Some of you may have seen my Instagram photo about the chocolate amazingness that happened in my kitchen last week.

Pilates Happy Hour Chocolate Coconut Protein Bars

 

I had a few requests for the recipe, and I have to give all the credit to my friend Gina of The Fitnessista.  She posted this amazing recipe for Crispy Chocolate Coconut Protein Bars last week and I put together a batch the next day.  I’ve tried many of her recipes, and this is one of my favorites!  My husband loved them as well, and we are already on our second batch.  They are the perfect afternoon snack, filled with oats, chocolate protein powder, coconut and healthy fats.  I’ll post the recipe below, and you can also visit her site to check them out.

I figured I’d take this opportunity to let you guys know a little about Gina.  She is a very well-known fitness and healthy lifestyle blogger, and is the mama of an amazing three year old.  It just so happens she moved to San Diego with her family about a week before we did, and she was teaching barre classes in a studio close to my house.  I hit up one of her classes when I was craving a workout, and we (and our daughters 🙂 have become friends in the time since.  I feel so blessed to have met so many amazing women and moms since moving here, and Gina is definitely one of those that I’m thankful for!

I think one of the things I love most about spending time with her is that we have no lack of conversation, and it’s always real.  We talk about food and recipes and wine and fitness classes and the business behind being a fitness instructor and wine and the joys and struggles of having a toddler and…did I mention wine :)?

She also has a book that was just released (isn’t it amazing I know people who write books??  I mean, seriously!  Whitney, Gina, Kaui – you are amazing.) It’s called HIIT IT! (Fitnessista’s Get More From Less Workout and Diet Plan to Lose Weight and Feel Great Fast).

It’s based on the idea that you can actually decrease your workout time and get improved results if you simply follow a HIIT (high intensity interval training) exercise plan.  She also discusses intuitive eating versus dieting and enjoying treats in moderation.  There are great recipes and specific workouts to talk you through each step.  Her macaroon recipes are also included, and I’ve been told they are phenomenal!  I’ve been following a HIIT style of training for about a year and a half and I can attest to the fact that you will see results with less anxiety and time spent at the gym.  I highly recommend the book, and you can purchase either the hard copy or kindle version here.

Enjoy the recipe for these Coconut Chocolate Protein Bars, and if you have any other great books or bloggers you recommend, please let me know in the comments below!

Coconut Chocolate Protein Bars

Ingredients
  

  • Based on Crispy Chocolate Coconut Protein Bars by Fitnessista
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 chocolate protein powder I used Usana Chocolate Nutrimeal
  • 1/2 shredded coconut always unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips I mixed these in, but Gina melts them with coconut oil and drizzles on top

Instructions
 

  • Line a 8x8 pan with foil or parchment paper. Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Spread the mixture in the pan and pat down until the mixture fills the pan. Place in the fridge and let set for one hour. Take them out of the fridge and remove the foil or parchment paper and cut into bars. Enjoy!
  • *I also added 1/3 cup dried cranberries in one batch and it was delicious! I'm kind of considering peanut butter chips next time...

 

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