So that vegan documentary, Forks Over Knives, it gets a lot of hype…and wow do I ever understand why! Really though, I have seen many fabulous documentaries-but this one was mind blowing. This was not a “feel bad you are eating a cow” show, this was a “you can reverse your cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and live longer (or just live period), etc. etc. etc. if you abide by this type of diet” documentary. (Not that I do not love cows and other animals-I completely confess to being vegan in part for my love for animals.)
Anyways, I finally watched Forks over Knives last week, made my boyfriend watch it, have plans to make my parents watch it, and the list of people I plan to re-watch this documentary with goes on. If you are someone I deeply love and care about, make no mistake, I will find a way to FORCE you to watch this documentary ;)
In addition to adopting a plant based diet, one of the reputable physicians in Forks Over Knives, Dr. Esselstyn, advises people to eliminate all oil. Now many would assume that since I abide by a plant-based diet that I must consume very little fat and sugar. Oh heavens I cannot tell you how badly I wish those assumptions were correct! For one thing, I have a friendly neighborhood vegan bakery within walking distance from my job. Check out the calories and fat content in those pastries! It is entirely possible to consume too much fat as I have sadly discovered. I am making less trips to the lovely bakery and making more of my treats that I can trust.
My strategy is to transition to mostly raw food and to eventually eliminate added sugar. This mission started the other day when I stumbled across a fabulous protein bar recipe from the wonderful blog loveveggiesandyoga. Averie’s protein bar recipe inspired me to create my own bar with no added sugar. I did not use any “healthy” sugars (which let’s be honest, sugar is sugar), so I did not use agave nectar, maple syrup, honey, nada. I consider mine to be energy bars rather than protein bars as they have a plethora of vital vitamins and minerals, but are not too protein dense with around 4 grams of protein each. They are a good healthy, energizing treat for your day, but I do recommend treating it as dessert even though they consist of healthy fats and natural sugars.
A little inspiration to stay on track with consuming less oil and fat in general from Dr. Esselstyn’s website : within 8 to 12 weeks of eating a raw food diet the fat receptor in our brain down regulates and we lose our cravings for fat.
Alicia’s A-Game Energy Bars
- 1 Banana (small or medium size)*
- 1.5 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
- 1/3 Cup Soy (I used unsweetened West Soy)
- 1/3 Cup Dried Cranberries
- 1/3 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- ½ Tbs. Chia Seeds
- 2 Tbs. Pumpkin Seeds
- 2 Tbs. Almond Butter
- Vanilla Protein Powder (optional)
- Slivered Almonds (optional)–Although they taste perfect on the top; highly recommended
- Chocolate Chips (optional)
- Love (Not optional)
Cover an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper. Let the paper drape over the edges of the plan. Set aside. Put your banana in a large bowl and smash it with a spoon and or your hands. Make sure you smoosh it well so as not to make your energy bars too chunky with banana. Add the remaining ingredients one at a time and mix between each new added ingredient. Spoon the mixture into the parchment covered pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle slivered almonds, coconut, and dried cranberries on top. Cover pan with plastic wrap and freeze for two hours. After two hours, cut into energy bars. Yield ~9 bars.
*I recommend not using a large sized banana because the taste can overwhelm the other flavors