As an in-home personal trainer, I eat on the go (mostly in my car) about 50-75% of my day. This means most of my meals are in the form of mixed nuts and dried fruits, pre-cut fresh veggies with a cheese stick and/or a hardboiled egg, or occasionally a pre-made sandwich from home, maybe even a Lara bar. When I do stop for food (for whatever reason), I tend to grab a pre-packaged sushi roll or sandwich from the nearest grocery store or Starbucks.
Over the past decade I have become accustomed to eating on the go or between clients at the gym. I understand that when people are away from home it can be a challenge to eat healthy if they do not have a firm understanding of what healthy is. The other issue is that it is boring to eat the same things all the time.
Recently I started working with a new client. Due to severe nut allergies, I cannot have any of my regular go-to’s before entering her house, thus forcing me to find new things to eat while traveling between clients. This was a sort of blessing in disguise, since I have been getting extremely bored with eating the same trail mix combos. I saw a video from Fitness Magazine for “No Bake Protein Balls” while scrolling through my Facebook news feed. Back in my days of working in a gym, I had a colleague who would bring in random varieties of raw deliciousness she concocted, and I had always wanted to try making some, so I decided this was my reason to finally take a stab at it.
On a side note, I am not an advocate for protein powders, and tend to stay away from the protein shakes and smoothie fads. These “meal replacements” (in my professional opinion) should not be used in diets for counting calories, but instead used as replacements for actual meals you are forced to miss. Skipping meals, or going for extended periods of time without eating, can force you to feel ravenous when you do finally get the opportunity to eat. And you know what happens then? You over eat. So having a small snack, or meal replacement, can be useful for holding you over until you can eat real food.
Long story short, I stopped into Whole Foods to purchase some Vega One – All in one nutritional French Vanilla Protein Powder for my new recipe. I chose the lemon coconut option from the magazine link for a few simple reasons; I love anything lemon, I am not a big fan of chocolate or peanut butter meal bars, and I bake a lot so I knew I already had left over coconut flakes in the pantry.
Well, let’s just say if I had one word of advice for those of you who are interested in trying one of the recipes off the site: don’t improvise. Make sure you measure.
The picture of these lovely white protein balls coated with tiny flakes of coconut did not exactly resemble what I concocted, but at no fault of the recipe or instructions! For one thing, the protein powder I chose was French vanilla, and was not white, but green. The coconut flakes I had in the far back corner of the pantry (which I’m pretty sure should have been sealed in an air tight container after initially being opened) were sweetened, and not to mention also a bit hard and chewy. So, there went my low sugar high protein snack! Oh, and I didn’t exactly measure the 2 TBS of freshly squeezed lemon juice either. Let’s just say they turned out to be very sweet, very tart, green protein balls. Sometimes it is ok to improvise when baking… this was not one of those times.
I’ll let you know how the next batch turns out as I do plan on trying a few more of the Fitness Magazine recipes. But next time, I will be a lot more precise when following the list of ingredients as well as the measurements...
To try the one of the recipes yourself, click on the link below. If you have a favorite recipe to recommend, please email it to me by visiting the contact page!