10 Healthy Snacks for Authors or Anyone Else!


I’ll admit it–I love food. It’s delicious, there are so many different flavors and textures, it’s essential to survival and it brings people together. Food is also intimate–I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten something lovingly prepared just for me, or given something that I took great care to prepare for somebody else.

The problem is, sometimes those foods I love contain a few too many calories, too much sugar, or whatever else that, in excess, isn’t healthy. Another problem is that I sit at the laptop for at least a few hours every day in the early mornings and late evenings as I write out my stories and articles for you to read. While totally fulfilling, I’ve been working on eating less garbage and dictating a lot more so that I am a healthy author.

While I still have to eat, I’ve got a list of snack foods that can help with the munchies without totally killing your health goals.

Before I get started, though, let me just say one thing. Powdered Peanut Butter–have you guys seen this stuff? My amazing friend showed it to me recently and I absolutely ADORE it! I’ve tried a couple of brands, but I’ve got the PBfit brand (no affiliate links in this post) right now. They extract most of the oil out of it, then you can use it powdered or reconstitute it with water or almond milk.

It’s in an idea or two in the list below and you should totally check it out–it’s changed my life! Well, maybe that’s a little dramatic. It’s made my life a little easier as I try to navigate what I deem to be a healthy diet for my family and me.

  1. Rice Cakes and Peanut Butter–the powdered kind

Did your mom/grandma/aunt/friend ever go through a phase of eating lots of rice cakes? Yeah, well, now I know why a few every woman I know has gone through a rice cake stage. They are something to eat when you’re trying to take care of yourself, but also trying to make sure you’re not eating a bunch of garbage that makes you feel like garbage!

You can only eat so many plain rice cakes before they taste like packing peanuts, though.

If you reconstitute the powdered peanut butter with a little almond milk or water, you get that amazing nut taste, but with so few calories! Spread that on a lightly salted rice cake (35 calories for the Quaker brand), and you’ve got yourself a treat of about 60 calories that’s satisfying, but low in calories and, imo, pretty healthy.

  2. Veggies and Hummus

While veggies are delicious on their own, I’m not prone to simply grabbing a carrot and eating it. They have to be cut up prettily, tossed in a yummy salad, or, one of my favorites–dipped in hummus.

You have to be careful, because hummus can be really fattening/high in calories, however, there are lots of recipes–check THIS one out–that taste great and have less fat than store-bought.

  3. Popcorn

Yes, we’ve heard this one a million times, but do you remember how few calories there are in air-popped popcorn? About 35 per popped cup!! Don’t have an air-popper? You can easily pop 1/2 cup un-popped popcorn it in a pot in about 1 TBS of oil, which doesn’t make it that much more, calore-wise, per popped cup.

The thing about popcorn is, you can throw stuff on it! Try putting some in a few taster bowls, do a short spritz of Pam to get your stuff to stick, then try curry, salt and pepper, cinnamon sugar, my beloved powdered peanut butter mixed with cocoa powder, garlic and parm, or whatever! Don’t limit yourself, friends. It can taste good and be a healthy, low-calorie snack.

You might even want to check out some gourmet popcorn sites to get some flavor ideas.

  4. Smoothies

I love chocolate. I would eat it 10:00 a.m. or later. Not before then, though–that’s just crazy…or so I tell myself.

However, with how addictive that stuff that tastes like heaven is, I’ve been trying to avoid it, lately.

Cocoa powder is a different story, though. While it’s not See’s candy, a tub of Haagen-Daz, or decadent homemade brownies, it has powers of taste when it comes to a smoothie.

Taking it for what it is, a brown-spotted banana will make the recipe below taste like a chocolate milk shake, which you can sip on while you sit and hammer out a thousand words.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Smoothie

2 Bananas, frozen and over-ripe to make them sweeter and less banana-flavorish

1-2 Cups unsweetened almond milk  (usually 30 calories per cup, yo!)

