I love food. I mean I seriously LOVE food. As in my heart goes all aflutter when I know it’s time to eat. No really, it does. Be it breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack, I can’t wait to dig in. In fact, the only time I’m not ready to stuff my face is before a workout. As much as I love to eat, I don’t love the feeling of doing box jumps and burpees on a full stomach. Sadly, I have tried. But I can’t exercise on an empty stomach either or I start to fade pretty quickly. CrossFit requires energy, people!
So what’s a good pre-workout snack you ask? A banana or apple with almond butter is always a quick and simple favorite. Same goes for pre-packaged goodies like Lara Bars (Cherry Pie anyone???) and Kind Bars. However, eating the same stuff all the time can get pretty boring. Sometimes you just need to shake things up a bit. In addition to eating, I also love cooking and baking. Most notably, I love making easy-to-eat-anytime snacks. Particularly snacks with chocolate. Mmmmm chocolate…
I decided to incorporate my love of chocolate into a healthy convenient, grab-and-go pre-workout snack. I figured there had to be some good ideas online, so I checked one of my favorite cooking sites, Foodgawker, and I’m pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed. I found a few different recipes for tasty little items called “energy bites.” Healthy, yummy, convenient, and for those of you who don’t cook or bake, there’s no baking required! Just mix all the ingredients together in one bowl, roll them into balls, and voila! Yes, it’s that simple. I make a batch of these every week, pop ‘em in some Tupperware, and throw them in the fridge. I grab one or two on my way to the gym and enjoy a great little all-natural energy rush without feeling full or guilty about eating before a workout. And best of all, I get to have a bit of chocolate. Yeah!
If I haven’t already sold you on trying this recipe, let’s talk versatility. The ingredients below are just the base. You can make these little puppies with whatever additions strike your fancy. You say you like nuts? Add some chopped almonds, pistachios, or cashews. Seeds? Add sunflower seeds or chopped pumpkin seeds. You’re a dried fruit junkie? Add some chopped dried strawberries, cherries, or apricots. In a tropical mood? Go for some unsweetened shredded coconut. The sky is the limit my friends. And the best part is these babies aren’t strictly pre-workout bites. Oh no. You can enjoy them any time of day or night when you want a quick, nutritious snack. So come on CrossFitters, get your non-baking on and have some fun with this recipe!
Engery Bites Basic Recipe:
1 cup oats
1/2 – 3/4 cup nut butter (almond or peanut butter)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup honey (or agave nectar)
1 tsp pure vanilla
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks (I use chopped up Trader Joe’s 72% cacao dark chocolate bars instead of chocolate chips. Anything with 70% cacao or more is good)