It is important to properly fuel your body to do the things that you want to do. Proper nutrition will take you as far as you want to go. Having pre-made, home-made snacks is your best bet to control what goes in your body. There are many snack foods, protein bars, energy bites on the market. You need really watch the labels on those products. Marketers are very clever and they draw you in with the right words and flashy package. Bypass all of that by making your own. Here are some ideas.
ALMOND DATE HEMP ENERGY BARS
This little bar will give you the energy you need to get through any workout.
1 cup Medjool dates (approx 11-12)
1 cup dried cranberries
¾ cup almonds (I used dry roasted & unsalted)
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp flax seeds
2 tbsp hemp hearts
2 tbsp honey
If your dates still have their pits, be sure to remove them!
Pulse dates and almonds in food processor until chopped medium fine.
Add cranberries, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp hearts, and honey. Pulse 6 to 8 times or until ingredients are well blended.
Line an 8×8 dish with plastic wrap or parchment paper.
Place ingredients into dish and spread evenly while pressing down firmly to form a flat even top.
You may need to wet the back of your spatula or use parchment paper to press down as the mixture may be sticky.
Refrigerate 1-2 hours before cutting to get cleaner cuts. Once cut, I wrapped each of mine individually, so they were ready to grab and take with me for a great energy snack!
Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
APPLE "OAT" MUFFINS
Try these before your morning workout. These muffins will take you through your whole workout.
2 cups applesauce
½ cup blanched almond flour or almond meal
1/3 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
½ cup shredded coconut
2/3 cups sliced almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 fresh cooking apple, cut into small ¼” pieces (you could also substitute raisins)
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or line a muffin pan with silicone or paper muffin cups.
Roughly chop almond slices for smaller pieces (aiming for rolled oat size).
Mix eggs, applesauce and spices in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add chopped nuts and shredded coconut and stir to combine.
Combine almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Stir into wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Fold in fresh apple pieces.
Spoon batter into muffin tins, rounding out the tops. Bake for 30 minutes, until tops are starting to turn golden brown.
CARROT CAKE BITES
Carrot cake in a ball? What could be better?
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 tbs. date puree 4-5 dates soaked and pureed
2 carrots grated
1 tsp. chia seeds
1 tsp ground flax
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbs. coconut flour
3 tbs. cashew milk
3 tbs. hemp seeds
2 tbs. chopped walnuts
2 tbs. chopped raisins
4 scoops stevia 1-2 packets or sweetener of choice
1 tsp. vanilla
2 scoops vanilla protein
6 tbs. unsweetened cashew milk
For the frosting:
1 1/2 tbs. coconut butter
2 tsp. maple syrup (optional)
3 tbs. cashew milk unsweetened
1 tsp. chia seeds preferably white
Cook and cool quinoa.
Soak dates in hot water 20 minutes, puree or mash with fork.
In a small bowl combine coconut butter, maple syrup, cashew milk and chia seeds. Microwave for 20 seconds to get all ingredients to the same temperature. Stir to combine and place in fridge while you assemble the carrot cake bites.
Grate carrots into a large bowl. Add quinoa, date puree, chia, flax, cinnamon, coconut flour, cashew milk, hemp seeds, stevia and vanilla extract. Stir with a spoon until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
If you are adding the optional protein powder, add it and the additional cashew milk to the bowl. Stir until all the protein powder has been integrated into the quinoa mixture.
Chop walnuts and raisins and add to the mixture, making sure they are evenly distributed.
Roll the mixture into equal sized balls, using a tablespoon to evenly measure out the mixture. I simply scoop out a tablespoon worth of batter into my hands and roll into a ball.
The recipe will make 12-14 balls without protein powder and 20-22 ball with protein powder.
Take the frosting out of the fridge, dip half the ball into frosting and set on a plate or tupperware covered in wax paper.
Place in fridge overnight or freeze for 15-20 minutes to get the coconut butter frosting to set.
BANANA NUT PROTEIN BARS
Here is your own version of a Larabar. Bananas and nuts, yum!
½ cup pitted Medjool dates, packed (about 9 large dates)
½ cup mashed overripe banana (about 1 medium banana)
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup walnuts
½ cup almonds
1 cup old fashioned oats
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
½ cup vanilla protein powder (I used MCT Lean)
¼ cup chocolate chips (optional)
Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap and set aside. To help the parchment paper stick, you can spray the pan with cooking spray first.
Blend dates, banana and vanilla in a large food processor for about a minute, or until smooth. Add walnuts, almonds, ¾ cup of the oats, flaxseed, cinnamon and salt and blend for another minute or two, or until fairly smooth.
Scrape down the sides and add in the other ¼ cup of oats and protein powder. Process for another minute or until the mixture is well combined. It will be very thick and sticky. Stir in optional chocolate chips.
Spoon mixture into prepared pan. With wet hands, flatten in pan until it looks fairly even throughout.
Place pan in freezer for at least 2-3 hours. Remove from freezer and slice into 10 bars.
Store bars in freezer--they can be eaten directly from the freezer without thawing.
These look great! Have a hearty, grain-free bagel to give you the energy to lift weights, hit those box jumps, and do your burpees to whole Roxanne song.
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (preferably soaked and dehydrated)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (preferably soaked and dehydrated)
2 TBS coconut flour
1 TBS arrowroot powder
2 tsp poppy seeds
1 TBS hemp seeds (or sesame seeds
1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3 TBS ghee or coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350’F and LIBERALLY grease your donut pan with ghee or coconut oil.
Process pumpkin and sunflower seeds in food processor for 10 seconds to break them up into coarse pieces.
Add the coconut flour, arrowroot, poppy seeds, hemp seeds, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Pulse a couple of time to combine.
In a large bowl, beat the 4 eggs until well combined. Whisk in melted ghee (or coconut oil).
Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until well incorporated. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes to let the coconut flour absorb.
Fill each cavity in donut pan 3/4 full. Give the pan a little shake or two to let the batter settle.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean and edges are just beginning to brown.
Remove from oven. Allow to cool completely before removing from donut pan.
Slice in half and pan toast in ghee. Or use a toaster oven. Enjoy with honey, paleo humus, or whatever else makes you happy! melted (I highly recommend using ghee for these)
Here are some other ideas:
Celery sticks with sunflower butter
Handful of nuts and dried fruit
Banana with 1 T almond butter
Beef jerky and dried fruit
Hard boiled eggs
2-4 ounces grilled chicken with carrot sticks
1/2 avocado or guacamole
1/2 sweet potato with coconut butter
Berry shake with 1/2 cup strawberries, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 Tbsp almond butter
Plantains fried in coconut oil
For more ideas see: https://blog.paleohacks.com/pre-workout-snacks/# and https://draxe.com/pre-workout-snacks.
Pre-workout fuel will give you the advantage to hit and exceed your goals. Simple, quick food is all you need. Fuel-up and see where your body can take you. I guarantee you'll be surprised. Recently, my gym posed a question to members to state what they were most proud of in their fitness journey. Everyone has accomplished more than they ever imagined. I am in that group. Years ago, I thought my age and my arthritis would prevent me from a lot of things. Box jumps, squat jumps, power jacks, burpees, planks, forget it! Now I can't wait to do those things each day (even burpees). It's all because I changed how I ate and with help, I believed that I could shoot for anything. Dream big!
Here's to your health! Happy Cooking!