Post-Workout Protein Balls – Just 3 Ingredients!

When you need a quick post-workout snack| something with protein and carbs| look no further. Made with only three ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen| these protein balls couldn’t be easier to whip up. At 47 calories per ball| a three-piece serving is 141 calories and offers 8.1 grams of protein and 24 grams of carbs. Yet a serving is also low in sugar ¡ª just 5.1 grams.

Made with plant-based protein powder| they’re vegan| and they can also be made gluten-free if you use gluten-free oats. If nuts are off limits| you’ll be happy to know there are no almonds| peanuts| or the like. They’re subtly sweet| oh so soft| and doughy| and because they’re made with just a few simple ingredients| this snack is also gentle on the stomach.

Of course| feel free to jazz up this basic recipe by mixing in a little dried fruit| chopped almonds| or dark chocolate chips ¡ª if you do| just add a little extra banana to maintain the pliable consistency.

Vegan Banana-Oat Protein Balls

From Jenny Sugar| POPSUGAR Fitness

Vegan Banana-Oat Protein Balls

Vegan Protein Balls

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats1 serving vegan vanilla protein powder1 large banana

Post-Workout Protein Balls – Just 3 Ingredients!

When you need a quick post-workout snack, something with protein and carbs, look no further. Made with only three ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, these protein balls couldn’t be easier to whip up. At 47 calories per ball, a three-piece serving is 141 calories and offers 8.1 grams of protein and 24 grams of carbs. Yet a serving is also low in sugar ¡ª just 5.1 grams.

Made with plant-based protein powder, they’re vegan, and they can also be made gluten-free if you use gluten-free oats. If nuts are off limits, you’ll be happy to know there are no almonds, peanuts, or the like. They’re subtly sweet, oh so soft, and doughy, and because they’re made with just a few simple ingredients, this snack is also gentle on the stomach.

Of course, feel free to jazz up this basic recipe by mixing in a little dried fruit, chopped almonds, or dark chocolate chips ¡ª if you do, just add a little extra banana to maintain the pliable consistency.

Vegan Banana-Oat Protein Balls

From Jenny Sugar, POPSUGAR Fitness

Vegan Banana-Oat Protein Balls

Vegan Protein Balls

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats1 serving vegan vanilla protein powder1 large banana

16 Healthy Chili Recipes That Are Perfect For a Crowd

16 Healthy Chili Recipes That Are Perfect For a Crowd

It’s no wonder that chili is a cold-weather staple: this one-pot meal is easy to cook| serve| and clean up. It’s also packed with protein| metabolism-boosting spices| and iron. Best of all| there’s a chili recipe for just about anyone u2014 regardless of dietary restrictions. If you need to feed a crowd this season| make one of these healthy chili recipes to keep guests full throughout the day.

| Quinoa Veggie Chili

Butternut squash| kidney beans| and quinoa lay the base for this hearty vegetarian recipe that offers more than 20 grams of protein and 60 percent of your daily recommended fiber in one spicy bowl.

| Pulled-Turkey Chipotle Chili

Full of fiber| this filling recipe for pulled-turkey chipotle chili gets a little flavor boost in the form of dark beer.

| Tofu Chili With Black Beans

Don’t leave vegetarians out of the festivities. This tofu chili recipe still retains the smoky flavors of chili| but the absence of meat makes it low in both fat and calories but still high in protein.

| Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili

Full of veggies like corn and zucchini| this slow-cooker vegetarian chili is thick| hearty| and full of nutritional goodness.

| Vegan Squash and Quinoa Chili

Get creative by making a seasonal vegan squash and quinoa chili. No red meat to weigh you down in this recipe!

| Pumpkin Beef and Bean Crockpot Chili

This pumpkin beef and bean crockpot chili is sure to become a classic in your house. Simple to make| you just add all of the ingredients to your crockpot and wait it out for six hours.

| Vegetarian Ancho Chili

It may look like ground beef| but this vegetarian ancho chili gets its protein fix from quinoa.

| Spicy Chicken Chili

While there are plenty of vegetarian chili options| sometimes the mood strikes for something a little heartier like this spicy chicken chili.

| Sweet Potato Chili

Harness the weight-loss powers of sweet potato by making this slow-cooker chili recipe.

| Vegan Pumpkin Chili

‘Tis the pumpkin season! Filling and full of protein| (never) homemaker’s pumpkin chili recipe is so rich and smoky| it will have guests wondering if it’s really vegan.

| Crockpot Turkey Chili

If the idea of being in charge of the chili makes you anxious| try this recipe for crockpot turkey chili. All you need to do is toss in the ingredients| give it four hours| and it’s chili time!

