I’ve mentioned before about my healthy living journey, and my favorite gym routine. It’s called Live Fit, and it’s amazing. Well, one of the most important parts of the Live Fit trainer is watching what you put into your body. I’m not talking really about a diet, really. I would consider it more of a lifestyle change. Because I honestly never feel like I’m dieting at all. I feel like I’m putting good, clean food into my body, and my body thanks me for it. I remember the first time I tried this trainer, I was actually shocked at the amount of food I was supposed to be eating. Funny story, my mother in law commented on how much I was eating one day early on when I was just getting back into my routine. she said something like, “I’ve never seen you eat so much in one day.” Turns out, if you’re actually eating good nutritional foods, you have to eat a whole lot more than what you’re probably used to.
A few months back before I started up my Live Fit routine again, I started noticing some pretty bad stomach problems. I would be fine one day, then out of nowhere I would have really bad spouts of gas and diarrhea (I know, gross. Sorry. But if this actually helps someone I’m OK with spilling the beans). It’s really easy to fall into bad habits slowly without even noticing. It happens to me when I get really busy with house projects. I skip a meal…or a few… I forget to drink water. I live on coffee because I just need 10 more minutes to finish this project. Then at the end of the day I’m so starved for calories I go for the chips (and wine if my day has been extra long). I’m really bad at forgetting to eat. I mean, seriously bad. And those bad habits gave my gut a pretty hard time. And so I needed to get my butt into gear the best way I knew how, and that’s the Live Fit trainer. I love that no matter how many times I fall off the wagon, I have a tried and true way to get back on track. I don’t have to start from scratch because I know there’s a plan for me. And when I plan ahead, it really does actually work for me. Anyway, today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite recipes.
Pumpkin Nut Cranberry Protein Bars
It is inspired by Jamie Eason’s Pumpkin Protein Bars, but I added a little twist. In her recipe she calls for a sugar substitute, but I don’t add any of that since it’s plenty sweet already. But I did add in some cranberries and I am absolutely in love with them now. I eat these pumpkin protein bars for at least one meal every day. It’s gluten free because it’s made with oats. It packs a protein punch and gives you a serving of complex carbs. They’re easy to throw in a bag on the go, and they’re absolutely divine warmed up in the microwave with a warm cup of coffee. I’ve even had them with a side of greek frozen yogurt for a delicious desert! the best part is they are SO easy to make. I throw everything together, mix it up, and pop it in the oven for about 20 minutes. Boom. Done.
Pumpkin Nut Cranberry Protein Bars Recipe
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a blender, grind enough quick cooking oats to make 2 cups. Oats should blend to a flour like consistency. Add flour and all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir until mixed well.
Pour your mixture into a 9×12 pyrex dish prepped with non stick spray. Place dish in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Stick a fork in the center to see when it’s done. You should have a clean fork when you pull it out. =
Let it cool, and cut into squares. Makes 24 bars. Women serving size – 4 bars. Men serving size – 6 bars.