PEANUT BUTTER CINNAMON PROTEIN BALLS – SNACK

I’ve been trying out a new protein supplement from Galway based company ‘Diamond Nutrition’ and I think I’ve found a new favourite! The Vanilla-Cinnamon Slim Lite+ Smoothie is delicious shaken with water or almond milk. Formulated using whey protein derived from the milk of grass fed, free-range cows it gets a major thumbs up from yours truly.  Protein supplements can be a really effective way of promoting muscle growth and encouraging fat loss, and whey protein is particularly beneficial.

Some benefits of whey protein:

  • Absorbed rapidly compared to casein or pea proteins making it an ideal pre- and post-workout supplement. Casein protein on the other hand is a good idea before bed as it provides slow releasing protein to support muscle repair during the night.
  • Contains calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorous and vitamins A, C, folate and B12.
  • It contains high levels of the Branched-Chain Amino Acids or BCAA’s which promote muscle growth and prevent fatigue during and after training.
  • Ingestion of a whey protein supplement before your workout boosts your metabolic rate and facilitates body fat loss.

This recipe has some old favourites…Meridian Peanut Butter as it has no additives and is naturally high in protein (but mostly because it’s so delicious), chia seeds, dates and Irish rolled oats provide omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and iron in that order.

The only drawback of making these protein balls is the painstaking challenge of trying NOT to eat half the dough out of the blender bowl while rolling out the balls…..good luck with that!

(makes 16 balls)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup Meridian Crunchy Peanut Butter*
  • 1/2 cup (about 1.5 scoops) Platinum Nutrition Diamond Smoothie Lite Vanilla-Cinnamon flavour*
  • 1 Tbsp Chia Bia Whole chia seeds*
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 2-3 Tbsp water

Topping:

  • Finely chopped raw peanuts or almonds

Instructions:

  1. Line a baking tray with parchment and set aside.
  2. Put all ingredients except the water into a blender bowl and pulse until well combined. Add 2 tablespoons of water, pulse again and check consistency. If the dough feels too dry, add another tablespoon of water and pulse. The dough should stick together when pressed between fingers, but it shouldn’t be too wet.
  3. Roll tablespoon-size portions of dough between the palms of your hands to form balls. The mixture makes about 16 balls (assuming you’ve managed to avoid eating most of it out of the bowl!)
  4. Scatter the raw chopped nuts onto a plate and gently toss the protein balls into the nuts so they are lightly coated.
  5. Place the balls onto the parchment and refrigerate. Once hardened transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
NUTRITION INFORMATION per protein ball
Calories Fat Protein Carbs Sugars Fibre
118 6g 7g 9g 4g 2g

PAMELA RYAN | NUTRITIONIST | CORPORATE NUTRITION + YOGA

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

*Ingredients available in LloydsPharmacy Stores

HAZELNUT MOCHA SMOOTHIE – BREAKFAST

I always recommend starting the day with some protein and fat to fuel your body and brain through a busy morning.  But you needn’t limit yourself to eggs.

Protein powders are versatile and provide all the essential amino acids required by the body. It’s important to choose your brand wisely though, as some have added sugar, poor quality preservatives and inflammatory sources of protein such as genetically modified soy proteins. Plantforce Synergy Vegan Protein available in Lloyds Pharmacies nationwide is a perfect blend of rice, pea and hemp protein suitable for those following dairy- and gluten-free diets.

Whether you’re off to work, the gym, an exam or on the go all day this smoothie will help to sustain you right up to lunch time, and the cheeky caffeine hit will help to boost performance. Coffee is often targeted as an unhealthy beverage as it is a stimulant that increases cortisol release (the stress hormone) in the body.  But its effect is relatively mild. Used strategically, and not to artificially prop your energy levels throughout the day, caffeine can increase physical performance, concentration and focus. When it comes to caffeine, the dose really does make the poison!

