New year, new you – right?
2016 has been off to a great start. I try to avoid new year’s resolutions but I always start the year with a fresh mind and new ideas. Those ideas are always packed full with ways I’m going to improve. Like many people, health was on the top of my list. My husband and I work out weekly and eat fairly healthy. We aren’t on any crazy diets but we know our limits with sweets and fried food.
Since we still want to enjoy food and not feel like we need to live at the gym, we’ve made a few tweaks to our diet. I already cook everyday, I’ve been putting an effort on cooking with more whole foods and making better decisions like swapping out the fried food for veggies.
After evaluating my diet, I realized I was not getting enough protein. Protein is crucial for your body. A few things protein does is reduce muscle loss, builds lean muscle, curbs hunger and helps you maintain a healthy weight. My husband drinks protein shakes daily and I always figured I didn’t need it since he works out more than me. (I know that sounds crazy, but that’s that I thought.)
My husband makes his shakes with Iovate Protein and I thought I would give it a try after learning how much protein will help my body. He loves shakes but I wanted something that didn’t take a lot of effort and that I could take with me when I’m on the go. My solution? Protein Bars! So easy, so simple!
I made a recipe that you don’t have to bake and that includes ingredients that are probably already sitting in your pantry!
No Bake Chocolate Coconut Protein Bars
- 1 cup oats, ground into a flour
- 1/2 cup quick oats
- 1/3 cup Purely Inspired French Vanilla Protein Powder
- 1/2 cup cereal – anything that will give it a crunch
- 3/4 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Prepare a 2 Quart pan by laying down wax paper. Set aside. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients (Oat flour, quick oats, protein powder, and cereal). Mix until well combined and set aside.In a small microwavable dish, add almond butter and honey, stirring until the peanut butter is melted and fully combined with the honey. Stir in vanilla extract. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Stir until everything is fully combined.Pour all ingredients into the pan. Using a spatula, the back of a spoon or your hands, spread the mixture evenly in the pan, pressing down firmly
Place pan into fridge and allow to cool for approximately 30 minutes before cutting into bars. Once the bars have set, gently pull the wax paper up releasing the bars from the pan. Cut the mixture into bars using a sharp knife. Top the protein bars with any ingredients you would like. I melted chocolate morsels and poured over each bar then sprinkled with coconut.
Once you’re finished topping your protein bars, you’re ready to eat them! If you’re like me, you snacked on them while you were making them. They are so good they’re hard to resist.
If you don’t have time to make these bars, you can always add the protein to many other recipes. Purely Inspired Protein is the only truly organic USDA approved plant-based protein powder and it has no artificial coloring or flavors. I love that there is a vanilla and chocolate option. You can’t beat such an amazing protein for only $19.97 at Walmart.
If you don’t want to make anything with your protein, you can always drink it with water. My husband does this often! If you would prefer to buy protein bars that are already made, check out Mission1™ bars. These bars have no artificial ingredients and come in lots of great flavors (Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Brownie). You can buy a box – 4 pack ($6.94) OR can buy an individual bar ($1.84).
What do you do to ensure you are receiving enough protein in your diet?