No-Bake Vanilla Chip Protein Bars

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend! I wanted to kickstart the week by making a healthy bar to have on hand when cravings hit after a chocolate-filled weekend.Nowadays with all the “protein bar” choices at the grocery store its hard to know which one to pick and also hard to investigate their LONG ingredient list on the back. It’s always nice to make some at home so you know exactly what you putting into your body. The Genuine Health Vanilla Protein powder has such a yummy smell… it reminded me of the Rainbow Chip cake mix we always used to make as kids!!!

These bars can be made in 10 minutes. Quick and easy and pack substantial protein per serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 150 calories, 4.5 g (fat), 21 g (carb), 7.4 g (protein)No Bake Vanilla Protein BarsIngredients (makes ~8-10 bars):

2 cups oats (I used Hilray gluten-free oats)
1/3 cup vanilla protein product (I used Genuine Health’s Vegan Protein Powder …SO GOOD).
1/4 cup natural crunchy peanut butter, soften
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup Unsweetened Earth’s Own almond milk
1/2 cup dates, softened and mashed
1 tbsp natural honey
1 tbsp hemp hearts
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1. In a mixing bowl, combine and mix oats, protein powder, and softened peanut butter. (See photo of protein powder I used below).

Genuine health protein powder
2. Put 1/2 cup of dates in the microwave with 1 tbsp of water for 30 seconds to soften. When complete, mash the dates and add them to the bowl. Mix.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and dark chocolate chips as desired.
4. Line a casserole dish with parchment paper, spread the mixture evenly in the dish.
5. Store in the freezer until hardened (~1 hour).
6. Cut into granola bar sized squares.
7. Store in the refrigerator, eat, and enjoy!

 

No Bake Vanilla Protein Bars2

The Sweet Potato vs. The White Potato

potatoes

Po-tay-toe po-tah-toe… right? ………………

Nope! There is definitely a difference amongst the  various potatoes in the potato family. So which type of potato do I choose to consume more of? Today it’s a face-off between the sweet potato and the white (russet potato).

The SWEET potato is my go to.

 So why?… what really is the difference? Here’s the Nutritional breakdown for you: 

The Sweet Potato (medium size) The White (Russet) Potato (medium size)
112 calories 170 calories
Fiber: ~4 g Fiber: ~2 g
Fat: 0 g Fat: 0g
Protein: 2 g Protein: 3 g
Carbohydrate: ~26 g  (Starch: ~16 g) Carbohydrate: ~38 g  (Starch: ~33 g)
Sugars: 5 g Sugars: 1 g
  • 10 times the amount of Vitamin A
  • Higher Vitamin C content
  • Higher carotenoid content (maintain a healthy vision)

So, as you can see. Both potatoes still a great source of natural healthy carbohydrates. However, if you are looking for the most nutritional benefit and nutrient value…. pick the sweet potato!

The sweet potato contains more fiber for less calories and carbohydrates. It’s a substantial source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, carotenoids, and fiber. You will BEYOND exceed your daily need for Vitamin A with one sweet potato.  It may contain a tiny bit more sugar… but remember this is functional sugar…you need this for fuel. Your body will utilize this form of glucose as energy. Additionally, the sweet potato has a lower glycemic index than the russet potato. Therefore, it will have a less dramatic effect on your blood glucose levels and keep you satisfied for a longer period of time.

Sweet potatoes also have more fiber than white potatoes. Insoluble fibre (as I spoke about in my previous blog post) is found in the skin of the potatoes and soluble fibre is in the potatoe itself. You should eat both for the most nutritional benefit. Fibre is a positive contributor to heart health… fiber causes foods to be digested and absorbed much slower. Therefore, causing a much less drastic insulin response (in comparison to a refined low-fiber carbohydrate product.. like bread!). It will help to regulate cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood glucose.

In the end, everything is great in moderation. Both types of potatoes are an unrefined, natural, and whole food source of carbohydrates, protein, and fibre. They will be used as immediate source of energy in our body (as a carbohydrate). However, if you want to vamp up the nutritional benefit… the sweet potato is definitely a fair winner. GO FOR COLOUR. When it comes to picking fruits and vegetables, it is always the best to pick the ones with lots of colour (Green, orange, red, etc.). The colourful variations will provide the most antioxidants and nutrient content to your diet.

