Thursday, March 15, 2012

Protein Power

As a teenager I bought into the all carb low fat diet.  I thought a white bagel with a fat-free vanilla latte was a good choice for a low cal meal.  Forget meat, eggs, or anything with fat in it.  This diet was miserable and kept me slightly pudgy. I had trained my taste buds to crave sugar and I was the dictionary definition of a sweet-tooth.  You all know that I am now a firm believer in adequate protein as well as HEALTHY fats in every diet.  If any of you are in the place I once was, you want a candy bar, not grilled chicken.  This seems to place you at an impasse for a high protein diet unless you find a way to “cheat” the system. . . System, meet protein bars!  I know what many of you are thinking, they taste chalky and it’s not the same.  I will agree with half of that claim.  A protein bar will never be exactly the same as a candy bar, BUT they don’t all taste chalky.  You will have to allow your taste buds to adapt to something new but in time a regular candy bar will taste way too sweet and you will prefer the taste of a protein bar.  Here is a little info on how to find the right one.

Protein Bar 101:  Not all bars are created equal, but some are created with Equal.  As in artificial sweetener.  This is a BIG NO, NO!  If the label holds any kind of fake sugar, don’t buy it!  A big clue will be the term sugar alcohols.  Do not eat this kind of bar.  This leaves you with two choices.

 Number One: A bar that uses real sugar

Number Two:  A bar that uses STEVIA

I prefer you use the second option.  Unfortunately bars made with Stevia are hard to find.  You can order some online from Nutrilite.  Look on the supplements page of my web-site: and click on the supplements link.  Look for the Chocolate Delight protein bars.  I have also seen one or two at Wal-Mart and GNC.   If you cannot find a brand locally then you will have to go with a bar that uses real sugar.  Just be sure that you choose one that has 15g or less of sugar per bar. 

Now you need to look at the kind of protein used.  I recommend trying to find a bar that uses WHEY.  The body better absorbs WHEY proteins.  These are great for recovery after a hard workout.  Remember that when you lift weights your body is tearing down muscle.  During recovery it needs quality amounts of protein to rebuild. 

Protein bars can get expensive and it’s often hard to find one with a perfect blend of ingredients.  That’s why I also suggest the option of making your own.  You control the ingredients so you can feel good about what is going into your body.  Here is a simple one to try out. 

MEAL Protein Bars


10 tbsp. natural peanut butter
5 egg whites
5 scoops chocolate whey protein (I use the brand Jillian Michaels promotes as it uses Stevia for sweetness)
2 cups oats (OPTIONAL: For flavor, dry cook these on a frying pan until they are toasted)
1/2 cup soy milk or organic milk


Mix the peanut butter and egg whites in a bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, and mix well (so that the mixture appears smooth). Repeat 4-5 times until all traces of egg whites have dissolved into the peanut butter, and your mixture is a smooth consistent one.

Gradually add the protein (one scoop at a time) and stir into the mixture. Next, add the soy milk and follow with the oats. Continue mixing until a thick 'sticky' mixture is present.

Smooth the thick mixture into a 13x9 tray and leave for 20-30 minutes. Cut into 10 equal size bars. Individually wrap each bar and store in the fridge.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Bar

Calories: 220
Protein: 20.1g
Fat: 10.1g
Carbohydrates: 15.1g