Summer is a time for smoothies. Or, if you’re a bit of a food snob who likes to pay a premium for blended fruit, it’s a time for açaí bowls. I don’t mean to completely rag on the trend, as I actually find açaí bowls pretty delicious. Plus there’s something to be said about the level of satisfaction you get from chewing, as opposed to sipping, your food. What I do have a problem with, though, is paying over $8 for a snack or light breakfast of fruit topped with granola, honey, more fruit, nuts, et cetera. Give that ingredient list a bit of thought and you’ll realize that they’re sugary calorie bombs.
So the other day I did a bit of kitchen experimenting to come up with a smoothie bowl that’s both inexpensive and packed with a few choice ingredients to keep us all slender and satisfied. I had frozen raspberries on hand, but I’d also be curious to blend one up with blueberries or even frozen açaí if I could ever find it in the store.
Slender Smoothie Bowl Calories: 226 | Fat: 2.3 g (Sat Fat: 0.6 g) | Carbohydrate: 35.8 g | Protein: 18.9 g
ingredients: 1 T oats
1 C frozen raspberries
1/2 scoop (about 2 T) vanilla whey protein (I use Designer Whey brand)
1/4 C fat free Greek yogurt
1/2 small banana, sliced
1 t ground flaxseed
sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
directions: 1. Spread your oats on a small baking sheet and toast them for 5 minutes in a 350° oven until lightly browned and slightly crunchy. 2. In a blender, combine the frozen raspberries, protein powder, and Greek yogurt. Blend until completely smooth. 3. In a mug or bowl, begin layering your smoothie bowl. Spoon in the raspberry mix, then the toasted oats, sliced banana, flaxseed, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!
Today I’m answering another handful of the questions y’all have submitted. Be sure to readpart 1, part 2, and part 3 to see if I answered your question or just to check out the answer to something you probably wanted to know anyway. If you’re still feeling snubbed, please submit any question you’d like!
Will doing 100 ab crunches a day for thirty days give you evident results? The most definitive answer I can give you to this question is no. Unfortunately, you can’t really target fat loss that way and, more often than not, the moves you make in the kitchen will deliver more results than the moves you make in the gym. Think about it this way: you can consume calories far faster than you can burn them. So, if you’re looking to get bikini-ready abs, I’d suggest a calorie-conscious diet full of whole foods, cardio, and strength training (including those crunches, if you’d like).
You mentioned that you did Weight Watchers when you were younger. What are your thoughts on it now? I’ve had a couple stints with Weight Watchers and excluding my undergraduate nutrition education, it has probably provided me with the most knowledge about healthy eating. Recording your food as PointsPlus is a great way to exercise portion control and hold yourself accountable for what you put in your mouth.
My only qualm about their new system (assuming this is still how it works) is that fruit is zero points. For most people who don’t particularly enjoy fruit as a snack, this is probably an effective way to get them eating more. And while fruit is a nutrient-dense alternative to many snacks that are nutritionally empty, it still has calories. As someone who loves fruit, I was happy I could consume cups of it between meals to stifle my hunger without dipping into my daily PointsPlus for the day. That extra couple hundred calories or so, however, definitely stifled my weight loss, as well.
I have the BIGGEST sweet tooth ever, which has been a problem since I am trying to lose the 20 pounds I gained freshman year. What can I do to keep me away from the sweets? I think your best bet will be to indulge in your cravings from time to time, but in a slender way. There are lots of lower calorie alternatives to satiate a sweet tooth, and totally avoiding the things you love is just going to set yourself up for failure. I like to have a 100-150 calorie “safety net” left over at the end of the night for sweets that satisfy my sweet tooth. This includes things like sweet slender nachos, single serving mug brownies, or chocolate Greek froyo.
I told myself I wouldn’t do this. I told myself to stay on top of it throughout the semester so I wouldn’t have to neglect the blog in favor of cramming a semester’s worth of material into my brain in between cups of coffee.
Since I haven’t posted in two days, I’ll let you be the judge of how successful that one was. Oops.
So, let’s keep it short. Last semester I brought you brainola, my low calorie version of granola that’s packed with healthy fats, whole grains, protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Good for the brain and body. This semester, I’m bringing you dark chocolate energy bites. These are a great alternative to the yucky processed snack bars you might have hiding in your backpack now.
Plus, you won’t be that annoying kid fiddling with their wrappers on the silent floor of the library. Everyone hates that kid.
Dark Chocolate Energy Bites
Makes: 24 servings | Calories per serving: 55
Fat: 2.1 g (Sat Fat: 0.5 g) | Carbohydrate: 7.0 g | Fiber: 2.1 g| Protein: 2.8 g
2 C instant oats
1 C chocolate PB2, dry
1/4 C ground flaxseed
1/4 C chia seed
2 t vanilla extract
2 oz dark chocolate, chopped
2 T granulated Splenda
1 t cinnamon
1 T cocoa powder
3/4 C water
directions: 1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the water. Mix well until everything is evenly incorporated. 2. Add in the water 1/4 C at a time, stirring between each addition. 3. Refrigerate the mix for at least 30 minutes. 4. Remove the mix from the refrigerator and, using your hands, roll them into balls. Refrigerate until eating!
Today’s Slender Sights clip was sent in from my friend Caroline, who knew I’d eat this up (no pun intended). This video from BuzzFeed provides some pretty stunning visual examples of what 2,000 calories worth of many foods looks like. My only wish is that there’d be more non-energy dense foods depicted for the sake of comparison, although I’m not sure 2,000 calories worth of spinach would fit on the screen.
Texas kids, did you miss last week’s hot pilates/hot yoga giveaway?
It’s not too late to enter!
Looking back, I realize that I kind of sprung this whole Meatless Monday thing on y’all. I mean, I’ve proclaimed the glory of cheeseburgers in at least one third of my posts on The Slender Student, and now I’m posting vegetarian recipes on the reg? Let me explain.
For one of my classes, we were instructed to adopt a behavior change and journal our experience. The idea was that after experiencing the challenge of changing our own behavior, we’ll be able to better sympathize with our future dietetic clients. I chose adopting Meatless Monday as my behavior change, largely because of The Slender Student. In the past, many of you have requested that I post more vegetarian recipes and despite my best intentions, nothing ever materialized. Honestly, apart from breakfast, I didn’t really eat meals without meat in them, under the assumption that I wouldn’t feel satisfied without that animal protein. Of course, the nutrition student and health-minded person in me knows that was faulty logic, and MM has forced me out of that bias.
Now I’m able to experiment with plant proteins from vegetables (yeah, they do offer a bit of protein), beans, nuts, and even some protein substitutes like tofu and tempeh. Beyond that, I know that by replacing my usual meat intake with more nutrient dense veggies, I’m likely cutting back on saturated fat and increasing my vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients… Otherwise known as doing my body a favor.
By this point, you’ve probably noticed that I’m not posting a recipe on this Meatless Monday. I am, however, going to share with you a really cool YouTube project that I came across over the weekend. In honor of Earth Day (which is today; yay world!), several YouTubers/bloggers have put together a collection of MM friendly recipes. Some, like the berry baked quinoa and oatmeal, are similar to what I’ve shared on TSS before. There’s also a mushroom ragout with creamy polenta, territory I’ve never ventured into but now just might.