Protein Packed Acai Bowl and How-To
Finally, warmer temps are in the forecast so it is time to talk about a popular Spring and Summer favorite: smoothie bowls. From acai to pitaya bowls, the various fancy names boil down to the same issue for your weight. Although tasty, they can easily counteract your goals if you are not careful with the ingredients you put inside. These bowls are filled with anti-oxidants and health benefits but it doesn’t mean you don’t have to account for the foods added to it.
Acai bowls can go up to 1,000 calories after adding all the toppings; that almost equates to your lunch and dinner combined. Adding the acai, additional fruits, and milk to blend in you can be up to 400 calories and we didn’t even get the toppings yet. We also need to be mindful of all the sugar is added. Although if you get no sugar added frozen acai, it may still have 4 grams or fewer, plus the fruits being blended with it adds sugar even if its natural.
Let’s say you top the bowl with bananas, a scoop of granola, coconut shreds, and a nut butter as most people do, you'll need to take into account this breakdown:
- One half a banana is 52.5 calories and 7 grams of sugar (keep in mind that the daily intake of sugar for men is 37.5 grams and for women, it is 25 grams).
- Approximate ¼ to ½ cup of granola added in which can range between 115-230 calories with 6 grams of fat and 14 grams of sugar. Guess what? A woman is already beyond her sugar count per daily intake. BUT, THERE’S STILL MORE!
- 3 tablespoons of coconut shreds is approximately 100 calories and 10 grams of fat.
- 2 tablespoons of almond butter (and most stores put way more) is 200 calories and 18 grams of fat. Daily intake of fat is approximate 44 grams.
With all these toppings adding up, we've reached a large part of our allotment for the whole day. Imagine this bowl just a snack? If you want to treat yourself once in a while, that’s your mindful choice to make and enjoy, but it’s important to bear in mind that it is more like a dessert than a regular snack.
Acai bowls can be eaten in a mindful way more regurlarly by following these tips:
- Always be sure there are NOT any added liquid sugars going into your bowl, like, apple juice.
- Serving size is key here. Make sure the toppings on your bowl are proportionate to each other. You know there’s something wrong if you’re entire bowl is covered with granola.
- Choose to include fruits that are low in sugar, like, berries versus mango, but ask how much they are putting! The sugar quickly adds up.
- I recommend using a sprinkle of slivered nuts, chia and flax seeds for a crunch versus granola. They’re filled with tons of Omega-3s, which is needed in order for your body to function properly.
- Having a little sweet tooth? Try adding a sprinkle of coconut flakes or cocoa nibs.
I love acai bowls but, I preferably like making them myself so that way I know exactly what’s inside so I’ve included my recipe below. Next time you decide to go for an acai bowl make sure to be mindful of how it’s made. What’s the base made of? Which toppings are you choosing?
Protein Packed Acai Bowl