So, as you may have read in a previous post, I have not had a whole lot of sugar or cheat meals over the last 70 days…(and I only have 5 days left in the challenge!) But, what I have gained from the last few weeks is finding new ways to really enjoy healthier foods! Here are a few of my favs. Feel free to add some of yours in the comments below!
Peanut Butter and Banana “Ice Cream”
One of my favourite recent discoveries (thanks to my amazing sister) is peanut butter banana “ice cream”. It’s so easy and so delicious! The kids even said, and I quote, “this is better than real ice cream!!” And the best part? It’s ridiculously easy to make. All you do is mash up some banana, add some peanut butter (whatever kind you like, I used natural PB from Costco), mix it well, then freeze it! You will thank me later!
Breakfast Granola Bowl
I love a good crunchy granola, but I have been really loving it with vanilla greek yogurt and a ton of cut-up berries! It is so fresh and keeps me full longer than having the granola with milk or even with regular yogurt! As another option for your granola, try making some apple rings, spread on some greek yogurt, then sprinkle on your granola. Try drizzling on some honey or maple syrup for a more decadent experience!
Kick up your popcorn game!
Air popped popcorn is one of my favourite snacks! I, of course, love it with melted butter and covered in salt, but through the last number of weeks, I have tried a couple of new ‘flavours’. Peanut butter is one of my go-to cheats, AND it can really up the ante on your popcorn. Depending on how much popcorn you make, take a bit of PB and melt it, then drizzle it over your popcorn and stir it up a bit. It is very sticky, but you will not be disappointed! There are also a ton of other flavours you can try. You can add some freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice for a fresh zesty taste for your popcorn, top it with some pepper for a lemon pepper taste. Another great flavour to try is a dusting of chili powder. For a sweeter version of popcorn, try sprinkling in some cinnamon or some pumpking pie seasoning.
Instead of missing out on a chocolate bar, try new protein bars. Some are absolutely delicious! I recently tried one of Robert Irvine’s chocolate peanut butter protein bars, and it literally tasted like a good chocolate bar. I almost felt like I had blown my challenge while eating it!
Food in a bowl instead of in a wrap or bun
I love me a good burrito, but putting it in a bowl allows me to really increase the veggies and keep all the same flavour! It’s a game changer. The same can be said for a taco bowl or even a pulled pork bowl! Anything that makes it easier to load up on veggies and protein while at the same time cut down on a bit of carbs makes a great healthier meal!
Keep the crunch in your nachos
I love nachos. We sometimes make huge spreads of nachos, and it becomes a quick and easy lunch or dinner as we run in and out of the house. What I have discovered, though, is pepper nachos. Use quartered bell peppers as your chips! Throw on your meat, cheese, and any other toppings you like and broil it in the oven. The crunch of the pepper stays, and the meltiness of the cheese still makes your brain think you are having a fancy tray of bar nachos!
Ok, so dried fruit isn’t super ‘healthy’ per se, but it’s way better than the loads of mini eggs I used to eat on a frequent occasion!!!! But if you combo some dried fruit with some nuts, it is a very satisfying snack. Sure you can get all kinds of trail mixes from the store, but what I love doing is just taking some dried blueberries and some slivered almonds and mixing it together for a bit of a sweet and salty snack. Another tasty mix is dried cranberries and pistachios! On the dried fruit note, the other thing that I discovered on a relatively recent grocery trip is these sweet dried apples with cinnamon. It’s different from the apple chips. These dried apple slices are sweet and chewy and coated in a light dusting of a sugar cinnamon mix. They definitely satisfied my craving for some sweet, chewy jube jubes or other sugar candies. And, because I really haven’t been having much sugar, 2-3 slices of apples was more than enough to satisfy my sweet tooth! It almost tasted like an apple fritter donut!
Sometimes a hot drink does the trick!
There have been a couple of times that I just really wanted chocolate. I made myself a hot chocolate, and it truly was satisfying! I found that the hot drink was comforting, and the creaminess of the chocolate felt so indulgent. I got myself some of the white hot chocolate powder as an extra special treat. For a flavour burst, it’s also worth exploring some new flavours of herbal teas!
There have been a few key moments where just one of these snacks was all I needed to get me over a hurdle, so different than even 80 or more days ago, back before I had even heard of this challenge! If you are looking for ‘healthier’ (I say it loosely!) options, instead of stacking up the calories, I am sure these snacks will satisfy! AND, if you have more ideas or have a great cheat treat that you love, share below! I’d love to try it out!!
Love these ideas.
I like making tuna boats using a curved slice of any colour pepper with a tuna salad mix on top.
Also love a small dish (no more than 1/4 cup) of Costco’s unsalted mixed nuts with 1 square 85% dark chocolate.
And if you eat an orange with a square of 85% chocolate it’s almost like eating a Terry’s chocolate orange.
Hey, thanks for sharing! I love your ideas! And, I will have to get some chocolate to go with the mixed nuts, great idea!