10 On The Go Snack Ideas

low carb snack ideas

My biggest challenge has always been having ready to go easy snack and meals that will transport and be ok out of refrigeration for a few hours.  I know that healthy snacking is a crucial part of any healthy  eating plan.  But when your running late or the only convenient option is a bag of chips or cookies what do you do?  If your not organized then you reach for the vending machine or stop somewhere that is not good for you.

As I struggle to get my weight back in shape here are some ideas that I have.  My problem is much like a college student in a dorm.  I don’t have much freezer or frig space, I cant really access a kitchen to cook a big meal and I cant buy a lot of ingredients.  When I do buy I try to buy something that will last the week or just a couple of things (like apples) at a time.


veggies and hummus

This is a cute idea and if you can imagine for a moment all these colorful veggies nestled in a mason jar with peanut butter at the bottom!  Peanut butter is a good source of Omega 3 and just a tablespoon a day will help you meet your daily minimum.

strawberries and cottage cheese

I love cottage cheese, and if it’s not for you try Greek yogurt (which I can’t stand!!  lol) Of course any berry or fruit in season works well with cottage cheese, but I don’t see the black top mine would have from all the pepper I toss in there.

veggie grab and go2

I like this idea for two reasons, first it is in a portable baggie and second there are individual portions of dressing and peanut butter.   Most of the time I won’t get individual portions but sometimes, it just makes sense.

homemade snack pack

I keep stopping to look at the packs in the dairy section of my store of the cheese, nuts and dried fruit.  At close to $3 a piece, with what little is in there I just can’t bring myself to buy it.  After seeing this I think this is something that will work for me on a lot of levels.  If summer ever gets here the fresh veggies will be nice and along with some cheese and crackers not a bad option!  CVS puts containers of nuts on sale nearly once a month so I can stock up on that and it will store easily!

kidney bean salad

Kidney bean salad looks delicious and I know it’s full of nutrients and fiber!  I just need to figure out how to make a much smaller amount to store in the frig.  Will check out the grocery store and see if they offer smaller cans of the beans.  I’m not a fan of kidney beans and might switch out to black beans…recipe to follow next week!

skinny burrito in a jar

This one I can’t wait to try!  It’s a burrito in a jar and it looks delicious.  I’d have to do it in a small jar like that and thinking of adding refried beans in the bottom with taco seasoning added to it.  Not so sure about the sour cream on top, I need it to last a few hours to be a mid morning snack or early small lunch.  Might switch out for sliced avocado (yuck! but I need to learn to like them), chopped tomatoes, or more salsa.  Next week we have to increase our vegetable intake for this nutrition class, this is going on the menu!

veggie grab and go packs

I used to do this all the time in Northern Virginia, go to the International Markets and buy lots of fresh vegetables then fill them into bags for us to eat on all week.   Most times I would put ranch dressing into little containers for him to take but in the pharmacy there is no time to dip!  Heck, I barely had time to grab and chomp.  But it was a healthy option!

fuit cups

Fresh fruit to go!  How simple is this?  Just use mason jars again and add the seasonal fruit to the jar.  I bought strawberries and blueberries for this week, however I was not about to pay over $5 for fresh blueberries so I did the next best thing.  I went to the frozen fruit section of Wally World!!  I got the same amount ORGANIC for $3.99…that will do!  Been using them in my fruit cups and on my oatmeal each morning.

homemade oatmeal packets

I know you have seen them all over Pinterest, homemade oatmeal packets!  I love my oatmeal and I want to do this but right now is just not the time to be doing them.  Once I have my own place it won’t be so bad.  The packets are easy to store, quick to fix and no mess I’m out the door.

peanut butter jar

I had to add this one, it’s just too cute!  I hate to throw out anything and try my best to get multiple uses out of it.  This jar is not something that you want cluttering up your cabinets so wash it out and do a one time use with it for your snack!  Popcorn, granola mix, grapes it all works!

