Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie

Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie

strawberry cheesecake smoothie

I was particularly in the mood for something sweet, so for lunch I made myself a Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie. This is good, but I have a few recommendations that will make it better. As I made it, there are 9 grams of protein and 410 calories. However, I think there are some ways to chop this down, make it healthier, and make it taste better. As is, I can’t taste the cream cheese as much as I’d like. And this ends up thick with frozen strawberries. So much so that I started eating it with a spoon. It’s like a milkshake thickness. Here is what I added:

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries 120 calories
  • 1 cup soy milk 90 calories
  • 1 oz cream cheese 80 calories
  • 1 Tbs. ground flaxseed 37 calories (optional)
  • 1 Tbs. Agave nectar 60 calories (optional)
  • 1 Tbs. graham cracker crumbs 23 calories (optional on top)

Grand Total: 410 calories

What I would do differently to cut out some calories:

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries 60 calories
  • 3/4 cup plain (organic if possible)  yogurt 80 calories
  • 1 oz cream cheese 80 calories
  • 1 Tbs. flaxseed 37 calories (optional)
  • ice cubes
  • I’d probably lose the agave nectar and graham cracker crumbs.

Grand Total: 257 calories (only 220 without flaxseed)

This actually leaves room to play with if you want to add more strawberries or cream cheese. The yogurt adds live cultures to aid in digestion. I cut down the strawberries because they overpower the cream cheese. I recommend fresh because I think they have a better flavor than frozen. I dropped the nectar because lessening the amount of berries will help the flavor enough I’m sure so that it doesn’t need sweetening. The graham cracker crumbs are purely optional and basically just give you the top flavor of graham cracker. I’d lose those because it doesn’t really do much for the flavor (at least to me!).

Tropical Green Smoothie

Tropical Green Smoothie

green-smoothie

I’m out of spinach–it is my “go-to green” of choice because it can easily be blended into smoothies and juices without the flavor taking over. However, I’m out of spinach today so I had to use kale (which I despise, but it is healthy). Kale is extremely healthy. It has detoxifying qualities as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer. I imagine the bitterness has to do with the extreme concentration of nutrients because kale has 45 different flavonoids! I can’t taste the kale for the most part in this because I added sweetness with the juices. I can smell it though so I would still lessen the amount and compensate by using spinach if I had it. What I used:

  • 1 cup pineapple juice 130 calories
  • 1/2 cup orange juice 55 calories
  • 2 cups fresh kale 67 calories
  • 2 flax oil capsules drained 25 calories
  • 1 frozen banana 110 calories
  • 1/2 cup water 0 calories

Grand Total: 387 calories

What I would do differently if I had the ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple 75 calories
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh kale 34 calories
  • 1 cup fresh spinach 7 calories
  • 1 frozen banana 110 calories
  • 2 flax oil capsules drained (optional)
  • 1/2-1 cup water 0 calories

Grand Total: 306 calories (without the flax: 281 making this under 300 calories!)

Why would I do this differently? I can’t really taste the kale because the pineapple juice and orange juice balance the bitterness, but I can smell it. I prefer spinach because it has a mild flavor and wouldn’t be as overpowering as the kale. Plus, variety is always good! I would use fresh pineapple instead because of the health benefits of the flesh and the calorie reduction. f

Fiber One Brownies-90 calories

Fiber One Brownies

fiberone

If you have a sweet tooth like I do, then these fiber one brownies should be in your pantry. They actually contain 5 grams of fiber, only 90 calories, and even a gram of protein per brownie! They really are good to keep around for those cravings when you have no calories left in your calorie budget. They are a great alternative to regular brownies. Yes, obviously they do not taste like decadent, fudgy brownies, but they taste good, chocolatey, and you will not hate yourself for eating one.

My Journey to Health-Weight Loss Updates

Every week I intend to post my loss for that week and total loss on the My Journey to Health page. I’ll put the stats at the top of the page so you don’t have to sift through all the junk. Tomorrow I’m getting some fresh produce so I hope I’ll be able to have a few more recipes on here. I forgot I have pineapple juice in the refrigerator so I’m excited about that for tomorrow!

