This month in our FLF VIP Group, we are doing a reset with our nutrition and focused on eliminating foods that aren't serving us. Namely: gluten and dairy.
Many of our clients already have known food allergies or sensitivities, and some have found that large amounts of gluten and dairy hinder their results. Earlier this month, I challenged them to clean things up and go 4 weeks without gluten or dairy.
Does that sound impossible? A month with no cheese, no milk, no ice cream? No wheat, barley, or rye products?
Well, we're half-way through August and it's actually easier than you might think! If you don't believe me, I've been sharing my meals almost daily in my Instagram story. I was noticing some bad changes in my skin - more oily in places, more dry, itchy and inflamed in others - and I suspected dairy was the culprit.
In talking to my clients I knew several of them were in the same boat, so we decided to all do it together for 4 weeks!
The Struggle Is (A Little) Real
Overall, no gluten and no dairy has been pretty easy, and I've even managed to do it while traveling.
The one area I've been struggling: finding a good dairy-free alternative is protein powders. I absolutely love my post-workout shake and love adding protein powder to foods like oats and baked goods. A life without whey protein was making me very sad!
I've tried several brands of plant-based protein in the past and never been crazy about the taste or texture. Then, today at Target, I decided on a whim to try something new and grabbed a container of the Tone It Up Peanut Butter plant-based protein powder. It was only $23, so even if I hated it, it wasn't a huge loss.
I came home from my workout and Target run and made a post-workout shake with the following ingredients:
1 serving of Tone It Up Peanut Butter Protein Powder
1 small frozen banana
1/2 c. frozen blueberries
1 c. unsweetened almond milk
I chucked it all in my Vitamix and blended it up; it made a really pretty blue shake! One sip and I was SOLD you guys! I would actually drink this again and again! The peanut butter flavor really comes through and there's no gritty, funky "this tastes like dirt" aftertaste that is common in plant-based protein powders.
I've walked past this protein powder time and time again at Target. What took me so long?!
After I polished off the smoothie, I started working on a new protein bite recipe using the new protein powder. I followed this recipe from Ambitious Kitchen as a guide (her recipes are so great - def check her out!) and made a few changes. I lowered the amount of sugar (I do that in almost every recipe!) and left the coconut flakes out so they tasted more like peanut butter cookie dough. I also left out the chia seeds because - despite my best efforts - they still kind of skeeve me out. I can take them or leave them;)
1/2 c. natural peanut butter (unsweetened)
3 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 c. Tone It Up Peanut Butter Protein Powder
1/3 c. flaxseed meal
1/2 c. oats
1 Tbs. melted coconut oil
1. In a food processor, combine peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract. Blend to combine. Scrape the sides down with a spatula.
2. Add the protein powder, flaxseed meal, and oats. Blend again. It will start to look like sand. Drizzle with melted coconut oil and pulse to combine.
3. Form the protein bites by scooping out 1 Tbs. of the protein mixture and press together using your hand. (TIP: the heat from your hand will make the mixture more pliable and hold together better without adding a bunch more honey or coconut oil.) Press/roll into a ball and repeat with remaining mix. Place in a sealed container.
NOTE: If you refrigerate them they will be slightly more crumbly. Room temp tastes best but my husband ate 3 right out of the fridge and loved them!
MACROS (1 protein bite = 1/15th of recipe)
96 calories, 6 g fat, 8 g. carbs (2 g. fiber), 4 g protein