| Healthy Chili Verde

Don’t forget how good green chili can be! This recipe for a healthy chili verde spices things up with jalapeu00f1o| Anaheim chiles| and tomatillos.

| Sweet Potato and Turkey Chili

Take a little edge off the spice with this sweet potato and turkey chili. The recipe is a perfect balance of smoky and sweet.

| Chicken Chili With Black Beans

The next time you cook chili| save on calories and fat by using chicken instead of beef. Chicken chili with black beans is low in calories but off the charts when it comes to protein.

| Vegan Pumpkin Chili

This pumpkin chili just might be the best vegan chili you’ll ever taste in your life. It’s full of spice| and you can kick it up a notch by adding even more jalapeu00f1os.

| Simple Weeknight Chili

It may be called a simple weeknight chili| but this recipe is perfect for Super Bowl Sunday. If you’re pressed for time| make it in advance to store in the freezer until the big day.

16 Healthy Chili Recipes That Are Perfect For a Crowd

16 Healthy Chili Recipes That Are Perfect For a Crowd

It’s no wonder that chili is a cold-weather staple: this one-pot meal is easy to cook, serve, and clean up. It’s also packed with protein, metabolism-boosting spices, and iron. Best of all, there’s a chili recipe for just about anyone u2014 regardless of dietary restrictions. If you need to feed a crowd this season, make one of these healthy chili recipes to keep guests full throughout the day.

| Quinoa Veggie Chili

Butternut squash, kidney beans, and quinoa lay the base for this hearty vegetarian recipe that offers more than 20 grams of protein and 60 percent of your daily recommended fiber in one spicy bowl.

| Pulled-Turkey Chipotle Chili

Full of fiber, this filling recipe for pulled-turkey chipotle chili gets a little flavor boost in the form of dark beer.

| Tofu Chili With Black Beans

Don’t leave vegetarians out of the festivities. This tofu chili recipe still retains the smoky flavors of chili, but the absence of meat makes it low in both fat and calories but still high in protein.

| Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili

Full of veggies like corn and zucchini, this slow-cooker vegetarian chili is thick, hearty, and full of nutritional goodness.

| Vegan Squash and Quinoa Chili

Get creative by making a seasonal vegan squash and quinoa chili. No red meat to weigh you down in this recipe!

| Pumpkin Beef and Bean Crockpot Chili

This pumpkin beef and bean crockpot chili is sure to become a classic in your house. Simple to make, you just add all of the ingredients to your crockpot and wait it out for six hours.

| Vegetarian Ancho Chili

It may look like ground beef, but this vegetarian ancho chili gets its protein fix from quinoa.

| Spicy Chicken Chili

While there are plenty of vegetarian chili options, sometimes the mood strikes for something a little heartier like this spicy chicken chili.

| Sweet Potato Chili

Harness the weight-loss powers of sweet potato by making this slow-cooker chili recipe.

| Vegan Pumpkin Chili

‘Tis the pumpkin season! Filling and full of protein, (never) homemaker’s

How to Treat Yourself at a Dinner Party and Avoid the Discomfort of Bloating

9 ways to avoid a bloated belly ¡ª Women’s HealthA genius way to prepare bite-size appetizers ¡ª Real SimpleHow your alarm clock can hurt your health ¡ª Shape12 ways to drink more water ¡ª SelfHere’s how to burn off your favorite holiday foods ¡ª HealthMake these your go-to protein snacks ¡ª Cooking LightHow science can actually motivate you to get moving ¡ª FitnessBest moves for the lower abs ¡ª GreatistVegetarian recipes for a delicious slow-cooked meal ¡ª POPSUGAR Food

How to Treat Yourself at a Dinner Party and Avoid the Discomfort of Bloating

9 ways to avoid a bloated belly ¡ª Women’s HealthA genius way to prepare bite-size appetizers ¡ª Real SimpleHow your alarm clock can hurt your health ¡ª Shape12 ways to drink more water ¡ª SelfHere’s how to burn off your favorite holiday foods ¡ª HealthMake these your go-to protein snacks ¡ª Cooking LightHow science can actually motivate you to get moving ¡ª FitnessBest moves for the lower abs ¡ª GreatistVegetarian recipes for a delicious slow-cooked meal ¡ª POPSUGAR Food

