Homemade Protein Bars

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2015_02_RadEats-ProetienBarWe love a protein bar for pre-workout fuel, fighting our afternoon hunger, or really any time we want to get full fast with out the excessive carbs or sugar. As much as we love a protein bar we have a hard time justifying the price, which adds up fast when we’re loading up on protein. Desi from Unconventional Kitchen helped us with an easy protein bar recipe.  Not only did Desi get us a gluten free recipe, but it requires no baking, just mix and freeze. The recipe calls for peanut butter, but feel free to switch out for your favorite nut butter.

Homemade Protein Bars 

  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1 1/2 cup dry oatmeal
  • 2 Tablespoons flax seed or ground chia seed
  • 2-4 scoops protein powder (this will affect the taste, so make sure you pick a good one)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 large dark chocolate bar or 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions: 

  1. Mash the bananas in a medium sized bowl
  2. Next add everything but the chocolate.   So that would be the oatmeal, flax or chia seeds, protein powder, peanut butter, shredded coconut, raisins, water, and melted butter or coconut oil.  Mix it well.
  3. Press the bar mixture (it will be a bit sticky) into a 8×8 inch pan lined with tinfoil or parchment paper.
  4. Freeze until hard for at least 2 hours.  Cut into 8-10 bars.
  5. Melt the chocolate.  Dip the bars in the chocolate.  The chocolate will harden really quickly because the bars are so cold.
  6. Wrap the bars in plastic wrap or foil and store in the freezer.

Feel free to leave out the coconut if it’s not your preference; and if you really don’t like the taste of coconut you can switch out the coconut oil for melted butter. Make sure you check out Unconventional Kitchen for even more easy, healthy recipes.

Skinny Greek Yogurt Dip

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Eating great just got more delicious

Snacking and trying to eat healthy can sometimes be a tough challenge, which is why we asked Desi from Unconventional Kitchen  to help us find the perfect balance.  We love the dill weed flavor added and we also love how easy it is to throw together! Once made, this dip can stay delicious and fresh in the fridge for days.

Skinny Greek Yogurt Dip 

  • 1 C Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 C sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp celery seeds
  • 1/8 tsp dill weed
  • Instructions

    1. Mix all of the ingredients together and serve cold with veggies!

    Desi says roasting the vegetables not only makes it a perfect for this dip, but it makes vegetables sweeter. Check out her blog post all about making roasted, shaped veggies for this dip.

    Spring into Breakfast: Coconut Cashew Granola

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    2015_02_RadEats-Granola

     

    Spring is coming and we couldn’t be more excited to dip our toe in some warmer weather.  Color Me Rad is teaming up with Desi from Unconventional Kitchen to bring our readers healthy, delicious recipes that are perfect for any season. Here’s Desi’s coconut cashew granola that is easy to make and easy on your waistline.

    Coconut Cashew Granola 

    • 1/3 C maple syrup
    • 1/3 C packed brown sugar or coconut sugar (I have used both)
    • 4 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 C coconut oil
    • 5 C old-fashioned rolled oats (Quick oats will NOT work in this recipe — you will get mush :).)
    • 1 C shredded unsweetened coconut (This is optional but really good.)
    • 2 C raw nuts (I really like cashews in this recipe, but almonds are good too.)
    • 2 C dried fruit (Dried cherries are amazing in this. Raisins are good too, or really any dried fruit.)

    Instructions

    1.  Preheat oven to 325.
    2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Don’t skip this step, it makes for the easiest clean up.
    3. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt into a medium sauce pan.  Stir over medium heat until the coconut oil is melted and all the ingredients are mixed together.
    4. In a large bowl, add the oats, coconut if using, and nuts.
    5. Dump the sauce over the oat mixture and stir to combine.
    6. Spread the granola into a thin, even layer. Using a spatula (or your hand, covered in waxed paper), press down on the mixture until very compact.
    7. Bake until lightly browned. I bake it for 20 minutes and then rotate the pan and bake for another 10-20 minutes. Watch it at the end so it doesn’t burn. I set the timer because it goes pretty fast at the end and I have burned my fair share of granola!
    8. Remove pan from oven and cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about an hour. Let it cool completely before touching it — so hard I know! But if you do, you will be rewarded with big chunks.
    9. Stir in the dried fruit.

    Desi suggests mixing granola with greek yogurt for a perfectly balanced breakfast.  Check out Unconventional Kitchen for more healthy eating tips and recipe tricks.

    Bow Extension Ab Workout

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    Our RAD trainer is working hard to help us get our body right with this summer workout plan. Abs are always a concern after our winter hibernation so Tess has us doing bow extensions; they’ll not only work our abs and obliques, but help tone our lower back and arms. You’ll want to do 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps on each side.

    1. Hold a dumbbell in both hands above your right shoulder and point your left foot out to the side.
    2. bowextension1In one motion, draw your elbows down to lower the weight as you bend your left knee toward your chest. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Perform the suggested number of reps, then switch sides and repeat.

    bow extension 2

     

    Do bow extensions 3 days a week and you’ll be seeing results in no time.

    Standing Twist Ab Workout

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    standingtwist

    We’re still trying to get our torso tight without having to get our crunch on. Because our office trainer is sick of hearing us complain about our not ready bikini bodies, but hating sit ups she came up with a series of no sit up ab work outs. Tess tells us side bends are not only great for your ab’s, but you’re also going to be working your back and obliques with this full range of motion! Here’s Tess’s tips for perfect standing torso twists:

    • Engage your abs and stand with feet hip width apart with 5 or 10 lb. dumbbells
    • Keep your arms straight and pelvis stable while you slowly rotate from left to right
    • Keep your abs pulled towards your spine as you rotate from side to side

    Valentine’s Day Delight

    By | Eat | One Comment

    ChiaPudding-01

     

    We’re giving you the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for anyone you love enough to give them a treat with out the worry of added weight.  And it’s finally a Valentines gift you won’t have to throw away if the relationship doesn’t make it past February.

