Daphne and I are finally back into our gym routine. Thank goodness for small miracles. I really want to get ready for bikini season. I even printed out photos of women over 40 looking amazing in bikinis as inspiration and motivation.
I am going to keep them in different places around the house. I should put one by the cheese in the refrigerator. I wish I could put one on top of any basket of French fries that I order. Then, maybe I'd send it back and ask for a salad instead. Better yet, it should be in the menu right beside the French fries. Maybe then I wouldn't order them at all. How can I get these into every menu? Impossible. I am going to have to rely on good old fashioned willpower.
It is interesting how taking one healthy step usually leads to others. Returning to the gym inspired Daphne to want to eat healthier too. She has been frequenting a local establishment called, "Sweet Addiction," more often than I would recommend. Going to this shop and buying cake and ice cream on a regular basis was becoming a bad habit for her. I didn't like this, not only for the obvious high calorie and low nutrition factor, but also because she is lactose intolerant. She kept coming home with tummy aches. My response to her complaints of a hurting belly was to roll my eyes and tell her to stop eating ice cream.
You can put whatever you like into these protein bars.
After freezing, the mixture is ready to be cut into bars.
Well, it has been one week of daily gym visits and not going to Sweet Addiction even once. Daphne told me that she in order for her to eat healthier, she needs to have easy snacks to grab. This is due to her teenage laziness.
You know what I am talking about. She always wants to grab food that takes about as long as it takes to open a package or pour into a bowl. She can't take 10 or 15 minutes of valuable texting time to prepare a salad or something easy and healthy.
I came up with a compromise. I told her she needs to know how to make healthy food. Some day, she might want to take the time to cook something and not just throw it into the microwave or add hot water. Yes, she loves ramen. She agreed.
Fruit and Nut Protein Bars:
Time: 15 minutes (plus 2 hours in the freezer)
Makes: 20 small bars
1 cup oats
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup pepitas
cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup honey
cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup almond butter
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Line a nine inch baking dish with wax paper. Press down into the dish. Place this dish into the freezer for two hours. Remove from the freezer and cut into bars. Individually wrap the bars and place them into baggies. Keep these in your refrigerator for a quick snack or breakfast.
I suggested that each Monday night after the gym, she and I would make snacks that we could grab out of the fridge all week long. This way, she only has to set aside about an hour once a week and can be lazy all week long.
We went to the computer for inspiration. Daphne loves Luna Bars, which is a snack bar that we buy at the store. So, I thought it would be a great idea to make some sort of a healthier version of these bars. I wanted a sugar-free, high-protein bar. I looked at many different recipes and came up with the one I am using here. I packed as many nutrients as I could into these little bars. They contain pistachios, blueberries, sunflower seeds, almonds, oats and so much more. It's crazy how many nutritious foods you can mix into them. Also, if there is a particular ingredient you don't care for, eliminate it. You can put in what you like. Maybe there is a dried fruit you crave, like apricots or cranberries? Throw those in. Maybe you like raisins or pecans? Mix these in. Be creative. Make them into your own favorite treat.
This recipe doesn't even take an hour. This is almost too easy. There is no baking involved. You won't need the oven or the stove for these. You do need the freezer, so you can make them hard to cut them into little bars. These are raw, vegan, refined sugar free and gluten free. So, unless you have a nut allergy or an aversion to delicious healthy foods, these are for everyone. Daphne and I have been snacking on them all week long. They have been a great breakfast or quick snack. I have been throwing one into my purse every day for those hungry moments on the go. I really like these. I am excited to make a new batch with different ingredients for next week.