Don’t forget the top picture, hard boiled eggs make a great snack!  Grab a couple of those single salt and pepper packets and your all set.

first week


Ok, so I came back  to campus for Maymester and the course I am taking is “Exercise, Sports, and Nutrition.”  Right off the bat Dr. Poole has us logging into My Plate (www.choosemyplate.gov) and logging our daily calories and exercise.  Once your on this site then link to super-tracker which is a great tool!!  This is paid for by our tax dollars, use it folks!

I know it’s a lot of work to input everything you eat but once you do it’s there.  The only thing I don’t like about it is there is no app to use on my phone, but I just take photo’s of my food if I’m out and about then load it later at my leisure.

The first two days have been eye-opening to say the least.  You know I had said that I have an issue with not eating, well on Tuesday I didn’t eat and only consumed 1177 calories.  Now my variety was decent, but as I learned in class today that is not even enough to sustain my basic RMR (resting metabolic rate) which is 1396 to 1696.

What is RMR?  well, basically we burn most of our daily calories with little to no conscious effort. Whether you’re talking on the phone, working at a keyboard, or just watching television, your body is burning calories to keep your heart pumping, your lungs breathing, and your organs functioning. The calories used to maintain these basic bodily functions add up to your resting metabolic rate, or RMR. Basal essentially means base — think of it as the number of calories that’s just enough to cover all your body’s functions.  Pretty cool huh?!

When I mentioned to Dr. Poole that I had only consumed 1200 calories the next day (and I know it was bad) she mentioned something that I had not thought about and that is my RMR and how not eating enough will undo my weight loss efforts!

Here is how it all plays out:

When our metabolism thinks we are starving, does it want to get rid of or hold on to body fat? IT WANTS TO HOLD ON!!

Next, what does our metabolism want less of when we are starving? It wants less tissue (which burns a lot of calories). What type of tissue burns a lot of calories? Muscle tissue.   So when our metabolism thinks we are starving, it gets rid of calorie-hungry muscle tissue, not body fat!

Burning all this muscle means that starving ourselves leads to more body fat—not less—over the long term. As soon as we stop starving ourselves, we have all the calories we used to have but need less of them, thanks to all that missing muscle and our slowed-down metabolism. Now our metabolism sees eating a normal amount as overeating and creates new body fat.

To lose weight, you need to reduce your caloric intake below your total daily calorie requirement indicated by your RMR + activity level. Putting yourself in a 500-calorie deficit every day should result in the loss of one pound every week.  You can influence your RMR through exercise, spurring your body to burn more calories even when you are just lounging about.

  • Aerobic exercise provides a temporary boost to your RMR and this boost drops dramatically following an aerobic workout, with your RMR returning back to its normal level within 15 minutes to 48 hours.
  • Strength training provides a more lasting boost to RMR by altering your body’s composition. Muscle at rest burns more calories than fat at rest. That’s why men naturally enjoy a higher RMR than women, as they tend to have more muscle mass Dr. Pool explained to us in class this morning.
  • Increase the calorie deficit by adding more exercise. If you increase the amount of calories you burn off by 250 each day, you’ll lose a half-pound more on top of the calorie cuts made in your diet. You can also increase the intensity of your workouts to burn more calories, and you will increase your calorie deficit and aid your efforts at weight loss.

The advantage of knowing your RMR is that you can adjust the number of calories of your diet to meet your personal guidelines for weight loss.


First lets talk about what affects our RMI, what I learned in class today was:

Were getting older

  • Your metabolism naturally slows as you age. After the age of about 25, it’s estimated that your metabolism drops as you age, around 2–3 percent each decade.
  • Making sure you get some physical activity in each day will go a long way toward keeping your metabolism running.

Not sleeping enough

  • If you consistently find yourself skimping on sleep, you might be setting yourself up for failure when it comes to raising your RMR. When your body doesn’t get enough rest, your metabolism will actually slow down to conserve energy.
  • Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night, including weekends. Sleeping enough  will also help keep your hormones that can contribute to weight gain, at healthy levels.