1 TBS cocoa powder

1.5 TBS powdered peanut butter (lower those calories/fat while getting the peanut butter taste, people!)

1 TBS smooth or chunky peanut butter (or just add another TBS of the powdered peanut butter)


Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Riper bananas lose that banana flavor and mostly just taste sweet. If they’re not frozen, better blend with ice or pour it over ice or it will taste really gross. In my opinion!

  5. Oatmeal Peanut-Butter Bites


Mmm. Sometimes, the savory just won’t cut it. And sometimes you’ve already had 3 of the above chocolate smoothies for the day. What’s left? That’s right! Energy bites, balls, frozen cookie dough, or whatever you want to call them.

The problem with most recipes is, sure, you can eat them, but if you’ve got the munchies, one tiny ball that has 200 calories just isn’t going to cut it! These have a lower in caloric content, no processed sugar and, your daily caloric goals permitting, you can have more than one.

Just to let you know, though, these are some of the ingredients allowed in my limited dietary experiment right now, so if you want something that tastes like cookie-dough, you might want to try something else!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bites

3 TBS Old Fashioned Oats

2 TBS Powdered Peanut Butter

1 TBS Cocoa Powder

3 TBS Whole Grain Crispy Rice (THIS is the type I used)

1 TBS Honey (I use raw and local to help with allergies!)

1 TBS + 1 tsp regular peanut butter

Mix those ingredients up, people! You are probably going to think I’m crazy and be tempted to add in some milk or PB to bring it together, but I’ve done this many times and you just have to keep mashing it together with the back of your spoon. It will come together.

Of course, if you want to add more PB or a little milk, no prob! Just be aware that the milk might make your cereal a little soggy.

Form into 7-8 balls, then freeze to make them stick together.

***According to my ingredients and quick calculations, these are about 47 calories per ball if you make 7 out of the dough. I store them in the freezer and have no long how they keep.

  6. Salad

So, you probably read that and thought, gag me. I’m hungry, not looking for rabbit food advice.

However, if you’re watching your calories and want to munch on something, a big salad is one that keeps on going and going, takes up a bunch of stomach space that suppresses your appetite, and–depending on what you put in it–doesn’t have a lot of calories compared to volume.

You can even buy pre-bagged or boxed stuff so that you can just throw on a low-calorie dressing and start eating.

I love adding rinsed beans (garbanzo or black are my favs), a few tortilla chips crunched up, dried or fresh fruit, dried or fresh herbs, rice and I usually save some of my daily nut intake for my salads. Mmm. Actually, I’m eating a salad right now and it’s delicious as well as filling!

7. Pistachios

Ok. I know what you’re thinking! “Those aren’t low calorie and are full of fat!”

I’m not a nutritionist, however, I’m convinced that we are too quick to shun nuts and seeds. Unless you’re allergic, of course, and then shun away!

Think about everything it takes to grow a plant/tree/whateva. It’s all hanging out in that little nut or seed! And we can eat that and have those nutrients. Maybe it’s more about the nutritional value of the whole of what we eat, not just that something has fat or sugar or cat hair in it?

My bag of pistachios says 120 cals per 1/2 cup in-shell pistachios. Not bad at all! Especially for something that takes forever to eat.

8. Dried Fruit

While you can’t just go and eat a ton of dried fruit if you’re counting your calories, they are pretty amazing at satisfying that sweet craving. I’ve been buying dried fruit for years and tuck it in my cupboard, but I found this recipe for Cinnamon Apple Slices that I’ll be trying out!

9. Copycat Frito Bean Dip

I think my husband would go through a can of Frito Bean Dip every other day if they weren’t so expensive. I found this copycat recipe a few years ago–thank goodness!

Also! It’s a true copycat, taste-wise. It isn’t one of those recipes where they say that it tastes even better than the fried whatever recipe that they baked and are trying to trick you into enjoying. Whew! Rant over.

While tortilla chips have a lot of fat and calories, I’ve dipped baked tortilla chips, pita chips, veggies and crackers in this stuff. Man, it’s so good!

10. Baked French Fries

I really love good french fries. If they’re cold, soggy or floppy, there’s no way I’ll eat them, though. Since they’re loaded with fat and will make you retain 10 pounds in water weight with one bite, though, I try to not eat them very often.

