Industry expert Amy Slater helps us better understand the food we eat and gives us a favorite receipt for sugar free energy bars. Amy holds a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and is a certified personal trainer and Fellow in Applied Functional Science. She is a busy mother of 4 whose mission is to help others find freedom through movement.
What are You Really Eating?
Let’s face it, life is busy! Many look to supplements for nutrition in the form of energy bars, shakes or smoothies.
But not all supplements are created equal, yet often come with a big price tag and big promises. Energy bars and meal replacement shakes can be up to $5 or more per item (a little less when purchased in bulk). One of the major problems with portable nutrition is ingredient quality.
- What are you truly eating?
- Have you read the ingredient label on your favorite supplements?
- Do you know what those ingredients mean?
Unnaturally Fast Aging
This article focuses on one major ingredient that is causing havoc in our country: sugar. Food labels have gotten sneaky, using 56 other names for sugar. Some of the most common:
- Evaporated cane juice
- Corn syrup
- Brown rice syrup
- Malt and others
Sugar is in nearly every food product on the market!
Sugar is linked to many negative health consequences. Today we talk about glycation and how over consumption of sugar causes unnaturally fast aging.
What Is Glycation?
The process by which sugar sticks to stuff is called glycation. Glycation reactions are reversible, but with enough heat or time, the temporary bonds become permanent. The products of the latter reactions are called advanced glycation end products (AGEs).
What does this mean to a body?
- Sugar protein cross-links or AGEs turn semipermeable surfaces or arteries into impervious walls, preventing nutrients from exiting the bloodstream.
- Trapped nutrients end up lining the arteries and can cause blood clots or plaques.
- AGEs on white blood cells slow them down, making infections more serious.
- AGEs can form in the joints, making them feel creaky or stiff.
When sugar stresses the body’s connective tissue and is combined with a low fat, low cholesterol diet, it can be disastrous.
I asked Amy to share a favorite homemade, whole food ingredient alternative to processed supplements. Try this better snack on the go!
Homemade Energy bars
- 2 cups almond, cashew, or sun butter (store bought or make your own)
- 4 Tbsp Coconut oil
- 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 2 cups pumpkin seeds
- 2 cups hazelnuts
- 1/8 cup dried apricots
- 1/8 cup dried plums
- 1/8 cup dried figs
- 1/3 cup unsweetened, dried coconut flakes
- Heat the nut or seed butter, coconut oil and applesauce over medium low heat.
- In a food processor, finely chop the pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, apricots, plums, figs and coconut flakes.
- Put the nut, seed, fruit and coconut mixture in a large bowl and add the softened nut butter. Stir well to combine.
- Pour the mixture into an 11 x 13 inch pyrex baking dish lined with parchment paper. Press into dish and smooth out the top.
- Place dish in freezer over night and then slice into bars.
All ingredients Number 2
Number 3 Number 5
Baking Tip from Amy: Start with small batches. If they work for your body and your family, make big batches and freeze them. This recipe makes 21 medium size bars. I wrap the bars in wax paper and put in a freezer bag. Prep these bars on the weekend so you are never left hungry.
Better Ingredients at a Big Savings
This recipe calls for familiar ingredients. Often better quality costs more. Here are some places that Amy recommends to cut the cost:
- Thrive market: It is like an online Costco with Whole Foods products. There are too many products to list them all.
- Tropical Traditions: This is a great resource for everything coconut.
- Honeyville: is an excellent source for organic blanched almond flour and organic coconut flour in bulk.
Special thanks to Amy for taking the time to share her recipe for healthy energy bars. Learn more at her blog: mom4health.com and learn more about WECOACH Workouts – online movement dedicated to help you move and feel better – for a post-snack energy boost.