I’m not a big supplement taker. One because I can’t remember to take them for longer than two weeks, two because they are usually expensive to buy high quality ones, and three because it’s hard to tell if they’re working.
There have been a few during my pregnancy that I can tell are doing their job though, so I am 100% willing to take them every day! The first one is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. I have noticed a decrease in skin outbreaks (which is saying a lot during these hormonal times) from once or twice a month to nil! I have also avoided any stomach distress like heartburn, gas and bloating that typically comes around with pregnancy too.
I add a scoop into my morning smoothie that I consume with two slices of center pork shoulder bacon (low in fat, but high in protine), greens, and a quarter of a large sweet potato. Having a large and nutrient dense breakfast that includes at least 6 different types of produce has been keeping my blood sugar levels so well regulated. I haven’t needed extra snacks or meals during pregnancy, nor have I really needed to increase my caloric intake much if at all!
The other two supplements I have found to be helpful are Natural Calm magnesium for my intense leg cramps that occur right when I lay down at night and Vital Proteins Beef Liver Capsules, which I take right before I head out the door for work to keep my energy up for an afternoon working with kiddos.
Since I’ve had so much success with collagen in my morning smoothies, I also wanted to try making my own homemade protein bars with them. I find carbohydrates right now to really satiate my appetite and keep my energy levels up, so one of these bars in between lunch and dinner or before a workout seals the deal. They also travel well outside the refrigerator even though there’s coconut oil in them. They just lose their firmness but still keep together as long as you pack them tightly with your hands when forming the bars!
Feel free to get creative with the types of dried fruit you use but make sure you use at least one “sticky” one like dates, cranberries, or plump raisins. Making these with dried mango and shredded coconut, for example, would not work because there’s not enough stickiness to keep them together.
No sugar added collagen protein bars are convenient AND good for you!
Cranberry Fig Collagen Protein Bars
- Combine the figs and cranberries in a food processor for 60 seconds until finely chopped and sticky.
- Add the peptides, coconut oil, orange zest, and sea salt and process 15 more seconds to thoroughly combine.
- Line a large cutting board with parchment paper.
- Transfer the mixture to the cutting board and shape into a rectangle about 1/3 to 1/2-inch thick with your hands.
- Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes until firm.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the rectangle in half widthwise and into quarters lengthwise to make 8 bars. Store in the refrigerator.