Not Losing the Weight You Want? Look At Snacks

are snacks hurting your diet?


Is Snacking to Blame?


Many people think that if they simply eliminated all sweets from their diet, they would magically lose weight – as if it was that simple… Will no more chocolate in the house lead to you losing 10 pounds in a week? Will no soda in the office result in 5 pounds lost in a few days? If only it were that simple! But when you think about it, isn’t it all about those underlying urges and lack of healthy alternatives that make you chow down on this stuff? Let’s look at a few ways in which you can control your hunger and hopefully start moving the scale in the right direction.


Plan Your Way to Success:


So you ate fast food twice today (breakfast and lunch), then raided the office vending machine for a few snacks, and then on the way home picked up a pizza…what the Hell? Of course, this will look like your diet if you don’t plan and prep a few meals here and there. Having some healthy premade meals and snacks that you can take with you to the office or use for supper will save you a huge amount of wasted calories! Start prepping!


Eat Slower:


Seriously, this can help you not choke, aid in digestion, and prevent you from overeating! When you eat slower, your mind and stomach stay in sync and know when you are full. If you are like me, when you wolf down your food you actually overeat before your brain catches up to the fact that it’s stuffed and bloated!


More Fiber:


If you have a problem snacking and always being hungry then this is a must follow for you! By filling up on fiber, you not only fill-up quicker but you also stay full longer. This means that it might reduce some of that snacking you have a habit of doing! When it comes to fiber, which can also play an important role in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and your immune system, consume at least 14 grams of fiber per 1000 kcal you consume daily!


Remember Your Goals:

If you are serious about taking control of your health this year then you must remember what you are working for. Next time the office is having a birthday party and there is a massive amount of cake, just remember what you have been working so hard for and head the other direction (after singing “Happy Birthday” of course). Or just think about how many burpees it would take to work off those calories… yeah that will make you put the fork down!


Drop the Guilt:


If you don’t love yourself and stop feeling guilty every time you screw up on your diet, how are you going to avoid “emotional” eating? I mean seriously, being stronger than the Hulk is useless if you are mentally weak and constantly break down. Be gentle on yourself. Living healthy isn’t a sprint that needs to be completed in a month or even a year – it’s a lifestyle. Remember to constantly be positive and build your own confidence and ditch the guilt.



If you are blaming your health on the excessive amount of sugary goodies at your office, just remember you have the will-power and the tools to help you avoid it! By eating properly (decreasing your hunger), remembering your goals, and ditching the guilt you will be well on your way to getting healthy!


If you are looking for more fit tips, recipes, and motivational content check out DIY Active: “Fit.Food.Life,” and join the growing DIY Nation!


The Cardamom Crusade


What the heck is Cardamom?


In my ongoing quest to cook and eat healthier, I am always on the lookout to explore new ingredients that I personally haven’t used before. I came across a recipe in Better Homes & Garden Magazine for Buttermilk Pumpkin Cardamom Pie. (Disclaimer: Ok, ok, not exactly healthy, but sounded delicious and I am trying to learn how to be a better baker.) The problem was that I had no Cardamom, so I headed out to the store to get some.  Truth be told, I had no idea what Cardamom was.


I got to the grocery store and the spices were on sale for 33% off – fantastic!  I grabbed the Cardamom and just as I was about to walk off, I decided to double-check the price:  $13.99. That was WITH the 33% discount!! Why the heck was this so expensive!?  Was it laced in gold!?!  Clearly, I needed to do some research about this expensive spicy number.


  • Cardamom is an aromatic spice that is part of the ginger family.
  • It’s used both in cooking and medicinally.
  • It’s generally grown in Southeast Asia, and like some other well-known expensive spice like Saffron and Vanilla, it is expensive because it’s harvested by hand. It is a very labor-intensive handpicking process with each pod picked when it’s about 3/4 ripe.  Much time and care is needed to yield this spice and when you find out how much TLC goes into this and processes like this and Saffron, you understand why you pay just a bit more.
  • Like ginger, some find it useful for digestive problems, ulcers, even depression and halitosis.


Cardamom can be both strong and subtle – with notes of ginger and grapefruit – and works well in both sweet and savory dishes.  It seems that this really packs a punch and is definitely worth the few extra dollars.


Do you use cardamom in your cooking?  If so, I’d love for you to share your recipe.  I’m still learning about how to incorporate it into my cooking and would love suggestions!


Taunia Soderquist is a professional musician, music educator, and radio host located in the Greater Los Angeles area.  She’s also a seven and a half year gastric bypass post-op living a healthy lifestyle after losing and maintaining 150 lbs.  Now a passionate cook, but not-so-passionate about exercise (eh, she’s trying). Check her website for live shows and more info:

Junk Food Avoidance Strategies

Avoid Fast Food


I’ve written before about recent research that demonstrated how over 35% of U.S. adults are physically inactive during their leisure time. This basically means that when we aren’t at work, we aren’t doing anything to get our heart rate up – the typical couch potato. That’s bad enough by itself but when you combine that with the fact that our children are developing terrible eating habits, it’s going to add up to a continuing obesity epidemic.


Our Kids Love Fast Food


Recently it was brought to light that over 1/3 of U.S. children (ages 2-19) eat fast food on any given day (data from 2011-2012). That equated to 12% of a child’s daily calories coming from fast food! Now this definitely points to the fact that childhood obesity is still rising but it also says we are teaching our children terrible nutrition habits from an early age.


Fast Food Dangers


Nothing like combining an inactive lifestyle with a fast food nutrition mentality, right? Fast food can be incredibly bad for you especially if you consume it on a regular basis. From increasing your weight to clogging your arteries to actually making you feel depressed, it really can cause physical and mental damage. There are so many negative effects that I don’t even have time to list them all – seriously.


But why are so many of us skipping workouts and picking up a burger then? Simply put: it’s convenient. We humans will normally do what is the most convenient and least energy expending – it’s in our nature – and that is exactly what these two offer.


Making Change


So what are we to do when we are on-the-go and need a convenient food source? What are we to do when it’s 6:30pm and you still have to make food for the family? Keep it simple, keep it healthy, and thus keep it convenient and sustainable.  Remember these easy tips:


  • Whole foods are your friend – avoid the highly processed stuff out there
  • Frozen fruits and veggies are super quick to make in the microwave and just as healthy
  • Fruits and whey protein can make for a great on-the-go supercharging snack
  • Frozen fish is an easy meal to bake. Pop a few on a pan, put it in the oven, and done
  • No sugar laden drinks – water is also your friend
  • If you can’t read most of the ingredients then you should probably move on
  • Plan your trips out. Always have a plan that doesn’t involve eating fast food each meal



We realize you can’t always avoid fast food but when you combine the regular consumption of it with an inactive lifestyle then you set yourself up for poor health. But by having a plan and sticking to whole foods you can avoid being like the increasing cohort of people that are setting themselves up for dietary and physical fitness failure!


For more workouts, awesome recipes and lifestyle tips head over to Always Active Athletics to join the growing DIY Nation!