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Monday’s With Mike: How To Have A Sweet Treat

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It’s the New Year! Your diet is back on track, getting into the gym is once again part of the regular routine, but what happens when you are craving a treat and need to satisfy that sweet tooth?

I’ve got just the trick!  Head on over to a place like The Harvest Bar and get yourself an acai bowl and savor each bite without an ounce of guilt!  Check out this week’s video for my tips on how to incorporate this dessert into your diet without throwing a wrench in your progress.

Things To Know About Acai Bowls

1)  Acai is a super food!
Acai is a fruit from South American rainforests that, in and of itself is quite healthy; often called a super food for all of its inherent health benefits.  Acai fights inflammation (better than other fruits), makes your skin more radiant, won’t spike your blood sugar (compared to most other fruits), and has tons of nutrients and trace minerals.

Both the juice and the pulp of the berry have been found to have an extremely high antioxidant absorption rate.  Meaning, more bang for your nutritional buck.  One antioxidant, in particular, that’s found in acai is anthocyanin, which almost has too many benefits to count: reduce inflammation, improve memory function, prevent cancer cell invasion, reduce oxidative stress from free radicals, and more, according to Medical News Today.  Yum, right?!  Well, that depends…

 

2)  Watch Out For The Sugar!
I’ve yet to come across a place selling acai bowls that did not sweeten them in some way.  So be sure to avoid acai bowls that are sweetened with sugar or some variation of it.  Opt for a place like The Harvest Bar which sweetens their acai with other fruit or fruit juice!

 

3)  Acai Bowls Typically Aren’t Low Calorie
Acai bowls are typically topped with things like strawberries, blueberries, coconut, granola, and sometimes a nut butter drizzle.  While all of those things are great, nutritious whole foods boasting lots of health benefits, when piled up together in one delicious treat, you could easily be looking at a really high calorie item that is more like a meal replacement instead of a treat.

So here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re trying to watch your weight or count macros:

  • Opt for a small size bowl (the optical illusion of filling up a small container will make you feel like you’re getting more than you are) and will inherently keep you from overdoing it
  • Keep the toppings to a minimum.  Just pick a few favorites and skip the honey or nut butter drizzle.  Remember, carbs + fat is an iron clad recipe for weight gain
  • Get your acai bowl midday, after you’ve worked out.  Ideally, you would’ve worked out, and then had your acai bowl within a few hours.  This way all those carbs will be utilized by your muscles and less likely to be stored as fat; hence the phrase straight to muscle!  Whatever you do, don’t have an acai bowl late at night or within a few hours of going to bed if weight loss/muscle definition are your goals.
  • Add in some protein!  Carbs + protein is a winning combination.
  • Lastly, an acai bowl should be a treat if you’re watching your weight or trying to lose weight.  It shouldn’t be something you’re getting all the time as it will not help you with weight loss.

 

Why The Harvest Bar Gets Coach Mike’s Stamp of Approval

No Sugar!
In addition to not using sugar or similar sweeteners in any of their menu items (including the nut butters!), Harvest Bar uses natural fruits and juices to sweeten their bowls and smoothies.  It doesn’t get any sweeter than that!

 

Cool Super Food Add-Ins
The Harvest Bar has a pretty cool line up of optional super food add-ins to make your bowl or smoothie super charged!  Things like beepollen, spirulina, goji berries, and hemp seeds.

 

Organic & Local Ingredients + Vegan & Gluten Free
All acai and pitaya is organic and all greens are locally sourced.  The fruit is local when in season, and all sauces are made in house.  The whole menu is vegan or vegan optional, and most of the items can be prepared gluten free.  Lastly, the peanut butter and almond butter is also locally sourced and have no added sugars.

Now THAT’S a treat you can feel good about having and the sort of place you can feel great about going to!

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