Protein in a Bite

Pic 1Recently I’ve started to look for different ways to take in protein. My everyday diet normally doesn’t include a lot of meat, and eating Greek yogurt all the time was starting to get old. Knowing that protein is key for muscle recovery after a workout, I was trying to find a quick way to take it in, but chugging protein shakes didn’t really appeal to me either.  A friend of mine suggested that I try to make protein balls, so after some extensive research (Pinterest) I found the perfect recipe to give me that little protein boost throughout the day I was looking for. I really enjoyed this recipe and thought it would be the perfect addition to our blog site.

Before I dive into this delicious recipe, I think it’s important to know exactly what proteins are and what they do for us. Proteins aid in supporting your entire body from cells to organs. Bones, hormones, antibodies, keratin are all made up of proteins. To get a further in-depth break down of each specific role each protein plays, check out this website. Proteins play a bigger role in our nutrition and health than I originally had realized, so I was thrilled to find out about protein balls.

On average it is said that woman should take in about 46 grams of protein a day, and men roughly 56 grams. Now for some this isn’t a hard feat, but as I mentioned before I tend to struggle with that. Protein balls are simple, easy, and you can alter them to your own liking. I went with a cranberry almond banana protein ball. I altered the recipe only slightly to cater to my own taste buds.

Active Time: 15 minutes     Serving Size: 1 ball

Total Time: 15 minutes       Makes: 14 balls

Calories per serving: 98   Fat per serving: 5 grams

Fiber: 2 grams. Protein: 5 grams. Sodium: 39 mg. Saturated fat: 1 gram. Sugars: 6 grams. Carbs: 9 g.

*The nutritional facts may be varied differently than the original recipe (http://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com/sunflower-seed-protein-balls/) because I used almonds instead of sunflower seeds. *

Ingredients

  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • ½ cup seven seed butter (found at Sentry)                                                           
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 4 scoops vanilla soy protein powder
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, preferably fruit juice sweetened

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The execution itself is fairly simple. Mix together the banana, seven seed butter, and honey in a food processor (I did it by hand because I didn’t own one). It should form a paste like consistency.

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Next, add the protein powder, coconut flour, cinnamon, almonds, and cranberries. Mix together. The consistency will be slightly drier than before, but don’t worry this is supposed to happen.

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Then take the mixture and form into balls. Put in the refrigerator.

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The end product was delicious and now I have a quick snack to eat before or after a workout! You can even snack on them throughout the day for a quick protein boost!

Stay healthy. Stay strong.

Mary Marren

Paleo Diet: friend or foe?

Paleo Diet photoBy: Abbey Bowen

When I was struggling with acne last semester, I kept looking for natural solutions online. One day, the “Paleo Diet” showed up on a Google search. I clicked it, and read all about this new diet that aims to mimic the dietary habits of a caveman.

The Paleo Diet, which was created by Dr. Loren Cordain, consists mainly of lean meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits and nuts.

According to thepaleodiet.com, eating like our caveman ancestors reduces the risk of several illnesses and diseases that currently plague Western civilization, such as:

  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Acne
  • Myopia (nearsightedness), macular degeneration, glaucoma
  • Varicose veins, hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, gastric reflux
  • Gout

To make a long story short, the Paleo Diet is similar to an organic, or all-natural, diet. The premise of the entire diet is to only consume foods that can be “hunted and gathered.” By following the dietary habits that Dr. Cordain has laid out, a person is supposed to maximize his or her vitamin, protein and fiber intake while lowering levels of sodium and carbohydrates.

Well, that’s all well and good, right? I’m not so sure.

Melody Churney, writer for “Foodsafetynews.com,” wrote an article titled “Don’t Eat Like a Caveman,” which compares the Paleo Diet to several other diet trends that are full of promises but really only allow for short-term weight loss and all around health.

Churney mainly slams Dr. Cordain for telling her followers to cut out whole grains from their diets.

“To set the record straight: whole grains (i.e. complex carbohydrates) do not make people fat or sick — assuming you stick to whole grains,” Churney argues. “Refined grains on the other hand are stripped of nutrients and fiber and are often enriched with a mere fraction of the nutrients they once possessed. Whole grains are an important part of a long-term, healthy diet. They provide ample doses of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and are associated with a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.”

She also states legumes should not be removed from the diet of someone who desires to be healthy.

“Legumes are also an important part of a long-term healthy diet, and include foods like beans, peas, lentils, soy and peanuts,” she suggests. “Legumes are a nutritional powerhouse packed with fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, folate, magnesium and potassium.”

Later on in the article, she says point blank, “Any diet that advises against consuming whole grains and legumes is focused less on your health and more on selling books.” This statement is amusing because Dr. Cordain is, in fact, a New York Times Bestselling Author.

All in all, I am pretty conflicted with my opinion on the Paleo Diet. I agree with what Churney wrote when she said the diet is outdated because society has evolved so much from the time cavemen were alive. How can we say for certain that their diet is the optimal diet for us as well?

However, I do see how eating all natural can benefit your body and mind.

What do you think about the Paleo Diet?

Message the Warhawk Fitness PR Team on Facebook and let us know!

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~

Abbey :]