I have to admit something and writing it here makes it official: I really haven’t been eating healthy lately. The whole month of travel really caught me off guard. Usually I’m pretty cautious and fairly diligent about making healthy food choices but I’ve had my fair share of sweetness this month.
As someone who has had food struggles, it’s important for me to stay on track with the way I eat because if altered, I can easily develop an unhealthy relationship.
Exercise wise, things are great. I make sure to run or do at home workouts while traveling and when home I walk nearly 4-5 miles/day plus do a yoga class. Still, I feel less like myself. Really I don’t think the scale had moved up more than 2 pounds but you can easily tell when your jeans are snug or if your body isn’t looking the same in the mirror.
Most of the time, it’s the small choices that add up; too many times I’ve said yes to fries instead of a salad or indulged in a treat even when I wasn’t hungry after a meal but simply because I could. I hate when I convince myself the opposite of my true intention. It’s all about the commitment to living a healthy, balanced life and I need to remind myself of this throughout my day and especially when it comes to how I nourish my body.
While I still consider myself a healthy person, I love opening up and sharing these things with you because it makes me feel more accountable towards my health goals. What are those specific goals you ask? To eat more vegetables and less refined sugars, to build more muscle and to indulge every once in a while. Overall, my food choices just need a bit of an adjustment and I’ll be using the rest of April to make sure I’m doing just that.
As a result, I made these granola bars for an afternoon snack. They are above all my favorite granola bar yet because of all the fun ingredients like oats, quinoa, fruit, nuts, chia and hint of banana flavor. Plus they don’t break the bank. Honestly they’re incredibly filling, similar to how you feel after you eat one of those giant Clif bars yet they won’t weigh you down.
In the meantime, I’d like to invite you to follow me on Instagram where I’ll be sharing my healthy meals and snacks as a part of my health goals for April. I’ll hashtag everything #AKhealth too so you can see in detail the meals in consuming, workouts I’m doing and read along as I document my progress. xoxo!
To keep up to date with posts and behind the scenes info, follow AK:
More healthy snack recipes you’ll love:
Chia, Quinoa & Banana Granola Bars
- 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup uncooked pre-rinsed quinoa
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped almonds
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup dried fruit (raisins or cranberries work well)
- 1/4 cup natural creamy almond butter
- 2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper to prevent bars from sticking.
In a large bowl, combine oats, uncooked quinoa, chia seeds, salt and cinnamon. Stir in mashed banana and vanilla. Fold in almonds, pecans (or walnuts) and dried fruit.
Place a small saucepan over low heat; add in almond butter and honey (or maple syrup) and stir until warm and almond butter is melted. Fold into granola bar mixture until well combined.
Pour into prepared pan and press down firmly with hands or with a measuring cup to help bars stay intact. Bake for 25 minutes or until edges turn golden brown.
Allow to cool completely before cutting into 10 bars. I cut mine into 8 originally and they were much too filling for a snack, so I reduced the serving size to 10.
Feel free to mix and match dried fruits and/or nuts as you see fit.
These bars can be stored at room temperature for a few days, but are best kept tightly wrapped in the fridge or freezer.
Adapted from Oh She Glows.