Cookie Dough Protein Bites {Recipe ReDux}

Who doesn’t like COOKIE DOUGH?? Well, I’ve healthified it for this month’s Recipe ReDux challenge — “Bars & Bites for Brown Bags.”

 

Whether you pack your lunch in a bento box, a brown bag or a retro cartoon character lunch box, don’t forget the bars and bites. Small squares or round bites can pack nutrition into a sweet or savory taste. Show us your favorite way to jazz up any type of lunch box.

 

While these would make a great “dessert” for a lunch box, they are quite perfect for a post-workout snack. Pair with a glass of milk and you’re golden.

This recipe was inspired by Juli from PaleOMG’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Balls

protein_cookie_dough_bites

Cookie Dough Protein Bites

Yield: 20-22 bites

Besides having 6 grams protein per ball bite (“per ball” just didn’t sound right…), these cookie dough bites are gluten-free, can be made vegan by using a vegan protein powder and contain no raw eggs — because ain’t nobody got time for food poisoning.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder, such as Gold Standard Natural or Designer Whey (if making vegan, use vegan protein powder, such as Vega)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 3 Tbsp. liquid coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. honey, preferably local
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut or almond milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, such as Ghiradelli 60% cacao chips

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Using hands, form “dough” into 1″ rounds
  3. Store in the freezer

 

These are seriously addicting, you guys. I made them yesterday and my boyfriend has already eaten all but two of them. So, if you have a significant other, family member or roommate who loves cookies and/or protein powder (the boyfriend loves both), I highly recommending hiding these things. They go FAST.

For more back to school bites & bars, click the blue guy below.

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Interval Training: Short but Sweet

Interval training, which involves alternating high intensity workout periods with rest periods (rather than endurance training – going the same speed for the entirety of the workout), can really rev up your metabolism. Plus, it can be done with a variety of exercises — from walking to biking to jumping rope.

Jump rope intervals

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), high intensity interval training (HIIT) boosts metabolism and subsequently speeds up weight loss. This is because during HIIT, a person uses up more oxygen than they would if going at a steady rate, which then ups the calorie burn post-exercise. According to the ACSM, a session of HIIT can boost metabolism for 1.5-24 hours after the workout.

I’d like to point out that you will not only burn more calories after the workout — you’ll also get these benefits from a SHORTER workout (read: efficiency). So you can have your cake and eat it too. Or have your protein shake and drink it too in this case?

Interval training will also improve aerobic capacity — basically your body’s ability to use oxygen to fuel muscles — which is a marker for your fitness level. So to sum up, here are the benefits of interval training:

  • Increased calorie burn
  • Revved up metabolism (for 1.5-24 hours post-workout)
  • Improved aerobic capacity/fitness level
  • Shorter workouts/less time at the gym
  • Build muscle
  • Speed weight loss
  • Decreased boredom

Below is a build-up for interval training. High intensity interval training requires a certain physical fitness level and is not for those just starting an exercise routine. The ideas listed are arranged from easier to harder, so choose a workout that corresponds to your current fitness level, and then work you way up. Interval training workouts should be around 20-30 minutes, so repeat for the following sets until you reach the desired time:

  • Walk briskly 60 seconds, walk steady 60 seconds
  • Run 60 seconds, walk 60 seconds
  • Run 2 minutes, walk 90 seconds
  • Run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute
  • Sprint 1 minute, walk 1 minute
  • Sprint 1 minute, jog 1 minute

These intervals can also be applied to biking, elliptical training, weight lifting, jump-roping and many other workouts. For example, you can up the resistance and your intensity for 1-2 minutes and then alternate with a 1 minute rest. Or my personal favorite: jump rope slow for 30 seconds, fast.