To everyone’s surprise (especially my own), I have been going to the gym 4-5 days a week for almost 4 weeks now. I certainly feel better, and I definitely enjoy it, so while I am not looking to squeeze into my circa 2006 skinny jeans any time soon, I am encouraged to keep going.
Of course, finding the time is another story. I leave the house for work just after 7am during the week. If I don’t have any big deadlines or any other impediments (transit delays, etc.), I can race back home for 6pm. If my dog, Hannah, has already been walked and fed (thanks, Mum) I can head straight to the gym and make it home for dinner around 7:30 or 8pm (provided Colin makes dinner while I’m out or we have leftovers in the fridge).
It’s an exercise (ha! pun) in time management. I honestly don’t know how people with kids do it all, we just have Hannah the pup and the added responsibility can be a real juggle. Mums and Dads of the world, I salute you. You’re amazing.
My first week back at work was the biggest challenge, since I was still figuring out a routine. Eat a very late lunch at work so I have energy for the gym? I could, but come 10am I’m usually starving. Eat a big breakfast and then two small lunches at 10am and 2pm? It just wasn’t giving me the energy I needed to really give’r at the gym- and if I’m going to haul myself to the gym on a weeknight, I need to make it worthwhile. I need to sweat.
The answer was simple, but one I hadn’t considered before- energy bars. Of course, I run a food blog so there is no way I was going to shill out for a bulk box of Lärabars, no matter how delicious they are. I would make my own.
A whole bar is a lot of energy, and so unless you’re running a marathon, an energy ball is the perfect portioning method. If you’re headed to the gym for an hour or two or going for a run, these are perfect. One or two balls half an hour or so before working out and you will literally feel the burst of energy! It’s uncanny, I swear.
Completely raw, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, naturally sweetened with dates- but they taste like a chocolate mint truffle! Come to think, I might just serve these as ‘healthy truffles’ at my next party. They really are delicious enough for dessert. Best of all, they come together in just a couple minutes and store well for ages.
|Raw Mint Chocolate Energy Balls|| |
- 2 cups Medjool dates
- 1 cup blanched almonds
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp peppermint oil
- ⅛-1/4 cup water (as needed)
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until the mixture becomes a paste. If your dates are a little drier, add ⅛ cup water and blend, up to ¼ cup water if needed.
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Roll date paste into balls 1½ inches in diameter and lay on wax paper, ¼ inch apart. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight, until balls are firm.
- Store in a box in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.