What do you know, another Monday.
But this Monday is special, for lots of reasons, not the least of which are that I’m on spring break and my second-ever 50K is on Saturday. It’s also the start of the last full week of my first year of blogging, seeing as I started this blog on March 23rd of last year.
See, told you it was special. Even more exciting, and less me-centric, is the news that my sister, Christine, ran her first 5K yesterday! Here she is about a quarter-mile from the finish line, on her way to breaking 30 minutes with a time of 29:46.
Judging by the sea of green around Christine, St. Patrick’s Day races are the one time it’s okay to be “that guy” who wears the race shirt to the actual race. Still, being a No Meat Athlete is far cooler. And a shout out to my friends at Charm City Run Bel Air who helped put on the race!
Thrive Fitness raw bar and grill
Okay, no grill. Just bar. But how could I resist?
This bar is another raw wonder from Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Fitness. I recently polished off my batch of Carob Strawberry Chia Energy Bars, so this time I went with a different one, the magic ingredient that sucked me in being jalapeno pepper. (When Erin and I first discovered Brendan’s recipe for a raw mango smoothie with jalapeno, we became more or less infatuated by it, essentially subsisting on mango-jalapeno smoothies alone for about a month. I don’t rule out that this may have led to the conception of our baby.)
Again, the bars are loaded with superfoods and the right kinds of sugars for endurance training. Dates, banana, salba (white chia), carob or cacao, macadamia nuts, and more. The recipe calls for buckwheat, and this time I went ahead and sprouted it rather than using buckwheat flour.
Here’s some buckwheat before sprouting:
And after, the starch having been converted to easy-digesting sugars and protein to amino acids:
All the cool kids are sprouting now. Are you?
Just like last time, my biggest complaint is that the bars aren’t firm enough to bring on a run; they’re soft and sticky when unfrozen. (I’m guessing this is a common problem with raw bars.) Not a huge deal though, since they’re good frozen and can be eaten that way before or after a workout.
Here’s the recipe, printed with Brendan’s permission. Thanks, Brendan!
Spicy Carob Banana Energy Bars
(from Thrive Fitness)
- 3/4 cup Medjool dates
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper
- 1 small banana
- 1/2 cup sprouted buckwheat (or substitute cooked)
- 1/4 cup raw carob powder (or substitute raw cacao nibs or roasted carob powder)
- 1/4 cup salba
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
- Sea salt to taste
- 2 tbsp unhulled sesame seeds
Process everything except sesame seeds in a food processor. Once you have cut the bars, sprinkle them with the sesame seeds.
Just like last time, I put the mixture directly from the food processor into a pan lined with parchment paper, where I shaped it into a brick and then froze it before cutting.
These bars actually taste really good. They’re sweet and have a little kick from the jalapeno, and they have a nice crunch from the macadamia nuts and the cacao nibs I used. Give ’em a try and let me know what you think!
Non-bloggers, you are dismissed. Health bloggers, keep reading for…
A little cross-promotion
I haven’t mentioned it here in a while, but I’ve made a lot of changes to my other blog, Health Blog Helper. I’ve put a lot of time recently into making the site look nice and adding lots valuable content to share all the info I’m constantly learning about how we can make our health blogs better. Plus, I put together a new, free email course you can sign up for! Please check it out if you haven’t been there in a while.
The Kickstart Plan includes:
- A 7-day meal plan, built around the foods worth eating every single day
- 14 of our favorite recipes that pack in the nutrition, taste great, and are easy to make
- Focused on simplicity and speed, to minimize stress and time commitment