fiber

Date & Cranberry Energy Bars (No Bake, Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Tired of paying high prices for processed granola bars?

Tired of snacking on food that taste like cardboard?

Do you have a desire to feed your family foods that are whole, full of nutrients, and life giving?

This energy bar recipe is for you. It does NOT require baking. It only requires a food processor, a baking sheet, and a freezer.  This energy bar has no added sugar, full of fiber, and is a good source of protein to power you through your important daily agenda!  Let's be intentional about our food choices!

Join NutriFocusRD in the movement to
#PLATEYOURINTENTIONS!
Granola Bar Group
Granola Bar Group

No Bake Date & Cranberry Energy Bars

Makes: 8 Bars

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups pitted dates (soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, then drained)
  • ½ cup unsweetened dried cranberries (Can also use dried cherries, dried apricots, or dried blueberries)
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter (I prefer homemade peanut butter or Whole Foods Natural Peanut Butter. No added sugars or oils, ONLY peanuts)
  • ¼ cup whole raw almonds (Can also use macadamia nuts or cashews)
  • ½ cup instant plain oats (gluten free if you need!)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Soak the pitted dates in warm water for 15 minutes. Drain well.
  • Place soaked dates, dried cranberries (or fruit), raw almonds, natural peanut butter, and oats in food processor and blend until combined well. My dough usually forms a ball when its blended.
  • Scoop mixture into a square, 8x8 baking pan.
  • Press the dough firmly into an even layer.
  • Place the baking pan in the freezer for 30 – 45 minutes to allow time to set.
  • Cut into 8 rectangle bars. I like to wrap each bar in parchment paper to reduce sticking and make the bars portable and easy to pack.
  • Store in the freezer or fridge.
Recipe Inspired by Nutritionist in the Kitch

5 Tips for Cuisine in College Campus Cafeterias

j0401342.jpg

Eating in the Cafeteria

Eating Utensils

I cannot stress enough how badly you need to take advantage of cafeterias on campus freshman year. There were a few on the Alabama campus and many of them would have fun deals certain nights of the week. My new freshman friends and I would get together on those nights and spend hours there thoroughly enjoying ourselves and getting to know each other. Our favorite was breakfast for dinner. The tricky part is when you have a student account, you do not know how much you are spending and can end up spending all your “dining dollars” within a month (may or may not be speaking from experience here).

  1. Take advantage of the fresh greens. Get a salad and fill your plate up with greens and a variety of nutrient dense salad toppings. Most school cafeterias have great salad bars similar to Ruby Tuesday's endless, create your own salad bar (aka the best type of food bar). Try to add some fresh vegetables like bell peppers or broccoli to your salad to achieve a high fiber dish. If you want to make a salad your whole meal, get some chicken from the home-cooking station, to add some filling protein on top. Get creative and add some colorful fruit like blueberries and strawberries for some potassium and vitamin C. And remember, you need carbohydrates to help fuel your active lifestyle so consider adding high fiber carbohydrates such as black beans, corn, or roasted sweet potatoes!
  2. Since most of you are living in dorms, walk to the cafeteria (not alone if late at night).  Most of my exercise freshman year was from walking around campus, to and from class. In this case the walk will be more enjoyable because it ends in a delicious meal rather than a boring class.
  3. If you have a sweet tooth, use cafeteria nights as a time to treat yourself! Unless times have changed, it does not cost extra to get a soft serve cone with your meal-- save your fro-yo money for a fun time out!
  4. Make it a game. Try out all the college cafeterias and find which ones best fit your palate. Many provide: Asian, pasta, pizza, home-cooking, and special breakfast nights! For the Asian station, fill your plate up with stir fry vegetables over a bed of rice and a side of chicken. This will provide the most bang for your buck with fiber rich grains, high protein in your chicken, and immune boosting vitamins and minerals in your stir fry veggies. If you are craving pizza, make it fun and add some other vegetable toppings to get creative with adding extra nutrients. And for those special breakfast nights, you have many options for whole grains and protein but as a delicious example: whole grain buttered toast and sausage links with a side of scrambled eggs and bowl of fresh fruit topped with a dollop of calcium rich yogurt! (or for my personal favorite breakfast treat, waffles topped with whipped cream... YUM).
  5. Don't waste your money elsewhere, if you already have money on a food account through the school, don't let it go to waste and eat sushi or delivery every night. I have used this word a few times but take advantage of this-- this money on a food account will not be coming back again!

Therese Bridges

Roasted Okra .... Your New Favorite Food

Wash & Pat Dry Okra. Toss with Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil, Thyme, Garlic Powder, Sea Salt, and Freshly Ground Black Pepper.

Place on a Baking Sheet in a Single Layer

Roast for 15 minutes!

20140617-070742-25662854.jpg
20140617-070742-25662854.jpg

ENJOY AS AN APPETIZER, SIDE DISH OR A NUTRIENT DENSE SUPERFOOD SUMMER SNACK!

Okra is high in antioxidants such as xanthin and lutein, Vit A & C & B, Calcium, Iron, and Fiber!

And the seeds are high in PROTEIN!

Eating for Performance - Early Morning Workouts

In the previous post, I discussed how to fuel your body properly before a workout. But how do you fuel your body if you are working out first thing in the morning?

Due to the fact that you are "fasting" in the mornings until you eat breakfast, it is important that you awaken your body & metabolism prior to your workout. The following bullet points are 2 factors to keep in mind:

j0441753

  • GET HYDRATED - Enjoy a refreshing glass of water. I encourage clients to add a splash of lemon to wake up the digestive system.
  • GET FUELED UP - Grab "quick" energy before running out the door! Fresh Fruit, Dried Fruit, a slice of whole wheat toast, handful of whole grain cereal (like Honey Nut Cheerios), or whole grain pretzels will help provide just enough carbohydrates to keep you going strong.  You will want to provide your body with quick energy which means you will want to choose a carbohydrate source that is low fat and low-to-moderate in fiber.  Otherwise you risk upsetting your GI system before your workout!!! Avoid dairy products early in the morning before your workout. This also increases risk for GI distress.

blueberries1

 

Digging Dates

20140201-100029.jpg

20140201-100117.jpg

Delicious, Portable Snack for Traveling (On your next road trip, pack dates and mixed nuts for a super snack combo!)

Satisfy a sweet tooth! (Try Date + Havarti Cheese + Walnut + Drizzle of Organic, Local Honey)

Good source of proteins and iron! (Dates are great addition to wraps, sandwiches, and burgers!)

Naturally Fat Free and Cholesterol Free! (Consider adding Puréed Dates as a Topping to Whole Wheat Bread, English Muffin or Bagel for a Sweet Surprise!!)

Packed with Fiber!! (Add Puréed Dates to your Morning Oatmeal!)

Cofactors in Dates protect my body from free radical damage!!

Fighting Fatigue w/ Food - Miniseries Part 4

Water

Dehydration and fatigue go hand in hand.  Studies suggest that mild dehydration slows the metabolism and reduces your energy.  Water makes it possible to digest, absorb, and transport nutrients.  Water also helps regulate body temperature by allowing your cells to receive nutrients for energy efficiently so your body can properly expend heat through sweating. The solution to dehydration is simple – drink plenty of water at regular intervals!  Aim to drink 8-10 eight-ounce glasses of water a day. Other sources of fluid include flavored water, sports drinks, and herbal teas.

Begin with Breakfast

Skipping breakfast should no longer be an option.  Studies show that people who eat breakfast every morning enjoy more energy and a better mood throughout the day.  The ideal breakfast will deliver a mixture of fiber through whole grain carbs, healthy fats, and lean protein.