Baked fries, though? They’re full of nutrients and skip out on most of the fat and water-retention.

Here’s a recipe that does, pretty much, what I do. Only difference–I toss mine in rosemary, garlic, onion powder and pepper as well as the salt. You can check out this recipe HERE.


So, there you have it! 10 Snacks that won’t totally kill your dietary standards or goals. Good luck and–I have to ask! Do you have any awesome, healthy snacks? Leave the ideas in the comments!

Also, please feel free to pin or share this post–I’d appreciate it!

Hershey’s Kitchens Sea Salt Caramel Chip Chocolate Cookies

I took preparations for the big storm that (was supposed to) hit the PNW over the weekend very seriously. At Fred Meyer, before grabbing a few things that could be eaten without heating, replacing one of our emergency flashlights and picking up a couple of candles, I headed straight to the baking isle so that I could hurry home to bake up some cookies that would aid in our survival.

After looking over the many options, I decided to choose something a little different—I grabbed these Hershey’s Kitchens Sea Salt Caramel Chips. Let me tell you, they do not disappoint! I love their sweet and salty essence.



Thinking back on the storm, I can say with all honesty that they were the most helpful thing I purchased in my emergency preparedness. Thank you, Hershey’s! Though I suppose I’m happy that we now have those other emergency items for the coming season.

I used the recipe on the back of the package for Sea Salt Caramel Chip Chocolate Cookies when I whipped up these cookies and I’m glad I did—it’s a great little recipe. It’s kind of similar to the REESE’S Chewy Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Chips Recipe (what’s with the long cookie titles? Are all cookie titles long? Is this a thing and I’m just now noticing?), but I like the Sea Salt one better. I think it would be quite tasty with chopped almonds and white chocolate chips, so I’ll be Pinning that recipe for another time.



Since the power didn’t go out (the kiddos were hoping for that!), we decided to pretend some electricity loss and ate the cookies in candlelight before sending the little turkeys off to bed. They thought it was rad! Also, I may or may not have enjoyed one while getting some authorial work done later that evening.

The Sea Salt Caramel Chips were in the Holiday Baking Section at my local Fred Meyer and I’d guess that you’d find them at your local grocery as well. Let me know if you make them and Happy Baking!

Yummy: Justin’s Organic Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups



I have another chocolate for you to hunt down and try! That is, if you love the taste of chocolate and peanut butter together. Today, you’ll get insights about Justin’s Organic Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.

I found these at my local health food store, but I’ve also seen them in the health food section at Fred Meyer and once at a Target, so hopefully you can find them somewhere if you want to try them, also!

Today I wanted to review this a little differently, though. As a science/writing project, I had my kids taste and review them for us—but of course I snagged a bite, too, so I’ll add in my opinion as well!

I asked them six questions and here are their honest and unaltered answers:

*Review from my Oldest:

1. How do you like the flavor?

Not really.

2. Do they taste like other peanut butter cups?


3. Use some adjectives to explain what the peanut butter cup feels like in your mouth

Soft inside and hard shell.

4. How does your mouth feel after you’ve swallowed?

Peanut buttery.

5. Would you like to eat them again, someday?


6. Tell me any other thoughts you have about Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups

I would like them better if they didn’t have peanut butter in them. I really don’t know why I don’t like peanut butter.

*I knew these wouldn’t be my daughter’s favorite—she doesn’t like nuts very much! However, this was a fantastic way for her to try something not to her taste while having a very open mind about exploring the flavors . . .and also having a chance to be honest about whether she liked them or not. I will definitely be tucking this little food survey away for another time.

Review from my Youngest:

1. How do you like the flavor?

I love it!

2. Do they taste like other peanut butter cups?


3. Use some adjectives to explain what the peanut butter cup feels like in your mouth

Chewy and Smooth.

4. How does your mouth feel after you’ve swallowed?


5. Would you like to eat them again, someday?


6. Tell me any other thoughts you have about Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups

They taste good.


Katie’s Review:

Mm-Mmmm! Unlike two people in my family, I’m with my youngest and I LOVE the Choco-Peanut Butter combo! It’s one of my favorites, really. I’ve tried Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups before and liked them, but I got the Milk Chocolate version this time and really enjoyed them as well—probably a little more.


