Smoothie bowls. They're totally trending...and for a reason. If you follow me on Instagram (@kathyruda), chances are you've seen me post a pic or two of my "smoothie bowls". They're a great healthy alternative to ice cream or frozen yogurt and like good old-fashioned ice cream, smoothie bowls are cold, creamy and thick enough to eat with a spoon. What I love most (aside from the fact that they're full of gooD-for-you antioxidants!) is that you can get creative with ingredients and toppings. All you really need for a quality smoothie bowl is frozen or fresh fruit, almond milk and yogurt + ice to thicken. Then there's the gorgeous pink or purple smoothie bowls - which are actually "ACAI Bowls" or "Pitaya BowLS". Sound exotic? Yes. Can you make one today? YES!
I'm a big snacker. I'll be the first to admit that. I know it's not the healthiest habit and I'm trying to eat bigger meals to prevent it, but I can't always resist the temptations. Plus, who doesn't love food?
When choosing snacks, I always aim to have some protein with it to help fill me up. For example, if I'm craving my favorite granola (homemade recipe to come!), I'll have some Greek yogurt with it. The protein helps you from mindlessly snacking. Ever nearly finish half a jar of peanut butter while watching your favorite TV show? Been there. Make sure there's protein in your snack.
Here are some of my favorite healthy, simple and easy snacks:
WHOLE EGG + SRIRACHA SAUCE
DELI TURKEY (SMOKED) + AVOCADO SLICES
GREEK YOGURT + BERRIES
BANANAS + ALMOND BUTTER
It's a modern day girl's daily dilemma. You’re looking for something healthy you can grab on-the-go that tastes great but doesn’t have a million ingredients (half of which you can't even pronounce). While I try to eat real & unprocessed foods most of the time, there are times that I just need a quick food source to keep me from going hangry (yes, this is most certainly a thing). I don't know about you, but I can't function properly without food. Food is fuel.
When choosing a protein bar, I try to look for the most complete bars with at least 10 grams of protein that can be used as post-workout recovery food or to hold me over until dinner.
You don’t need to start incorporating protein bars into your daily routine, but it is great to have some healthier options on hand in those times of need. The problem with protein bars is that they often have loads of artificial ingredients and are really no better for you than a candy bar. I skipped over all the bars with a million ingredients like Power Bar, ZonePerfect, Met-RX, Adkins, Muscle Milk, Detour, Myoplex, EAS, Probar and Balance Bar. These all get automatic F’s in my book.
Here are my top three (3) snack bars:
LARABARs: Larabars are all-natural bars made from 100% whole foods–mainly unsweetened fruits, nuts, and spices–and contain no added sugar, preservatives, or artificial flavors. Her Fitness Tip: Beware of eating too many of these. Dates are filled with fiber and natural sugars can cause a spike in sugar. Also, these lack protein. If I have a LARABAR, I make sure to get my protein from another food source.
RXBars: My favorite! Made with egg whites, nuts and dates, these bars are made with only all-natural REAL ingredients. They're like LARABARs...plus protein! Popular in the paleo and Whole 30 community, these truly are a "clean" choice. Her Fitness Tip: Again, be weary of the sugars in dates. Yes, it's better than artificial sugar but as they say: sugar is sugar is sugar. Sugar crashes are not fun.
Questbars: These protein bars are filled with 20g+ of protein, 2-7g active carbs and tons of fiber! For under 200 calories each, they are extremely filling and come in delicious dessert-like flavors like Cookie Dough and Strawberry Cheesecake. Perfect for a post-workout meal on a pinch. These are great after an intense gym session! Half a bar has around 10g protein, so they're perfect to break apart as a quick snack. Her Fitness Tip: Microwave one for about 10-15 seconds if you don't like the texture. Thank me later, Also, the protein source used here is whey protein, so I would recommend testing your body's responsiveness to whey as some people are very sensitive to milk-derived ingredients.
Love trying new snacks! What are some of your favorite bars?