I am really into spinning classes lately. I am about three years late on this trend (quite understandably since I would like to assume I am someone who does not like to follow them) but I wish I had gotten into it earlier. I have blogged and bragged numerously about my love for exercise and sports, whether it was running, boxing, high intensity interval training, strength training, outdoor cycling, Pilates, and pretty much anything else I find momentum in. And now its spinning. My fiancé has been raving about spinning classes and though I believed him, my gym did not offer them. And then one day at work I searched online and found a ‘Wheel House’ that offered nothing but intense spinning classes. I mean, this place looked like it housed a community of spinners with their silly-but practical- shoes and all. I tried one class and I was hooked. I’ve done about 7 classes so far. And I am going to one right after this.
Changing it up is so crucial because I enjoy working out: spring, summer, fall, and winter.
But, I also enjoy eating, a lot. I would say my love for eating and for exercising is about 50/50: the glass is always half full and half empty for me. A premise to the paradox I have yet to find the solution to.
Aside from all carbohydrates guilty pleasures, I also thoroughly enjoy healthy foods. In fact, every recipe I have blogged- for the last three years until now – has been calorie-reduced and altered in one way or another to fit a mindful and healthier lifestyle. I am always eager to find ways of reducing the calorie count on recipes without burdening the taste. A task I am only successful at about 30 percent of the time: the rest of the time? I am sneaking bites of my mother’s baked good in which she used real butter for. The truth is, butter in desserts tastes good. It just does. I can’t even convince myself otherwise.
However, I am certain that the healthy recipes I have blogged (the 30%) are recipes that actually taste good. These are the ones I would love to recreate one day, and occasionally I actually do; narcissism aside.
What about the other 70%? that’s where it gets tricky. How does one enjoy delicious food and yet maintain a healthy body, and lead an active lifestyle? If I knew the answer to that, I would be rich. And because I would be rich, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this. I would be out enjoying good food and looking decent at it.
I think it’s a lot of trial and error. Achieving balance is almost like winning the lottery of life. It is one of the most difficult things to attain. And because it is difficult for me to wrap my head around the 20/80 rule, I need to find other ways into seducing my brain into thinking differently about this. One thing is working: or at least I hope it is. It’s a quote that repeats itself in my head: “you can’t out-train a bad diet”. I heard that while I was at the gym. From a cereal commercial on the tilted TV above the treadmill machines. It never sunk through until the addition of my gym visits was multiplied by all the times that commercial came on. Then, every time I exercised and went home and ate decent but not great, I would remember that. It’s really good advice if you think about it. Think about it…no matter how great of a workout I might get in, counting steps and all, a small snack-sized potato chip bag has the power of eliminating that workout in about 5 minutes. A donut? 2 minutes.
I read a meme the other day that said: I refuse to get ordered around by a cookie. Sigh.
So, this is all to say that eating healthy and exercising and maintaining it is an uphill battle for most of us.
Sometimes it takes years of figuring out what works until you come across a silly cereal commercial.
I came across this article titled: 28 post-workout energy bar recipes, on Pinterest. I was searching for protein bar recipes to take to my gym classes (post-workout). I had already the night before tried an energy ball recipe and miserably failed. So, I decided to go ahead and bake 3/28 of these recipes…because in all honesty, they all looked promising. And, well, two of the three recipes were delicious!! So delicious that I am already planning on making them again, very good. The third recipe? Well that will go in the pile of the 70%. But, most importantly, I think they disguise well for any holiday baking marathon. These look and taste good, and I don’t think friends or family will know that these are really meant to be packed in a gym bag!
Two Post-workout Energy Bars & Protein Truffles
Recipe #1: Vegan Protein Truffles
Serving: makes about 15 small balls
Total time: 10 minutes
- 1 cup quick cooking oats
- 1/2 cup flaxseed
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup coconut
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces
- Combine all of the ingredients together.
- Refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Roll into bite sized balls and dip in your favourite flavour: cocoa, shredded coconut, or even matcha!
Lessons Learned: I love the simplicity and efficiency of this recipe. But most of all, it’s truly delicious! I mean, super delicious. I am even doubting it’s healthy-ness. A little. The only thing I used is raw honey here. Does that make a difference? Also, I didn’t have pecan pieces so I pretty much added almonds instead.
Recipe from: http://seevanessacraft.com/2012/09/buff-mama-monday-peanut-butter-protein-balls/
Recipe #2: The Ultimate Post-workout Bar
Serving: makes about 9 small bars
Total time: 15 minutes (chill for about 30 minutes)
- 1 1/2 cup rice puff cereal
- 1/2 cup unsalted almonds
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- 1/3 cup dried figs, chopped
- 1/3 cup dried mulberries, chopped
- 1/3 cup dried apricot, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Chia seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
- 1/4 cup unsalted almond butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar – Optional
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Line an 8X8-baking pan with aluminum foil leaving a couple inches overhanging on the sides.
- Mix puff cereal, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, figs, mulberries, apricots, Chia seeds, and coconut flakes in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk brown rice syrup, almond butter, and sugar (if using) in a small saucepan. Stirring constantly, heat it over medium heat for 2 minutes. It will be a very smooth mixture.
- Pour the hot mixture over the nuts and fruits mixture. Stir it until all nuts and fruits are coated with the liquid mixture.
- Transfer them into the lined pan. Spread them evenly. Press it using the back of a ramekin (or back of a spatula).
- Place it in the fridge for 30 minutes, or more.
- Using the overhanging foil, take the block of granola out of the pan and place it on a cutting board. Cut it into smaller pieces.
- Individually wrap them in wax or parchment paper and keep them in an airtight container.
Lessons Learned: THIS IS THE BEST RECIPE, HEALTHY OR NOT. I absolutely loveeeed this. Again, given how delicious it was, I seriously doubt it is a ‘post workout’ snack, but it is! I didn’t have some items in this recipe, like: puff cereal, pistachios, figs, mulberries, apricots, and chia seeds. Yeah, so about most of it. But I did improvise. I added a trial mix of things I had, including sunflower seeds and some vanilla oats. I also did not have rice syrup or almond butter, but I added raw honey instead. Wow, come to think of it, I pretty much did my own thing. But it was honestly delicious. Delicious enough to save it all for my cheat day…which is coming up, tomorrow 🙂