4 New Year’s Food Resolutions You’ll Actually Keep

4 New Year’s Food Resolutions You’ll Actually Keep

It’s that time of year again: new year| new you. Sounds simple| right? But research from the University of Scranton suggests that by the first week of January| a whopping one-quarter of us who make resolutions have already ditched them| and by year’s end only eight percent have made our resolutions a reality. Fret not: if the saying you are what you eat is true| than there’s no better way to build a better you in 2016 than by making a few easy-to-stick-to food resolutions that have the power to transform you from the inside out. We promise these four must-make food resolutions will feel so good| there’s no chance you’ll give them up.

| Go For Fermented Foods

If you haven’t become BFF’s with your gut flora yet| what are you waiting for? In case you haven’t heard the hype| we can thank the microbiota u2014 or “”gut bugs”” u2014 that live in our intestines for everything from boosting nutrient absorption| immunity| and even happiness to regulating metabolism and protecting us against heart disease| autoimmune diseases| and certain cancers.

One surefire way to cultivate healthy gut flora is to go for fermented foods at least once a day. Tasty options include sauerkraut| kimchi| miso| kombucha| tempeh| yogurt| kefir| and soy sauce. If you haven’t tried cooking with tempeh yet| start with this fool-proof Mexican tempeh quinoa salad. And you’ll for sure want to make this oh-so warming miso soup a Winter staple.

| Get to Know Ancient Grains

Ancient grains are defined by the nourishing quinoa bowl. But as much as we all adore quinoa| there’s a long list of ancient grains that should be on your radar (and in your pantry)| including farro| millet| buckwheat| spelt| kammut| amaranth| teff| sorghum| wild rice| black barley| and blue corn. Why? “”The best way to ensure that you’re getting the full spectrum of nutrients available in nature is to eat a variety of different grain foods. After all| each whole grain has something different to offer (from the calcium in teff| to the soluble fiber in barley)|”” advises the Whole Grain Council.

In 2016| resolve to experiment with just one new ancient grain per month| and by year’s end you’ll have at least a few new favorite go-to grains in regular rotation. Need a little inspiration? We can’t get enough of this comforting maple-cumin tofu with farro or this perfect millet salad with pomegranate.

| Cook Without a Book

Sure| a trusty recipe is like a little black dress you can always count on u2014 but we dare you to make 2016 the year you bust out some freestyle cooking. Forgo using a recipe at least once a week| and instead let in-season produce take the lead. Begin by scoring whatever produce looks freshest and most appetizing to you at your local farmers market or the produce aisle of your local supermarket. Perky purple potatoes? Yes| please. Ginormous asparagus stalks? Why not. Luscious latticino kale? You bet.

Then| get creative in the kitchen by building a winning dinner bowl starring your peak produce. Here’s how: start with a bed of your favorite grain (quinoa| farro| brown rice| etc.)| add your stellar produce (steamed| sautu00e9ed| or roasted)| toss in your choice protein (we love beans| tofu| and chicken breast)| then top with an ultratasty sauce (peanut| marinara| tahini| BBQ| salsa).

| Master a New Cuisine (or Two or Three)

Who doesn’t like going out on the town for ethnic food? But homemade ethnic fare| be it Indian| Japanese| Italian| Mexican| Thai| or even Ethiopian| can be just as much of a taste sensation as any restaurant dish u2014 without the excessive salt and fat that usually come along with restaurant-style preparation.

To get started| simply become a menu hacker. Just think of your favorite menu item and make it your mission to re-create it with gusto. You could wing it in the kitchen| go online to find a recipe| purchase a cookbook| or even sign up for a cooking class. We fell in love at first bite with this quick vegan chana masala. This homemade burrito tops Chipotle’s any day. And this video will have you rolling sushi like a pro. While most supermarkets sell all the worldly ingredients you may need| why not let your menu planning inspire a trip to a local ethnic grocery market?

Amanda’s Secret to Losing Over 100 Pounds Wasn’t a Diet

Our next Before & After story comes from Amanda Fraijo-Tobin| who blogs about life after losing 130 pounds on her blog Friday Love Song| which is part of our POPSUGAR Select Fitness network. Below| she shares how she lost the weight and how she keeps it off.

Amanda: Before

Growing up| I wasn’t severely overweight ¡ª sure| I had a pudgy stage| but a lot of people did! My weight wasn’t something I thought much about being a kid (as it shouldn’t be). My parents had good intentions| like most| but we certainly did not grow up eating very healthy. Snacks| soda| meals prepared without nutritional aspects considered. Soda became a very bad habit for me| especially as I got into my teens and didn’t have anyone stopping me from drinking so many.

