Sun Valley, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/16/2012 -- Tailgate parties, picnics and trips to the beach are synonymous with overindulgence and junk food. Typical high-calorie snack foods like potato chips and pretzels, while delicious, offer empty carbohydrates without much nutritional value.
Nikko Generales, a contributor to Voskos Greek Yogurt’s “Get Fresh” blog, offers these alternatives to guilt-inducing junk foods for your next picnic or other outdoor gathering. “All are under 150 calories,” Generales notes.
Water — At least 1.5 liters of water should always be in the cooler or backpack when heading to the beach or any other outdoor activity. “Proper hydration is the foundation of any nutrition plan,” says Generales, “and is necessary for maintaining most physiological functions.”
Nuts and seeds — Rich in good fats (Omega-3s), a handful of nuts and seeds, such as almonds and chia seeds, can provide the sustainable energy necessary to stay full at the beach, picnic or tailgate. Generales advises, “Remember to choose raw, unsalted, and unsweetened options whenever possible.”
Fruit — A piece of fruit, such as an apple, or a handful of chopped dehydrated pineapple, can provide you with healthy antioxidants and fiber. This is a great low-calorie way to grab a quick source of energy.
Greek yogurt — Providing perhaps the best carbohydrate-to-protein ratio of any food, Greek yogurt is a great way to not only provide you with sustainable energy but can also double as a recovery food after a day of running in the surf or playing touch football. Greek yogurt also offers the added benefit of probiotics to aid in digestion and improves overall health. “I prefer Voskos’ 5.3 oz. strawberry yogurt, which has only 120 calories,” says Generales.
Almond butter with celery and carrots — Spreading a couple tablespoons of almond butter on carrots or celery is a great alternative to peanut butter and is rich in omega fatty acids.
Protein lettuce wraps — Take large romaine lettuce leaves and wrap them around a cooked lean protein source of your choice, such as chicken or turkey breast. “For added flavor and variety,” says Generales “add olives and cucumbers. You can also drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar inside.”
Peanut butter balls — Make your own protein “bars” by mixing peanut butter, rolled oats, dates, a protein powder of your choice (preferably whey protein isolate), and a dash of maple syrup. You can either eat them raw or bake them in the oven.
Air popped popcorn – Substituting this fiber-rich snack for chips and full-fat dip is a great low-calorie alternative.
Voskos Greek Yogurt has been recognized in awards contests presented by Fitness magazine, Women’s Health, Vegetarian Times, Natural Solutions, Self Magazine, Prevention and Cooking Light magazine. Visit the Voskos Web site for dozens of Greek yogurt recipes for high-protein, low-carbohydrate breakfasts, appetizers, entrees and snacks. Voskos Greek Yogurt, America’s first national Greek yogurt brand is available in stores such as Kroger, Safeway, Publix, Bi-Lo, Whole Foods, and Sprouts.
About Voskos Greek Yogurt
Award-winning for its thick, rich taste and nutritional value, Voskos Greek Yogurt is all-natural, hormone-free, gluten-free, and kosher certified. Through Voskos’ proprietary ProStrain™ method, Voskos yields two times more protein, more probiotics, less lactose, and a thicker, creamier consistency. Voskos offers an organic Greek yogurt line and all-natural line in both plain and blended flavors. Available nationwide, retailing between $1.49 - $2.99 in stores such as Kroger, Publix, Bi-Lo, Whole Foods, Sprouts, and more. For store locations and other great opportunities visit Facebook.com/Voskos.Greek.Yogurt today.
About Nikko Generales
Nikko’s passion for health and fitness stems from his aspiration to become a physician. He earned his B.S. in Physiology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is currently working on orphan drug research at the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences. He believes that people should be proactive in asking questions and educating themselves on how to live a healthy lifestyle.