Vanessa Harmon, Founder V's Raw Protein Bars started making her clean products as a mom wanting a snack she could trust to feed her girls. She shares her story and her favorite Almond Chia protein ball recipe.
Describe your role in the wellness community. What are some of your philosophies, beliefs and wellness routines?
I have been in the fitness world as a personal trainer for over 12 years. I played every sport imaginable in high school. As I was approaching my senior year at USC, I decided to become a personal trainer. Working out for me is my therapy, my safe place to quietly invest in myself. I’ve always eaten clean. Growing up in Germany, junk food was not a option in my house. When you wanted a snack it was a piece of rye bread and a block of cheese. I raised my girls to eat the same way. Nutrition is 90% of what you look like on the outside and feel on the inside. Eating clean is just a way of life for me.
What inspired you to start Vs Raw Protein?
I started making my own protein bars for my girls when they were younger because I didn’t like all the processed ingredients in the store bought bars. I used all natural products and superfoods and played around until I came up with a bar my girls loved.
What do you think makes your protein bars and balls stand out from others on the market?
I have absolutely no added sugar in my products. The little bit of sweetness you taste is coming from the organic peanuts. My peanut butter is made specifically just for me. My bars have no preservatives, which is very rare in a protein bar, so they have to be kept cold or can be frozen. I use only the highest grade organic superfoods such as goji berries, spirulina, cacao, dark chocolate, chia seeds and flax.
Tell us about your journey as a "wellpreneuer" and what you have learned as you've grown your business.
My protein bars are currently sold in 42 stores nation wide. I am in all the I LOVE JUICE BARS across the nation including some smaller Juice Bars here in Nashville. This took me almost 4 years to grow with many ups and downs and I’m still learning everyday how to run this business. The great thing is I love what I do and look forward to going to my commercial kitchen everyday!
Can you share a favorite protein and superfoods packed recipe?
My favorite recipe right now (because it changes weekly) is, Almond Butter Protein Power Balls, simple and so yummy!
Almond butter (no sugar added), raw GF oats, chia seeds, flax seeds, organic cranberries, vegan white chips, bee pollen, maca
Mix all ingredients together. Let it get cold, then roll into balls and cover with unsweetened raw organic coconut. Store in the refrigerator or freeze.