These vegan protein bites are amazing replacements for your store bought granola bars. You would be incredibly surprised to find out how much sugar and sodium one of those granola bars contains! I absolutely love these protein bites; even if you’re not vegan, they are a great healthy on-the-go snack. I have them as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, or as a post-workout snack. They pack a lot of protein and fibre per bite, so they can definitely tie you over in between meals. And because I am a tad bit more generous with the chocolate chips, I find that they help curb my cravings for other unhealthier sugary snacks. This recipe makes roughly 8-10 bites, depending on how big you make the balls. I scaled down my recipe, so that you could test it out and see if you like the flavour of my protein bites. If you do, you can then multiply everything by two to make 16-20 bites, that’s the normal amount I make every time I make this recipe. They can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer for up to two weeks.
1/3 cup roughly chopped unsalted, raw almonds
1/4 unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup of quick rolled oats
1/2 cup ground flax seeds (I bought mine in the bulk aisle and noticed they are the same price as the whole flax seeds, so why not get them already ground up to save you the work!)
1/3 cup of vegan chocolate chips ( I prefer the mini chips, I find they bind better in the mixture.)
1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. of cinnamon
1 generous tbsp. of raw peanut butter ( I would prefer to use almond butter or cashew butter, but this was what I had on hand.)
2 generous tbsp. of coconut oil
1 tbsp of water (this amount may vary)
- Mix all your dry ingredients together ( almonds, shredded coconut, rolled oats, and ground flax seeds).
- Combine all the ingredients well.
- Add vanilla extract, cinnamon, peanut butter, and coconut oil.
- Use your hands to mix the ingredients (the temperature of your hands will help the coconut oil melt and blend into the mixture much better than a spoon would).
- Combine the ingredients until it is all thoroughly distributed and just holding together.
- Add 1 tbsp. of water to start – continue mixing with hands.
- The mixture should hold together, but not be sticky. If it isn’t holding together add another tbsp. of water, if it is too sticky add more rolled oats.
- Once you reach the right consistency you can start forming your balls!
- You can pick the size of your balls, just make sure when forming them to really apply some pressure to ensure they keep their shape.
- Store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
The last blog that I posted, I wrote it with the intention of it being my last. With me being unable to continue my journey on natural medicine I figured it made sense to stop my blog, because that was the whole purpose of it- sharing the experience of treating my Lupus naturally. I was overwhelmed with friends and strangers reaching out and encouraging me to continue sharing my story, regardless of the absence of natural medicine. People still want to hear about my journey with veganism and what it is like living with Lupus. I was incredibly touched that so many people had a genuine interest in my story. It just made me realize how something like a chronic disease could bring people from all walks of life together for a greater cause. It is truly inspiring. So for that reason I decided to continue my blog. I want to thank everyone for opening up their minds and hearts to me. It is an indescribable feeling; to know that I am lucky enough to be in a position where I could possibly help, inspire, or move someone. That is something I will forever be grateful for.
PROGRESS REPORT #6
- How many days of adopting a vegan diet have I accomplished?
I am on my 115th day of eating vegan, that’s almost four months! I can’t believe I have not slipped or caved into my old meat-eating ways!
- How do I feel today?
Today I feel great. I feel like myself again, as strange as that sounds. The last couple months with the amount of pain I was experiencing, it really got me down and feeling helpless. I would wake up with no desire to do anything, because of the debilitating pain throughout my body. I have always been one to wake up and be excited to conquer my day – I’m happy to say that I am back at that place!
- How is my energy level?
My energy level has been lower than normal the last few days. Some days I feel like I could sleep all day and never leave my bed. I’m unsure if it is solely from my Lupus, or maybe from the change in seasons as well.
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how prevalent are my Lupus symptoms? Joints? Skin? Fatigue? Kidneys?My rating: 2-3
Joints: My joint pains and morning stiffness have improved immensely. I can do everything myself again, like brushing my teeth and tying my hair. It is a great feeling to regain my independence. I still have pains in the morning, but I honestly cannot complain when I compare it to the pain I was experiencing the last couple months.
Skin: I have noticed a couple minor rashes on my scalp in the last week or so. It is quite odd, because while I was on the natural medicine I don’t recall ever getting a single rash. Now that I am back on my meds I am seeing a few.
Fatigue: My fatigue levels have been a bit erratic this week. Some days I wake up feeling like I haven’t slept in days and could go back to sleep for days. I am sure it is my Lupus and my body adjusting to my meds. One of the side effects of my steroids is that it can cause fatigue, and it is something I have been struggling with for a while now.
Kidneys: I have not been experiencing any abnormal swelling in my legs from sitting for an hour or more, which I am very happy about. I can now focus during my lectures at school without experiencing tightness in my legs and ankles. I will be doing another 24-hour urine collection test in a month to see where my protein levels are, and if it has decreased at all since starting my kidney medication again.
- Have I displayed any new symptoms? Good or bad.
Seeing some minor rashes appear on my scalp took me by surprise. I have not had a rash since I went vegan, so it is quite puzzling that once I started my steroids, they reappeared. It is something I will mention to my Rheumatologist (Lupus Doctor).
- How long have I been back on my steroids?
It has been 28 days. I am currently on a higher dose of my steroids, because my Lupus was flaring and my pains were excruciating. It is just for the time being until my body adjusts to being back on meds. Once that happens, I can then talk to my Rheumatologist about decreasing them.
- Have I learned anything new to adopt in my natural approach?
I have started experimenting more with cooking vegan dishes. It really curbs any cravings I may have for dairy, fish, etc. when I recreate one of my favourite meals, with a vegan twist of course! This way I don’t feel so deprived and limited in my food options. Recently I made a vegan fried rice and a vegan spicy lemongrass pho with mushrooms and tofu. I will share some of my recipes in future blogs!