Wednesday, May 18, 2016

To blog or not to blog? + High Protein Post Workout Snacks!

I’m starting to see a pattern here. Blog for a few months, leave for a year, return and blog again…it’s funny how life works; how we switch through interests based on time and top priorities. As life has slowly begun to balance out, my interest in blogging has been slowly creeping back into existence. Time, however, seems to be an ongoing issue, along with many others. However, I know I can’t allow time or fear get in my way so I have decided to test the waters to see, is blogging still for me?

Recently I was approached and asked to write a post on post-workout high protein snacks. As a work-from-home mom, you’d be quite surprised at how hard it is to get a workout in. Between caring for a toddler, working a full-time job, cooking, cleaning, etc, there’s very little time to take care of me! But recently I have started working on finding balance and taking care of me has finally become a priority. On top of my “Me List”? Working out!
I love to run, bike, do full body workouts, and HIIT routines (great for busy mommas!), but my absolute favorite activity is yoga. It gives me the opportunity to relax my mind, focus on my breathing and move my body! Whether it’s a quick 15 minute fat burning session or an hour outdoors, my body always feels great afterwards and depending on the time of day, it’s also ready to be refueled.
I love to make my own protein snacks, but sometimes you just need to grab and go! So I will share with you some snacks you can make on your own to refuel after a workout as well as some products that are great for eating on the go.

Date Balls or Protein Balls

PB Chocolate yumm!
If you have never ever made date or protein balls, then I strongly encourage you to go make some ASAP! These little bit sized gems can be chock full of nutrients; protein, healthy fats, carbs and superfoods if you choose to add them. These are perfect for refueling the body post workout. They are easy to store, easy to bring with you, mess free, and super filling. I make some sort of protein balls every week for easy snacking!
My favorite ones to make are the Date Energy Balls or the Raw Brownie Bites from Detoxinista, depending on my mood. The Date Energy Balls are super easy to make, sweet and deliciously coconutty. The Raw Brownie bites are rich, sweet and the perfect solution to your chocolate cravings. There are many more out there made with different nuts and dried fruits. The possibilities are really endless!

If you’re not into dates, then try a recipe like this one for Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites! This recipe uses nut butter instead of whole nuts and honey as the sweetener. It’s full of fiber, long lasting carbs as well as superfoods thanks to the oats, flax and chia. For this recipe, I modify it a bit; I add some coconut oil to help smooth out the peanut butter and honey, and reduce the flax and add hemp seeds in its place.
 
 
In a rush? Grab an original Larabar! They are made with the same simple ingredients of dates, nuts and spices. Try my favorite, the Cashew Cookie Bar!


Trail Mix
 
Trail mix is one of the easiest high protein snacks to make and there are literally hundreds of different combinations! My daughter made her own this week for her snack for school. She added cashews, almonds, dried cranberries and raisins, sunflower seeds, allergy-free chocolate chips, and some store bought organic granola.

Trail mix is great as a post-workout or midday snack. The healthy fats and protein will keep you feeling full and sustained while the natural carbs from the dried fruit will keep your energy flowing.

If you’re in need of nuts to stock up, check out Nuts.com for a list of raw or roasted nuts. They even have yummy flavored ones! All of these would be great to add in to your trail mix! Just be easy on the sugar ;)

In a rush? There are several wonderful companies out there who make healthy trail mix. Nuts.com sells a Wild Berry Sprouted Trail Mix that sounds amazing! Living Intentions also sells several different varieties, Mango Goji Fire, being my absolute fave!

Protein Shakes
When I was pregnant, I found this awesome recipe for a hemp protein chocolate milk shake. Hemp seeds are a wonderful source of plant-based protein and essential fatty acids that are easy to digest. I love sprinkling them on top of my salads, adding a few tablespoon into my smoothies or just eating them out of the jar. This recipe is sweet, rich, filling and super great for you! Think post-workout milkshake!

In a rush? I highly recommend Vega’s Post Workout Performance Protein Powder. Throw it into your shaker bottle with some homemade almond milk and you have a yummy protein shake right there! I personally like to blend mine with ice and maybe some nut butter or even greens to mellow out the sweetness.
Other snacks.

There are several other fabulous high protein snacks you can make or grab for post workout munchies. To add to the above:
  • Plain Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey (or make protein pops with Greek yogurt and your favorite fruit! My kiddos love Greek yogurt, bananas, strawberries and a splash of OJ)
  • For my meat eaters, homemade jerky is super easy to make and a wonderful chewy snack that is really high in protein
  • Quinoa. For those who intend to eat a meal after lunch, incorporate some quinoa into your meal. Quinoa is not only another wonderful source of plant-based protein, but it’s a complete protein meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids.  I love using quinoa on top of my salad or in a veggie bowl. It satisfies my “grain” cravings and rounds out my meal, keeping me full longer. Here’s a wonderful recipe for a quinoa wrap!!

Looking for more information? Check out registered dietitian Megan Roosevelt as she talks about healthy snacking tips! You’ll also find some pretty awesome high protein recipes and snacks on nuts.com's site as well.
Well that wasn’t too bad. Maybe I do have time again to blog!
What do you think? Interested in hearing more about healthy eating, aromatherapy and living the working mom life? Let me know!
Beth