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Life in Balance: Watch serving size when eating fruits

SHARE Life in Balance: Watch serving size when eating fruits

Ever since I started to lose weight, I have been looking for delicious and nutritious ways to prepare fruits.

If I eat out and find a low-calorie dish that I like, I ask for the recipe.

Often, restaurants will share recipes with you. Also, my friends have always been more than willing to share.

I like to eat three servings of fruit each day. Fruits have many vital vitamins and nutrients. The main thing to watch for with fruits is to follow the proper serving sizes.

Some fruits have concentrated sugars and can add more calories than recommended. It is easy to go online and find serving sizes and nutrition information.

I eat a citrus fruit — such as an orange, grapefruit or a clementine — every day. Crushed berries make a delicious fruit sauce to spoon over fat-free yogurt or cottage cheese.

Most fruits will store well in the refrigerator for several days. Some fruits, such as bananas, are picked green and continue to ripen, so they should be stored on the counter.

If I don't eat soft fruit, such as peaches and nectarines, within a few days, I peel them and cut them into 1-inch pieces, place them on a piece of plastic wrap on a tray and freeze them uncovered.

When they are frozen, I divide the pieces into serving portions and package them into Ziploc sandwich bags. It's beneficial to remove as much air from the bag as possible before sealing it. They are now ready to use in fruit shakes.

When shakes and malts became "no-nos" in my food program, I began to look for replacements.

Because the bananas at Costco are so inexpensive, I buy a bunch and let them ripen until there are just a few brown spots. Then I freeze them for my nightly shake that replaces the high-calorie milk shake I often enjoyed.

Here's my recipe:

Banana Shake

1 frozen banana, prepared as described above

1 to 1¼ cup 8th Continent Soymilk, light vanilla (only 60 calories per cup)

½ teaspoon vanilla

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. One serving is under 200 calories.

I served this to my brother one night when he stopped by. He could not believe so few calories could taste so good!

TV personality and author Dian Thomas shares her journey of weight loss, exercise and life on the run every other Tuesday in the Deseret News and at www.DianThomas.com. Her weekly blog also runs Mondays at deseretnews.com, and she takes tour groups to China. Contact her at www.dianthomas.com/travel.htm. E-mail: features@desnews.com