Last week I met up with Evie Claire Photography and took a couple of fitness photos with Gianna to celebrate her 6-month birthday. Afterwards, I went and got a slice of carrot cake from a local bakery. I was relieved that the photos were over, and I was happy with how my weight loss was progressing over these past 6 months, with only 4 pounds to go to reach my pre-baby weight of 132. While I do not often celebrate with food, I did feel like having a treat.
So I got home and put my sweatpants on, and I dove into this white flour, white sugar triangle slice of carbs and fat. I ate half of a large slice…and waited…and then it hit me. The sugar rush, followed closely by the sugar crash, and the headache.
It had been a while since I’d had it, since I really do not eat typical baked goods that often, and now I had remembered why. They really make me FEEL like crap!
I follow a flexible dieting plan called IIFYM, so I can eat whatever I want as long as it fits my macros. I just choose foods that are usually free of refined sugar because of the way they make me feel.
I do love the flavors of carrot cake, so that inspired me to create these little bites of goodness. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. They are excellent pre and post workout, since they have less than 5g of fat and fiber per bite and are 60 calories each.
Carrot Cake Energy Bites
recipe modified from A Sunshine Mission
Makes 17 bites. Macros per bite: 60 calories, 1g fat, 13g carbs, 1g protein, 2g fiber, 8g natural sugar
1 cup pitted dates (150g)
1+1/2 cup shredded carrots (150g)
1 cup oatmeal (quick or old-fashioned)
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh or ground ginger
- Process all ingredients in a food processor until a ball of dough forms.
- Remove dough from food processor and roll into bite-sized balls with your hands.
- Place in the fridge for 1 hour to harden, and store them there between enjoyment.
In an attempt to create a recipe that did not produce a food that was brown (chocolatey), I spent some time in the kitchen last week on a new sweet protein treat using Vanilla protein powder. The result was a moist, delicious, decadent new muffin that I am totally obsessed with.
Because of the low fat and fiber content, this would work well as a pre or post workout snack. Try to limit your fat and fiber pre and immediate post workout to less than 5g when possible.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Peanut Butter Banana Protein Muffins with Shredded Coconut Topping
macros per muffin (makes 15): 123 calories, 5.6g fat, 14.3g carbs, 6.8g protein, 4g fiber, 5.4g sugar
4 large bananas (475g), mashed
1/2c. unsweetened apple sauce
2 scoops (2.6 ounces) Vanilla Protein Powder, recommend Vega Sport
4T. peanut butter (I used crunchy and like the random nut crunch I get in some of my bites!)
1c. wheat bran
1/2c. almond meal/flour, recommend Bob’s Red Mill
1T. ground cinnamon
1t. baking soda
1t. vanilla extract
8 ounces unsweetened almond milk
7T. reduced fat coconut flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
Using a an electric mixer, mash the bananas, egg and apple sauce together in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, and mix well until thoroughly combined. Divide batter into 15 muffin cups, and top with coconut.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out almost clean. Muffins will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven, so I always under cook them a little to keep them moist.
After muffins have cooled, store in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!
Chocolate Protein Pancakes, makes 8
macros (per pancake with blueberries): 153 calories, 4.3g fat, 23.3g carbs, 7.3g protein, 8.9g sugar, 3.6g fiber
3 bananas, mashed
1T. coconut oil, melted
1T. lemon juice
1 cup oat flour – (oats ground in a food processor)
1T. ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together the mashed bananas, coconut oil and lemon juice.
- Beat in the eggs.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, protein powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
- Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. With a big spoon, stir just until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. Do not overmix.
- Let the batter sit for 10-15 minutes. Add almond milk and blueberries (if using).
- Heat a heavy cast iron skillet/non-stick pan over medium-low heat, or heat an electric griddle to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil the surface with coconut oil and/or cooking spray.
- Once the surface of the pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles on it, pour ¼ cup of batter onto the pan. Let the pancake cook for about 3 minutes, until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the cake.
- Once the underside of the pancake is lightly golden, flip it with a spatula and cook for another 90 seconds or so, until golden brown on both sides. You may need to adjust the heat up or down at this point.
- Serve the pancakes immediately or allow to cool and refrigerate or freeze.