Q&A Are Smoothie Bowls Healthy, Weight Loss and Intermittent Fasting, Low Carb Pizzas and More

Here are the answers to your latest questions:

Q1: How many calories are actually in an avocado? I see different information the various places I check.

A: 1 oz is about 45 calories and one medium avocado has about 7 ounces so that’s around 315 calories for one medium avocado. Typically California grown or Hass avocados have a little more fat per ounce than Florida grown avocados. It’s a difference of about 1.5 g of fat so not a huge difference. Q2: Can you please share the recipe for the mug cake with the Level 1 protein powders?

A: Here is Emily's recipe on Fit Home and Health. Dig in!

Q3: What’s the deal with smoothie bowls?  Are they healthier than smoothies?  

A: Smoothie bowls are smoothies: a blend of fruit, milk and sometimes seeds and other items, in a bowl, topped with additional choices like fruit, nuts, avocado, coconut, granola and peanut butter.  Some have protein powder blended in.  Like regular smoothies it all depends what is added to it. You could get a smoothie bowl at a restaurant that has a sugary syrup blend added to it and a lot more carbs and calories than what you might expect. If it has nuts, peanut butter and seeds, also expected to be higher in fat and overall calories. Smoothie bowls can be very healthy with high fiber fruits and even some blended spinach in. Be sure to check the ingredients in the bowl you’re getting if you’re getting one at a restaurant. 

Q4: What do you do with all of the extra basil you grow in the summer? 

A: The basil you’re not using fresh can be frozen in cube trays with olive oil to drop into sauces and marinades later.  Making your own pesto is another must if you haven’t tried it. A basic pesto is a blend of fresh basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic and olive oil.  Try it with blend of spinach and basil and use whatever nuts are on hand.  It’s really good on pizza too, even if it’s a frozen one, just chop fresh basil and sprinkle it on the pizza when it comes out of the oven or off the grill.

Q5: Does intermittent fasting (IF) help with weight loss more than just watching calories?  

A: There’s evidence that both alternate-day fasting and periodic fasting may be effective for short-term weight loss, but the long term is less know.   Some studies show at 6 months the weight loss from IF is about the same as calorie counting. 

A six-month trial of 100 women in which half were signed a 5:2 intermittent fasting plan where they fasted for two days and ate what they wanted the other five while the other half of the women cut daily calories by 25%. The two groups last about the same amount of weight but those in the IF group lost more belly fat.

IF may be easier to stick to than counting calories or trying to increase physical activity though. It’s also an easy rule to follow cut snacking at nighttime. But it’s not for everyone. If you decide to try it, make sure you check with your doctor first.

Q6: Like everyone else, I’ve been working out from home and my gym has reopened, but I’m not quite ready to go back there and don’t like the idea of working out with a mask on. What are some of your favorite lower body exercises that you’re doing at home?  This has been the hardest thing for me to keep up with because I don’t have a lot of equipment. Thank you for any suggestions!

A: Here are a few favorites:

  • Lateral lunges

  • Bridge ups on or off the ball with and without a band

  • Jump squats

  • Banded side steps

  • Chair pose or wall sits, hold for 1-2 minutes

  • Seated hip abductors with a band

  • Fire hydrants

  • Bulgarian split squats off a step 

  • Lunge jumps

Q7: I know I’m not in as good of shape now in my late twenties as in my late teens but how do I really know my physical fitness level?  Are there tests?  

A: One test to try is the Rockport test to test your VO2 max plus you’ll get in a good cardio session doing it.  You can also do 1 minute push-up and sit up tests, seeing how many push-ups you can do in one minute and same for sit ups. Over the next month, you’ll do exercises and work on these to try and get better. Do the tests again a month later and see if you can do more in one minute.

Q8: What’s your favorite lower carb or cauliflower crust pizza?

A: Here are a few:

Listen to the full Q&A episode here.