Weights in our workout

  • Even if you’re at a normal weight, if you lack muscle, your RMR could be lower than you’d like. It’s harder for your body to maintain muscle mass than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories are being burned even while at rest!  How cool is that!!
  • Just start adding weight training to your workout sessions to ensure your metabolism is working hard long after you are. Too many dieters think that lifting weights will put on unwanted bulk, but as long as you keep your repetition range above 10 (well outside of the power lifting zone), you’ll only get fitter … not bigger.
  • Also, keep in mind that strength training gives your metabolism a bump for 48–72 hours compared to just two hours for a cardio workout.  Back when I lost weight before I always did my weights in the evening and cardio in the morning.  It may not have mattered but I just felt better knowing that going to sleep I was burning calories.

Monday night I did my measurements and I still have not decided if I’m going to share those with you or not.  Let’s just say that its oppressive to me and I think I would be better off keeping that info to myself and not putting it out there.  I can motivate myself to keep this going and I will.  I will share that when I calculated my BMI that I am once again back in the Obese Category.

Some weight loss humor…lol




Reality Check



About eight years ago I weighed in at a hefty 260lbs and it was a wake up call for me.  I had put on weight during my then husbands cancer battle and when we were finally through that I thought, OMG!!  If I don’t do something I’m going to be in the same boat as he is in 20 years or sooner.  For what ever reason it hit me like a ton of bricks and I joined a local gym, started eating salads and cut out all soda by switching to water.  I struggled to lose at first, my body wanted to hold on tight to the weight.  I didn’t even lose water weight but after about three weeks I began to see the difference in the scales.

After eight months I had lost 70lbs and had a new lease on life.  Unfortunately one of the things I lost besides the weight was my marriage.  I can’t say that it was the weight but it was a catalyst as my husband was paranoid as hell I was cheating on him, I wasn’t but along with some other things we spiraled out of control and I ended up leaving.  Fast forward to today and I am in my last year of college and dating someone new.  However, I have managed to put on 40lbs and it needs to go!  After finishing up this Spring Semester I have come to the conclusion that I need to start this summer.

When I came to Radford University last year one of the things I really wanted to do was take advantage of our Wellness Center.  It is amazing and I can honestly tell you that I have been in there and actually worked out….one time…Fall 2016…I’m pathetic…lol  In my defense my first semester here I had torn my rotator cuff and it was extremely painful!  I also missed my boyfriend VERY MUCH.

Since I have been here I gained 30lbs and its has really showed in more ways that visually.  I can honestly say that I feel like crap with the extra weight, before I did not really feel any different and I don’t know if this is because I am turning the BIG 50 this year or what but things are sure different this time around.

College Life for me has been very physically devastating, I have gained weight,my stress levels are higher than they have ever been, my sleep patterns are off and mentally I am missing my boyfriend who is four hours away from me and has a very demanding traveling job.  I don’t eat right, I don’t eat and when I do I’m famished and eat everything, I am a stress eater so when a deadline is looming I’ma eating. I honestly think that I am undernourished because I know I’m not eating right.

I need to make some changes and the first one is to get back on the WATER WAGON.  I need to cut out the extra calories with the semi-sweet tea’s I have been drinking.  I can’t not have my morning coffee or afternoon coffee so those will stay but anything else that is pre-sweetened has to go.  I also need to get back in the habit of eating my last meal at 6pm and if I have anything after that it has to be just a health snack.

I have this week of exams then I go off to visit (YEA!!) the boyfriend and I AM NOT starting any kind of limiting diet until I get back.  I have missed our lunches and dinners so I’m not going to let a restricted diet interfere with that.

This is not going to happen overnight and I need to set some realistic goals for myself.  One being getting myself into the gym.  I am very fortunate that i have a close friend, Carolyn, who can help me (and motivate me..so can Sydney) as I strive to make the gym a habit again.  I also need to figure out how I am going to incorporate healthy meals back into my daily routine.  I need to get out of the fast food rut and figure this out.  Today I had a very healthy bowl of steamed veggies from the Chinese place here on campus, no sauce just steamed veggies…that is a start.  But they won’t be open this summer…

In thinking about this, I am a foodie…I just love to eat and that includes the good stuff too.  So, I think I am going to try keeping a picture journal of my wight loss journey.  I will be logging in my meals, all of them including snacks, and my exercising journey.

