Are you ready for the holidays? Here's one more recipe - quick and delicious! - that will keep you and your fellow party-goers satiated thanks to a healthy dose of protein, a bit of natural sugar, and a chocolate-y kick!
JCJ Approved Holiday Protein Bites
2 + 3/4 C pitted dates
1/2 C water
1/2 C natural nut butter
1 C vanilla whey protein
1/4 C cocoa powder
1/4 C hemp seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
lukewarm water for rolling
Blend dates and water in a food processor. Next, add the nut butter. Add the protein powder slowly. Last, add the cocoa powder, hemp seeds, and cinnamon and mix all thoroughly.
Set aside a bowl of lukewarm water to clean hands while working with dough. Form into golf ball-sized bites. Roll in festive toppings if desired (we like red and green sprinkles!).
Freeze on a baking sheet for minimum 3 hours before packaging together. Bites can be stored in freezer until ready to eat!
Wishing you Happy Holidays and a healthy New Year!
It's already the first week of December - only a few weeks to go before the big day, December 25th!
Your behaviour during these next weeks is critical to preventing holiday weight gain. Why? You need to set the tone for the upcoming holiday food frenzy.
It's that time if year when you are rushed - you're doing Christmas shopping and wrapping, baking, decorating, socializing, partying, and general "fa-la-la" and "ho-ho-ho!"-ing. Do you see where I'm going with this?! Many of us fall victim to the trap of not having enough time to eat healthy during the holidays. People gain an average of 5-10 lbs before Christmas Day, and then a little extra during the holiday week because they figure "Oh, what the heck? - I'll hit the treadmill and eat healthy in the New Year!"
Well...why don't you start now?!?
JCJ Approved Tips for Holiday Health!
1. Make time to prepare snacks! Prepping and packing snacks means you won't be caught off guard when a holiday craving or hunger pang hits, whether you're stuck in line at the mall or at Suzy's winter concert. Grab some almonds, carrot sticks, or healthy snack bars - opt for those low in sugar! - and stash them in your purse, pocket, or glove box for a quick fix. A water bottle is a great (albeit heavy!) addition too!
2. Socialize smartly - simple swaps! You can still eat well when you socialize during the festive season. If you're partying potluck style, try bringing a fresh fruit tray with yogurt dip or tomato and mini cheese skewers drizzled with olive oil.
When surveying the buffet, choose items that are least processed and most simple for the healthiest choice.
Appetizers are a popular trend during the holidays. These items are very often deep fried & high in fat, making this a place where the calories can add up quickly! Choose appys like chilled shrimp with cocktail dip over breaded or fried shrimp, like those generally found on skewers. Pickles & olives are a great choice to feed your salty craving, rather than chips and dip. If there's a cheese platter, choose a few cubes (think: the size of a couple dice) with rye crackers & fruit over a smear of brie with a fatty or sugary topping.
When filling up your glass for a Christmas toast, choose hot chocolate or cider rather than fatty and filling egg nog. If you're looking for something a bit stronger, choose wine, light beer or champagne rather than sugary cocktails.
3. Dealing with candy canes & sugarplums: At this time of year it seems everyone loves to share their favourite sugary, chocolate-y recipe! If you have a sweet tooth, stick to one treat and then walk away. Limit yourself to just a taste...but not a taste of the whole platter!! We want you to enjoy the holidays an not deprive yourself, but don't forget to use your healthy snacks (which are ready and waiting in your purse, now that you've taken my advice!) as a smart alternative to the sweet treats. And, if the parade of sweets seems to be constant...daily...never-ending!...remind yourself "I had a sweet treat yesterday...so today, no thanks!"
Remember the holiday season is a time to celebrate with your closest family and friends. Food brings people together, so share these tools with your company and if you indulge, keep it in moderation!