Strawberry Banana Oat Smoothie

 

Strawberry Banana Oat Smoothie

strawberry banana oat smoothie

Alright, this ended up to be 305 calories (not bad at all for a breakfast). It is not as sweet as I thought it would be though. Next time I’ll probably use more banana. I can taste the oat flavor today more than yesterday in the Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie, but it isn’t bad. I wish I had added a whole banana for more banana flavor though. Overall, this would be a good snack idea or low-calorie breakfast or lunch. I added:

1/2 frozen banana

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/4 cup quick oats

1 cup Earth Balance soy milk

2 flax oil capsules (opened and drained-optional)

Here is the calorie breakdown:

banana 55 calories

strawberries 60 calories

oats 75 calories

soy milk 90 calories

flax oil 25 calories

(water if needed)

Adding a banana would make the flavor better. You could also cut out the flax oil and use whatever milk you have on hand. All of these things would change the calories (keep that in mind). Taking out the flax oil would put this under 300 calories at 280. Plus, all those blended vitamins and minerals are so good for you!

Healthy Breakfast: Special K Flatbread Sandwiches

Healthy Breakfast: Special K Flatbread Sandwiches

Special K Eggs and Vegetables flatbread

If you need a quick, easy breakfast or want something low in calories, consider Special K’s Eggs with Vegetables and Pepper Jack Cheese Flatbread Breakfast Sandwich. It takes a minute and 15 seconds to warm up and one minute to sit in the microwave (rarely do I let it sit). Yes, it isn’t the healthiest of options considering it isn’t organic, but it is quick, easy, has 3 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein, and only 180 calories. There are two other types: Ham, Egg, and Pepper Jack Cheese and Sausage, Egg, and Cheese. The ham version has 200 calories and the sausage version has 240. All three would be low-calorie options that are quick in a flash and at least better than a pack of donuts and a coke. For anyone watching their sodium, beware of processed foods like these because they are always higher in sodium. This one has 510 mg of sodium and 190 mg of potassium. Potassium helps regulate the sodium in your body so that is essential!

Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

peanut butter banana smoothie

One of my favorite smoothies is peanut butter banana. The problem is that they are highly caloric and calories add up really fast! Today I decided to try a version under 300 calories that would still be filling. This recipe ended up thinner than usual and not as rich, but it still tastes good and I don’t feel guilty. It is definitely just a one-person smoothie.

I added:

1/2 banana

1 tablespoon Smucker’s all natural creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup quick cooking oats

1/4 cup Earth Balance organic soy milk

1/2-1 cup water

I get potassium from the banana, protein from the peanut butter and soy milk, and antioxidants and fiber from the oats. I actually recommend whole oats, since they are the least processed, but I didn’t have any on hand. Oats give the smoothie a little bit of thickness (it isn’t very thick though) and a hint of flavor. This rings in a grand total of 275 calories. Here is the calorie breakdown:

banana 55 calories

peanut butter 100 calories

oats 75 calories

soy milk 45 calories

water 0 calories

Theoretically, if you’d like to save some calories you could use a whole banana and cut out the oats and save 20 calories. You would be losing the fiber though. You might find a lower-calorie peanut butter option that works as well. It isn’t an extremely strong flavor, but it still tastes good. Any peanut butter or milk will work as long as you keep track of any calorie differences.

Healthy Snacks: Weight Watchers Giant Latte Bars

Weight Watchers Giant Latte Bars

Weight Watchers Latte Bar

This is one of my favorite types of ice cream bars that Weight Watchers offers. I know, this isn’t normally what you would or even should consider a “healthy snack,” but these are very satisfying as an ice cream treat (if you like the latte flavor), and there are only 90 calories per bar. They also have calcium so don’t feel that this has no health benefits! There are a number of varieties of Weight Watchers ice cream bars too. These are large though and they are fairly low in calories. They definitely satisfy a sweet tooth if you are tired of fruit or are just craving ice cream.

Berry Green Smoothie

Berry Green Smoothie

spin-berry

It’s hard to see, but this is a deep-purple color because it contains lots of different colors of berries. It isn’t overly sweet or bitter at all. I will say it is huge! This one definitely would work for two if needed. It has a fresh taste to it; I’m not sure how else to describe it. It has a berry flavor, but not overwhelming. It feels cleansing if that makes any sense. It is very simple to make and extremely healthy.