Fast-forward to high school ¡ª like most high school girls| I thought I was fat. Even though| in retrospect| I clearly wasn’t. I didn’t let it consume my life| though I was a little on the chubby side (so I thought) and I was OK with that. Looking back| I think senior year is when the trouble began for me. Stress| changes in my life| poor eating| and not exercising (hello| gym-class-not-required-after-ninth-grade!) led me to pack on some weight. Again| I already felt like a “fat girl|” so I kept going with the mind-set of “This is me ¡ª this is who I am.” I was married young| had my first child at 20| and of course| packed on more weight. Divorced| remarried| and two more babies later ¡ª more weight.

My weight wasn’t something I paid attention to. I never weighed myself. The only time anyone took my weight was maybe once or twice a year when I had a doctor’s visit ¡ª and even then| I didn’t think much about it. This is me ¡ª this is who I am . . .

Amanda: Before

My husband is a type 2 diabetic. He had already been on tons of medications for several years to control his blood sugar and other problems associated with the disease. He got to the point of having to add insulin injections to his enormous list of meds. His doctor kept urging him to consider weight-loss surgery| telling him that| if he lost some weight| there was a possibility he may be able to stop taking some of his medications. This seemed like a great solution to my husband ¡ª I| on the other hand| disagreed. I told him repeatedly| this wasn’t the solution. If you don’t break bad habits that got you to a certain point| you could not possibly make a real change.

Insert lightbulb moment. Pot calling kettle black. Even though it wasn’t something I monitored| I was surely at the heaviest point of my life. I was waking up to get my son to school and collapsing on the couch for a nap once he was off. I was having random pains in my foot. I felt gross. I knew I needed to start making changes. I needed to make changes for myself| but also for my husband| for my kids. I needed to be a better example. This wasn’t about vanity. This was about life| making a better life for myself and my family.

I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. I had packed on the weight over the course of 10 years. I knew it was going to take some time to take it back off. I knew there would be times I would feel like quitting. But from the start| I adopted a “Today I will do what I can” kind of attitude. This went for exercise as well as eating habits. I knew all my bad eating habits were not going to disappear overnight. Slowly but surely| I made mental lists of things I was doing that were awful for my body and thought of ways to change them. Drink more water| read labels of items I was eating| etc. I had been having such severe pains in my heel that some days I could not even walk on it. Some days| I may not get through an entire workout like I wanted to ¡ª that’s OK. Today I will do what I can.

Amanda: After

I chose not to be vocal about my weight-loss journey from the start. I didn’t mention it to friends. My husband and my father were about the only people who knew what I was trying to accomplish. There were many days of whining on my part to my husband about aches and pains from making my body do things it wasn’t used to doing. I admit I have no idea for sure what my starting weight was. I have a general idea based on the last time I had been weighed at the doctors ¡ª but my journey began about six months| and what I’m guessing| may even be more pounds later. I did not start out with a goal weight in mind. I didn’t want one. I wanted to be healthier. Period. Healthy is not pounds on a scale. This is not a short fix; this is a change I will continue to make for the rest of my life.

How Did I Do It?

This is common sense| things we have heard a million times again and again. Change the way you eat. Exercise. Repeat. It’s amazing to me when people want to know my “secret.” I have no secret. And I find it even funnier when people feel let down by my answer. There is no magic pill. I have not dieted. I have not counted calories. I knew from the start that was not the way I wanted to live my life. This is a lifestyle change. Know that it’s going to be challenging| but have faith that you can make the changes you want to.

Amanda: After

About two years later now and around 125 to 135 pounds down| here I am. Still chugging along. Still making it part of my life to make better decisions for my own as well as my family’s health. Honestly| I still feel a little silly writing this. I have had people tell me that they think I am an inspiration| which blows my mind. But I am here to tell you: if I can do this| you can do this. All it takes is a true commitment. Am I a superfit person? No| of course not. But every day| I strive to be a little better. I am a real person who did this. I am a mom to three children with a full-time job| a husband| two dogs| and a million other things going on. It takes work. It takes time. But you can do this. Start today| one small change at a time. This is me ¡ª this is who I am. Today I will do what I can. Will you?

Do you have an inspiring Before & After story to share? Message us on Facebook| and give us a few details about your journey. We might even profile you on the site| like Amanda!

Image Source: Amanda Fraijo-Tobin

Amanda’s Secret to Losing Over 100 Pounds Wasn’t a Diet

Our next Before & After story comes from Amanda Fraijo-Tobin, who blogs about life after losing 130 pounds on her blog Friday Love Song, which is part of our POPSUGAR Select Fitness network. Below, she shares how she lost the weight and how she keeps it off.