Favorite Bits:

– The authentic peanut butter flavor is really great! It adds a salty/sweet flavor that is fantastic. The salty and sweet combo is my favorite aspect of the whole experience.

– Though these are Milk Chocolate and definitely sweeter than the Dark Chocolate ones, they aren’t too sweet. Just enough to be delicious, but not so much so that the sugar granules scratch your throat going down (winky face!)

– There is something about the much more widely known peanut butter cup that leaves a chemical aftertaste as well as a waxy lining in the mouth—not necessarily desirable! Justin’s definitely don’t do that. After eating, I mostly just had a sweet, Peanut taste in my mouth. Pretty sure that would be the ingredient list.

If you, too, love the Choco-Peanut Butter combo, I would snag a pack to try! And if you generally look for organic, more natural products, I would say that this could be a great alternative.

Have you tried Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups??? What did you think?

Note: I just picked these up because I thought they would be fun to review and didn’t receive compensation in exchange. Our opinions are honest!

Hand-Crafted Tea from Dulce Y Picante

When my husband went on a recent trip to México, I demanded requested that he bring home some tea and chocolate for me. He kept his word and it has been such a treat to open up the beautiful wrappings to find such tasty morsels and lovely teas. While delicious, they are also so different, making the adventure of eating and drinking them that much more enjoyable. Personally, though, I’m not certain it will last long enough. I may need to make a trip to pick up some more. Wouldn’t you agree??

Dulce Y Picante is the little shop in Valladolid where my husband found the tea. The curio shop carries all sorts of interesting things; the house made Mayan-influenced tea, spices, dishes, Mayan art and Mayan artifact replicas.


Tizana De Cacao


I loved the experience of opening the tea bag–the Tizana de Cacao is so different from any other I have seen! The shells from the cacao were so big, I didn’t think that the flavor would be very strong after steeping. I was very wrong, though–the flavor infused wonderfully.


Tea Set


I pulled out my little tea set to let everyone have a try along with me. My daughter took one sip and then politely said she didn’t like it, took another and held strong with her first opinion. She asked to be excused and I guess, to her, a book was more enticing than the tea. I mostly gave her the tea to experience something new…but, I must admit, to also watch her face. She doesn’t like tea and I know it!

My husband drank a cup and enjoyed it, but then also left the table.

Finally, my son and I were left on the deck to enjoy several more cups together until we had finished the pot. He loved it and smacked his lips the whole time. And I love it, too. It has such a warm, woodsy undertone, with a true chocolate flavor throughout. All kidding aside, I actually am very sad that I only have an ounce to enjoy.


Mayan Chocolate


We drank the tea with a ball of handcrafted Mayan chocolate slowly melting at the bottom of our cups as well as some local honey that has to be the best jar I’ve ever tasted. The Mayan chocolate is an experience in itself and deserves its own post!

I think I’ll wake up early tomorrow, steep a pot for myself, and write until everyone else wakes up.

On Tea and Writing

I didn’t grow up drinking tea. I remember an attempt that my sister once made at getting me to try it and I thought it was bland and strange. And, quite frankly, disgusting.

A few years after marriage, I found myself turning to tea when I was pregnant. I began drinking all kinds of herbal teas to try to help with this ailment or that and found that I actually liked tea. Whether it was holding the warm cup, or tasting the interesting spices and flavors that I learned to appreciate, I’m not sure what made me finally enjoy it.

When I decided to embrace the writer within, tea became a huge part of the experience. Instead of helping with pregnancy ailments, it now helps me to overcome writer’s blocks, keeps me alert with the lovely spices or helps me to sleep. Even when a story is tempting me to write on later into the night.

Ahhh, tea. You are delightful!

Do YOU have a favorite tea? Please feel free to comment.

Click HERE to see today’s favorite cup–Tahitian Vanilla Honey by Yogi.

tea mug

(This link is placed here for your benefit, but is not an affiliate link. It’s simply a tea that I enjoy!)