If you want to be healthier, fitter and lose weight the best thing you can do is lose fat and gain muscle.
To gain muscle you have to exercise.
When you exercise your muscles get tiny tears in them. When the muscle repairs itself it grows.
Protein aids the body in muscle repair and growth.
This is part of the reason why many people advocate a high protein, low carb diet. Myself, I cant understand any diet where you can eat as much bacon as you want and not all vegetables. That being said it is important to make sure you are getting enough protein; especially after a workout. There is a 20 minute period after you work out in which it is optimal to provide your body with the protein it needs to repair your muscles. Thatswhy you see people running around the gym with the little protein shakers. I like my shakes but run into a couple of problems with them:
They get chunky.
They sometimes taste chalky.
They arent convenient.
All of the above can also be said about protein bars. No one wants to consume food items that can be described as chunky or chalky. But I have a wonderful solution. Homemade protein bars! I happened to catch an episode of Good Eats on the food network the other day where Alton made these and I couldnt wait to try them. They aredefinitelybetter after having cooled down and they arent Ill never eat another chocolate cookie again good but they are so much better than any other proteinsupplementIve comeacross. Give them a whirl. Now that I have made this recipe and know the basic wet/dry components Im planning on whipping up a few batches I think would be even better. Ill keep you posted. Until then:
- 4 ouncessoy protein powder, approximately 1 cup
- 2 1/4 ounces oat bran, approximately 1/2 cup
- 2 3/4 ounces whole-wheat flour, approximately 1/2 cup
- 3/4-ounce wheat germ, approximately 1/4 cup
- 1/2 teaspoonkosher salt
- 3 ounces raisins, approximately 1/2 cup
- 2 1/2 ounces dried cherries, approximately 1/2 cup
- 3 ounces dried blueberries, approximately 1/2 cup
- 2 1/2 ounces dried apricots, approximately 1/2 cup
- 1 (12.3-ounce) package soft silken tofu
- 1/2 cup unfiltered apple juice
- 4 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/2 cup packed
- 2 large whole eggs, beaten
- 2/3 cup natural peanut butter
- Canola oil, for pan
Line the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with parchment paper and lightly coat with canola oil. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the protein powder, oat bran, wheat flour, wheat germ, and salt. Set aside.
Coarsely chop the raisins, dried cherries, blueberries and apricots and place in a small bowl and set aside.
In a third mixing bowl, whisk the tofu until smooth. Add the apple juice, brown sugar, eggs, and peanut butter, 1 at a time, and whisk to combine after each addition. Add this to the protein powder mixture and stir well to combine. Fold in the dried fruit. Spread evenly in the prepared baking dish and bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 205 degrees F. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting into squares. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.