolate:

When in a rush there is nothing better to soothe those craving taste buds than chewing a few pieces of dark chocolate.

Dark chocolate is beneficial for our health in several ways thanks to its antioxidants, cancer prevention, and low-calorie nutrient profile. Make sure your dark chocolate is made with 70% or more cocoa, and you would feel your stress releasing slowly after this snack.

strawberry in chocolate isolated on white

Strawberries dipped in chocolate:

There truly can’t be sweet snacks without chocolate, but not all milk chocolates are healthy as they use milk fats and lots of sugar. So coat the yummy, super food that is strawberry with chocolate, but make sure you use melted dark chocolate instead. You can freeze these perfect treats and save them for munching later.

Frozen Choco banana:

Another chocolate favorite, this snack is packed with the goodness of banana and dark chocolate.

Dip frozen bananas in melted dark chocolate and add raisins, oatmeal and dried nuts like almond or cashews for an energy boost. Not only you will tame the sweet tooth with this snack, but you can also find a delightful way to consume all the nutritional benefits of nuts, dark chocolate, and bananas.

Yogurt Parfait:

Eating yogurt is a healthy way to help your body absorb calcium and other nutrients from milk without the weird ‘milky’ taste that some people don’t like. It also has probiotics which are favorable for improving your gut’s health.

Take a cup of flavored or plain Greek yogurt and sprinkle your favorite fruits, granola, and nuts to enjoy a sweet combination of flavors.

Honey and lime with fresh fruits:

Fresh fruits are yummy, refreshing and hydrating but if you want your fruits to pack a punch squeeze some sweet lime and honey over it for a zesty and syrupy overhaul.

Fruit popsicles:

Perfect for the hot weather, fruits can be slightly mashed together to form a puree and then frozen to make a Popsicle!

Muesli with honey and milk:

Swiss muesli is fit for a king thanks to its creamy, rich texture, a plethora of tastes and health benefits. You can make it sweet by adding honey and mixing it with low-fat milk instead of plain water.

Peanut butter and chocolate pretzels:

Grab a few pretzel sticks and dip in melted dark chocolate or peanut butter for a sweet and savory treat.

Sorbet:

Sorbets are fun, healthy and easy to make. Make a big bunch at home with your favorite fruits and eat a scoop whenever the sugar cravings set in.

PHOTO CREDIT https://pixabay.com/p-1209260/?no_redirect

About the author:

Brooke Whistance is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger who loves to write about prevailing trends. She has been living in Los Angeles, California with her family including, her parents, two siblings and her cats. She is a featured author at various authoritative blogs in the health and fitness industry and currently associated as a blogger with Florida Hospital Centra Care, an urgent care center in Tampa and other cities in the vicinity such as Conway, Longwood, Orange Lake and others. You can find her at LinkedIn Twitter and  Facebook.

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Celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month with these great cocktail recipes

 

Have you ever noticed that everything has a day, week or month dedicated to it? I don’t remember any of these unique “holidays when I was growing up. It seems like they were created just over the past few years. You have National Blueberry Popsicle Day (Sept. 2nd), National Homemade Cookies Day (Oct. 1st), National Deaf Dog Week (Sept. 18th – 24th), and National Chicken Month (Sept), just to name a few.

September is also Bourbon Heritage Month. To celebrate this “holiday,” Trail’s End wanted to share these interesting sounding cocktails. They would go great at your upcoming holiday parties and family get togethers. Or maybe now to celebrate the kids going back to school. Ha Ha.

Here is some information about Trail’s End.

When they left Missouri in 1804, Lewis and Clark didn’t pack light. In addition to food to sustain and items to trade, they also packed nearly 100 gallons of whiskey, rumored to have cost about $1.25 each. While the price of whiskey may have changed, its ties to the heritage of the Old West hasn’t. Trail’s End, a bourbon from Oregon-based Hood River Distillers pays homage to the early days of the Oregon Trail with a spirit that follows the steps of Lewis and Clark and in honor of Bourbon Heritage Month, we invite you to share some of our favorite Trail’s End Cocktails.

Two-time Double Gold Medal winner Trails End is crafted using 8-year old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished with Oregon Oak and perfected with glacier-fed spring water from Mt. Hood Oregon.

Tail’s End provided these recipes for your enjoyment.

