Savvy Snacking

Your daily food choices fuel your body, mind and mood. In order to stay energized all day and combat potential food cravings and temptations, it’s important to pay attention to when and what you eat.

Well-planned, healthful snack choices can help you avoid break room or vending machine temptations and can keep you from overeating when meals are delayed. Kids need snacks throughout the day to meet their increased energy needs for growth and activity. If you are trying to lose weight, snacks can help you stay on track without hunger.

What are healthy snacks? The best snacks include a good source of fiber and some protein. They often include food groups that you may not have been able to fit into your previous meal and can be anything from small portions of leftovers, to mini-breakfasts, fruit or vegetables combined with dairy foods, beans or other proteins.

Here are some unique snacks ideas to try.

  • Overnight Oatmeal in a Jar
  • Homemade Granola Bars
  • Bell Pepper Pizza
  • Cheese and Pretzel Dippers
  • Cucumber, Hummus and Turkey Roll-ups
  • Avocado, Tomato and Mozzarella Skewers
  • Fresh Fruits with PB2 Dip

For more ideas go to my Pinterest Page:

For kids and big kids alike, it is important to have the snacks ready to go for quick access and no thinking necessary. These are some recommendations for kids, from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as posted on:

Here’s the key to healthful food choices: very visible, convenient, effortless and great taste. Follow these seven how-tos for smart snacking.

  • Ask your kids what food group foods they’d like to have on hand. Buy them!
  • “Walk” your kids through the kitchen so they know where these foods are kept.
  • Keep fresh fruit on the counter where kids see it.
  • Wash and cut up veggies ahead, so they’re ready to eat.
  • Use see-through containers, clear plastic bags or containers covered with plastic wrap so kids can see what’s inside.
  • Put nutrient-rich food where kids can reach it, perhaps on lower shelves in your refrigerator, pantry or cabinet. Keep “sometimes” foods, such as cookies and chips, away in cabinets where they’re less convenient to reach, especially for impulse eaters.
  • Buy food in single-serve containers for grab-and-go eating ­— for example, milk, raisins, juice, fruit cups, pudding and baby carrots. 

 From American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, 3rd Ed.

Dietary Fructose Malabsorption

Dietary Fructose Malabsorption

The pain of gas and bloating can be debilitating and can limit your desire and ability to socialize around food. If these are your symptoms, I suggest that you contact your gastroenterologist and ask to be tested for fructose malabsorption, lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance and small bowel bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). If you find that you have one or more of these, then I can help you implement a specific diet to avoid the offending substance. If you are not sensitive to any one of these, your doctor may call your symptoms functional bowel disease of irritable bowel disease (IBS) and recommend that you try the FODMAP diet, which can help reduce your symptoms by limiting a variety of foods that can cause gas and bloating. I can provide detailed guidance on this diet.

But for those of you who have been diagnosed with fructose malabsorption, there is a diet that will help you. I have worked with GI doctors and studied fructose malabsorption for several years. Most of my clients report feeling better in just a few days, by following my diet for fructose malabsorption. All of my fructose malabsorption clients are invited to attend my fructose malabsorption support group.

Symptoms: My clients diagnosed with fructose malabsorption report symptoms such as painful gas and bloating, distended abdomen area after eating, diarrhea or constipation, and nausea or vomiting. Many report that these symptoms started occurring after a significant stressful life event such as a death, divorce or surgery.

Diagnosis: A GI doctor will diagnose you via a non-invasive hydrogen breath test. You will drink a sweet beverage on an empty stomach, followed by blowing into a tube periodically over a 4-hour period. Hydrogen gas should not be produced if your body properly absorbs fructose. It is only produced after intestinal bacteria metabolize carbohydrates/fructose.

