Disclaimer: This review was sponsored by Livliga. All opinions are my own.
Like everyone else in the post-op world, I tend to stalk food pages. Food Network, Pinch of Yum, of course The World According to Eggface. I follow them all! Because, my lovelies, I. Love. Food. That didn’t change when I had surgery, although I am more mindful about the whole deal now. Especially nine years in when I am very capable of eating way too much of the completely wrong things.
I’ve been seeing this trend online and I just couldn’t figure out how to translate it for us. Smoothie bowls. Yes…smoothie bowls. The concept is pretty simple. You put stuff that would be in a smoothie…in a bowl…but without blending the stuff. I like them mostly because I’m a visual eater and they tend to be GORGEOUS. Plus I saw room for a good, nutritious meal for us. Rightfully we should have a good amount of protein per meal, but also a respectable amount of beneficial fat and some carbohydrates. Smoothie bowls seem to facilitate that in a way that is not only satisfying, but also makes you feel kinda cool eating it.
But there was one problem: every smoothie bowl I’ve seen online is HUGE! And granted I could downsize it but I just didn’t feel inspired to.
And then came the Livliga Just Right Set™ Bariatric.
Why, hello, cutie. Where have you been all my life???
So this is another one of those “grab a cup of tea and follow me on the journey” type of product reviews. Because there’s a lot to share, even with just two pieces!
Seriously. Both these pieces are adorable! But more than that they are really just right. Now the pic I showed above doesn’t really do justice to how reasonable the bowl is. So let me give you some perspective.
I looked at the bowl and did not feel overwhelmed by some visual of how much food could go in there. I looked at the plate and thought “I could eat a meal on that.” So first impression out of the box was good, but what to make first. And within an instant of looking at that cute little bowl I knew: I had to give the smoothie bowl a try!
Now in the grand fashion of Nikki, I had to put some parameters around this endeavor. Because, like, I love parameters? I dunno. Anyway. I had gone out the day before this and discovered something amazing.
Did you guys know the Oikos Triple Zero (0 fat/0 added sugar/0 artificial sweeteners) came in so many flavors now? And if you did…why didn’t you tell me??? Anyway, I was in the grocery store and there was like a whole section in the dairy aisle of these things hanging out like they were too cool to associate with the other yogurts. What you see here represents about half of all the flavors I saw. It really was a wonder.
In general smoothie bowls have a few components: a smoothie in a bowl (and traditionally you do make it smoothie consistency but I didn’t like that so I just used the regular yogurt straight out of the container), chewy mix-ins (usually fruit of some kind), and crunchy mix-ins (which can be granola, oats, nuts, etc.)
So as I said before, I had yogurt. And this particular morning it was hella cold so I didn’t want to go outside. So I challenged myself to make four smoothie bowls out of stuff I already have in my kitchen. Ready? Here we go!
For the first one I kept it simple (in the picture as well as in the bowl!). This is coffee flavored yogurt with sugar-free chocolate sauce (by the way, I’m not a huge fan of that…I only used a teaspoon of it so in the future I’ll just use the regular stuff), strawberries and walnuts. What you see is 4-ish oz. of the yogurt, one sliced strawberry and a teaspoon of chopped walnuts (for those who want to run the numbers).
