A Lower Calorie, Higher Protein Berry Bowl with Zing™!

lowcaloriehighproteinberrybowl I still remember the very first time I had a smoothie bowl. It was at a little shack on Oahu’s famous North Shore. It was pretty much the most delicious thing I had ever tasted. It was blended with acai and other berries, and topped with tons of granola and banana. For as nutritious as it was, I knew it couldn’t be healthy in terms of calories. I don’t know the exact count on the one I had that day, but a similar bowl at Jamba Juice weighs in at 480 calories, 55 grams of sugar, and only 8g of protein. Are you kidding? You might as well eat a donut (which has less sugar, by the way).

I wanted to recreate the creamy and crunchy deliciousness of a smoothie bowl that could actually be part of my “clean eating” routine. One thing I definitely needed to do was get rid of the granola. Did you know that just 1/4 cup of granola has around 115 calories? That’s way too many for just a topping. I decided to substitute the granola for bran flakes, which have just 30 calories per 1/4 cup and still offer a nice little crunch. Another thing I did was add a scoop of protein powder to the mix. (You know how I feel about my protein, you guys.) One scoop of Optimum Nutrition Hydrowhey will get you 30 grams. And finally, instead of using juice to sweeten the smoothie, I used Born Sweet™ Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener.

Zing™ is the perfect sweetener for beverages, fruits, and most importantly, my smoothie bowl. It is made with only real ingredients – nothing artificial, and has ZERO calories per serving, extracting the sweetness found in Mother Nature’s stevia plant. I added two packages of Zing™ to my smoothie because I have a crazy sweet-tooth, but I think most people would be fine with just one (as 1 packet = sweetness in 2 teaspoons of sugar).  It gives any smoothie the perfect amount of sweetness without adding extra calories.

Here’s a breakdown of the calories in my Berry Bowl creation:


The entire Berry Bowl is only 260 calories and contains a whopping 30g of fast-digesting protein. This bowl is perfect for breakfast or a post-workout recovery meal. Here is the recipe:

Lower Calorie, Higher Protein Berry Bowl
1 bowl
Cook Time
5 minutes
1 bowl
Cook Time
5 minutes
Lower Calorie, Higher Protein Berry Bowl
1 bowl
Cook Time
5 minutes
1 bowl
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings: bowl
  1. Add the berries, the scoop of protein, the packet of Zing™, the ice, and the water to your blender. Blend until smooth. Add more water if necessary.
  2. Pour into a bowl. Top with sliced banana and bran cereal.
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And there you have it! It’s super quick and easy to make, leaving you no need or excuse to substitute healthy eating for convenient junk food. The Zing™ adds just enough sweetness to satisfy any craving.

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Have you tried using Zing™ to make a low-calorie smoothie? If you haven’t, you can request a FREE sample and/or a coupon for $1.50 off at www.ZingStevia.com. Look for Zing™ in the Sweetener Aisle at mass merchandiser and grocery stores nationwide.

And guess what? I also have a chance for you to win a $100 VISA gift card. To enter for a chance to win, ALL you have to do is leave a comment telling me what beverage YOU would use Zing™ for. Is it your morning coffee? Your afternoon sweet tea? Or do you have a creative concoction like I do? I want to hear from you!

Entry Instructions:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 3/25/15 – 4/21/15.

Be sure to visit the Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Damian: Eleven Months

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Dear Damian,

I’m so excited that you’re eleven months! There are so many things you can do now. My favorite is that you finally stopped eating sand at the beach (for the most part). You are now walking EVERYWHERE, way more than you’re crawling. I found it quite impossible to get any spectacular “eleven month” pictures of you because all you wanted to do was run around our living room. You give REAL kisses now, not open-mouthed face-eating slobbers (which I appreciated, too, but you know…). Your face gets so serious and you make a little “muah” sound when you give them. It melts my heart. You can identify things by pointing at them and saying, “there” (but it sounds more like “dair”). You clap your hands and have some pretty sweet dance moves. Every stage of babyhood is awesome and special in it’s own way, but I think this is my favorite.

You have about six teeth now, which is waaay more than your sister had at this age. You have four on the bottom and two on top. You love to eat, and you’ll eat pretty much anything except eggs. Your favorites this month have included boiled shrimp, barbacoa, and any sort of meat. You also love avocado and banana.

Your favorite toys are still anything with wheels. You love dragging toy cars along a couch or the floor. You’ve also shown a huge interest in MegaBlocks recently, and you’re starting to put them together trying to build towers like your sister does.

Things you love: The beach. Watching birds. Eating food.

Things you hate: Diaper changes (still, for some reason).

I love you so much my little “prince”(as your sister calls you). Here’s to the last month of being ZERO! Thank you for being my baby.


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Week in Pictures

52projectProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetPlenty of beach time this week for Evita and Damo.
My favorite portraits from last week’s collection were this happy boy and this big-eyed beauty.

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Damian continues to impress me with his walking skills. He’s a pro now. He’s also getting better at identifying people and objects by name. He doesn’t say them (except mama, dada, Eva), but he will point to them when I ask. Pretty neat!

My Nioxin 30-Day Challenge

I participated in the NIOXIN Challenge blog program as a member of One2One Network. I received compensation but all opinions are my own.

mynioxinchallengeThe last few years have not been good to me as far as my hair goes. I have always had very fine hair, but when I got pregnant with Eva it started falling out! Yes, both during and after my first pregnancy I was shedding like a dog in summer. I remember pulling the fallen hair out of my hair brush in tears at one point; I didn’t think I’d have any hair on my head left at all. A few months after I gave birth, it finally stopped, leaving me with the thinnest hair I had ever had in my life. When I’d put it in a pony tail it was the most pathetic thing I had ever seen, with little hairs sticking out the top of the rubber-band like my hair was all cut into two different lengths. I was so bummed. I wasn’t using any special products for it, and it took a long time to recover. It never fully did before I became pregnant with Damian. My pregnancy with Damian was a bit different, though. My hair actually felt noticeably thicker and fuller like it’s “supposed to” during pregnancy. I actually started to feel a little more confident about my hair. But a few months after I gave birth, it started shedding again, leaving me with a ton of anxiety. When you have very fine hair to begin with, losing any can cause an immeasurable amount of stress.Continue Reading