Maple Bourbon Smash

  • ½ oz. pure maple syrup, preferably Grade A Dark Amber
  • ½ oz. fresh orange juice
  • ¼ oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • ½ orange wheel
  • 2 oz. Trail’s End Bourbon Whiskey
  • Ice
  • 1 ½ oz chilled seltzer 

Directions: In a rocks glass, combine the maple syrup with the orange juice, lemon juice and bitters. Add the orange wheel and lightly muddle. Add the Trail’s End and stir well. Fill the glass with ice and top with the chilled seltzer.

New Fashioned

  • 2 oz. Trail’s End Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 brown sugar cube
  • 2 dashes of Fee Brothers Orange Bitters
  • 2 blackberries
  • 1 orange wedge
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • Splash of club soda 

Directions: Place the sugar cube in a rocks glass, add bitters and muddle. Rotate the glass so the sugar/bitters mixture coats the glass. Add ice, Trail’s End and stir until blended. Top with a splash of club soda and garnish with orange wedge, fresh blackberries and thyme sprig.

Trail Dusted 

  • 1 oz. fresh white grapefruit juice
  • ½ oz. Simple Syrup
  • 2 slices of English cucumber, plus 3 or 4 thin slices for garnish
  • dash of celery bitters (optional)
  • Ice
  • 2 oz. Trail’s End Bourbon Whiskey 

Directions: In a cocktail shaker, muddle 2 cucumber slices. Add ice and all of the remaining ingredients except the garnish and shake well. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with the thin cucumber slices.

Alpine Manhattan 

  • Ice
  • 1 ½ oz. Trail’s End Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 oz. Pine Syrup
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • orange twist, for garnish 

Directions: Fill a pint glass with ice. Add Trail’s End, pine syrup and bitters and stir well. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with the orange twist.

Enjoy!

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of site readers. 

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Celebrate life’s special moments with Carvel’s new Ice Cream Cookie Cake

 

Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

Life is full of special moments. I’m referring to moments like your child’s first steps, a job promotion, your teen getting their driver’s license, or a homecoming for a special friend. These are the moments that make life special.

How do you celebrate these special moments? Personally I love to document these moments in photographs that I can look back on fondly over the years. Other ways my family and I celebrate is by going out to dinner, doing something special as a family, or enjoying some cake. My husband is actually a pretty good baker.

When it comes to big celebrations, like birthdays or anniversaries, we go all out and purchase a special cake. My family’s #1 choice is ice cream cakes. We enjoy my husband’s cakes often, but having an ice cream cake is really special.

Growing up I always requested an ice cream cake for my birthday. My favorite has always been Carvel Ice Cream Cakes. Not only do I love their ice cream, I am crazy about the crunchies in the middle (my favorite part).

It used to be that Carvel Ice Cream Cakes were only available at Carvel stores. Thankfully you can purchase a variety of Carvel Ice Cream Cakes at many retail locations. Our local Stop & Shop and Shop Rite always have a nice selection of Carvel Ice Cream Cakes to choose from.

Carvel has introduced a new ice cream cake to their line up – the Carvel Ice Cream Cookie Cake. You read that correctly – a COOKIE cake!

The Carvel Ice Cream Cookie Cake features two giant chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream sandwiched in between, covered with famous Carvel crunchies. Oh how I love those crunchies!

Carvel was kind enough to send me a coupon so I could pick up one of the Ice Cream Cookie Cakes to try out with my family.

My family wanted to dive into it the moment I got it home from the store. I made them wait until the next day to enjoy it. I was feeling a bit “off” the day I picked it up and I didn’t want my family to enjoy the Ice Cream Cookie Cake without me.

I love the idea of a cookie cake. Over the years I have enjoyed scooping ice cream into the middle of chocolate chip cookies (or other cookies) as a special treat. Ice cream and cookies go so well together.

The Carvel Ice Cream Cookie Cake is a great size. I was in awe of the huge cookies. The chocolate drizzle on top made it even more desirable. We couldn’t wait to cut into it.

You can cut into the Ice Cream Cookie Cake just as you would any other ice cream cake. I would recommend you let it thaw for a few minutes or warm up the knife you are going to cut it with.

I was worried that the cookie might crumble as we cut into it, but that didn’t happen at all.

Each slice came out looking perfect… perfectly delicious that is.

I love it that Carvel kept their infamous crunchies on this Ice Cream Cookie Cake, especially because that is my favorite part of any Carvel Ice Cream Cake.

