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Healthy snacks, protein shakes and guilt-free treats

When I decided to give up refined sugar for lent, it also made sense to really commit to 'clean eating' again - it would have felt a little like cheating (and been counter-productive for the waistline) to cut out sugar and spend every night binge-eating kettle chips (I think I dribbled a little at that mention of crisps...)  And I must admit it did feel a little like I was committing to six weeks of going without any treats or moments of food-induced pleasure.  And that's bad, because filling my body with food that's nutritious, healthy and bad-stuff-free should not feel like taking the enjoyment out of eating, but let's face it, who ever looks forward to their afternoon banana, or reaches for a salad after a tough day at work.

However, I have found that there is a lot of pleasure to be had in several foods I can eat and really, really enjoy, and also know they are doing good for my body.  If you've seen any of my health and fitness updates where I've listed what I've eaten for the week you will note that I'm a bit of a creature of habit, and that I rarely go without a daily 'treat' - this time in the form of a yummy protein shake, a delicious smoothie, a Nakd or Trek bar or trying out a new recipe - like a healthy cheesecake or making 'raw' chocolate.

Protein shakes are a bit of a morning habit - they are low calorie (I have mine with Whole Bean Soy Milk), high protein and and low in carbs and fat so they're a good morning choice for me.  A protein shake in the morning blended with a banana, peanut butter and flaxseed keeps me full until lunchtime and is blimmin' tasty too.  I buy MyProtein Whey Protein which is great quality, good value and has some amazing flavours.  I've previously bought their Choc Nut, Cookies and Cream and Toffee flavours but I was also kindly sent samples of vanilla and chocolate from ProBikeKit and I loved them too, as well as their NutriGreens which is also great.  I am a bit of an experimenter with their flavours and will probably try Chocolate Mint or Strawberry Cream next but I can fully vouch for the fact that their normal flavours are amazing too!  They really do feel like a real treat, having toffee and soy milk on it's own is just like a tasty milkshake.  Yum. 

MyProtein Shake
MyProtein Shake

As I mentioned, one of my favourite flavours is peanut butter, banana and protein powder - adding frozen banana gives it a real thickness and an almost 'ice cream milkshake' consistency - yum.  Most supermarkets these days stock peanut butter or other nut butters without any added ingredients too so it's easy to grab ingredients for some yummy and healthy shakes.


I mentioned that one of my other treats (usually my 3pm treat) is a Nakd bar or a Trek bar.  Nakd bars are made of raw fruits and nuts and come in delicious flavours like Cocoa Mint and Gingerbread (some flavours have cocoa or natural flavours in them but they are always 100% natural ingredients and gluten, wheat and dairy free).  They are usually sold for about 80p each in supermarkets but Natural Balance Foods sell boxes of 18 for £11.99 with free delivery, making them a bit cheaper to buy in bulk.  I bought a box of the cocoa flavours and a box of Trek bars from their website this week and have been happily munching through them! The Trek bars are also all natural and have lots of protein packed in, they are mainly made of oats and nuts and are also really tasty.

Natural Balance Foods kindly sent me some Nakd Bits to try out, which are AMAZING! They are tiny little bites of yumminess in some of their most popular flavours.  They are packaged in a nice big bag too so it sort of feels like a substitute for a bag of sweets! I reckon they'd be a great treat for the cinema or film night.

Nakd Berry Delight Nakd bars and Trek bar

Last night I decided I fancied doing some cooking/baking and I was really missing making desserts, so I decided to give Nic's Nutrition Healthy Cheesecake a whirl.  I substituted honey for Sweet Freedom and added MyProtein toffee protein powder to make it into a toffee cheesecake!  The smell of the coconut oil, syrup and oats emanating through the house was amazing and when it came out of the oven I think my mouth was actually watering! In the recipe it's served with fruit but for once I didn't have any raspberries or blueberries in so I just served it 'as is' and it was so, so yummy! The photos do not do it justice, it had a delicious layer of creamy, cheesy, toffee-y deliciousness...

Nic's Nutrition Healthy Cheesecake Nic's Nutrition Healthy Cheesecake

So there you have it, lots of treats for people who still like sweet things but might be 'clean eating' or giving up sugar for lent.  What's your favourite healthy snack?

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13 comments

  1. Oooh, those fruit and nut bites look tasty! I wish I could be as brave as you and give up refined sugar...

    Tara x

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  2. Oh wow, look at all of these snacks just the inspiration I needed (she says munching on a galaxy bar) I do think though that a lot of these bars/snack treats are so darn expensive! in comparison to say a bar of galaxy, or some popcorn …healthy eating can be expensive

    http://rinicawrites.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. I love the idea of a healthy cheesecake! Good on you for giving up refined sugar for Lent - I gave it a go and managed for about a day before I gave in to an offer of a slice of chocolate cake :P My favourite healthy snack is chia seed pudding with coconut milk and vanilla extract - Le Pain Quotidien do a damn tasty one, though I'd love to try making my own :)

    Tamsin xx | A Certain Adventure

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  4. I've given up chocolate for Lent, but I'm about 98% certain that I've just been eating a lot of biscuits and sweets instead- so naughty! Protein shakes have always seemed a bit weird to me, but these do sound rather good. And I love the look of the nakd bits, they look so tasty!

    Alice xx | The Cup and Saucer

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  5. I'm lucky I don't like sugar or chocolate. My favourite snack is fruit and some nuts (:

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  6. Great post! That cheesecake looks amazing!

    Tsui.
    Fashion Ganache.

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  7. Great post! I'm with you on the frozen banana and PB smoothie...I also add spinach to mine, and find it amazing that I can't taste it!
    Have you tried nakd bars warmed up? They're amazing warmed up in the microwave for 10 seconds - especially the cocoa ones - they taste like warm brownies! The nakd raisins are also reeeeally good :)
    I really want to try out Nic's cheesecake. Your version looks, and sounds, amazing! xx

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  8. Have you come across the blog protein pow? She has a book and does THE best recipes using protein shake but in food, including using dates in brownies and protein truffles etc. SO SO GOOD! Ive tried nakd bars but not that keen especially for the price, although I do like their cola raisins.

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  9. I've given up chocolate for Lent......funnily enough..I don't miss chocolate as much as I thought I would....I am a massive chocolate lover...but I think I use to eat loads from habit.....

    http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk

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  10. I must be weird because I do look forward to a salad after work. They're a good tea as long as they're not too boring (i.e. just lettuce, cucumber and toms!)

    I spotted that cheesecake and wondered how it would turn out so I'm glad to see it's a winner. Might have to give it a whirl!

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  11. That cheesecake looks bomb!! Even topped with a raspberry jam it would still be healthy!
    The Beauty Break

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  12. Hey there! I've just put you in my blogroll because you're one of my daily reads and favorite blogs! :)
    www.faithfullymarissa.blogspot.co.uk

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  13. Do you use the protein shake as a breakfast food replacement? Or do you have cereal or something as well? I'm interested in making my breakfast keeping me going for longer. While what i have is healthy it only keeps me sated until about mid-morning, then i'm starving!

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