Friday, February 8, 2013

Pumpkin Protein Bars

Ok, we have all been there.  That one night where you secretly are craving every single sugary, indulgent dessert on the planet.  You try to fight your cravings, you even compensate by over-eating other cave.  You eat the whole box of those Thin Mint cookies in a two minute span and wish the cute little girl scout down the block was out of town so you could break into her home and steal a year's worth of Tagalongs.  Oh yeah.  We have all been there.  The next morning we wake up, we look at our puffy stomachs and regret it.  Such a vicious cycle of not letting ourselves enjoy the things we love, and then finally overcompensating because we have psychologically made it a food craving thanks to our limitations of that food.  

I love dessert.  Any kind.  Sour, chocolate, cake, name it.  I will never be one of those people who eats no sugar.  However, I have found a way to fulfill my cravings by making healthier options that have major benefits.  

Remember the saying 'you are what you eat'?  It is so true.  Sure you can workout every day, maybe you are even a skinny little beanpole, but to create a toned, fit, HEALTHY body; you have to make your diet a priority.  Eating quality "CLEAN" foods not only help you to lose weight, and develop the fit body we all strive for...but it also brings longevity and quality to your life.  

I am one who knows.  I lived 21 years not knowing I had Celiac's Disease.  I suffered through terrible headaches, stomach issues, fatigue, you name it...for most of my college career.  When they finally found out what was wrong with me, I was forced to make a diet change.  Sure I had been eating healthy, but the whole grains that I thought were good for me were actually poisoning my body.  The processed foods that I binged on would result in terrible side effects that would leave me sick for days after.  

So, sure Clean Eating is going to make a fit, sexy body (if combined with the right amount of cardio and strength training); however Clean Eating does soooo much more.  It prevents so many problems that our diets have caused.  Trust me, I know.  I have gone through it, and will never go back.  

However, we still need to enjoy our lives.  That means eating something sweet every once and a while. Last night I was craving a little sugary treat and found a recipe for Pumpkin Protein Bars that I tweaked a little bit to make it "cleaner" and in my case...Gluten Free.  Give it a try and let me know what ya think!

Pumpkin Bread Protein Bars

2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Agave Nectar

1 Cup Apple Sauce
1 Can Pumpkin
1 1/2 Cup Protein Powder, unflavored
1/4 Cup All-Purpose Whole Wheat Flour (I use Black Bean or Rice Flour because of my Gluten Allergy)
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Spice
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt 

Chobani Agave Nectar Icing
(Make enough to eat within the hour)

1 Part Nonfat Vanilla Chobani
2-3 Tablespoons Agave Nectar
Cinnamon for dusting

Mix together the Chobani, and Agave Nectar.  Only make enough to spread on the bars that will be eaten within the hour.  If not, the bars get soggy.  I typically just mix up a batch of "icing" and leave it in my fridge for when I want a dessert.

Watcha think?