(makes 1 serving)

  • 1/2 or 1 banana, peeled (use 1/2 banana to reduce sugar content)
  • 1 scoop of chocolate Plantforce Synergy Protein Powder (if you already purchased the vanilla flavour,  then add a heaped tablespoon of Nua Natural Cacao Powder)*
  • 1 heaped teaspoon Meridian Hazelnut butter (or almond butter)*
  • 150ml almond milk
  • 100ml water
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 tsp medium roast coffee granules

Superfood Boost (Optional): add a heaped teaspoon of Nua Naturals Energy Smoothie Booster*

*Available in LloydsPharmacy Stores.

Equipment: blender

Instructions: put all the ingredients into a blender cup and blend until smooth. For a quick breakfast you can fill the blender the night before, pop a few ice cubes the next morning and quickly blend so its ready in less than a minute.

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING
Calories Fat Protein Carbs Sugar Fibre
333 13g 21g 35g 14g 7.4g

PAMELA RYAN | NUTRITIONIST | CORPORATE NUTRITION + YOGA

Change Your Health Direction: ‘The Fat Truth’

avrilThroughout the Change Your Health Direction (CYHD) programme I have noticed that many people have a completely misguided perception about fats! Through powerful advertising, we have been conditioned to believe that if we want to lose weight we should avoid fat and the ‘low-fat’ diet industry thrives on this. Fat-free and low-fat products are everywhere but they are most often not the healthiest option and can actually hinder weight loss and affect our health in the long term.

Firstly, fat-free and low-fat products are often full of sugar, artificial sweeteners and other ‘nasties’ to help compensate for the lack of fat. The sugar is then just converted into fat in the body anyway and, as the product is far less satiating due to the lack of fats, we need to eat a lot more of these foods to feel full! It is true that we need to avoid certain fats in order to achieve optimum weight and health, those being saturated fats and trans fats. These can be found in vegetable oils, pastries, biscuits, fried foods, confectionery etc.

However, eating the right types of fats is crucial for optimum health! ‘Essential fatty acids’ are fats that our bodies need in order to function normally; they cannot be manufactured in the body so we must include them in our diets. They are the building blocks that the body uses to manufacture hormones and cell membranes, as well as having a natural anti-inflammatory effect which can help to alleviate symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. They can also protect us against heart disease and stroke as they play a role in thinning the blood. The list of benefits is endless and low levels have been linked with numerous psychiatric disorders (as well as many other chronic conditions) including depression so fats really can help make you happy! I just cannot stress the importance of these good fats enough; cutting them out of your diet will be detrimental to your long term health.

The two main essential fatty acids that need to be included in your diet are omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. The typical western diet usually supplies us with sufficient quantities of omega-6 fatty acids as they are found in meat, dairy produce and eggs so they are not usually cause for concern. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, oily fish such as mackerel, salmon and herring. Avocados, nuts and nut butters are other ways to increase our intake of healthy fats and they are incredibly tasty and satisfying.

I always recommend the inclusion of a high quality omega-3 supplement where possible and we have some great products at LloydsPharmacy, my favourite being Revive Active Krill Oil. This is a high quality form of omega-3 fatty acids because they are sourced from a pure environment, in a sustainable and traceable manner and naturally contain a powerful anti-oxidant called astaxanthin which helps to protect the quality of the oil. They are much more readily absorbed by the body, compared to other omega-3 supplements and there is no fishy after-taste or reflux associated with them. Overall they are a very worthwhile investment in your long-term health! Check out the range of Krill Oil Products on our website or speak to any of our in-store colleagues for information on which product is best for you.

And finally, just in relation to cooking with fats – always use a heat-stable fat such as coconut oil, preferably organic and unrefined. Other fats such as sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, olive oil should not be used at high temperatures as they are converted to free radicals which can have massive health implications!

Written by Avril Reilly, Pharmacist and Change Your Health Direction coach in LloydsPharmacy Carlow.