Fructose Malabsorption Process: Dietary fructose malabsorption is caused by impaired absorption of fructose. It is not life threatening. Fructose is a type of sugar that is naturally found in fruits, honey, agave syrup and some vegetables. It is always in combination with glucose. After food is digested in the stomach, a carrier protein and glucose help transport fructose into the small intestine for absorption. The process is not entirely understood, but when the glucose content of a food is equal to or higher than the fructose content, there is no malabsorption of fructose. However, foods with more fructose than glucose can result in inefficient absorption of fructose. This allows fructose to reach the large intestine, along with extra water. Intestinal bacteria rapidly ferment fructose into hydrogen, carbon dioxide and short chain fatty acids. When the bacteria multiply and migrate back up to the small intestine (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO), gas/flatulence, bloating, abdominal pain and motility changes (diarrhea or constipation) occur.

How did I get this? Fructose malabsorption may be inherited (primarily from central European descent), but non-genetic factors may also play a role. The amount of fructose tolerated varies widely among individuals: some may have problems with less than 1 gram of fructose, and others can easily eat 20 grams without any problem. It is estimated that approximately 35-50% of the population is unable to completely absorb more than 25 grams per day. Average daily intake of fructose around the world is estimated to be 11-54 grams.

What foods are high in fructose?

Fructose is found in 3 main forms in the diet:

  • As Free Fructose—present in fruits, honey, and agave syrup.
  • As a component of Table Sugar (sucrose). Sucrose is a disaccharide made up of equal parts of glucose and fructose.
  • As Fructans—a long chain of several fructose molecules (fructo-oligosaccharide) found in some vegetables and wheat.

Fructose accounts for 10% of total calories from sweetened beverage, baked products, and fruit juice. All Fructose is absorbed, digested, and metabolized in an identical manner, no matter if it is from fruit juice or a food additive. Total removal of fructose from the diet is nearly impossible due to its abundant presence in our food supply.

Set and appointment with Linda: If you want more detail on this diet and individualized help to avoid excess fructose intake, call me today!

Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

The summer heat is in the 100’s in San Antonio and all I want to do is stay cool! No muss and fuss in the kitchen–just give me cool, colorful, fresh foods and I’m happy. For a bit of not so guilty sweet, try my fresh strawberry pie. I combined several recipes to come up with my own version. Try a whole wheat pie crust for good fiber and crunchiness. The cream cheese on the bottom of the  pie keeps the strawberry glaze from making the crust soggy. I leave the strawberries whole for best presentation. I love pecans so I put some in the cream cheese and also sprinkle a few around the strawberries before I pour the glaze. Be sure to cool the glaze a little before you pour over the strawberries. You don’t want to melt the cream cheese or cook the berries. But don’t wait too long of the glaze will jell and you won’t be able to pour it. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Ice cream could work but is too sweet and melty for this recipe, in my opinion. Have fun with the recipe! It looks amazing and tastes even better.



  • 1 Wholly Wholesome Whole Wheat Pie Shell, baked and cooled. (Found at Whole Foods in TX).
  • ½ 8-oz package Cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. Lemon Juice
  • ¼ tsp. Lemon Rind, grated
  • ¼ cup Pecans, chopped (optional)
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 8-10 oz. Sprite or 7-Up, regular
  • ½ 3 oz box Strawberry Jell-O
  • 20 Fresh Strawberries, cleaned, de-stemmed
  • Whipped Cream


  1. Pre-bake pie shell per package directions. Cool.
  2. Clean strawberries and leave whole. Blot to remove water.
  3. Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon rind and chopped pecans in food processor. Pulse until whipped and well blended. Set aside.
  4. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and sprite in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, while whisking occasionally, until translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
  5. Add strawberry Jell-O to hot mixture and whisk until blended.
  6. Take off of heat and cool to room temperature.
  7. Spread cream cheese mixture in bottom of cooled pie shell. Top with whole berries—pointed side facing up and trimmed side down.
  8. Pour glaze over top of berries.
  9. Refrigerate. Serve with whipped cream dollop on each slice.