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Kickstarter Pre-Workout Bars


If you follow my many social media accounts, you might know how much I love coffee and caffeinated food items… So it was with great pleasure that I joined the Lavazza Passionista network for the next few months. I will be talking about and using the Lavazza brand of coffee (Italy’s #1 drip coffee) in some recipes, like this one, or just talking about coffee and how much it makes my world go round. Usually, I’m all over the French press, but this coffee came pre-ground (and very finely) so I was forced to haul out my drip machine. I then promptly broke the carafe, so we’ll see what goes on there. Today, being the first day without the carafe, I did this…worked like a charm! It’s like a cheapy Cowboy Coffee/Pour Over hybrid!


So let’s talk workouts and caffeine,  shall we? I don’t really do powdered pre-workouts anymore, mostly because 99% of them contain sucralose, which I try to steer clear of but also because they usually have creatine in them too, and I don’t find it necessary. So my usual pre-workout is a big banana about an hour and a half or so after I eat a protein and fat packed lunch, but sometimes that gets boring. Bananas aren’t my favourite and I usually just scarf it back about 5 minutes before I hit the garage because I’m not a huge banana fan. They are one of the best pre-workouts though. Why? Dr. Louise Burke, head of Sports Nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport and coauthor of The Complete Guide to Food for Sports Performance: Peak Nutrition for Your Sport says: “Bananas are loaded with digestible carbohydrates (read: fuel) and are packed with potassium, which aids in maintaining nerve and muscle function.” What about the caffeine? Among other things, caffeine accelerates fat loss, increases performance, improves focus, and decreases muscle pain.

coffee pour over

Now let’s talk macros. What are macros? Macro is short for macronutrient. Macronutrients can be defined (via Wikipedia) as “the classes of chemical compounds humans consume in the largest quantities and which provide bulk energy.” So what are the macronutrients? Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat. For the past five months I’ve been following very specific macronutrient planning. First via Eat To Perform, and then when that didn’t work out so well, via Krissy Mae Cagney, a dietician and all-around badass.

I switched up my diet big time and pretty much quit doing typical CrossFit WODs. Now before you go and get all crazy, I have not stopped CrossFit. As much as I despise CrossFit HQ and all they stand for these days, I still love the workouts. The reason we stopped CrossFit was for injury rehabbing purposes. Adrian injured his lower back and pretty much all the CrossFit movements aggravated that injury. We started by doing a six-week intense bench press program and then when that was over, we moved on to Krissy’s fantastic Hulk/She Hulk programming. I used her book, Flexible Dieting, to calculate my macros and we started our bulking phase.

I’m pretty stoked about the whole thing and my nutrition knowledge and appreciation for fitness and health has only intensified (can you imagine?!). With that in mind, I created these bars. When you are on your way to the gym (within an hour of your workout), it’s best to avoid fats because they are slow to digest and can hinder your progress in the gym. Instead, stick to starchy and quick digesting carbs and some protein if you are so inclined. For me, eating this bar about an hour before my workout provides all the carbs I need to get my squat/deadlift/press on.


Now to the Lavazza. this coffee has surprised me! Usually I find drip coffee boring and dark roasts usually taste burnt to me, so I make my cuppas with light roast (MORE caffeine!) and a French press. So far every one of the Lavazza blends has been beautiful. Not too dark, not too strong and perfectly suited to my Bullet Proof coffees in the morning as well as my afternoon cuppa and now in these delightful bars. Who knew drip could be so awesome?

Macros for the bars: Fat: 2.3g Carbs: 30g Protein: 11g

**A note on these bars. No, they are NOT PALEO. They are gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free and low fat. If you have never bought powdered peanut butter before, no worries! It is actually quite easy to find in most places at supplement stores, health food, and organic stores. You can also order it online from specific brands such as PB2. Some people have asked whether you can change the powdered peanut butter to regular nut butter, and the answer is yes. BUT, you will have to experiment with the dry ingredients and the bars will no longer be suitable for preworkout as the fat will make them harder to digest (powdered peanut butter is defatted). 

kickstarter_bars_diptych2-2One year ago: Paleo Porridge
Two years ago: High Protein Lemon Coconut Poppyseed Muffins
Three years ago: Udon Pork Noodle Bowls
Four years ago: Signature Beef Burgers

Kickstarter Pre-Workout Bars

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 19 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 12 bars

Serving Size: 1 bar

Calories per serving: 183

Fat per serving: 2.3g

Homemade preworkout bars using REAL FOOD! My Kickstarter Pre-Workout Bars contain carbs, protein and caffeine and very little fat. Eat UP!


  • 2/3 cup Vanilla protein powder
  • 3/4 cup sweet rice flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 2 tbsp finely ground coffee
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pitted medjool dates, about 10-12 dates
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered peanut butter (like PB2)
  • 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk


  1. Line an 8" x 8" pan with wax paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the protein powder, rice flour, oat flour, coffee, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a food processor or blender, process the dates, maple syrup, vanilla extract, powdered peanut butter and 1/4 cup of almond milk, scraping down the sides as needed.
  4. Scrape the date mixture into the dry ingredients and mash together with a fork until almost blended. Begin adding the remaining almond milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is sticky but not overly wet.
  5. Pat the dough into the lined pan until even and flat, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Cut into bars and keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Macros per bar

Fat: 2.3g Carbs: 30g Protein: 11g


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