Monthly Archives: June 2015
Confession: I eat and love packaged protein bars way too much. The nuttier, chunkier, chocolate-ier, the better. Mint Chocolate Quest Bars are my crack.
My favorite aisle in the Sprout’s store is the ‘nutrition bar aisle’ because SO MANY new brands and flavors of protein bars have popped up in the last couple of years. Anytime I see a new brand or flavor, I just have to try it. Luna, Clif, Quest, Kind, Larabar, Pure Protein, Raw Revolution, Nugo, Balance, Kashi – you get the picture.
Anywayyyys, my dependency on packaged bars to supply my protein and energy (or just satisfy my sweet tooth) sort of contradicts my goal to create a more ‘natural’ diet. I’ve been experimenting with lots of colorful and nutrient-packed Clean-Eating recipes over the past couple of years, and these power balls are my new clean alternative to the delicious-but-processed bar aisle!
On Thursday, I left you with a little throwback post of my mom’s Power Balls recipe. As promised, I recreated the recipe this weekend with some modifications to lighten the calories and fat content. Even clean recipes can be unbelievably high in calories, because nutrient-dense ingredients tend to be calorie packed. For example, chia seeds pack 60 calories per tablespoon, medjool dates 120 calories for 6 dates, and nut butters around 200 calories for 2 tablespoons. Though quality trumps quantity when it comes to fueling our body, I use bars and protein bites as snacks or pre-workout fuel so I would like to cut out some calories and fat where possible.
Substitute 1 Cup Powdered Peanut Butter (2/3 cup powder + 1/3 cup water) for 1 cup regular nut butter
*The process of dehydrating the nuts removes 75% of the fat content, leaving a 2 Tablespoon serving with 55 calories.
Substitute 1/2 cup of food-processed medjool dates + 1/4 cup agave for the honey as a sweetener.
Add 2 Tablespoons Chia seeds.
Remove 1/2 cup ground flax seeds (I don’t care for the stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth texture).
Optional: Add 1/2 cup protein powder of choice
Find your favorite mix-ins.
I used some clean, some not-so-clean mix-ins. This batch was broken up into 3 flavors: Chocolate Cherry Chunk, Pecan Chocolate Chip, and Coconut Pineapple. The chocolate chips aren’t considered clean and could be removed or replaced with cacao nibs if you want to be really strict about it. The possibilities for mix-ins are endless! Cocoa powder…goji berries…get creative!
Homemade Energy Bites:
- 2/3 powdered peanut butter (I used PBFit) mixed with 1/3 cup water
- 10 medjool dates, ground in a food processor to make date paste
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups rolled outs
- 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
- 2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
- 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
- Mix-ins of choice: mini chocolate chips, pecan pieces, dried cherries, coconut flakes, protein powder, etc.
1.) There really aren’t any “directions”…..mix all above ingredients, roll into 1-inch balls, and store in the fridge or freezer! :)
Ready for the week:
Happy #Throwback Thursday :)
I’m bringing back up this nutrient-dense little recipe because I’m ready to make another batch this weekend! I have never tried a batch with powdered peanut butter replacing regular peanut butter so I think we’ll be doing some experimenting in the kitchen this weekend after my long run.
Update on the group fitness classes from Tuesday…LOVE the Body Works + Abs class on Tuesday nights & I’ll definitely go back. (The yoga class on the other hand was not life-changing.)
Kelly’s Famous Energy Bites
Originally posted on August 14, 2014
Kelly (AKA my mom…) whips this recipe up at least once a month now, and I asked her for the measurements so I could share with you! They are so versatile, you really just need a rough guide to start with. Then let you’re creativity take over. (My favorite version includes dried tart cherries and dried apricots, though she has made some butterscotch chip balls that are melt-in-yo-mouth drool-worthy).
There’s nothing too earth-shattering in these. They are simple to throw together and they require no baking (AKA you can make them in your dorm room!) But they are such a hit! Everyone we share them with asks for the recipe to make their own.
(Makes 40-ish bites)
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup dried fruit
- 1/3 cup crushed pecans
- 2 tsp vanilla
Combine ingredients and roll onto parchment paper in 1″ balls. Pop them into the freezer and try not to eat the whole batch in one day.
I’m dying to recreate these on my own pretty soon, using pumpkin to replace some of the peanut butter, and smashed banana to replace some of the honey. I’m thinking they’d be pretty great with some crushed pistachios or even a little bit of toasted coconut.
OH THE POSSIBILITES :)
It has the texture of raw cookie dough. Probably the reason why it’s so dang delicious. It feels wrong ;)
And now I’ve shared TWO dessert-y recipes in a row, so I guess we’re due for a little fitness post next, huh?
Good morning! Coming off of Father’s Day weekend and a week vacation from the office, it’s good to be back to routine. And back to morning workouts! Typically I have to take off a minimum of one week from physical activity after each bleomycin treatment, which is almost the hardest part…ha! I’ve reunited with the treadmill and all is right in my world.
Which brings me to my topic of conversation today:
Adding in nighttime “Group Fitness” classes this week instead of lounging on the couch.
Long-time readers know that I’m not naturally inclined to make time for yoga and meditation. Child’s pose makes me giggle. Vinyasa makes me antsy. Not wearing shoes freaks me out.
But every 10 months or so, I decide to give it a try again because I know the incredible benefits that yoga practice can have on the body and overall fitness.
Being “fit” encompasses a well-rounded mastery of elements including strength, speed, stamina, and flexibility. Beyond that, overal “health” involves mental and emotional health, physical fitness, and nutritional balance. Even top-tier athletes have some element of total fitness that they struggle with. For me, running and endurance exercises come easily. Speed has always been a little more challenging. I’d rather run 10 easy-paced miles than 1 fast one. But in order to be well-rounded, we have to get way out of that comfort zone and work on those areas need a little extra attention.
During my senior year, I grew out of the habit of watching TV at night, and honestly there’s nothing particularly interesting on during these summer months anyways. (Except I am curious to watch ‘The Astronaut Wives Club’ for the outfits and updos alone!) This week, I am swapping reality TV for group fitness classes at my LA Fitness.
- Monday: Yoga
- Tuesday: BodyWorks Plus Abs
- Wednesday: Mat Pilates
- Thursday: Yoga
- Friday: hahaha just kidding, I’m not doing yoga on a Friday night.
This four-nights-a-week schedule definitely won’t become my “usual”, but I thought this would be a good sampler week to find which classes and teachers I like. I’m trying these classes in addition to my regular running and HIIT routine during the week. A little extra stretching and strength work can’t hurt. My only dilemma is…. when/what to eat for dinners…the classes are from 8pm-9pm, and I don’t want to eat a full meal before-hand. Anyone else have suggestions for fueling late-night workouts?
Sunday was the longest day of the year and the first Sunday of the summer without my normal LONG RUN. But I guess that’s the theme of the week: break out of the normal. :)
Questions of the Day: Are you a group fitness person? Which classes are the best/worst?
When I first joined the gym in high school, I didn’t know what exactly an Aqua-Aerobics class entailed. About 8-10 elderly people with swim caps greeted a 16-year-old me in a neon bikini. We lightly bounced around the shallow end for 45 minutes. I’ve never returned.
XOXO NAMASTE ;)