Amanda: Before

Growing up, I wasn’t severely overweight ¡ª sure, I had a pudgy stage, but a lot of people did! My weight wasn’t something I thought much about being a kid (as it shouldn’t be). My parents had good intentions, like most, but we certainly did not grow up eating very healthy. Snacks, soda, meals prepared without nutritional aspects considered. Soda became a very bad habit for me, especially as I got into my teens and didn’t have anyone stopping me from drinking so many.

Fast-forward to high school ¡ª like most high school girls, I thought I was fat. Even though, in retrospect, I clearly wasn’t. I didn’t let it consume my life, though I was a little on the chubby side (so I thought) and I was OK with that. Looking back, I think senior year is when the trouble began for me. Stress, changes in my life, poor eating, and not exercising (hello, gym-class-not-required-after-ninth-grade!) led me to pack on some weight. Again, I already felt like a “fat girl,” so I kept going with the mind-set of “This is me ¡ª this is who I am.” I was married young, had my first child at 20, and of course, packed on more weight. Divorced, remarried, and two more babies later ¡ª more weight.

My weight wasn’t something I paid attention to. I never weighed myself. The only time anyone took my weight was maybe once or twice a year when I had a doctor’s visit ¡ª and even then, I didn’t think much about it. This is me ¡ª this is who I am . . .

Amanda: Before

My husband is a type 2 diabetic. He had already been on tons of medications for several years to control his blood sugar and other problems associated with the disease. He got to the point of having to add insulin injections to his enormous list of meds. His doctor kept urging him to consider weight-loss surgery, telling him that, if he lost some weight, there was a possibility he may be able to stop taking some of his medications. This seemed like a great solution to my husband ¡ª I, on the other hand, disagreed. I told him repeatedly, this wasn’t the solution. If you don’t break bad habits that got you to a certain point, you could not possibly make a real change.

Insert lightbulb moment. Pot calling kettle black. Even though it wasn’t something I monitored, I was surely at the heaviest point of my life. I was waking up to get my son to school and collapsing on the couch for a nap once he was off. I was having random pains in my foot. I felt gross. I knew I needed to start making changes. I needed to make changes for myself, but also for my husband, for my kids. I needed to be a better example. This wasn’t about vanity. This was about life, making a better life for myself and my family.

I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. I had packed on the weight over the course of 10 years. I knew it was going to take some time to take it back off. I knew there would be times I would feel like quitting. But from the start, I adopted a “Today I will do what I can” kind of attitude. This went for exercise as well as eating habits. I knew all my bad eating habits were not going to disappear overnight. Slowly but surely, I made mental lists of things I was doing that were awful for my body and thought of ways to change them. Drink more water, read labels of items I was eating, etc. I had been having such severe pains in my heel that some days I could not even walk on it. Some days, I may not get through an entire workout like I wanted to ¡ª that’s OK. Today I will do what I can.

Amanda: After

I chose not to be vocal about my weight-loss journey from the start. I didn’t mention it to friends. My husband and my father were about the only people who knew what I was trying to accomplish. There were many days of whining on my part to my husband about aches and pains from making my body do things it wasn’t used to doing. I admit I have no idea for sure what my starting weight was. I have a general idea based on the last time I had been weighed at the doctors ¡ª but my journey began about six months, and what I’m guessing, may even be more pounds later. I did not start out with a goal weight in mind. I didn’t want one. I wanted to be healthier. Period. Healthy is not pounds on a scale. This is not a short fix; this is a change I will continue to make for the rest of my life.

How Did I Do It?

This is common sense, things we have heard a million times again and again. Change the way you eat. Exercise. Repeat. It’s amazing to me when people want to know my “secret.” I have no secret. And I find it even funnier when people feel let down by my answer. There is no magic pill. I have not dieted. I have not counted calories. I knew from the start that was not the way I wanted to live my life. This is a lifestyle change. Know that it’s going to be challenging, but have faith that you can make the changes you want to.

Amanda: After

About two years later now and around 125 to 135 pounds down, here I am. Still chugging along. Still making it part of my life to make better decisions for my own as well as my family’s health. Honestly, I still feel a little silly writing this. I have had people tell me that they think I am an inspiration, which blows my mind. But I am here to tell you: if I can do this, you can do this. All it takes is a true commitment. Am I a superfit person? No, of course not. But every day, I strive to be a little better. I am a real person who did this. I am a mom to three children with a full-time job, a husband, two dogs, and a million other things going on. It takes work. It takes time. But you can do this. Start today, one small change at a time. This is me ¡ª this is who I am. Today I will do what I can. Will you?

Do you have an inspiring Before & After story to share? Message us on Facebook, and give us a few details about your journey. We might even profile you on the site, like Amanda!

Image Source: Amanda Fraijo-Tobin