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Cookbook Review, Interview, and Giveaway: Smart Snacking for Sports by Michelle Vodrazka

Smart Snacking for Sports

I am so excited to share with you this post! It’s just jammed packed with goodies: a recipe, a 50% off coupon code, a cookbook giveaway, and an interview!

My fellow classmate, Michelle Vodrazka at The Institute of Transformational Nutrition has written an awesome e-cookbook called “Smart Snacking for Sports.

It’s an awesome cookbook that fulfill the needs of elite and amateur athletes to prepare easy and simple real food snacks, so that they can perform well.

One of my favorite snacks from the cookbook was the Cheesy Kale Chips.

Those who are dairy-free can appreciate and might love nutritional yeast even more. It is a great source of protein, and super cheesy and tasty :)

You just pop these suckers into the oven and just forget about them for 25 minutes until it is time to take them out.

Once you dig in, you can’t image having kale chips without them being cheesy and oh so yummy.

Cheesy Kale Chips

Photo Credit: Marianne Rothbauer. Shared with Permission by Michelle Vodrazka.


A little bit about Michelle. She is the owner of both Inspired Bodies and Mommefit — a pre- and post-natal fitness company.Michelle is a certified fitness, yoga, pilates, and spinning instructor, a certified sports nutritionist, and a freaking gorgeous athlete who is a proud mom of four children!

Michelle Vodrazka

She is definitely someone you want to pick their brain. So, I did in this interview about Smart Snacking for Sports :)

Jenny:  Michelle, first off let me start off by saying congrats on publishing your first cookbook, which is by the way totally awesome and beautifully done!

What I love about Smart Snacking for Sports is that it empowers us to step away from just buying a protein bar from the store and to go back to the kitchen to create a wide range of delicious pre- and post-workout smarter snacks.

I must admit, it can be hard to resist hitting that easy button and just picking up a protein bar from the store.

Can you explain to us why it is not ideal to buy ready-made snacks and the kind of stuff they really put in it?

Michelle:  I am going to be honest with you Jenny – I never used to think twice about buying a protein bar in the grocery store or gas station. I thought, ‘hey, bodybuilders and athletes eat these, and they look great and perform at such high levels, so they must be healthy.’

I didn’t know how little most people, even athletes, really knew about nutrition. I also (naively) didn’t believe that our government would allow companies to sell us food that was potentially harmful to our health, but I soon realized that this was just not true.

All you need to do is read the ingredients list on the back of your favorite protein bar and then google the ingredients!

I was shocked at the crap that we consider to be food nowadays! Some protein bars have over 60 ingredients in one bar! 60! Can you believe that? You can make your own homebars with just 4 simple ingredients.

Some of the scarier ingredients in protein bars include artificial sweeters, high fructose corn syrup, highly inflammatory and hydrogenated fats, sugar alcohols, various genetically modified soy products like soy protein isolate and soy lecithin, MSG disguised as textured vegetable protein or hydrolyzed vegetable protein, not to mention all the artificial flavors, additives and preservatives.

Jenny:  Yes, so true and scary what food companies are doing to our food these days. Hence why I am so happy that you are helping us to get back into the kitchen and revalue cooking again.

What I love about Smart Snacking for Sports is that the recipes are easy and straight-forward. A lot of the recipes in Smart Snacking for Sports use a food processor to make it quick and easy.

Okay, confession time. I don’t own a food processor!  I’m sure there are other folks like me out there, can I still make your recipes?  How about any tips, suggestions, and/or alternatives?

Michelle:  Good question Jenny! I have my own confession to make – I use my food processor, like, 95% of the time!

I know it’s tough to make a decision to invest in a food processor, but let me tell you, with four kids and minimal time, my food processor has been a huge time – and LIFE -SAVER!

Without it, I don’t know if I would have the time to make everything from scratch. You can use your food processor to mix, chop, grate, slice, knead, and mix, saving you from doing all that work by hand.

If you are serious about ensuring that your family has top quality, nutrient dense, health promoting and delicious homemade food, investing in a food processor is key. 