I need to do this for me, I need to get myself in shape and lose the weight that had once again won the battle with my body.  I am worth it and I deserve to look good and feel good.  The love of my life deserves me to not only be healthy but to look good when we go out!  I get that and I’m fine with that, I expect the same of him…

If I have learned one thing in college that is I need a plan and I need to set some goals, so that will be forthcoming.  Later this week I will be posting numbers and possibly body shots…maybe…lol  I’m hopeful that you guys will just take my word for it and how bad it looks…especially by belly and thighs…ugh!

I am also going to implement a “Weight Loss Motivational Wall”.  This is something that I have been wanting to do with school but never got around to doing it…one for weight loss and fitness will be perfect to keep me going!

Public Health Emergency Preparedness


As excited as I was to be at the conference with people who were living the real life of helping others in their community it was not until the last day that I got really excited.  I was set to give the introduction to Yolanda Galloway the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Planner for Forsyth County when the pieces fell into place for me.  I had not been exposed to this career field as of yet in my college experience.  I saw it as fate as I sat there and listened to her session “Using Transferable Skills in health Education to Build Effective Local Public Health Preparedness Programs.”

I feel that this is something that I am very interested in as well as passionate about.  Health security depends on the ability of our nation to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from public health threats.  In my years I have seen the events of September 11, 2001, and the anthrax attacks that followed, highlighted the importance of the local, state, and federal public health systems. In 2009-10, the H1N1 influenza pandemic again underscored the importance of communities being prepared for health threats.  Before that there was Katrina, like many I watched and heard many compelling stories of individual acts of heroism in response to the disaster.  However, it was very obvious that most aspects of the response, including the public health and medical response, fell short of expectations. Hurricane Katrina tested the public health system in terms of its emergency response role; a number of problem areas were exposed in the process.

Preparing adequately for public health emergencies requires continual and coordinated efforts that involve every level of government, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and individuals.  I want to be a part of that pivotal role and effort to prepare our nation and or communities for all types of public health threats.  That was my take away from Ms. Galloway’s session, in health we do play a role at helping to keep our communities and country safe during disasters.




What is NCSOPHE?

NCSOPHE is the North Carolina chapter of the Society of Public Health Education, which is a professional membership organization that exists to enhance the abilities of North Carolina health educators through advocacy, professional development and leadership in health education practice. This group is the primary provider of continuing education credits for CHES (Certified Health Education Specialist.

Currently there is no chapter in the state of Virginia and we chose to attend this conference not only because of the proximity to our campus but also because we feel very strongly that North Carolina is a state that understands and promotes Health Education at the local county level. It was important to me that I had access to the people on the ground making critical decisions and influencing the lives of North Carolinians on a daily basis.

This conference and the abundant networking did not disappoint. There were two days of training sessions, breakout sessions, luncheons, as well as wonderful opening and closing sessions. We had the opportunity to meet many successful people who inspired and educated us beyond the walls of classrooms at Radford University.




Asa, Sydney and Me!



Produce Auction

my Summer is just flying by and my efforts to get any real produce for canning is waining!  Every Sunday there is a farmers market here in Sterling at the Cascades Shopping Center, it’s busting with farmers from Va with beautiful produce!  Every Saturday at work has just been awful and I’m so exhausted when I get home I sleep too late on Sunday morning or I’m just too exhausted to go.


So, I have found a produce auction in Dayton, Va (near Harrisonburg) that I can visit in my days off!  I am hopeful to go this week, I want peaches!  I need tomatoes too, so I’m going to scope that out.  My budget is limited this month so I may just go with the peaches as their season is at the end….I Must Have More Pirate Peach Preserves!  This recipe is so delicious, I have eaten 3 jelly jars already and about out!

I need to make at least 4 more batches to sell and 2 batches for personal use.



Here is some info on the auction…

Click to access Oct2012-CoopMagArticle.pdf

Peaches Peaches Everywhere!



If you find yourself with a large surplus of peaches that are beginning to get soft and you can’t get to them right away, a dear friend of mine told me her method of saving them. Bag up the peaches and put them in the freezer. Later when you have time, let them thaw just a bit and rub off the peels. Then pit the peaches and put them in your blender. Puree them and pour them into ice cube trays to use for smoothies later! YUM!