This cake would be ideal for any special celebration. I also think that this makes a wonderful treat to celebrates life’s little moments too. Since this doesn’t look like your typical celebration cake, I think it’s something that can be enjoyed year round. Pick up this cake to celebrate your child making the honor roll, or for your grandson’s return from active duty in the military.

You don’t even need a special occasion to enjoy Carvel’s new Ice Cream Cookie Cake. You can enjoy it just because it’s so good. It combines two great things – cookies and ice cream.

This cake serves up to 12 people. It lasted my family of four for a few days.

If you would like to learn more about the new Carvel Ice Cream Cookie Cake visit the official website at CarvelCookieCake.com.

You can also check out the brand on social media.

What do you think about Carvel’s new Ice Cream Cookie Cake? Does it look like something you’d want to try? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Carvel to bring you this information. I received a free product coupon and compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Celebrate National Ice Cream Day with My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream

 

Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

Happy National Ice Cream Day! I hope that you had the opportunity to enjoy the sweet, creamy goodness of your favorite ice cream. Personally, I haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy ice cream today, but I have every intention of doing so after dinner this evening.

What is your favorite ice cream? What is your favorite flavor? I’m a big fan of Butter Pecan and Watermelon Sherbert ice creams. Yummy!

If you stroll down the ice cream aisle at any grocery store you’ll find rows and rows of every type of ice cream you can think of, including the classic vanilla to the “way out there” flavors. With so much ice cream available, it’s hard to stand out from the pack.

Let me introduce you to an ice cream that IS a lot different than your average ice cream. It’s called My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream.

Developed by the inventors of mochi ice cream, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream is a carefully crafted snack made with a scoop of premium ice cream wrapped, in delectably soft dough. My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream looks like a ball.

Inside the soft dough “wrap” you’ll find a single scoop of sweet and creamy ice cream.

I have to admit, I found this ice cream really intriguing. I had to try it out for myself. The brand was kind enough to send me a few samples to try out with my family. They sent me Double Chocolate, Green Tea and Strawberry to review.

When I first received the My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream I tore into the Double Chocolate box (I love chocolate!). What I found was six individual ice cream “balls.” I grabbed one and bit into it.

I have to admit that at first the dough outer layer threw me off. It was soft and chewy, something I wasn’t really expecting. I was thinking these were more like Tartufo, the dessert I like to get from a local Italian restaurant. Tartufa has a hard, crunchy outer layer. My/Mo Ice Cream has a soft, chewy layer.

Initially I was not too keen on it, but the more I ate it the more I began to enjoy it. After that each time I enjoyed a My/Mo Mochi I enjoyed it.

The ice cream it’s self is delicious. I especially loved the Double Chocolate and Strawberry flavors (I wasn’t fond of the Green Tea, it wasn’t what I expected).

My husband never tried any of the ice cream (he couldn’t get past the idea of it being wrapped in dough). My kids tried them. Our son liked the ice cream, but our daughter was more “on the fence” about them. Once again, it was the doughy outer layer she wasn’t keen on. She would cut into the My/Mo Ice Cream and scoop out the inside with a spoon.

I think it’s an acquired taste. It’s not so much the ice cream. The ice cream it’s self is really good – as in ice cream shop quality ice cream. It’s the dough layer on the outside that might throw some people off. BUT… once you try it and get past that you’ll really enjoy this unique brand of ice cream.

My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream is available in the following flavors:

 

  • Mango
  • Strawberry
  • Green Tea
  • Cookies & Cream
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Double Chocolate
  • Mint Chocolate Chip

Each ball of My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream has only 110 calories. Since they are “pre-packaged” (meaning a serving is a single ball) it’s a great way to watch your calories and not over indulge.

My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream is available nationally in the frozen aisle and self-serve mochi bars at select locations of Safeway, Whole Foods Market, Kroger, ShopRite and more. There is a store locator on the brand’s website.

For more information on My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, please visit www.mymomochi.com. You can also find them on social media. All of the links can be found on their website.

What do you think about My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream? Do you think you’d want to try it out? Which flavor would you like to try the most?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always enjoy hearing from readers.

Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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A fun, personalized gift idea for Father’s Day (or any holiday/occasion)

 

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to buying a Father’s Day gift for my father and husband is easier said than done. I cringe every time I think of Father’s Day, their birthdays or Christmas because they are difficult to buy for. I never know what to get them. It actually stresses me out!

