I think its become clear that banana bread is the official food sponsor for the quarantine.
And although I love a good banana bread recipe… I might love carrot cake a little bit more. As a nutrition coach and self-labeled ‘healthy person’, I’m supposed to only love the sugar free, high protein, low carb, super ‘healthy’ stuff.. Right?
To be honest, yes, this is a healthy recipe.
It has nutritious ingredients, can easily be gluten free, is low in sugar and its probably lower calorie than your typical sugar filled banana bread or carrot cake. However, I ‘m not going to tell you the calories or the grams of sugar per slice or how many burpees you have to do to burn a slice of this, because honestly, does it really matter?
Right now I feel like there are so many people out there telling you what to eat and what not to eat, and the terrible things that will happen to you if you don’t follow these rules.
It’s true- the facts are clear that people with healthier diets live longer, maintain healthy body weights easier and get sick less. But a lot of the information we see out there Creates fear around certain foods, or puts certain styles of eating on a pedestal. And you end up with even MORE RULES that you have to abide by in order to be ‘good’. Its exhausting, isn’t it? There are enough rules we have to abide by right now, and worrying about the fact that my banana bread isn’t sugar free is just a bit too much for me.
Eating healthy IS important.
Don’t get me wrong, filling your plate with nutritious food is incredibly important. It is one of the key habits that I work with my clients on- making sure that their plates are colorful, balanced and satisfying. I am not telling you that living solely on a diet of banana bread and ice cream is the way to go. In my opinion, you need to be eating a variety of different veggies, fruit, lean proteins, healthy fats and healthy carbs, and making sure the majority of what you eat comes from unprocessed (or at least, not highly processed) foods.
But being able to enjoy less nutritious foods and then MOVING ON WITH YOUR LIFE is also important.
The strict rules and the fear of certain foods, of not ‘doing it right’.. Thats what holds you back. The ‘deals’ you make with yourself about what you are allowed to eat and what you aren’t allowed to eat- its exhausting!
Well, the solution is twofold.
One, we need to understand what we actually want.
Highly palatable foods like cookies and pizza are amazing in the extreme short term- they taste delicious and give us that hit of dopamine that makes us feel good right away. But that feeling doesn’t last- it goes away almost immediately. We need to think not 2 minutes into the future, but 30, or 60, or even a few hours, days or weeks. Nutritious food tastes good (maybe not QUITE as good) now, and it also helps us FEEL amazing later on. Nutritious food is a good investment.
Two, we need to let go of the rules.
If you can eat less nutritious food (lets say, pizza), whenever you want, it stops being that thing that you constantly think about. It stops haunting you, and you stop trying to stuff your face with as much as you can when its in front of you. The fear of not knowing when you’ll ‘allow’ yourself to enjoy the ‘bad’ foods again creates the need to overeat these foods and disregard what you actually want for your body, and in turn, your life.
Changing the way you think about food is hard.
I know that letting go of this stuff is HARD- it doesn’t happen overnight, and you may take many steps backwards and forwards in the process. I can help you with that – write to me and we can talk about nutrition coaching and how it can work for you.
Here’s the recipe, as promised…
My version of simple, delicious carrot banana bars- these are a great investment in your nutrition in the long term AND the short term.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup oat flour
1,5 cup rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 scoop protein powder OR 2-3 tbsp more flour
2 small shredded carrots
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 175c and prep a square pan (9×9) for the oven, Using a fork or a hand blender, mix all wet ingredients together until smooth (a few banana lumps are ok!). Add dry ingredients except for carrots and walnuts, mix until combined, then add carrots and walnuts and mix again. Bake at 175c for 35-37 minutes. Let cool and cut into 16 bars.
This would probably work as muffins as well, but you would need to lower the baking time by a few minutes.
Can freeze for up to 1 month, or keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.