We are our habits. I like to create habits that are sustainable and if it a habit is being created around food – make it delicious! Making healthier choices doesn’t mean deprivation or eating things that you don’t like. Let’s face it: Nobody has time for that.
I love Reese’s peanut butter cups. I could eat my bodyweight in them and that’s a lot of peanut butter cups. Unless I want to weigh 300 lbs., I cannot make a habit of eating candy bars. In fact, I’ve not had a bonafide candy bar for many years. Have you read the labels on those things? Always read the nutrition labels on anything you pick up and are considering eating. It can be eye opening (& sometimes scary).
Protein is satiating and so is healthy fat. If I have a snack, I always aim to have protein. If you are satisfied, if you are not hungry, then you put yourself in a better position to not overeat throughout the day. Protein bars that you can purchase can be problematic. Often they have more sugar than protein; they may have sugar alcohols which can cause intestinal distress; they have ingredients that make you go “huh?”; they can have enough calories for a meal, not a snack; and they can be expensive. I make my own. I’ve had many kitchen experiments over the years in my quest for protein snacks. Two of my “go tos” are these peanut butter protein balls (or you can make them into bars) and Protein Chip Cookies.
Grab a bowl, a big spoon and whip up a batch. No baking required! You can use peanut butter or any nut or seed butter that you like. Drizzle with your favorite dark chocolate.
1 cup peanut butter
2 scoops vanilla or peanut butter protein powder
2 tablespoons applesauce
Dark chocolate squares or chips
Mix ingredients in a large bowl, by hand, until well blended. Batter will be the consistency of very thick cookie dough. Form balls with a cookie scoop or roll by hand. Place on a large plate and put in the freezer for 15-30 minutes. Melt your dark chocolate. Remove your protein balls from the freezer and drizzle the top of each with chocolate (or you can dip them!) The chocolate will harden pretty quickly. Refrigerate in any container you’d like to use. ENJOY!
Chocolate chip cookies. Who doesn’t love them? I certainly do, but let’s face it – they are delicious, but don’t provide us with much nutrition. How about a low sugar, protein chocolate chip cookie? Now we are talking!
Grab a bowl, a sturdy spoon and let’s make some cookies! I use Ghirardelli or Toll House dark chocolate morsels. Dark chocolate has less sugar and a deeper chocolate taste because they have more cacao. I like to use a digital scale to weigh out higher calorie ingredients such as the nut or seed butter. The digital scale I use is a basic EatSmart scale. ** I like to add collagen peptides for an added boost of protein and collagen for my joints and skin. ** If you use Tahini or Almond Butter, you will be increasing your calcium intake.
Preheat oven to 375. On a parchment lined cookie pan or a silicone mat, scoop out 13 cookie balls. I use a Pampered Chef cookie dough scoop. This recipe will make exactly 13 “normal size” cookies. Gently press down the dough ball with your fingers. Bake 8 – 12 minutes. Ovens vary. Don’t overbake. Your choices of ingredients/brands will change the macros, but each cookie will generally have 190 calories, 10 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, 11 grams of carbohydrate and 12 grams of fat. The macros of these cookies are a nice balance. I like to put my cookies in a freezer bag and keep them in the freezer because I like the texture of them straight out of the freezer.
I typically will eat one with a cup of collagen coffee or some of my homemade chocolate milk for breakfast and it fuels me through a morning of exercise and other activity. I make my own chocolate milk with unsweetened cocoa powder and very little added sugar – just enough to take the edge off the cocoa powder. Commercially made chocolate milk is very sugary sweet and often made with high fructose corn syrup.
Pro tip: You can calculate the macros of any recipe by using a recipe builder in Apps such as LoseIt! or MyFitnessPal.