Jenny:  Great to know! I can’t believe I have been holding out on buying one. Sounds like a food processor does make life in the kitchen so much easier and is a great investment.

Do you have any recommendations for those who are planning to purchase one?

Michelle:  Absolutely! I love my KitchenAid 7 cup food processor, which I bought for around $150 dollars at Costco.

So, the investment is not huge, especially considering it can last you 10 years. I also hear that Cuisinart food Processors are a great buy, but I haven’t tried one out myself.

Jenny:  Great, thanks for the suggestions!

Smart Snacking for Sports has 40 unique recipes with the following categories: Best Breakfasts, Anytime Snacks, Energy and Recovery Drinks, Post Workout Snacks, and the Finale (which is the raw strawberry mini cheesecakes – so so good!).

I noticed there was no category for pre-workout snacks. Why is that? Is it because pretty much any of the snacks will work, including the raw strawberry mini cheesecakes *wink wink *?

Michelle:  Lol! I didn’t include a pre-workout category because many of the breakfasts as well as the anytime snacks would work as pre-workout snacks and really, what you eat pre-workout would really depend on your goals, the activity and the length of time you will be exercising.

Sorry to disappoint you Jenny, but I would generally not recommend the mini cheesecakes pre-workout because they are high in healthy fats and sometimes that can cause slower digestion and could interfere with your performance. 

Pre-workout I generally recommend eating a protein/carb combination in a ration of 1:3, which is lower in fat and fiber, so that there is no chance of gastric distress.

Jenny: Haha, gotcha Michelle. Good to know. I’ll behave with the raw strawberry mini cheesecakes :)

Another question–in Smart Snacking for Sports, you recommend post exercise to refuel, repair and rehydrate. So, does that mean to have an Energy and Recovery Drink AND a Post Workout Snack?

Michelle:  It could! Again, here it would depend on the length and intensity of your workout.

If you worked out longer than an hour then yes, a recovery drink, followed shortly by a post workout snack, or even a full meal, would be appropriate to assist the body with proper rehydration and recovery and repair. 

Jenny: Good to hear because those Energy and Recovery Drinks are super delicious and wouldn’t mind getting some of those in!

Okay, before I end this interview, I must ask what are some of your favorites in the Smart Snacking for Sports? And since it is family-friendly cookbook, can you also share what are your kid’s and husband’s favorites in the Smart Snacking for Sports?

Michelle:  Sure! No one has asked me that yet.

My favorite recipe to eat on a regular basis is the Cilantro Chickpea Hummus. My favorite occasional treat are the Raw Protein Truffles.

My kid’s favorites are the Chocolate Chickpeas and Sophie’s Super Energy Balls, which isn’t even my recipe, lol!

My husband loves the Chocolate Chunk Granola.

Jenny: Oh man, I did whip up the cilantro chickpea hummus and it was super delicious. I can’t even image hummus without cilantro now. I’m looking forward to trying them all out!

Also, I have great news for my readers!

One, we are giving away ONE free copy of Smart Snacking for Sports to one lucky winner, which you can enter into the drawing below.


Second, Michelle has offered Smart Snacking for Sports at 50% off the retail price through September 30th with coupon code “jennycleary” since you’ll are a part of my awesome audience.

Don’t you just love friends who hook it up? Thanks so much Michelle!

Also, another thing I love about Michelle is that she is always coming up with amazing recipes and FREE ones too! For those readers who are looking for even MORE recipes and want to follow you, where should they go Michelle?

Michelle:  Sure! I create at least one or two new recipes each week and I share them with readers in my free bi-weekly newsletter, which you can sign up for on my site

Thanks for the great interview Jenny, it was great chatting with you.

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2 comments… add one
  • Georgina Collins September 16, 2014, 11:44 pm

    What a great interview! The kale chips look amazing!

    • jenny September 25, 2014, 12:56 am

      Glad you enjoyed it Georgina! Let us know what you think of the kale chips and good luck on the giveaway!


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