Fuel for the Fire

I’m still a beginner to this fitness thing, but even I know how important it is to provide your body with the right fuel when exercising. Working out, including running, is a lot more difficult when your energy levels are not optimal. In addition to learning how to run properly, I’m also interested in learning how to eat properly during this journey. I’ve been reading up, talking to other runners, and combining that with advice from our fantastic dietitian and coaches.

I decided to take advantage of some free time this past weekend and make-ahead a bunch of yummy post-run snacks. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to eat healthy, it has to be convenient! I’m much more likely to grab a healthy snack when it’s ready to go, so advance prep is essential. And I don’t want to deprive myself (plain, bland, chalky and dry just aren’t going to cut it for me).

Thankfully Bulk Barn had a bunch of seeds, nuts and dried fruit on sale this week, not to mention shredded coconut and almond butter (sidenote: if you haven’t been to Bulk Barn, you need to go! It’s a magical place where you can buy so many interesting things…I am a huge nerd who is easily entertained, so I could spend hours there).20180311_150808

I threw together some homemade trail mix, including cashews, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and shredded coconut, all in small, individual bags so they are easily grab-able when I’m busy.

I also made these delicious energy bites, thanks to a recipe from my mom (from the cookbook “Yum and Yummer”). These have so much flavour! I have a sweet tooth, and these make me feel like I’m having dessert, but they have just a few healthy, natural ingredients, so no guilt. I’m sharing the recipe below in case you want to make some for yourself.

Energy Bites

20180311_1441442/3 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant – for gluten-free bites, use gluten-free oats)
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (if you use regular sized chocolate chips, make sure you chop them, otherwise the balls won’t hold together. Use dairy-free chips for dairy-free and/or vegan bites)
2 tbsp flax meal (ground flaxseed) or ground chia seeds
1 cup natural almond butter
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients (oats, coconut, chocolate chips and flax/chia). Mix well and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix almond butter, maple syrup and vanilla until smooth using a wooden spoon. Add dry mixture and stir until ingredients are well blended.

Using about 1 tbsp dough per bite, roll mixture into approx 20 balls using your hands. Wet hands occasionally to prevent dough from sticking. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Enjoy!

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