Finding my balance, or how I learned to fit one of my favorite snacks into my healthy lifestyle

This is a sponsored post which includes a discount offer code provided for readers of this blog by Pacific Beach Peanut Butter. I was provided with three jars of Pacific Beach Peanut Butter products in return for this review. All opinions are my own.

I’ve never been much of a snacker, particularly not when I’m “on a diet”. In the past, my point of view has been that snacking leads to binge eating or simply takes up calories that would be better spent as part of one my three main meals. Of course the problem with that way of eating is that I get hungry in between meals and to think that I’ll just white-knuckle my way through hunger pangs ¬†until dinner is wholly unrealistic. (It’s also completely inconsistent with the philosophy behind Project: Happy-Healthy Me, which strives to create a healthy lifestyle that I can maintain forever while also raising the overall quality of my life.)

I’d been trying to incorporate more snacking into my eating for a few weeks when, early in March, the leader of my Weigh 2 Eat group talked to us about the importance of pairing different foods for snacking. Basically it comes down to this: a snack should always consist of a carb – preferably a fruit, veggie, or whole grain option – with either a fat or a protein source. Eating just the carbohydrate food alone will raise blood sugars in the short term and will not give you long-term satiety, which is why you’re snacking in the first place.

At about the same time, I was contacted by a representative of a San Diego-based, family-owned small business, Pacific Beach Peanut Butter, about trying some of their products and writing here about my opinions. When Life hands you yummy peanut butter, it’s got to be a sign, right?

Anyway, I received three variations of their all natural, gluten-free peanut butter products:

Each of these products makes me happy in a different way.

I love the Unsalted Organic variety with celery stalks on a Saturday afternoon in between snacks. The celery has a slightly salty taste to it so the Unsalted variety is the perfect companion and gives me a nice boost of energy that lasts until dinner time for only 180 calories.

The regular Organic peanut butter I could honestly eat by the spoonful (and might have done just that in a different life) but instead I’ve settled into a happy routine of dipping slices of apple into two tablespoons of this yummy source of satiety during the afternoon at work when my mind starts to wander and the snack machine begins her siren song. Sweet apple – my favorite variety is called Honeycrisp – combines perfectly with the peanutty goodness and I feel like I’m straying from the healthy life when in fact I’ve got a perfect combination of healthy carbohydrate with just a touch of healthy fat plus not a small amount of protein and about 250 calories.

Leaving my favorite for last is tough but here goes…

cinnayum-peanut-butter-jar-2

Oh CinnaYum spread, how much do I love thee on top of my Greek yogurt in the morning? With zero grams of sugar and only 70 calories for a tablespoon of amazingly-sweet-and-salty-all-at-once yumminess, this is just the perfect way to start my day. Besides, cinnamon has been shown to help control blood sugar and you know I’m all about taking care of my diabetes. As a topper for a six-ounce container of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt, this tasty treat weighs in at a skinny 170 calories which still leaves plenty of room for hard boiled eggs and some nonfat milk in my morning cup of tea.

The kind folks at Pacific Beach Peanut Butter have provided me with a coupon code to share with you. Buy any of their tasty peanut butter products and receive a jar of your choice for free. Add your chosen free jar to the cart along with the rest of your order for the discount to apply. OFFER CODE: blogger03 will be good now through April 15th, so go on and give these products a try – if you love peanut butter as much as I do, you will not regret it!

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