So for the second bowl I decided to get a little adventurous (plus by this time I had completely emptied my baking cabinet, which is where I keep the kind of mix-ins perfect for this kind of food-play) and went with 4-ish oz. of the peanut butter yogurt, with 3 slices of banana, 1 sliced strawberry and a teaspoon of pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds). I didn’t like Oikos interpretation of peanut butter flavored, which tasted all kinds of fake, so I added a little bit of powdered peanuts (PB2) to the mix. That made it better. 🙂
Ok so by now I’m really getting into my element, guys. I wanted visual, I wanted texture. I wanted flavor. BAM! This is 4ish oz. of coconut flavored yogurt, a few blueberries, a sliced strawberry, and a heaping teaspoon of unsweetened shredded coconut (look in the organic aisle at your grocery store). The flavor on this one was legit BUT…La Petite Diva came downstairs looking for breakfast right after I photo’d this one and swiped it! #DamnKids
And, finally, the piece de resistance (did I spell that right?). This one was by far my favorite! Ok so it’s 6 oz. of mixed berry yogurt, some blueberries, some craisins and probably about 2 teaspoons of salted sunflower seeds. Oh. My. GARSH! Guys this was so good. No seriously…this was so. GOOD! I’m really into the sweet/salty combo so this was right up my alley, but here was the best part. Ok so by the time I shot this one I had sampled so much yogurt and stuff, I was full. So I stuck this in the fridge. Came back to it the next day and something magical had happened. The craisins absorbed the extra liquid from the yogurt and plumped up and were like these juicy tart/sweet flavor-bombs, which, when paired with the sunflower seeds, were just…ugh. I can’t even describe it.
So there you have it. Smoothie bowls for bariatrics, made possible by Livliga!
So the thing I have always found neat about Livliga products is that the design helps you with portion control but to the unsuspecting onlooker it doesn’t look like a “diet plate.” So you may be wondering how you can tell what the measurements are.
The answer: flip the dishes over! Yes…in the style of those mega-heart shaped boxes of chocolate, these dishes come with a hidden key to how to use them on the bottom. (There may be other examples of this but I’m a chocoholic so…roll with me…)
And as you can see, these are “us” measurements. So that’s kinda cool. Now notice there is a second bowl on the back of the plate. I believe that is their regular sized bowl, but I like that it’s there though. If you decide to buy a whole set, you can flip your dish even to see what the measurements of the bigger bowl are!
I debated a lot over what to put on this plate. I thought maybe zoodle lasagna but…did I mention we are in the midst of the 2017 Bariatric Foodie Pledge? I am not sure what mushroom I was chewing but making that lasagna wasn’t gonna happen. So I decided since I did a breakfast theme with the bowl, to continue that theme with the plate. Partially because the breakfast option is a lot simpler to throw together and partially because it is my
vendetta mission to get you guys to start eating a sensible breakfast!
So here we have a slice of my cinnamon raisin protein baked oatmeal with a side of berries. Now I know what you’re going to say. “But the carbs, Nikki???” Well you guys know where I stand on giving stats, but I will say that my baked protein oatmeal comes out to a good amount of protein, so I’m comfy with it. Berries don’t contribute much. Your mileage may vary. We could just as easily put a nice lil’ breakfast sausage in that slot if you are worried about that, mkay? Cool!
So here’s where I just love the folks at Livliga. Because I’m gonna tell you the truth. I braced myself after I asked how much the set would be. Now understand I do think Livliga’s products are well worth the price. You get gorgeous dishes that help you control your eating (and the eating of those around you), and they are durable and long-lasting (Shannon is STILL snapping food pics with her dishes). But also understand that Nik is still a single mom with a kid about to go to college. Which means I’m on a budget, k? Glad we understand each other there.
That said, the number they gave me did NOT give me sticker shock. The set will be priced at $24.95 (shipping and handling runs $4.95). So yeah, it’s an investment. But honestly? It’s one I would make in a heartbeat to have a plate that doesn’t make my stomach scared, helps me eat the appropriate amount, and allows me to eat with my family without feeling like I’m being punished for my transgressions with a plate with a bunch of words and measurements on it.
Sometimes, Foodies, you gotta treat yourself. And with this treat, you get a valuable tool to help keep you on track!
Right now I just really am having one thought. “Does Livliga expect me to send this set back?” (I hope not but I’m operating under “don’t ask, don’t tell” right now.) I LOVE THIS SET! It’s cute. It’s reasonably priced. It does a great thing for me in my bariatric journey.
I think that if you, like me, want to eat off dishes that are pretty, but not over-serve yourself or feel overwhelmed, this set is a must-buy. It’ll be available in early March, but you can get info on it now (and be sure to sign up for their email list so you can get notice when they go on sale).
Srsly…get this set!