Category Archives: protein

Healthy Energy Drinks

It’s an all too true reality of life, noon comes and goes and takes with it your productivity and attention span. That’s when we reach for those liquid cures in hopes of actually getting some work done before the sun goes down. Be it your fifth cup of coffee, a fizzy sugary soda pop or the magic energy potion in the shiny metal can.

So I got to thinking, is there a way to get passed that afternoon sleepy slump without the sugar/caffeine? Well try these substitutes and see for yourself.

The Fire and Rain – 3-4 8oz glasses throughout the day

  • filtered water
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

Sleep is the best thing you can do for you body in terms of keeping it functioning at optimum levels. But, let’s face it between work, family and friends and keeping up with hobbies, getting 7-8 hours every night is next to impossible. Staying hydrated is the next best thing and this drink will help you in this endeavor. It’s just water with a squeezed lemon slice and a pinch of cayenne pepper. The lemon adds flavor and is alkaline, which helps your body maintain a healthy pH level. The cayenne pepper helps raise energy levels naturally and provides protection for your heart by helping to maintain proper cardiovascular movement throughout the body.

The Elixir Vitae – as needed, during the day, not before bed

  • hot water
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp honey (to taste)
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric

Cut off two thin slices of ginger and place in your cup or mug. Use a garlic press to juice the remaining ginger into your mug. Add spices, fill your mug with hot water and stir.

This delicious drink is the closest thing to a non-caffeine/refined sugar pick me up. Ginger speeds up metabolism and increases circulation. It also aids in the digestive process which can help stave off the post lunch coma that contributes to the afternoon slump. Turmeric, a cousin of ginger, also helps speed things up in the body, including energy levels. And Cardamom has long been valued medicinally for its ability to increase circulation and improve energy. Honey is mother nature’s equivalent of an energy shot and is one of the best kinds of sugars for your body.

The Preemptive Measure  – 1 glass in the morning

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds or 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 scoop of high quality whey protein powder (low sugar content)
  • 2 washed kale leaves
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup milk of choice

A deficit of protein in your die is often the reason for fatigue. A morning protein shake is a really easy and delicious way to make sure that you’re starting the day off well fueled. Pair this with a piece of whole grain toast and you have everything you need to give you a solid energy foundation for the day.

Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites

It’s Food Fun Friday (which, let’s face it, is every Friday) and I will share with you an alteration of a recipe that is a family favorite: Ohio Buckeye Cookies.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites

Inspiration for these cookies hit me on the head, literally, as I was on a walk. There is a tree called an Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra) which can be identified, according to my tree identification book:

Leaves have 5 to 7 short-stemmed, lanceolate leaflets, each 4 to 6 inches long and 0.5 to 1.5 inches wide. The yellow flowers, hairy below and with stamens longer than the petals, are borne in erect panicles, 5 to 7 inches long. The capsule, about 2 inches in diameter are spiny on the surface and usually enclose two seeds, about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. Brown bark is fissured and scaly. Grows 50 to 90 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet in diamet; crown oblong, rounded. Also leaves and twigs have an unpleasant odor when bruised.

Which probably means very little to most of you but, the plant nerd that I am, I couldn’t leave out any of those details.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Ohio Buckeye tree nut and leaves

It was this very nut that fell from it’s lofty branch and hit me squarely on the top of my head. Like Isaac Newton before me, I was struck with an idea (although I will not claim that my idea will change the course of science as we know it) and a craving for the buckeye cookies my grandma makes.

When I came home I looked up the recipe for this delectable treat. I was surprised by the amount of sugar added to many of the recipes I found and decided to work out a recipe for more of a protein bite in favor of this sugar packed morsel.

These are the ingredients I used.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: ingredients for Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites
Add peanut butter, rice milk and seeds to a medium sized bowl.
Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: ingredients for Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites

Stir until everything is mixed together. The mixture should be very sticky, but not liquidy at all. 
Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: peanut butter filling for Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites
Using a spoon and your hands, form 1-2 inch balls out of the mixture and place them on wax paper to keep them from sticking. 
Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites without chocolate
Put in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Once the peanut butter balls are chilled, remove them from the freezer.
Melt your chocolate over a stovetop or using a microwave, being careful not to burn the chocolate. 
Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Melting Chocolate
While the chocolate is still melted, dip the peanut butter balls in the chocolate, covering them completely. 
Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites dipped

Return the chocolate covered peanut butter protein balls to the wax paper. 
Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites

Return to the freezer for 4 hours (or overnight). Store in refrigerator. Makes about 24 small peanut butter protein balls.
Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar (16 oz) natural peanut butter (I use chunky, but if you prefer smooth, use that)
  • 6-8 tablespoons rice milk (any other kind of milk should work fine too)
  • 6 tablespoons hemp seed, flax seed or chia seed
  • 6.4 oz dark chocolate, or about two regular sized chocolate bars (85% or higher cacao is ideal, I used Chocolove)

Directions:

Add peanut butter, almond milk and protein powder to a medium sized bowl. Stir until everything is mixed together. The mixture should be very sticky, but not liquidy at all. Using a spoon and your hands, form 1-2 inch balls out of the mixture and place them on wax paper to keep them from sticking. Put in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Once the peanut butter balls are chilled, remove them from the freezer and melt your chocolate over a stovetop or using a microwave, being careful not to burn the chocolate. While the chocolate is still melted, dip the peanut butter balls in the chocolate, covering them completely. Return the chocolate covered peanut butter protein balls to the wax paper and return to the freezer for 4 hours (or overnight). Store in refrigerator. Makes about 24 small peanut butter protein balls.
And now for the poem that comes in every Chocolove chocolate bar:
Strong Dark
 
Sonnet 75
So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
Or as sweet-seasoned showers are to the ground;
And for the peace of you I hold such strife
As ‘twixt a miser and his wealth is found.
Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon
Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure,
Now counting best to be with you alone,
Then bettered that the world may see my pleasure,
Sometimes all full with feasting on your sight,
And by and by clean starved for a look,
Possessing or pursuing no delight
Save what is had, or must from you be took.
Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
Or gluttoning on all, or all away.
William Shakespeare