Since I have memory, I have always loved sweets. And over the last few years working on health and fitness I have learnt that instead of giving up things that you love, it’s better to find a healthier alternative. Self-discipline is about knowing yourself, being honest about your weaknesses and accept that there are little pleasures from which you just can’t stay away. Because of my sweet tooth, I have included some little treats to my diet, which are a lot healthier than practically any sweets you can buy.

 

Let me tell you something, there is no need to spend your life counting calories. However, it is good to be aware of how caloric is each food is. It is particularly interesting checking the calories in refined products like desserts or ready meals. I also would advise you to be aware of some particular foods with a very high amount of calories like hummus, olives and peanut butter. Yet, they are very healthy foods as long as you know how much you should eat according to different factors such as lifestyle, energy levels, weight, etc. Having a fit and healthy body implies getting familiar with the macros of the different foods we eat (carbs, proteins and fats), how caloric they are and how much you should eat taking in consideration the factors mentioned above plus the rest of your diet. This way, staying patient, consistent and persistent, you will be able to roughly work out by yourself how much of each food you should eat.

 

The wonders of peanut butter

 

Peanut butter is becoming very popular among the fitness freaks, although is still feared by some people due to its high caloric content. The truth is that this delicious and crunchy paste is packed with nutrition and has been linked to many health benefits such as lower risk of colon cancer and Alzheimer, lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also contributes to weight loss. The reason why is precisely its high nutritional value and its percentage of protein and unsaturated fat, along with its content in fibre, which altogether keeps you satisfied for longer. This nutty delight is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant), vitamin B6 (which boost your immune system) and potassium (good for your heart, muscles and kidneys).

 

I am not a big fan of spending long hours in the kitchen so I have a great list of meals and snacks that you can prepare in less than 10 minutes.  Now let me share with you my three favourite peanut butter combos.

 

Raspberry jam and peanut butter toast

Here you have the healthier choice, which is rice cakes (I personally love sesame rice cakes).

 

If you don’t mind a more caloric alternative (which will also keep you fuller for longer) then go for rye or Spelt bread. I would advise 1 spoon per rice cake or 2 spoons in a big toast and half spoon of raspberry jam to give it that sweet hint without indulging too much.

 

Peanut butter toast with sliced banana and strawberry topped with dark chocolate

 

In this case, I suggest you go for rye bread. You can grate some dark chocolate on top as it was parmesan. If you want a healthier alternative to this one, you must try it with just sliced pink apple!

 

Choco-coffee oats pot with peanut butter and banana

 

Mix a medium ripe banana with three or four spoons of oats, add a little bit of your preferred milk and smash it until it becomes a paste. Add one or two spoons of peanut butter and a little pinch of coffee, more milk and mix it again. Drop a few little chunks of dark chocolate and mix gently to finish it off with a little more grated chocolate on top. Keep it in the fridge overnight and enjoy it in the morning. Leave it to rest a few minutes outside the fridge before eating it to enjoy its delicious taste and texture at its best.

 

Written by Pilar
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