My father never, ever expresses any needs or wants. My husband is the same way, but I find it slightly easier to shop for my husband because he’s just a big kid at heart so when it doubt I can buy him a toy (he especially loves ones from his childhood), or something that has to do with his favorite team (the Dallas Cowboys).

Foods and treats are also a great option. After all, who doesn’t appreciate a sweet treat or yummy snack?

You can easily pick up any gift-like food/snack/sweet treat option. I think it makes it more special (and shows that you put more thought in the gift) if it’s personalized in some way.

If you have ever ordered something personalized you know that it can often increase the price of the item and/or it takes longer to have it delivered to you because it takes a while to personalize the item. Sometimes even the personalization can be limited (spaces, what it says…).

There is one gift option that would be great for Father’s Day or just about any holiday/special occasion that can be personalized in any way that you want. You can even add your own drawings and designs for no extra fee.

The item I am referring to is from the Popcorn Factory. It’s called the Decorate Your Own Popcorn Tin.

The Decorate Your Own Popcorn Tin comes in a white metal tin. It also comes with your choice of dry erase markers or permanent markers. You can use the markers to decorate the tin any way you’d like, add special message to the recipient and make it truly a customized/personalized product.

This two gallon tin comes with the trifecta of delicious popcorn flavors – butter, cheese and caramel. I personally love all three flavors.

The Decorate Your Own Popcorn Tin makes a wonderful keepsake long after the popcorn has been enjoyed. Opt for permanent markers if you want the designs or handwritten sentiments to last forever. Or you can use the dry erase markers to re-purpose the tin and use it again and again.

I think this would be a fun gift for a graduate. Friends and family members can adorn it with congratulations and well wishes for the next step in their lives. The recipient can use the tin to hold supplies, accessories, or even more popcorn. If the student is going away to college the tin could hold a lot of items they will need. I personally think this is an AWESOME graduation gift.

I received one of these tins to review. My kids and I decorated it to gift to my husband (their father). The kit we received had the dry erase markers to that we can wipe it off when we are done with it and re-purpose it. Sadly the dry erase markers didn’t come off entirely. I need to get some rubbing alcohol. That should help to remove the stains/marks left behind.

The possibilities are endless with this fun tin of popcorn. I can think of many great occasions that this would make a wonderful gift for;

  • Birthday
  • Anniversary
  • Graduation
  • Wedding
  • Engagement
  • Father’s Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • House Warming
  • Retirement
  • Job Promotion
  • Get Well Soon
  • Just Because

You can also gift this for any holiday and personalize it with your best holiday doodles. I LOVE to doodle so I’d have fun decorating this tin (pumpkins for Halloween, Christmas Trees for Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s Day…).

If you have never had popcorn from The Popcorn Factory, let me tell you, you are missing out on something delicious.

We’re had popcorn from The Popcorn Factory in the past. Their popcorn always tastes freshly popped and very flavorful. They also provide you with a very generous amount. It’s enough to last one person a long time. Even my family of four can enjoy some of the popcorn here and there and it will last for a week or more.

I recommend putting some in a bowl and eat from that instead of directly out of the tin. When you eat out of the tin its easy to eat more than you anticipated you would. It’s all so good that you can’t stop from eating it. Trust me, I know this from personal experience. Ha Ha.

If designing and personalizing your own popcorn tin is not your style, The Popcorn Factory has plenty of other gift ideas for every holiday and occasion. They also have products to suit any budget. In addition they carry non-popcorn items too.

Here are just a FEW examples.

This is PERFECT for my outdoorsy brother!

S’mores flavored popcorn!

This is a GREAT gift idea for a new college student or recent graduate.

I think the Patriotic Kettle Corn (pictured above) would be a welcome treat at your Fourth of July party. It’s a great change of pace from the typical chips & dips and nachos & salsa. Your party guests will appreciate this extra special, colorful holiday treat.

You can learn more about these and other yummy goodies from The Popcorn Factory by visiting them online at ThePopcornFactory.com. You can also check them out on social media. All of their links are found towards the bottom of their website.

Have you ever enjoyed any goodies from The Popcorn Factory? If so, what was your experience with the brand? What product did you enjoy?

Would you gift someone a gift from The Popcorn Factory? What would you use the Decorate Your Own Popcorn Tin for?

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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New! LIFT Protein Muffins – the convenient, on-the-go, healthy meal alternative

 

Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

Do you work outside of the home? Do you need to pack a lunch every day?

