December 23, 2014

Mint Chocolate Protein Bites and Winter Wellness with GNC PUREDGE

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by GNC PUREDGEAs always all opinions and thoughts are my own!

As a self-proclaimed sweet tooth, the holidays are a fabulous time for all sorts of treats. While I definitely don't shy away from enjoying Christmas cookies (okay,so really I seek them out), I love to make sure I'm getting some good eats in during the day as well to balance out my diet.  That usually means making sure I eat something green each day and get enough protein in during the holidays.

That's why I was really excited to try the GNC PUREDGE products. This line of products is a great source of whole-food-based nutrition that tastes great and makse eating healthy on-the-go easy during the hectic holiday season.  

I was always skeptical of products found in GNC because it seems there are so many things on the market today loaded with artificial flavorings, preservatives,ingredients I can't pronounce, and things as a chemist I know shouldn't be in food! 

I was really surprised by the ingredient lists of GNC's new PUREDGE line. 

The products have: 
-no preservatives
-no GMO1-added ingredients
-no wheat, yeast, fish or egg
-no sugar alcohols
-no artificial additives,colors or sweeteners
-no banned substances AND
-no gluten.   

Pretty much everything people look to stay away from, not that I know what else they could remove!

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I'll tell you a little bit about the products I got to try.  I was sent a couple of the GNC PUREDGE Complete Protein bars in Banana Nut Bread and Peanut Butter Cookie Dough. They look very similar to Quest bars and contain 20g of protein, 4g of sugar, and 6g of net carbs along with flax and chia. I wasn't a huge fan of the taste, wishing it was more flavorful,  but loved that it was a protein-packed snack I could easily throw in my purse.   

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Peanut Butter Cookie Dough protein bar bite
I've dabbled with using pre-workouts or energy boosters before but found that they made my heart race or made me feel too hot and sweaty during workouts. I was surprised by the subtle boost in energy I got from the GNC PUREDGE Daily Energy powdered formula and liked that it also was full of antioxidants.  

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I am however, a big fan of using branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) for muscle recovery and loved GNC PUREDGE's trying their Complete Amino formula. I haven't found that many natural choices for pre-workouts and aminos out there. 

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Both powders are just mixed with water and then ready to drink. I'm weird and don't really like cherry-flavored things so the Natural Cherry Limeade Daily Energy and Tropical Punch Aminos weren't my favorite, but I'd love to try their watermelon flavors for each.  

Lastly I was really excited to try the GNC PUREDGE Complete Protein powder in Natural Chocolate because protein powder is so versatile and there's a lot of ones filled with junk out there.  This product is a whole-food-based powder with 20g of protein, amino acids, and provides one full serving of fruits and vegetables! It also comes in a Natural Berry flavor, but I really liked the chocolate flavor of course.  

I thought the flavor and consistency when mixed were pretty on par with most protein powders I use.I'm not a huge fan of protein shakes with just water or milk so I love making thick smoothies or fun snacks with protein powders. One of my favorite ways to supplement with protein is making little protein bites. They are easy to eat pre or post-workout and to throw in my bag when I'm out and about for the day.  

I made a festive batch of these before finishing up some last minute holiday shopping this week, and they were the perfect sweet snack. 

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yes that's my favorite little panda bowl holding my bites :)
Mint Chocolate Protein Bites

Ingredients
1/2 cup almond flour
2 scoops GNC PUREDGE natural chocolate protein powder 
3 tbsp. of cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
1 tbsp. of stevia (or sweetener of choice)
2 tbsp. of brown rice syrup (or liquid sweetener of choice like honey)
3 tbsp. of oil (I used coconut oil) 
1 tsp peppermint extract

Directions
In a large bowl mix together all ingredients until combined.  Once combined for a sticky consistency, take a spoonful of dough and roll it in the palm of your hands to form a ball.  Place on a tray lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Repeat until all mixture is used. Store bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 


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These even make a cute little dessert to bring to holiday parties or give to friends!

Overall I love that GNC has put out a line that is whole-food based and doesn't contain artifical preservatives, sugar, and gluten to fit a healthy lifestyle.  Like I said the products were great, I just really want to try the watermelon flavor based on my preference.  It's definitely a good choice to try if you are looking for some protein-packed, whole-food supplements to start you off on your New Year's goals early! 
As always, the GNC PUREDGE products are available in GNC stores or at www.GNC.com. 

What do you use your protein powder in? What's your favorite healthy holiday snack?

This post was shared with the Tasty Tuesday link-up!

8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks-they are a great snack!

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  2. These look so good!! I've never heard of the PurEdge products but now I definitely want to try them!

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    1. It's a brand new line at GNC-check it out!

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  3. I've never tried GNC's protein. I don't use a ton of protein powder but sometimes I'll add it to my yogurt!

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    1. I don't use it a ton by itself but it's great to boost snacks and smoothies!

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  4. Should I try GNC pre workout? or any herbal pre workouts?

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    1. I'd talk to your physician before trying a new supplement. Pre-workouts really only increase your heart rate to burn more calories or give you a little energy boost. Many of them give me the jitters so I need a little bit and don't use them everyday. My go-to boost is usually just a cup of coffee! If you are interested and it's safe for you I'd say try a few samples-maybe GNC has some samples you could ask for!

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