Due to the current global pandemic and the need for people to socially distance from one another, many have likely discovered a new "rhythm" to what was once considered your daily routine and a shift from what was once considered “normal.” For some, these changes might have led to an increase in workload or training. For others, it might mean a massive reduction of things to do and activities that once occupied your time. For me, personally, I had to buckle up and hang on for the ride.
When most of the country went into lockdown back in March, my profession as a private teacher took an immediate leap when we started integrating virtual learning. As a runner, I also saw my mileage take a significant leap. While I wasn't necessarily training for anything specific, I was finding my intense workouts to be purposeful and longer, simply because I had the extra time to devote to running. Normally, by the time I got home from my morning run, I was FAMISHED. I usually only had a few minutes to shower and prep my coffee before I jumped into a lesson - either with my students or as a homeschool teacher to my kids.
I had to adjust my nutrition as a result of my new schedule and longer workouts.
The below recipes are quick, protein-filled, and satisfying snacks - and I hope you find them as tasty and as beneficial as I do, to help you through your daily routine - whatever that looks like for you!
POWER UP PROTEIN BALLS
I first came across these PB protein balls a few years back when an Instagram friend applauded her neighbor for bringing her a container full each week. Once she shared the simple recipe, I took it for my own and made it a staple in my house. This recipe features basic ingredients with the freedom to add anything else your heart desires. It's also a quick snack before or after your sweat session.
Here's the basic batch recipe to make a dozen:
● 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
● 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
● 1 TBSP chia seeds
● 1/2 cup peanut butter
● 1/3 cup honey
● 1 tsp vanilla extract
● dash of cinnamon
What I like to add:
● 1/2 cup chocolate chips
● 1/4 cup flaxseed
● 1/4 cup slivered almonds
● 1/4 cup raisins/craisins
It’s so simple! Just combine all ingredients and mix well. Form into 1" balls and store in an airtight container for up to 7 days (they normally don't last that long in my house!). A perfect sweet and salty snack with a pop of protein!
PB & J PROTEIN BARS
I met twins Kelly and Meghan Fillnow last year, and since meeting them, they’ve made a significant impact on my training and life as an athlete. The sisters played tennis in college, but have since turned into professional and sub-elite triathletes and runners. Within their coaching group, they challenged their athletes to create a recipe packed with protein, but also perfect to satisfy the sweet tooth. My friend Ashley came up with these PB & J bars, and they are fantastic!
In a food processor, combine the following ingredients. Pulse/blend until a nice dough forms:
● 1/2 cup chickpeas
● 1/2 cup protein powder (she uses vanilla, I used chocolate)
● 1 cup peanut butter
● 1 TBSP jam (I used blackberry preserves)
● 2 TBSP syrup
● Check out this video showcasing the ingredients for this recipe
Press the dough evenly into a parchment-lined loaf pan. Spread a layer of jam on top and drizzle with more PB, then swirl with a toothpick to make it look fancy. Set in the freezer for at least an hour, slice into bars/bites, and store in the freezer.
I made these without my husband around, offered him a bite without telling him I used chickpeas and he LOVED them. He couldn't believe the beans were what made the dough so rich.
If the chickpea bars aren't quite your thing, take them solo and turn them into a savory snack with a crunch. These are super easy to prep, then store them in a container by your desk....grab a handful when you just need something tiny to munch on!
● Drain a can of chickpeas, sprinkle on some salt and pop them in the oven for half an hour at 180℃ and you have an easy snack full of protein and fiber.
● I topped mine with turmeric and red pepper, and you can even drip a little hot sauce for an extra kick!
Unfortunately, my oldest daughter can't enjoy these quick protein snacks with me because she is allergic to peanuts. So what do I do for her? I've learned how to whip up an omelet in no time flat.
Our favorite combination: turkey sausage and pepperoni, cherry tomatoes, and cheese (cheddar, feta, and goat always get thrown in). I know it's not a "snack" but it sure can satisfy a post workout craving (and I eat it as quickly as I do snacks anyway...). Add a toasted bagel with a schmear of cream cheese (my everyday craving) and you're all set!
I love to be in the kitchen, and am usually fixing up something right after a run, so you’ll almost always catch me in my favorite pair of Balega socks for the day. I always want to learn about new recipes and ideas for tasty post-workout protein goodies, too, so if you have a go-to favorite, please share them with me (I’m on Instagram at @amandaghent)!