Well my friends, it is the end of January. And the big question is, have you stuck with your new year’s resolutions?
If you are rockin’ it and still going strong with accomplishing all those new goals, then my friends, you deserve a pat on the back. But if you are like me and haven’t been exactly on target with your resolutions, don’t let the end of January get you down! This is a great time to reevaluate your goals, maybe changing them to be more realistic, and acknowledge the things you have accomplished.
For me, my health and fitness goals included working out regularly and making better choices when it comes to food. Even though my job requires a lot of cooking and therefore taste testing of a variety of foods, I can honestly say I am enjoy these things in moderation.
The area that is more challenging, is finding the time, energy and motivation to workout. I use to love working out, but it seems like the last few years it has become more of a chore and just another thing on my never ending to do list. When the new year came I decided that working out regularly was a must, but my crazy schedule (I have had to go out of town every week since Thanksgiving) has kept me form working out the way I would like.
Now for all you workout enthusiasts, this may seem like excuses, but I like to think positively, and I’d rather use this to reevaluate my goals. For me, right now in my life, I can commit to an intense workout about two days a week. The other days, well I just squeeze in as much activity as I can. This is going on 20 minute walks with my dog at least twice a day, or parking at the back of a parking lot or taking the stairs. I would rather be active like this than not at all, so I’ll take it! And hopefully over the next few weeks I can start adding more days of exercise.
On the days that I exercise, or are just busy and on the go, a healthy, filling, yet tasty post workout or afternoon snack is essential (and if I am being honest, the post workout snack is what I look forward to most. Smile.). Most days this is a loaded green monster smoothie or a banana with almond butter, but sometimes I want more or want to change it up.
That’s when I discovered energy bites. Have you heard of them? They are quite popular and are basically bite sized homemade protein/granola bars. There are so many possible flavor combinations and depending on the recipe, are packed with all sorts of good for you, all natural and raw ingredients.
Ingredients like flax seeds, which are a good source of omega-3, protein packed nuts, whole grains and prunes, like Sunsweet Amaz!n™ Prunes, which are an excellent source of potassium, fiber and studies have even shown that prunes may promote healthy bones.
These Banana Bread Energy Bites I am sharing today are packed with all of these good for you ingredients, as well as bananas, cinnamon and pure maple syrup to give that great banana bread flavor. Grab a few of these energy bites after your morning workout or as you head out the door to run some afternoon errands and you will be good to go! I like them best served cold, as opposed to room temperature, and since they are stored in the refrigerator they will keep for up to two weeks, that is, if they last that long!
What are your go to healthy snacks?
1 cup raw walnuts or pecans
1 large ripe banana
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5-6 Sunsweet Amaz!n™ Prunes
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons flax seeds
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Place walnuts in the bowl of a large food processor. Pulse several times, just until walnuts become small pieces. Remove half of the chopped walnuts and set aside.
To the remaining walnuts in the food processor, add banana, cinnamon, prunes, vanilla and flax seeds. Blend for 3-4 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula as needed, until ingredients are finely chopped and a thick paste forms.
In a large bowl, stir together rolled oats, maple syrup, reserved chopped walnuts and blended banana mixture; stirring until well combined. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop oat mixture and shape into balls. Place formed energy bites on a waxed paper lined plate and freeze for 30 minutes. Store leftovers in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.