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Power Up with Portable Protein!

For the person constantly on the go, meeting nutrient requirements can be a challenge. The USDA recommends that 10-15% of our total calories each day come from protein. Do you ever find yourself running low on protein in your diet?

Most high-protein foods are typically not “take-away-friendly,” but there are ways around this dilemma. Think of high-fiber, high-protein carbohydrates, like nuts and seeds. Dark, leafy greens are also a good source of protein as well.

Why do we need protein, you might ask? Protein is essential for the following functions:

  1. Muscle and tissue repair
  2. Energy-yielding
  3. Bacterial-fighting Antibodies
  4. Electrolyte balance
  5. Nutrient Metabolism, Transport and Storage
  6. Regulation of Hormones

Nutrition Tip: Try not to overload on protein, because often these foods are high in fat and, sometimes, cholesterol. Balance is everything!

If you find yourself running low on protein fuel, here is a list of portable foods and ingredients that will give you that much needed boost:

  • Almonds, peanuts, soy nuts
  • Bran muffin or cereal
  • Greek yogurt (or used in a smoothie!)
  • Brown rice cakes
  • Kale chips
  • Peanut butter bars

Quinoa Fruit and Nut Bars

 

Makes: 6 bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked and cooled
  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 2 ounces chocolate chips
  • 1½ tablespoon honey

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Knead the mixture flat and evenly.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Allow to fully cool before cutting into bars.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 232 Calories, 11 g Fat (2.5 g Sat), 6.5 mg Sodium, 38 g Carbohydrate, 5 g Fiber, 6.5 g Protein

Article originally published on the Pathmark Wellness Blog 

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