Snacking should not be one of those verboten pleasures that are only entertained in a speakeasy atmosphere. Snacks should be embraced for what they are. They can be great energy boosters at various times throughout the day. They can also help you concentrate better by maintaining the blood sugar level and helping you maintain a proper weight.
You get too hungry when you only eat your regular three squares per day. With only the bare minimum, you tend to overeat when you sit down for that 6 o�clock evening meal. In addition, your body stores too much fat when you only eat a couple of meals per day. The endocrine system starts to cling to food and store it as fat. Eating every two to three hours helps the body maintain some balance.
My favorite snack is cereal. Your choices for cereals are as abundant and interesting as the variety of ways that George Bush pronounces nuclear. Good choices are Life, King Vitaman, Grape-Nuts, Corn Flakes, Cheerios and Rice Krispies. You can put these cereals into baggies and eat them dry on the run or at work. Or take milk and a bowl with you to your place of employment and enjoy your cereal the old-fashioned way. It�ll be like a bygone Saturday morning when you ate it while watching the Smurfs and their bungling nemesis Gargamel.
Another fan favorite is popcorn. Orville Redenbacher�s grandkids are now making 21st-century-quality-level munchies with low-fat butter and minimal salt. Your 10:30 morning snack is back and better than ever.
Forget what you have heard about all that low-carb diet rubbish. Bagels are a superb source of energy between repasts. They come in plenty of flavors to enhance that boring 3:30 meeting discussing the Johnson case. Put on some sensible toppings like salsa, mustard, or low-fat cream cheese and you�re on the way to staving off hunger.
Somewhere between Day One and Day Seven, God created fruits and vegetables. Here is an excellent choice for a morsel when you�re feeling famished. Zesty selections of veggies include carrots, green peppers, and celery. Cut these into bite-size pieces and squire them off to work with you. You can even purchase some salsa or low-fat dip to accompany these healthy treats. Don�t fret! The celery promises not to harm you away from the vodka and tomato juice!
In the fruit department, my predilections lie with such goodies as grapes, apples, bananas, tomatoes and pears. I like to enjoy my cut tomatoes with pepper sprinkled on them, and I relish bananas with just a skosh of peanut butter applied for good measure.
Some of my honorable-mention snacks are yogurt, rice cake treats, wheat crackers, granola bars, and low-fat and low-salt pretzels.
I hope these snack ideas are the mid-morning and mid-afternoon fountains of youth you have been seeking. Go forth and prosper!
This health and fitness column is brought to you by that guy who now dreams in 3D. That guy is Ron Blake, and there�s an app for that at www.myblakefitness.com."

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