Try my sweet potato fry recipe and get a carotenoid boost: Click HERE 

spiced sweet potato fries

Enjoy

xoxox B

 

#MoveReady

Hi Friends!! Today I’m doing a Guest Feature about a new forum called #MoveReady. The two creators of this project wanted to find a way to help active individuals in the Toronto area get connected. This forum is a way for you to connect with other active individuals, create recreational sports teams, find a sports team to join, or even just find a pal to play tennis with in your area! – Very cool idea.

Thanks Alin for connecting with A Teaspoon of Bliss to promote MoveReady. Friends, if you are in the GTA, I strongly suggest you check this out! 

A better way to discover and play recreational sports in Toronto with #moveready

MoveReady1

Have you ever wanted to play in a recreational sports league with your friends? Tried to find a recreational team to join? Find players for your team? Or an activity partner?

You might have taken the usual steps to find what you’re looking for: ask your friends, search on Google (because, let’s face it, who Bings or Yahoos!?) or social networks, browse Kijiji and Craigslist, and maybe even Meetup.com.

Speaking from experience, these methods are very time-consuming, and by no means comprehensive.

Enter #moveready.

MoveReady2

#moveready simplifies how like-minded people connect, discover and play recreational sports.

Imagine no more Google searches that you have to filter through. No more endless browsing through directories like Kijiji or Craigslist. No more skipping out on playing your favorite sport because you can’t find a way to play.

Think of #moveready as your recreational sports hub.

A safe and secure community where you get access to the city’s latest recreational sports games, players, teams, and leagues right at your fingertips. Without having to do the work of finding them yourself. We also give you the tools to organize activities yourself. And provide coaching, nutrition, fitness and wellness tips to help you become a better recreational athlete.

Join the community today!

Register for free: https://activlistings.typeform.com/to/TgAsc3

Check out our wesbite: http://moveready.co/.
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Coconut Water – Go for UNOCO!

Unoco

Coconut water is a great way to hydrate before and after a workout or throughout your regular daily lifestyle! It is a much healthier alternative to a sports drink if you are choosing the right brand.

Some coconut water companies add sugars, preservatives, and other miscellaneous ingredients to their coconut water. Many also go through pasteurization for preservation which destroys many of the nutrients due to the heat treatment.

UNOCO raw coconut water is by far my favourite in taste and nutritional content. Unlike the other brands, it goes through high pressure processing applications (cold-water pressure) for preservation… NOT HEAT. Therefore, it is raw, maintains its nutritional content, antioxidants, pink color, and is absolutely DELICIOUS. If you are a coconut water drinker… you will definitely notice a difference between UNOCO’s raw coconut water versus many other pasteurized brands.

When we sweat we lose many electrolytes. This is why many athletes turn to sports drinks, like Gatorade. Coconut water is a much healthier alternative hydrator and electrolyte replacer versus the commonly marketed sports drinks.

UNOCO’s 250mL bottle has 460mg of potassium (Compared to a banana containing ~422mg of potassium). After a workout this a great way to hydrate and replace that electrolyte to prevent muscle cramping. UNOCO also has NO added ingredients. It’s just as if you cracked open a coconut at this beach and took a drink. Check out their website: http://www.unocodrinks.com
You can also follow their Canadian account on twitter: unocodrinksCAN and instagram: unocodrinkscanada

….. Hope you are all having a lovely weekend and staying hydrated in this hot hot weather. When you get the chance buy UNOCO! You must try it 🙂

GUEST FEATURE: Kevin Chapman (Head Strength Coach & Holistic Nutritionist)

Kevin Chapman

Warm welcome and big thank-you to Kevin Chapman for joining us on A Teaspoon of Bliss! Kevin has a vast variety of sports experience and nutrition knowledge which he will be sharing with us throughout future posts! Woohoo!
So today, I asked Kevin to give you all a little background about himself. 

