Is it possible to eat healthy 100% of the time? Is it healthy to try to do so? Hmmm… I think that’s a good question. I’m sure it is. I’m sure there are people out there who are counting every single calorie that goes into their mouths; making sure they aren’t eating any sugars, any fats, any treats whatsoever. Is that really healthy, though? I mean, healthy for your sanity? I’ve done it before and here’s what I’ve learned: the more you stress about every little thing you eat, the more stressed you become. We all know that stress is not good for us, right? So, I’ve discovered that I’m the most healthy, happy, and stress-free when I eat healthy about 80% percent of the time. That means that I allow myself treats when I want them… in moderation, of course (hence the 80%). If I know I’m going out of town for the weekend, out to dinner, or on a wine tasting trip, I’ll eat really healthy during the week (80%) so that I can have a weekend (20%) of indulgences without feeling too guilty about it. Because, lets face it, if we’re beating ourselves up over every little thing we eat, we aren’t being healthy mentally, which, in turn, leads to stress (which can trigger weight gain). So, with that being said, this week I’m sharing some treats to enjoy for your 20% of indulgences! It’s Christmas, and what better time to enjoy treats than during the holiday season?! Now, even though these recipes I’m sharing are treats, they are going to be slightly healthier for you. Here’s why,
- I limit the amount of refined sugars I include in my treats by using naturally sweetened dates and low-sugar fitmixer protein® powder.
- I use coconut oil as a healthy saturated fat rather than butter or margarine.
- I use dark chocolate chips, again, lowering the refined sugar and adding in the healthy-for-you cocoa.
- I use unsweetened all-natural peanut butter, which limits the sugar content and adds in healthy fats.
This first recipe reminds me of a Christmas treat I used to make with my mom every year
Coconut Oat Bars
- 1/4 cup raw walnuts
- 2/3 cup pitted dates
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 scoop fitmixer vanilla protein® powder
- 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter
- 3 tbsp. water
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 tsp coconut oil
Line a 9 x 9 square pan with parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse dates and walnuts until they are finely chopped. Transfer mixture to a stand mixer or medium bowl and add in the oats, protein powder, shredded coconut, peanut butter, and water. Combine until a sticky mixture forms. Press into the prepared pan. In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil on low, stirring half-way through (I use a low temperature defrost setting). Spread the chocolate mixture over the oat mixture and smooth out evenly. Refrigerate for a few hours or over night then cut into bars and enjoy!
Nutrition per serving - 128 Calories, 19g carbs, 6g fat, 4g protein, 9g sugar
Every year for Christmas I make peanut butter balls with powdered sugar, peanut butter, milk chocolate chips and butter. They are my husbands absolute favorite and always a big crowd pleaser. However, the nutrition facts are not so much of a crowd-pleaser, so I came up with this protein-packed sweet treat that is very similar, a little healthier, and so far a big hit!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup all-natural smooth peanut butter (the consistency of the peanut butter is going to determine the firmness of your mixture so you’ll want to choose a peanut butter that is thick)
- 1 scoop fitmixer vanilla protein® powder
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (you might need)
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
In a stand mixer or medium bowl, combine peanut butter and protein powder until thick and creamy. If the mixture is too runny to form into rolled balls, add a little more protein powder or refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll into quarter sized balls then freeze for 10 – 15 minutes. While the peanut butter balls are chilling, combine chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on low for 30 seconds at a time, stirring frequently until smooth. Dip each peanut butter ball in the melted chocolate using a toothpick. Place onto parchment paper and back into the fridge to chill. Enjoy!
Makes 18 – 20 depending on the size
Nutrition per serving – 82 Calories, 5g carbs, 6g fat, 3g protein, 3g sugar
*note I have made these as peanut butter balls as peanut butter cups too. If you would like to make peanut butter cups, use small paper cupcake wrappers and spoon about a teaspoon of melted chocolate into the bottom. Scoop 1 teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture in the cup then top with another teaspoon of melted chocolate. Refrigerate until firm then enjoy!