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Salads are a great food selection when being mindful of your health and nurtition goals.  They are even more of an ideal healthy choice when we leave the dressing on the side and do not include too many "goodies" within.  For most, at times, salads can sometimes get... well, boring.  If this sounds like you then take a look below at my three favorite things to add to salads, to give them a little more flavor and a little more variety.

1. Herbs are a favorite for adding to my salads.  For me, I especially like, mint or basil.  Take a few leaves and sprinkle them throughout the salad.  You will notice a pop of flavor that you wouldn't otherwise get with your regular lettuce salad.

2. One fat. What do I mean by fat?  For me, my favorites are nuts such as silvered almonds or one tablespoon of crumbled feta.  Both of these items can be sprinkled within the salad to give you a tasty bite each time.  If you add chunks of cheese or whole nuts you won't cover as much area of the salad. And it's all about covering the surface area to add a few more flavorful bites.

3. Flavored balsamic vinegar. Not only is this an incredibly tasty add to your salad, it is also a healthier selection that replaces traditional salad dressing.  A tablespoon is equivalent to about 15 calories.  I specifically like raspberry balsamic vinegar, as it is naturally flavored, organic and incredibly tasty.

I recommend that you play around with these three items to really spice up your salads.  Let me know how they work out in the comments below.

Are you looking for more nutritional tips and habits in your every day?  See my nutritional coaching program and my recipies page for more ideas.

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Following last week's theme of chin ups (see video here) I would like to share with you two of my favorite frequently used health and fitness apps.

First is an exercise app called iPullups.  It is fabulous for tracking your pull up progress whether it's to increase the number of pull up's you are doing or simply tracking your goal of completing one pull up, because yes they are quite challenging to do.  By tracking your progress you will maintain consistency.  This is important because, at the end of the day the only way you're going to do a better pull up is if you do them often.  So with that being said, I highly recommend this tool in helping you achieve your pull up goals.

The other app that I enjoy using is called Meal Snap.  This is a really cool one and the technology within it is quite incredible.  All you do is take a picture of your meal on your phone and within a few minutes it gives you a range within 100 to 150 calories.

Now as you may know I am not a huge calorie counter by any means.  I don't think that it is something that is really necessary for your overall health but having a general idea of how many calories you are consuming is helpful, especially if you are new to health and fitness.  This can also be helpful if you are unsure of how healthy a meal is simply by its look.  Take a quick picture and you will know forsure.

Another great thing about this app is that it will keep track of your meals and load them, photo wise, into your arsenal of meal options.  This way when you're having a day when you don't really know what to make for dinner you can go back and take a look at your photos and say 'yeah that looks great!' And make it again!

So once again two great health and fitness app's I recommend: iPullups and Meal Snap.  Check them out and let me know what you guys think!

If you are looking for more great tools such as these, be the first to know with my bi-weekly newsletter here.

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Many of you have been asking for new healthy snacks. So today I am discussing my three favorite.  I hope you enjoy them! A few notes on snacks before we get started. All snack serving sizes should be no larger than a handful.  The purpose of any snack is to carry you over to your next meal.  Not to fill you up.  You should feel satisfied after a snack, not full.  With these tips in mind, on to my favorite snacks.

Soy Nuts

These are a fabulous snack, they taste great and they keep you feeling full.  They are high in fiber, about 8 grams of protein, as well as being quite low in fat compared to other nuts.  I like to eat so; I can eat quite a few of these due to their low calories unlike other nuts.  You can find these in the bulk section of the supermarket, or sometimes in pre-packaged bags.

Regular Nuts

When you choose this snack you will notice right away that a serving looks quite small.  Yes, the one handful rule still applies.  What I like to do is eat various nuts that need to be harvested to eat.  A - Because it slows me down and B - Because it takes a little longer to enjoy them.  This is definitely one of my favorite go to's for snacks.  Personally I find the harvesting very fun... I know strange... on to number three.

Edamame

These are one of my favorite healthy snacks because they are really easy to make: boil water, throw them in, pull them out and you are done.  For flavor, only if you choose as they are great plain, you can sprinkle a little bit of lemon or lime juice on them and a bit of sea salt.  Edamame's are very high in protein.  About 11 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber per serving.  If you are trying these for the first time make sure that you don't eat the outside, simply pull the bean out.  For women a serving is 25 beans and for men a serving is 35 beans.  These are bought in the frozen section of your supermarket.

All of these snacks will keep you feeling full and satisfied until your next meal.  They are all ideal for your nutrition and portable! A win win if you will.  I encourage you to try them all and let me know what you think.  Make sure to leave your comments below.

Looking for even more snack ideas?  Check out my recipes page above.
Click here to subscribe to our newsletter and join the Acacia Fitness and nutrition community for more ideas on healthy snacks.

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