Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Protein Balls, aka, Energy Lifesavers

About a month ago, I got a little group together for an afternoon fitness class. It's our Fitness Friday workout for the week where my friend, Sheri, teaches us a RIPPED class. I wrote about her classes here on Traveling Tights (One of these days I'll explain about that little ol' sight.).

Anyway, I really liked the class. It was high energy, lots of cardio and strengthening, and choreographically fun. I get bored just walking or running, okay? I'm not the first to admit it. The only problem is that I was having a hard time being consistent in going--school, work, life kept getting in the way of her classes. Back in January Sheri offered to teach a class up at school. All I had to do was get a few people together.

Honestly, I didn't know if I would be able to do it. I needed to find the right time and day that people would be able to and then here's the big challenge, find people who actually wanted to do it. Lucky for me, I found about four people interested and so far we've been able to do a couple weeks worth of classes. Awesome, right?! We took some time off for our annual Spring Show. We'll be back up and running after spring break and I cannot wait to get back to it. It's the type of work out where I sweat a lot and feel like I'm going full tilt.

In any case, Sheri has been such a wonderful person to reconnect with. See, Sheri was a dancer just a couple years behind me in school. I always liked Sheri but we never spent a lot of time together. This little Fit Friday group is changing that. In fact, she's one of the catalysts for revamping my life to feel more balanced (Which I'm betting she didn't know!).

Sheri taught me this great trick for lunches during the week--I'll share that later on this week. She also taught me about these glorious little nuggets of goodness called Protein Balls. I think of them as Energy Lifesavers because that's what they've become for me!

All these little babies are is nut butter, honey, flaxseed, oatmeal, coconut, chocolate chips, and a hint of vanilla. I use the recipe from here--of course I found it on Pinterest. There are a ton of other recipes out there, this is just a simple one I knew I had all the ingredients for.

Basically you mix it all together, refrigerate for about an hour, and then smoosh them into balls. You want to make sure you really mix the ingredients well or else you have a lot of leftover crumblies at the end.

It makes about 26 little balls so I keep them in an airtight container and use as needed. And they will be needed.

I just put a mini fridge into my office and stocked it with a few things including a these suckers. When I get a little run down, I'll pop one of these for a little something. It's better than sweets or a soda. Technically people will eat these after a workout so I figure after teaching a few dance classes, it's totally the same thing. Sometimes theres not enough time to eat lunch right on time because I'll have a meeting that lasts an extra hour or two. I'll grab one of these just before so I have something to fuel me.

Just in the last week I've handed these out to those who need it. A colleague in my hallway was dragging her wagon and said she needed something so I popped open my container--she loved them! They taste like No Bake Cookies! I had another meeting with a different professor and she was dropping pretty quickly. She needed some lunch but we had one more meeting with a student. I handed her a ball and in just a few minutes I could tell she was feeling a little bit better, a light came back in her face.

This is the best of the stories yet. As an academic advisor, I communicate with students and sometimes parents. Well, I had a lovely meeting with a family on Friday and the poor dad needed something to raise his blood sugar. I felt bad saying we didn't have any vending machines, but I reached for the door of my fridge saying, "But I have these little protein balls..." He ate the last two and asked for the recipe on the spot. He loved them! Even said the next time they were in town, he hoped I had more in the fridge!

Maybe it's the little hostess in me, I just love being able to provide something for people I know will work. Ever since Sheri told me about protein balls, I've been enthralled with them. You don't need a lot, one or two in a sitting. They last a long time and they're really simple to make. You should try whipping up a batch and see if they work for you.

What's your favorite nut butter? 

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