I was a stay at home mom for 18 years. When I did return to the work force I had jobs that allowed me to be home for lunch time. I was used to having anything I wanted for lunch.

Back in September I started a new position which meant I needed to pack a lunch every day. I did sandwiches for many month but grew tired of them. I’m not a fan of cold cuts (too much sodium) and I’m not allowed to have peanut butter for PB&J sandwiches due to a “no peanuts” rule in our classroom (I love PB&J!).

We also don’t have a microwave, so warming things up is not really an option.

I found myself bringing a lot of cereal or bagels to work for lunch.

I needed another food alternative that I could enjoy for lunch that was convenient, ready for “on the go” moments, and tasted great. Being healthy is also a bonus.

I was introduced to a unique option – LIFT Protein Muffins. LIFT Protein Muffins are a healthy meal alternative. And when I say meal I do mean meal. They are very filling.

LIFT Protein Muffins are the creation of a mother son team – Zach and Debbie Schleien. Check out the brief video (below) to learn more about how LIFT Protein Muffins came to be and what others have to say about LIFT Protein Muffins.

 

LIFT Protein Muffins are the first Paleo, gluten-free muffin of their kind. LIFT Protein Muffins contain between 18-19 grams of protein in each muffin. That is a nice amount of protein. It’s more protein then I am used to getting by eating a bagel or the on-the-go bowl of cereal I would normally bring to work with me for lunch.

LIFT Protein Muffins are currently available in the following flavors – Apple Cinnamon, Banana Chocolate and Chocolate Zucchini (my favorite).

The muffins are individually packaged making them a great on-the-go option. I also enjoy them for breakfast.

The muffins are shipped cold. You can freeze them for up to one year. When you are ready to enjoy one of the muffins you can place it in the fridge overnight to thaw out or pop it in the microwave. When I take one of the muffins to work with me I just put it in my lunch bag. By the time lunch rolls around the muffin is defrosted and ready to enjoy. I do recommend trying them warmed in the microwave. I like how the chocolate melts a bit. Mmmm… yummy!

Apple Cinnamon

Chocolate Banana

Chocolate Zucchini

I have never had anything Paleo until now. I honestly thought Paleo foods would taste bland or gross. Not these muffins. You would never guess that these were not ordinary muffins. They remind me of the muffins my family gets from the local bakery from time to time.

These muffins are not huge like bakery muffins, but don’t let that fool you. They are very filling. In fact, I was surprised by how full I felt after eating one of the LIFT Protein Muffins. I thought I would have to supplement the muffins with more food, but I didn’t. There is a reason why they are looked at as a meal replacement because they fill you up like a meal should.

Usually when I take one of the muffins for work I grab a banana or apple to enjoy along side of the muffin. That is all I need to feel completely full and satisfied.

The muffins are delicious! My favorite is the Chocolate Zucchini, but honestly, they all taste wonderful. They taste like more of a dessert then a meal. They taste home made. I don’t taste like they have been sitting in a warehouse freezer for a year.

I can tell you with all honesty that I don’t get enough protein in my diet. I try, but I know that I’m not getting nearly enough. I like that these muffins are a delicious way to get more protein in my daily diet. It’s like trying to sneak veggies into your kids meals – they don’t realize they are eating something that is good for them.

Look at all those juicy raisins.

These muffins are high in calories. I was a bit surprised by how many calories each contained (between 345 – 410 calories each). But since these are meant to replace a meal, it all works out. If you typically go for fast foods for lunch a Big Mac has 563 calories, a typical slice of cheese pizza is 285 calories and a 6″ Italian sub is around 520 calories.

The LIFT Protein Muffins are not cheap. They cost $5.00 each. But again, they are meant as a meal replacement. A typical lunch out will cost you more than that. An Italian sub from the deli across the street from where I live costs $8+. And many people don’t think twice about spending $3+ on a cup of coffee.

The muffins are sold in six packs for the individual flavors or in 6 or 18 muffin variety packs.

Overall I am impressed by these muffins. They are delicious, they are filling and they are a great lunch (or any meal) alternative.

If you would like to learn more about LIFT Protein Muffins, or to place an order, visit LIFTProteinMuffins.com. You can also find them on social media. All of their links are found at the top right of their website.

What do YOU think about LIFT Protein Muffins? Do they sound like something that you would like to try? Why or why not? Feel free to comment and share your thought. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I received free samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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