DIY Banana Dippers

design (1)

After logging my meals for almost three weeks (let’s be friends on My Fitness Pal) and then breaking down my current diet with my coach earlier this week, he challenged me to give up bananas for a little bit as I work to lean out for Miss Maryland USA, instead replacing them with lower calorie/carb/sugar fruits like apples or berries.

Today, I am having major banana withdrawal. And so, I am sharing one of my favorite banana “recipes” with you!

Ya’ll, I have a major sweet tooth. Like MEGA major. Like, if I could, I would survive on Oreos and sour gummy worms.

Alas, there’s not a whole lot of nutrients in Oreos or sour gummy worms, and they definitely suck more energy than they give. So what’s a girl to do?

IMG_8924

I love these DIY Banana Dippers. They’re easy, customizable, and can be enjoyed with endless different topping combinations. And, if you’re banana-averse (first of all, who are you?!) or you’re like me and are making the switch to a different fruit, these are just as delicious with strawberries. I took one for the team and tried them for you.

Here’s how to do it:

First, find yourself a small bowl and melt one serving of chocolate chips (I use semisweet, but you could use milk, dark, white, or even peanut butter if you want to get wild). I use the microwave for convenience. The trick to not burning chocolate in the microwave is to microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each half minute, until melted.

Next, find your toppings. I used Captain Crunch and powdered peanut butter (PB2), but you could use different cereal, nuts, or even sprinkles! Like I said, the possibilities are endless.

Lastly, assemble your toppings and chocolate on a small plate with a half – or full! – banana. Use your fork to cut slices, dip, top, and enjoy!

Help me banana daydream – what are some of your other favorite ways to eat nature’s best fruit?

Things I love Tuesday (on a Wednesday)

Ever plan to write and then the day just gets the best of you? That was my day yesterday, and so, TILT has, for one week only, become TILW. Which, of course, doesn’t have the same ring to it. I did still manage to get a Tunesday playlist made for you, so if you missed that, it’ll be a great way to kick off your hump day.

IMG_6921

Ashley Shelly Budget Notebook. Finances are scary. Especially when you’re in your mid-twenties and sometimes living paycheck to paycheck. I found this budget notebook via a Mavenly podcast, and knew I had to order it for myself. This weekend, I sat down and got honest about my finances, and I feel SO much better knowing that I’ve got somewhere where everything is written down and laid out. Plus, it’s an adorable little notebook, so it makes it fun to manage my budget. And, as a bonus: If you’re loving the jewelry pictured with my budget notebook, you can get your own here.

IMG_6944

Cleaning out my pantry/fridge/freezer. In line with getting a grip on my finances, I made the decision to be intentional about eating all of the food that I’ve purchased and just kind of stored in my pantry/freezer. It’s nice to feel like I’m not going to be throwing out massive amounts of food, plus I’m eating out less (saving money, hello), and making really weird but delicious combinations. Last night, I came up with this gem, and you need it in your life: MorningStar veggie burger on top of half of a whole wheat bagel topped with balsamic vinaigrette and blue cheese. You’re welcome.

IMG_6941

The Lively Show. Especially this week’s episode. This week, Jess talks to Alexandra Franzen, who is writing a book called “Today is Not Over Yet.” It was exactly what I needed to hear yesterday, and is a nice reminder that, even at 6pm, we have the ability to make our day awesome. Listen and get inspired.

IMG_6933

Kim Hoeltje Cookies. Oh my gosh. I love this woman for creating delicious bakeable high protein treats. No, it doesn’t taste like a fresh baked cookie, but it IS super delicious and it IS good for helping you meet your goals in a sugar-free, high protein way. This week, I made this recipe using Cellucor Cookies and Cream whey and added two tablespoons of cocoa powder and topped with chocolate chips.

What are some things you’re loving this week?