I’m Going Bananas Over THIS Sweet Treat!

Bananas are a wonderfully versatile fruit that perfectly compliment many sweet and savory dishes. On top of that, they are loaded with potassium and fiber, making them a heart-healthy snack that helps you manage cholesterol levels and decrease your risk of heart disease. In fact, a study referenced by MindBodyGreen showed that when long-distance cyclists consumed half of a banana every fifteen minutes, their energy levels were equivalent to those when consuming energy drinks. And think about all the sugar and calories they saved!

It’s clear bananas are a healthy choice when it comes to feeding your body right, but the super bonus is that they can also be incredibly delicious! Especially when coated with creamy peanut butter, packed tight with crunchy coconut bits or delightfully sweetened with dark chocolate. I’m talking about the incredible snacks made by Barnana.

Barnana Barnana snacks come in all shapes, sizes and flavors, giving your taste buds an experience they soon won’t forget. My favorites are the Organic Peanut Butter Chewy Banana Bites and the Organic Chocolate Chewy Banana Bites (pictured left). But you don’t have to just stop with these two. For those of you who want to skip the creamy coating, the Organic Original Chewy Banana Bites taste like candy but fuel your body with 800mg of Potassium per serving! For a more tropical treat with a hint of crunch, snack on the Organic Coconut Chewy Banana Bites – after one bite, you’ll swear you’ve been transported to a Hawaiian island.

I enjoy these bites between meetings, post-workout or during that mid-afternoon dive when my brain needs a supercharge to get through the rest of the day.

The best part? You can find them at your local health food store, including Whole Foods and Sprouts! Want them to come to you? You can order them online by clicking here. Happy snacking, friends!

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Fall in Love with Fiber

Fiber is an incredibly powerful, healthy nutrient that is an absolute necessity for any balanced diet. According to Dr. Mercola, fiber helps to:

  • Control blood sugar by slowing the body’s breakdown of carbohydrates and the absorption of sugar
  • Lower your risk of heart disease by up to 40 percent
  • Decrease your stroke risk by 7 percent
  • Improve weight loss among obese people by increasing feelings of fullness and slowing carbohydrate metabolism
  • Improve skin health by moving yeast and fungus out of your body
  • And many more benefits

Fiber is naturally found in vegetables, nuts and seeds, and play a critical role in digestive and overall health. When you want to fill up on some healthy (and absolutely delicious!) fiber, we have the BEST tasty treat for you: gnuFOODS FiberLove Bars! These tasty, hearty snack and meal-replacement bars are made in a variety of flavors, including Apple Cobbler, Coconut Macaroon, Banana Walnut, Blondie Bar, Blueberry Cobbler, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Brownie, and many more!

FiberLove Bars

I recently tried these delightfully filling treats and fell in love with these favorites: Cinnamon Raisin, Carrot Cake and Blondie Bar. You can eat them on the run, in between meals, or crumble them over your favorite yogurt or ice cream for a soft and crumbly topping! The bars are all Vegan (with the exception of the Blondie Bar) and can be found in certain health food stores or purchased directly on their website.

Since women need an average of 25 grams of fiber per day and men should get about 38 grams per day, this is the perfect treat to help you on your way to reaching your daily intake goal! Each bar contains almost half of what you need, so eat up and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Bed Time Bites

Remember that one time you were up late watching the latest episode of “Amazing Race” and all of a sudden you had a craving for something sweet? Of course you can, because it was probably last night! Since I work around-the-clock to provide you with the latest and greatest in health information, I am a diehard late-night muncher, and over the years, I have learned to make sensible choices when reaching for something to satisfy my cravings.

Whether you’re sitting on the couch in your living room or laying comfortably in bed with the television on and minutes ticking away into the night, it happens often that you start to realize it’s been a few hours since dinner. This is when you need to eat something small that will tide you over until you finally retire for the night.

Multigrain PuffinsMy go-to snack for this time of night is cereal! NOT the sugary, powdered, sweetened, glazed varieties that are more likely to leave you feeling energized and uncomfortable rather than rested and full, but smarter choices that are high in fiber and low in sugar, like Barbara’s gluten-free Multigrain Puffins. A small serving close to bedtime is perfectly fine, but makes sure you don’t overdo it, because consuming large amounts of carbohydrates immediately before hours of rest may actually do more harm than good.

Here’s why: When you eat carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which then enters the blood. As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin – a hormone that prompts cells to absorb blood sugar for energy or storage. As cells absorb blood sugar, levels in the bloodstream begin to fall and the pancreas starts making glucagon – a hormone that signals the liver to start releasing stored sugar. When all this happens right before you’re about to remain sedentary for 6-8 hours or more, then the body will store the sugar as fat.

While there is much debate surrounding the issue of when to eat carbohydrates, which carbs to eat, which to avoid, and whether they make you gain weight, the bottom line is – it’s not the best to over-do it on any foods high in carbohydrates or sugar right before bed, so remember the key: MODERATION!

When your cupboard is bare or you’re just not in the mood for cereal, here are a few other sources of nutrition for those late-night snack times.

Homemade Trail Mix

Trail Mix

My homemade trail mix is completely customizable based on your preference and dietary restrictions, but one option I recommend includes banana chips, golden raisins and carob chips for a lot of sweet, a little soft, and a bunch-a-crunch…without the guilt! For those of you who like nuts in your trail mix, try mixing in some unsalted walnuts or cashews for added crunch, protein and healthy fat. 

The best thing about this snack is you can add in whichever low-calorie foods you like, including dried fruit or nuts, as long as you don’t GO nuts ; )

Cottage PeachCottage Peach

Another option if you’re craving something a little more hearty is a scoop of nonfat cottage cheese mixed with sliced canned peaches (the “light” variety that come in water or light syrup). This gives you a healthy dose of protein and satisfies that sugar craving with a light, low-sugar helping of fruit!

Salty Satisfaction

If you prefer a salty snack over a sweet treat, one of the healthiest, gluten-free routes you can go is to choose a low-salt, low butter-content variety of popcorn. This is a great way to fill up on a high-fiber snack that is not too high in carbohydrates. A great choice here is Newman’s Own Organics, which makes a variety of low-fat, lightly salted, gluten-free options that won’t undo your day!

Share your favorite healthy late-night snack in Comments below!

Frozen Bliss

Everyone has bad days, feels down sometimes or just needs a little bit of comfort to pick them up. For many, that one thing is a favorite song or time with family, which are both at the top of my list, but there is one more thing that always manages to bring a smile to my face here at Edible Epiphanies: frozen yogurt! This creamy, chilly treat is my instant mood-lifter, bad-day eraser and night-time ritual. This simple, yet absolutely powerful dessert brings so much joy and not so much guilt.Frozen Yogurt

About six months ago, a Frozen Yogurt Shop opened within feet of Edible Epiphanies’ headquarters. Even on icy Winter nights, I’d savor spoonfuls of this delicious frozen sweetness. Frozen yogurt is still a somewhat healthy indulgence that doesn’t leave you with the same guilt as a plate full of Oreos or a slice of cheesecake would, and it balances on the line between sugary decadence and a healthful way to wrap up a long day.

When you find that one thing in life that provides such comfort and happiness, making every disappointment or letdown just fade away, you need to embrace it and enjoy it. It’s important to surround yourself with people who make you happy, indulge every-so-often in the little things that make you feel good, and help others in a selfless, loving way. A small cup of yogurt may not seem like much, but when I have a spoon in hand, yogurt in lap and enjoy laughing about some silly little thing from the day, the entire world seems to disappear and nothing exists but that feeling of absolute bliss!