Healthy Alternatives: Food tips and tricks

Ok so I’m a bit of a snacker. I literally need to eat every couple of hours or so. It’s not boredom eating and it’s not stress eating (usually), it’s just my body and my metabolism. But for those of you who don’t know this, snacking throughout the day is actually healthier for your body. It also helps speed up your metabolism. I snack every 2 to 3 hours daily- but my snacking is not of the sugar, soda, chocolate variety. I try to snack healthy and in-between my 3 meals a day. I always eat breakfast and try to shoot for a high fiber cereal, oatmeal with cranberries, or a bagel with smart balance butter and peach preserves. If it’s the latter, I know I’ll be hungry by the time I reach work. My solution- bring a banana, or no salt almond mix to snack on.

But I’m also one of those individuals that gets bored quickly. And for someone with digestive sensitivities that can make snacking on different things a challenge. I don’t like eating the same thing all the time. So I change it up weekly, maintaining the same habit of healthy snacking. Whether it’s a homemade trail mix, cottage cheese with fruit, or toast slices with avocado and chili marmalade (sounds gross but so good); you can really be inventive with your snacking. So here are some of my digestive friendly snacking favorites:

No salt peanuts with dried cranberries or cherries:

(for those with no nut allergies).

I buy a container of Planters no salt peanuts and Wegman’s brand dried cranberries or cherries.

I measure out the cranberries in quarter cups, so they will mix properly with the peanuts. Then slowly add them to the container and mix together. (If using cherries, add them and then put the whole container in the fridge). For some reason the cherries taste much better cold. It’s that simple. Then I put a couple handfuls in baggies to take to work during the week.

My Peanut butter/Banana smoothie:


This is so delicious and my go to when I really need something sweet or chocolaty.

Start with about 8 cubes of ice. Add to that 2 spoonfuls of non-fat (Faye) greek plain yogurt. Then add just enough milk to cover the blade in the blender. Do not worry about covering the ice fully, the other ingredients will liquify the shake; you really don’t want a lot of milk. Due to my sensitivities, I use skim plus non fat milk. It’s a lactose free milk.

(Honestly I urge anyone with lactose intolerance to use this milk. The soy versions, lactaid milk, or almond milks contain an ingredient called Carageenan. It’s a thickening agent or coagulant and studies have shown that it increases digestive allergies and can be harmful to stomach health. Skim plus does not contain this ingredient).

After milk is added (again just enough to coat the bottom of blender) then add one whole banana. My trick: wait until bananas start to brown just a little, they are sweeter this way. Add Hershey’s sugar free chocolate syrup (roughly 4 tablespoonfuls).

Start your blender and use Ice setting for 20 seconds. Then add one huge tablespoon of peanut butter (I really like the Smart Balance chunky. I like to have just a few bits of peanut chunks in my smoothie for texture. But by all means use whatever brand and style you like). Then switch to chop setting for 30 seconds or so. Taste and add roughly 2 more teaspoons of chocolate syrup and switch setting to mix on the blender. Mix for another 30 seconds. Then you are all set to enjoy!

The trick with blending is to get the right settings for the texture you want. I really like a thick smoothie so I use the settings above in various orders to obtain the texture I like.

In order to see what works for you, you really need to know your body. If your unsure if you have a food sensitivity, get allergy testing done ahead of time or chart your body’s response to various types of foods (only recommended if you know you do not have a severe allergy).  But the whole point is to have fun with your food, be creative, eat great tasting food- but eat well.

Try these recipes and or leave one of your own in my comments section. I’ll add more as I experiment more. Enjoy!

Published by smtraphagen

SM Traphagen is a writer and novelist. Her works have appeared on, Accounting Today Magazine, St. Reds Magazine, The Culture-ist Magazine, Buffalo Healthy Living Magazine, among others. With a fiction novel written, the hope is to expand the world of fiction in fun and creative ways. Her love of writing fiction and food have culminated in a website that blends the two, including Digestion Suggestion and Untold Shorties.

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