Archive for the month “March, 2013”

My “Quest” for the Best Protein Bar

A couple of weeks ago I was preparing for a big trip that I knew would involve a lot of rushed days and no time for quality meals.  To solve this, I found three options:

1)  Get fast food or gas station food

2) Starve

or,

3)  Find a shelf-stable, healthy alternative

 

I decided that options 1 and 2 weren’t very good, so went on an online expedition to find the best snack/meal alternative/protein bar that not only tasted good, but was also good for me.

I soon discovered an almost cult-like following for a line of protein bars called Quest protein bars.  They have a “regular” and an all-natural line.  The bars are gluten-free, and aspartame-free.  They are also high in protein, and claimed to taste great!

Out of desperation curiosity, I ordered a dozen bars in assorted flavors and anxiously awaited their arrival.  

Is it bad when the part of your trip you are most excited for, is to be able to try a protein bar?

Anyhow, the trip finally came and excitedly tried my first protein bar, Strawberry Cheesecake flavor.  

And,

it was…

Good!!

Not fabulously amazing as I had hoped, but I brought my expectations back down to reality and was very pleasantly surprised!  

Keep in mind, these are protein bars, not Grandma’s cookies.  That being said, they still taste good!

My favorite flavors are Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Apple Pie.

 

Give them a try and let me know what you think!

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Fitness on the Road

While I love seeing the world and experiencing new things, traveling also tends to come as a minor annoyance to me for these two reasons:

1.  It is difficult to keep a healthy diet and eat at the times that work best for my body

and,

2.  It is difficult to get a good workout in!

Most gyms these days have fitness centers and pools, but from my experience, these fitness centers are generally in a state of poor disrepair and oftentimes only consist of cardio equipment.

So, I went out and found a great in-room strength workout to supplement a run around the area or in the cardio room of my hotel.  Props go out to nerdfitness.com for coming up with this plan.

As always, 3 sets of 12-15 is best.  Try to keep rest time between exercises minimal.  This is broken down into levels of fitness, if you are new to fitness, then stick to level one.  If level one or two looks too easy, then do level three!

LEVEL 1

LEVEL 2

LEVEL 3

Protein Snacks!

As promised, here is my recipe for protein bars/muffins.

The recipe is based off Jamie Eason’s Lemon Protein Bars, although I did modify it a bit.  If lemon isn’t your thing, I encourage you to simply Google “Jamie Eason protein bars” and you will find an array of recipes.  She has chocolate, carrot cake, pumpkin, and all kinds of flavors I have yet to try because I love these lemon ones so much!

1 C. oats or oat flour

2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder

1/4 tsp. salt (to help activate the baking soda)

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 C. lemon juice (I buy the frozen containers of Minute Maid lemon juice, but fresh works best)

4 egg whites

5 packets Stevia

1 C. applesauce

2 Tbsp water

Preheat oven to 350 F.  If using oats, process in a blender or food processor until a fine powder.  Combine all dry ingredients together in a bowl, then add in the egg whites, applesauce, water, and lemon juice; the batter will be somewhat thin.  Pour into a greased 8×8 pan, or muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until set and a toothpick comes out clean.

These are best kept frozen or refrigerated.  The recipe makes 16 squares, and a serving is 2 squares but I have a hard time keeping myself from eating them all!

Give them a try, you won’t regret it!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I have been craving pizza like mad lately.

So much so, I almost ordered an entire pizza for myself last night from Papa Johns.

Thankfully, I resisted the temptation, but spent all day today dreaming of that hot, salty goodness.

I finally couldn’t take it anymore, and so I improvised.

You know all those recipes floating around on Pinterest for cauliflower pizza crusts?  Welp, I broke down and tried one.

Credit: ClosetCooking

And you know what?

It was actually good!

I combined a few recipes I found to suit what I wanted and what ingredients I had, and ended up with this:

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Half a bag of frozen cauliflower (fresh would work too)

1 egg

1-2 Tbsp oat flour

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 450 F.  Process the cauliflower in a food processor until it looks like rice.  Then, place the cauliflower in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 7-8 minutes on high.

Allow the cauliflower to cool slightly, then wring out as much excess water as possible.

Combine the cauliflower with the remaining ingredients, and shape into a pizza crust on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a light golden brown.

Remove from the oven, and top with your choice of toppings.  Return to the oven for ~10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and toppings are hot.

Enjoy!

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