Did you know that we all have a limit to our ability to deny ourselves? That’s right, willpower is like being lost in the desert with one water bottle. You can try to sustain it, sipping the tiniest amounts for hours, maybe even days, but eventually that water is going to run dry. We might be able to go without water for a little while, but the thirst starts to take over, consuming our every thought, and when it does, it’s only a matter of time before nothing is going to stop us from doing everything in our power to fill it up again. That’s why diets don’t work. The more we say “No” to foods, the more we crave them. Each craving is like taking a sip of water from that bottle. The more we crave, the lower the water gets. Come Saturday night, when there’s not a drop left, there’s nothing to stop us from running down to the corner store, and buying, not water, but everything we’ve been craving. Yep, we all know it, The Dieters Binge.
That’s why I like to find ways to say “Yes” to myself. I hate to admit this, but I often treat myself like a two year old. “No sweetie, you can’t have a Snickers bar, but I’ll make you a Snickers Smoothie instead!” And, my two year self says “Yes!” and nobody has to take a precious sip from the water bottle. In other words, I’m not depleting my precious store of willpower. I’m finding a way to take my craving and satisfy it, without completely giving in. I love win-wins!
Before we move on to the ingredients, I want to caveat this by saying, if you’re really serious about losing weight, you will keep your sugar to a minimum. Think of this smoothie as an afternoon meal replacement, snack, or to help you through some of those sugar cravings. You can have it for breakfast, but for maximum weight loss, you’ll have something like my Santa Fe Steak and Eggs, and reserve the taste of anything sweet for later in the day.
Snickers Smoothie Ingredients
I used Jay Robb Whey Protein Isolate Powder in this smoothie because I consider it to be one of the better protein powder brands on the market. It’s ingredients are not genetically modified, the whey is derived from rbst hormone free cows milk, there are no fillers, and it is sweetened with stevia. Additionally, it is a brand that I know most of you have access to, whether online, or in a store near you. If you’re wondering what the difference is between isolate and concentrate protein powders, click here. To learn more about protein powders I use and recommend click here.
1 scoop protein powder= 110 calories, 1 gram carb, 25 grams protein
Organic Peanut Butter
As with all of my smoothies, I try to incorporate some fat into the mix. The reason why is two-fold. Number one, because fat keeps us full, helps to stabilize blood sugar, and helps us to feel more satiated (satisfied). Number two is because eating large amounts of protein, without the presence of fat, not only rapidly depletes important stores of vitamin A, it also aids in the absorption of vitamins and minerals present in the protein. (Read more about protein and fat and why fat doesn’t make you fat, here.)
Please note, that I HIGHLY recommend organic peanut butter. Peanuts are heavily sprayed, and have a high toxic residue load when tested. Organic is worth the extra money in this case. If you can find it at Costco, it’s generally the best price available and is what I used in this recipe.
1 Tbs= 100 calories, 7.5 grams fat, 1.5 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar, 4 grams protein
First off, let me tell you that dates are naturally very high in sugar and a little goes a long way. So, if you are diabetic, or have any sort of insulin response when eating dates, simply omit them or use Yacon syrup in their place. That being said, dates are especially high in a special kind of soluble fiber known as beta-D-glucan. This type of soluble fiber is particularly beneficial, as it promotes normal blood glucose levels, blocks the absorption of cholesterol, and increases the size of stools. Beta-D-glucan also slows digestion in the stomach, thereby contributing to long-term satiety. Dates are also full of potassium, and give a great “caramel” flavor to the shake.
3 dates= 200 calories, 54 grams carbs, 4.8 grams fiber, 47.9 grams sugar, 1.3 grams protein
A good source of protein and fat. Most Greek yogurts on the market are completely NON-FAT. Look for at least 2%, if not full fat. Trader Joe’s brand of Greek yogurt offers a full fat version, and tastes great! Fage also offers a full fat version that looks like this.
1/4 cup= 65 calories, 2.25 grams protein, 3.5 grams carbs, and 4.5 grams fat
I like adding extra cocoa or cacao powder to my chocolate smoothies because it not only up’s the flavor profile, it’s also a super food! Yep, cocoa (especially cacao) powder has antioxidant properties AND tastes great. Awesome-sauce!
1 Tbs.= 12 calories, 1.1 grams protein, 3.1 grams carbs, 0.7 grams fat
Stevia is one of the only alternative sweeteners that I use. Extracted from the leaf of a plant, whose compounds make it 150 times sweeter than cane sugar, it doesn’t impact blood sugar and is safe for diabetics. Although the liquid stevia is more processed than the green powdered stevia, I find that I like the taste better.
Honestly, I’ve found that adding vanilla extract to any and all smoothies up’s the flavor, makes them taste better, and is just plain good. Leave it out if you want, but you’ll find vanilla in almost all of my smoothie recipes.
Adding peanuts at the end is totally optional. But before you dismiss the very idea of having any “crunch” in your smooth-ie, let me tell you why it’s a good idea. One of the biggest problems with smoothies is they are a liquid meal. The act of chewing and swishing the food around in your mouth releases enzymes that help you to digest your food. It’s a very important process that starts in the mouth, and is completely lost unless you chew your smoothie. The addition of peanuts, albeit mostly crushed, makes chewing your food, and starting that digestive process where it’s meant to be started, easy!
15 peanuts (dry roasted, salted)= 88 calories, 7.4 grams fat, 3.2 grams carbs, 1.2 grams fiber
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Snickers Smoothie Recipe
If Snickers bars are your nemesis, healthify, liquefy, and use that flavor combination for a filling and delicious smoothie!
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 24 oz.
Chocolate protein powder of your choice= to 20-25 grams of protein
1 Tbs organic peanut butter
3 dates*, pits removed
¼ cup Greek Yogurt
1 Tbs. cocoa powder
3 drops liquid stevia (I use chocolate, regular works great too)
¼ tsp vanilla extract
6 oz. water, milk, or alternative milk of your choice
½ cup ice
1-2 Tbs. organic peanuts (optional)
Add all ingredients but the peanuts to a blender (I use my Vitamix) and blend until creamy and smooth.
Add peanuts, and process lightly, or just until the peanuts are crushed, but still have a crunchy texture. (optional)
*If your dates are old, simply soak them in some warm water for a few minutes before adding to the blender.
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