    Greek Yogurt and Chia Pudding with Raspberry Puree (For 2):

    • ½ cup of coconut milk
    • ½ cup non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
    • 1 tablespoon raw honey
    • 2 tablespoons of chia seed

    Raspberry Puree: 

    • 1 cup raspberries
    • 2 teaspoons honey

    Instructions

    1. In a small bowl, combine coconut milk, Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey and chia seeds. Refrigerate overnight.
    2. Place raspberries and 2 teaspoons honey in a bowl. Use a spoon to crush raspberries and mix honey.
    3. Divide chia pudding into two cups. Top with raspberry puree.
    4. Serve

    Side Bend Ab Workout

    By | Train | One Comment

    side-bends

    We get so tired of sit ups and curls, so we turned to our in house fitness pro Tess to help us work our pouch on our feet. Tess says, “This exercise will work your obliques and help you stretch at the same time. Do these reps slowly in a controlled motion.” 

    • Stand with your feet hip-width apart with 5 lb. dumbbells
    • Bend sideways to the right, squeezing your waist on the right side. Keep your neck as neutral as possible, looking forward not down
    • Pull the left ribs down to return to standing upright. This focuses the work on the left obliques
    • Repeat for a total of 12 bends to the right, then switch sides
    • Do three sets

    Blueberry Breakfast to Make Ahead

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    blueberry-breakfast-casserole

     

    Some people may call this breakfast a “treat”, but we say what better time to treat yo’ self than morning? Breakfast sets the tone for a healthy day, so make the day special with this early morning delight. With this make ahead casserole you won’t even need to set your alarm any earlier, that’s what people call a win-win!

    Blueberry Breakfast Bake: 

     

    • 1 loaf of white bread, crusts removed, bread cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 4 oz cream cheese, cut into small cubes (about 1 cup)
    • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, divided (If using frozen blueberries, defrost and drain first.)
    • 8 eggs, beaten
    • 1 1/2 cups milk
    • 1/4 cup melted butter
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup plus more for serving (make sure you are buying the real stuff)

    Instructions: 

    1 Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with oil. Place half of the bread cubes in the dish. Sprinkle cream cheese cubes and half of the blueberries over the bread. Top with remaining bread cubes and blueberries.

    2 Combine eggs, milk, maple syrup and butter in a large bowl and pour over bread mixture.

    3 Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cover with aluminum foil if you notice the edges browning too much during baking.

    4 Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into squares to serve. Serve with additional maple syrup. Can be prepared the night before, and baked before serving.

     

    Skinny Peppermint Mocha

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    skinny peppermint mocha

    Even though the holiday’s are over, we’re not ready to let go of our peppermint filled drinks or dreams. While our peppermint dreams are full, are bank accounts are still feeling the empty from all that spreading of holiday cheer. Which is why this Starbucks inspired skinny, peppermint mocha will be forever keeping our winter hands warm and since we consider you a best friend we’re passing on this recipe.

    Mocha Mix:

    • ⅔ cup fat-free milk
    • ⅔ cup strong brewed coffee or decaf
    • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
    • 2 packages Splenda, Equal, Truvia (Stevia) or your favorite sugar substitute
    • ⅛ teaspoon peppermint extract

    Optional Topping Ingredients:

    • 2 tablespoons light whipped cream
    • Dash of cocoa or crushed candy cane


 pieces

    Instructions

    1. Brew coffee stronger than usual. In a small pot, add milk, cocoa, Splenda and peppermint extract. Over medium high heat, mix until cocoa is dissolved and mixture is hot.

    2. Transfer to a blender and process for about 15 seconds until foamy. If you don’t have a blender, don’t worry. Just whisk the mixture in the pot continuously with a wire whisk until foamy.  Pour brewed coffee into a large cup and pour hot milk mixture over coffee. Stir to blend.

    3. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

    No Bake, Sugar Free Chocolate Treat

    By | Eat | 2 Comments

    sugarfree-chocolate-dessert

    There’s a reason it’s called “the most wonderful time of year” and not “the month you worry about your health”, every delicious holiday thing has so much sugar in it! We tried finding some none sugar free options, and they were way too much work  (we’re BUSY!). Then we stumbled on these no bake balls, and time stood still.  They’re easy to make and even easier to eat. And you don’t need to waste any extra time feeling guilty for a second serving.

    Ingredients

    • 1¼cup coconut flakes, shredded, unsweetened
    • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup chocolate chips*
    • 1 banana, mashed
    • ½ teaspoon chocolate liquid stevia
    • 9 dates, pitted, chopped

    Instructions

    1. Blend one cup of the coconut flakes with the banana and cocoa in a food processor
    2. A small amount at a time add the chopped dates to the food processor
    3. Once thoroughly combined until smooth mix in the stevia, vanilla extract and salt
    4. Place mixture into a bowl and stir in the chocolate chips
    5. Place the ¼ cup of coconut flakes onto a plate
    6. Make 14 small chocolate balls from the mixture then roll them into the coconut flakes. Refrigeration is not necessary, but if you are not eating them right away I would keep them in the fridge to stay firm until you are ready to eat.
    *You can find sugar free chocolate chips,  Hershey’s sells some here.