Going Bananas

I’ve been using Invisalign for about 6 weeks now. And I’ve had to learn to be creative with my eating habits. For those of you who don’t know, with Invisalign you can really only eat 3 meals a day. I mean, you can eat more, but the hassle of taking out your retainers, brushing and flossing your teeth, then brushing your retainers, then putting them back in (while finding a bathroom to do this in), makes you only want to do it 3 times a day. Invisalign retainers must be kept in for 22 hours a day or you’re just wasting your money. So sipping a coffee while reading emails? Not possible. Eating the complimentary bread before your meal comes? Not possible. Getting fried dough at the fair? Not possible. Eating popcorn during a movie with the family? Not possible. Trying a free sample at the grocery store? Not possible. Yes, you give up a lot of foodie freedom with Invisalign, but beauty is pain, they say, and being a huge foodie myself, I’m in so much pain.

Since I’m used to always having food at my fingertips, the challenge for me is to make sure I eat enough protein and fiber in those 3 meals to help stave off my hunger until my next meal. Cause a hungry Julie is a miserable Julie. I’ve learned to be creative and mix things up for a nutritious punch that satisfies me for hours.

One of my discoveries is the combination of peanut butter and bananas. Didn’t they say that was an Elvis favorite? Well, the man had good taste. With that in mind, here’s my go-to breakfast:

One toasted high-fiber English muffin, topped with Jif natural peanut butter with honey (been on a honey kick lately!) and sliced bananas. I can usually fit about five slices on each side. I couple this with a cheese stick and sometimes melon or a strawberry Greek yogurt. The nice thing about eating only three meals a day is that you don’t have to skimp on the fat. You need the fat. So no low-fat peanut butter for me. I get the good stuff.

Yesterday though, I ran out of English muffins. Oh, no! So using my noggin I put something together with what I had available in the house. And I have to say it came out pretty good! I took Honey Bunches of Oats (gotta love that stuff), vanilla almond milk (the new kind with a touch of honey), a sprinkling of chia seeds, and sliced bananas. Mmm mmm. The honey vanilla almond milk added just enough sweetness to enhance the cereal. And if you haven’t heard of chia seeds, then shame on you. Those little seeds are packed with Omega 3 and fiber. They help lower cholesterol while filling you up. I usually add them to smoothies because I enjoy chewing my smoothie (weird I know), but in cereal, the crunch is barely noticeable alongside the oats.

And for desert? How about this? Slice a banana in half length-wise. Spread peanut butter on each side, sprinkle with mini chocolate chips, stick back together again. Eat as is, or freeze for a summer-time treat. I’m getting hungry…

Do you have a favorite flavor combo that others find odd?

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