  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach (about 2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups of frozen mixed berries (mine were strawberries, blueberries, and black raspberries)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon organic agave nectar
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water

I estimated the berries because it was hard to measure frozen berries! Berries are low in calories anyway so that won’t cause too much of a difference. I estimate that I added about 1 3/4 cups. About 1 cup of that was strawberries, half a cup was blueberries, and 1/4 a cup was blackberries. Any berries will do and if you don’t have mixed berries one kind of berry will work. It is what ever you like that matters. It ends up to be about 210 calories and extremely healthy! Here is the calorie breakdown:

spinach  14 calories

strawberries 60 calories

blackberries 15 calories

blueberries 64 calories

flax seeds 37 calories

agave nectar 20 calories

water 0 calories

Make sure your frozen berries do not have added sweeteners. I freeze fresh ones and do not add a thing to them. Buy organic spinach if you can; it isn’t expensive at all and it truly helps make great, healthy smoothies without adding a ton of bitterness. I can’t even taste it in this particular smoothie. I think that is where the freshness comes from.

I think this one is reasonable on calories, so lowering something is probably unnecessary, but if you have to cut out the blueberries or the flax seeds and agave nectar. Blueberries are more caloric than strawberries or black raspberries, so it only makes sense to cut them first and you can up the amount of the other berries and still be under. I will make this one again. It is fresh, tasty, low in calories, and not too sweet.

Chocolate-Banana Smoothie

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

choc-nana

This was my morning breakfast smoothie. I’m a huge fan of chocolate so I like this one quite a bit. I’m still working out the kinks here on how to get the best images for my homemade smoothies, so bear with me. Here is exactly what I put in my Chocolate Banana Smoothie:

  • 1 frozen banana cut into chunks
  • 1 scoop Body Fortress Advanced Chocolate Protein Powder (any chocolate protein powder will do)
  • 1 cup Earth Balance original soy milk (any soy milk or regular milk will do)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (these are optional, but highly recommended for health)
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon organic agave nectar (it’s like honey, honey would work)

I used my large cup for the Nutribullet to make this. It is actually a little sweet. I’m not sure if it is just me, but I think frozen bananas are sweeter. This is how I made it, but here are a few ideas that might sound good if you prefer a less-sweet smoothie:

  1. Use 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa instead of 1/2 tablespoon. It is very bitter and will counteract the sweetness of the agave nectar. There are a lot of health benefits to agave nectar, so if you want to add it for health, increasing the amount of cocoa will offset some of the sweetness.
  2. Use 1/2 tablespoon of agave nectar instead. This will reduce the calories of the smoothie by 30, which is good.
  3. Use a fresh banana. I don’t think this is just me because since I’ve been using frozen bananas, all my banana smoothies taste sweeter than usual!

Another option you have here is to completely do away with the cocoa powder and agave nectar. I like mine more chocolatey so I add cocoa. Cocoa actually has health benefits as well! Instead of reaching for a Hershey bar, making a smoothie with cocoa powder keeps those antioxidants and phytonutrients while releasing endorphins that make you feel good. However, if your ingredients are sparse you can make the same type of smoothie with just three ingredients:

  • 1 banana (frozen or unfrozen, but add a few ice cubes)
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I highly recommend having this on hand to add protein and make your shake a meal)
  • 1 cup of soy milk (or any type of milk will do)

My original recipe has 450 calories (approximately) and makes a very large smoothie (Theoretically, this could serve two). This could easily be halved if you want to save calories, but since I use it for a meal I drink it all. Also, you could use water instead of milk or half water/half milk. Here is the breakdown of calories:

Whey Protein 140 calories

Soy Milk 90 calories

Cocoa powder 8 calories

Agave nectar 60 calories

Banana 96 calories

Flax seeds 56 calories

If you are trying to hit a certain calorie limit, play with the ideas I have above and see how it works for you. Just by taking out the cocoa, agave, and flax seeds you could save 124 calories. They have health benefits though, so decide what is the most important and go with it! It’s a learning process. Enjoy!