Friday, November 1, 2013

News Flash--Real snacks made from actual food!

No, this isn't a headline from the Onion.  It's the November blog post from Charles River Running.  This month we a featuring a nice article from health coach and yoga instructor  Lauren Leonard.  We love her!!  Why, well for many reasons, but this month we love her because she is so happy to share with us her awesome, healthy and great tasting recipes.  Lauren brought a sample of these goodies to an in-store event last month and I was hooked!  I brought the recipe home to my teen daughter who has a wicked sweet tooth but also is very motivated to continue eating a healthy, vegetarian diet.  We made the LaraBar  recipe together and enjoyed these snacks after school, before working out or just when we needed to satisfy a sweet craving.  Energy from whole, non processed foods---yes!

Homemade Energy Bars Perfect for those Running on Empty

In order for athletes to perform at their best, it is critical to fuel the body properly. Unfortunately, the world of sports nutrition has become as confounded as other areas in this field. With conflicting research and advice coming out every day, people are left confused by food’s important role in their exercise or sports regimes. My hope is to help start unraveling this mystery for you, one step at time, starting with the pre-exercise, pre-run meal.

If you want to get the most out of each training session, run, game, etc. you must have fuel in the tank. Think about it…you’d never leave your driveway for a trip without filling the gas tank, right? So why do you set off to workout in the same state?

For optimum performance and energy, you should try and eat 200-300 calories 2-3 hours before any workout. This habit is most difficult to implement for those who exercise first thing in the morning due to time constraints. However, morning exercisers have been fasting all night, thus have depleted energy stores and are more likely to drag through a workout. Simply by adding milk into your coffee, or grabbing a piece of banana, you will immediately benefit from added energy, so that you feel better, and get more out of that 5:45am boot camp class!!!! 

Lucky for us, marketers have come up with the perfect solution for the pre-run meal – energy bars! Not coincidentally these bars offer the right amount of calories that not only taste like dessert but also offer you the necessary energy needed to make your workout worthwhile. But let’s face it; prepackaged energy bars are both expensive and well…processed. Instead, why not try making your own energy bars with some of these “copycat” recipes!? It is fun and easy. All you need is a food processor. And I can guarantee both your wallet, and body will be happy you did!!!

Note: I prefer to convert these bars into energy balls that are bite size. Just pop one or two into your mouth before a workout, during a long run, or stash for a snack.

Girl Scout Cookie (Nut Free)

Kind Bars

Cliff Bars

For more energy bar recipes and other foods to fuel your workouts, go to the Lauren Leonard Health Recipe Box. And check out her Facebook posts at Lauren Leonard Health.