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I love searching for recipes but, as luck would have it, some of the most fun things to make are also not so good for you.  After weeks of baking sugary treats and loading up on halloween candy I’m in need of a little health-food binge.  With Thanksgiving just a couple of days away it would be easy to justify pigging out on whatever because, hey, tis the season. Right?  Well, I’ve decided that I need to buckle down and be a good girl ’til turkey day.  So, if you’d like to join me, here are a handful of my favorite good for you snacks and mini-meal that will make staying healthy through the holidays seem like a treat!

1. Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars

These are the best stick-to-your-ribs breakfast if you’re on the go like me!  I love oatmeal for breakfast but I almost never have time to make it before i leave the house in the morning.  I can just grab one of these scrumptious bars on the way out the door and they keep me full until lunch time.  They’re packed with whole grain and good fats, which is great for me because I like to kick-start my metabolism early and eat lighter as the day goes on.

2. String Cheese and Whole Wheat Tortillas

This is an old family favorite in my house.  It’s so simple and oh so yummy!  Just wrap a piece of string cheese in a small whole wheat tortilla and nuke it for about twenty-seconds so it’s nice and melty.  The low-fat cheese provides necessary calcium and since it’s wrapped in a tortilla it’s like eating a mozzarella stick that’s actually good for you!

3. Cucumber Slices and Laughing Cow

This is such a great alternative to cheese and crackers.  I’ve always put laughing cow on wraps and bagels but I’d never thought of pairing it with veggies.  The crunchy cucumbers are refreshing for an afternoon pick me up and a wedge of Laughing Cow adds richness without too many calories.  (Bonus: There are a lot of other great snacks listed with the link for this treat!)

4. Veggies and Hummus

Basis but a great go to when you’re tempted to grab a bag of chips from the vending machine down the hall.  Hummus is such a versatile dip, if you’re not familiar with it, I highly suggest you give it a try.  I know quite a few picky eaters who can’t get enough of the stuff!  I’ve tried several brands but Sabra Classic Hummus is definitely my preference.  It doesn’t have the additives of some other brands, plus it’s smooth and not too garlic-y.  I’ve been pairing mine with carrots and snap peas to get in darkly colored veggies but it’s also fabulous with bell peppers, cauliflower, and broccoli.

5. Nutella Fruit Dip

Sometimes it’s almost impossible to resist the goodies people bring into the office . . . but doughnuts, cookies, and sugar galore just make me sleepy after I’ve had them so this decadent almost guilt free fruit dip keeps me from binging on the sweet stuff.  I make mine with plain greek yogurt and just a little Nutella so I’m not just loading up on calories, plus I love the tanginess of the yogurt.  If you like yours a little sweeter, try taking it easy on the Nutella and adding a little cocoa powder and Splenda to see if that’s sweet enough for you without all the extra carbs!  I think apples are great with this but berries are always good with something chocolatey too.

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Bonus TOP FIVES:  Blogs We Love!

In honor of your first “Top Five Tuesday” Christine and I wanted to share some of our favorite blogs with you so you can see what influences us!  Check them out . . .

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Lauren’s Top 5:

1. A Beautiful Mess

Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess are so much fun to follow!  All of their recipes look amazing and their unique DIYs are so inspiring.

2. This Time Tomorrow

Krystal’s quirky style makes me take chances with my wardrobe I wouldn’t normally consider . . . plus her gorgeous, short hair helped me finally take the plunge and chop off my long locks!

3. Kendi Everyday

A fellow north Texas gal with some killer everyday style.  Gotta love that she shops at places us normal girls go and she makes it all look so chic!  It’s great for me to see how she puts together cute outfits that are practical for this Texas weather.

4. The Small Things Blog

Kate’s blog is full of pretty and simple hair and beauty tips.  She reintroduced me to lipstick when I thought I’d only wear chapstick for the rest of my life. She mixes high and low end products . . . and she’s how I discovered Birchbox!

5. Cupcakes & Cashmere

Even if you think you haven’t heard of this one, chances are you’ve probably pinned at least one thing from her blog.  She’s got a great new book out – which, unfortunately, I’ve yet to pick up! Note to self: when you find time, go to the bookstore. – and her posts are everywhere.  I an especially huge fan of Emily’s decor posts because of her classic yet glamorous style.

Happy blogging!

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Christine’s Top 5: 

1. Peanut Butter Fingers

I love everything about this blog! It was this blog that introduced me to blogging and since then I haven’t looked back! She shares hilarious stories about her dog Sadie as well as great workouts and recipes. I’ve done many of her workouts but its her humor and writing which makes me want to read her blog!

2. Running Off the Reese’s

She is absolutely hilarious. While her blogs give great workout tips (mainly running) her commentary on daily life is absolutely hilarious. If you need a break from your life, check out hers!

3. Clean Eating Chelsey

A great blog about eating clean, healthy, good food. She has tons of recipes, divided by meal, to choose from. Plus she has a nice section about the books she is reading with good suggestions.

4. Carrots ‘N’ Cake

Another great fitness blog! She has a huge selection of great, healthy recipes to choose from as well as a huge variety of workouts from treadmills to strength training.

5. Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

Unlike the other blogs, this blog is more than just fitness (although that is a big part of her blog). She also some great fashion (Fashion Fridays) and beauty tips. (And awesome cover art)