 I am very excited that Brooke has reached out and invited me to contribute to her blog. I am a fan Brooke’s work and all of you that follow her are learning from a bright up and coming mind in the health and wellness industry.

Building the Complete Athlete through Training Nutrition and Recovery:

My Background:

  • Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Elite Training Systems
  • Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Oshawa Generals Hockey Club
  • Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Ontario
  • Registered Holistic Nutritionist
  • Athletes and clients I work with: NHL, MLB, CFL, CHL, NCAA, OLYMPIC, amateur athletes, active adults and people new to training

I have been a strength coach for just over six years and I don’t see myself doing anything else. I am very fortunate to work with a great team of people at ETS and every day I am able to make a positive impact in all of my client’s lives.

The way I approach training is very detailed and specific to the client’s individual needs. There is no such thing as a one size fits all approach to training. What works for me may not work for you. It is important that people understand this idea. There are 3 main things I Look at when designing a program for a client:

  1. The persons nutrition and lifestyle
  2. The persons training age and injury history
  3. The information I gather after I do my assessment so that I can establish a baseline of what the client is physically ready to do in the weight room.

Once I gather this information I am able to put together a training and wellness plan that best suits the clients own needs.

What is the difference between training and working out?

Training is specific. Whether you are a pro athlete, an active adult or someone who is brand new to training there always needs to be measurable goals set and met. I would never train a beginner the way I train a professional athlete; they physically aren’t ready for it, I put them at risk of injury and I am setting them up to fail. A well designed program needs to be skill specific and progressive. Once you reach your first set of goals we reassess and progress to the next step.

Working out is random. Working out is just moving around and sweating. I would never be upset with anyone who is being active and moving. It beats sitting on the couch with a bag of chips. However, I am a firm believer in having a goal and purpose in the weight room. If you don’t have a plan then results become increasingly harder to attain.

Look out for my next addition to Brooke’s blog!

You can check me out at www.fitzgeraldets.com

Or follow me on Twitter: KChap11 Instagram: CHAPPY_ETS

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RunSafe App & A Teaspoon of Bliss

Hello there followers…and HAPPY FRIDAY!

I had the opportunity to connect with RunSafe, an app and business designed to better the running community this past week. If you have never heard of this app, it is definitely something you should check out. Whether you are an outdoor runner, biker, hiker, etc, it is an amazing way to ensure you are always safe wherever you are and have the ability to be located in case of an emergency.

RunSafe and I collided over Twitter and I was interviewed by them regarding my role as a Nutritionist, blogger, and outdoor runner. You can check out my interview with RunSafe regarding my blog, running life, and thoughts on the app by clicking on the link below.
http://blog.runsafe.me/2015/04/09/runsafe-spotlight-a-teaspoon-of-bliss/#

RunSafe is truly an amazing app to add to your phone, not only for its safety features but it’s ability to track your distance, pace, time, and much more while you are exercising. Click here to access their website–> RUNSAFE

RunSafe takes the worry out of your workouts by keeping you connected to your loved ones. It not only tracks and manages all your fitness activities, it stands ready to alert your family and friends in the event of an emergency. Whether it’s a suspicious person, a bad fall or a sudden health issue, you’re never more than a tap away from help and an immediate response to your situation.

A big shout out goes to Sam Voss for connecting with me and his work towards bettering the running community.

Happy running! Get out and enjoy this beautiful weather everyone 🙂

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Pump Up the Protein in your Smoothies

PumpUptheProtein

Here’s a list of my go to ingredients to add into my morning smoothies. Greek yogurt is always my first choice of protein. As you can see almond milk didn’t make the cut. A common misconception is for athletes and active individuals to cut cow’s milk from their diet and choose almond milk instead. Cow’s milk is a much more substantial source carbohydrates and protein versus almond milk. Carbohydrates and protein are SO important for athletes and active individuals. Almond milk only contains ~1g of protein per 1 cup of milk. Cow’s milk stands at 9g protein per cup! A much better source. If you are lactose intolerant, soy milk is the closest to cow’s milk protein content at 7g protein per cup.

Protein is extremely important for muscle development and muscle synthesis.