Fluffer Date-Nut Cranberry Oat Energy Balls

With my activity level beaming strong as the summer rays, I look forward to creating snacks that pack a punch in deliciousness and nutrition. These energy balls helped nurture my run club after our sweaty date.

As many of you know, dates are wonderful fruits. They are however often high in sugar, so I do not usually snack on them as a whole. So using them as a natural sweetener and binder in raw energy balls is a delicious option to integrate its high antioxidant properties into an invigorating boost to the end of your workout!

These energy balls remind me of my love of Rice Krispies treats as a child. Nostalgic with a nutritious adult spin. Enjoy!

 (Fit2bwell Tip: Feel free to substitute any other dried fruit or nut into this snack!  Play with this recipe for creative variations. Enjoy your food!)

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Ingredients

  • 1 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried or roasted almonds
  • 1 cup 70-80% dark chocolate pieces
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 cup dried cranberriess
  • 1 cup of Fluff
  • Cinnamon dusting

 

Directions

  1. Use food processor and blend almonds and oats until crumbly. Place in a bowl.
  2. Use food processor and blend chopped dates. If it is too thick, add a couple of teaspoons of warm water. Remove and place into another bowl.
  3. Chop dark chocolate pieces into slivers. If you are using small chips, no need to chop.
  4. Combine almonds/oats mixture with dates mixture. Use your hands and don’t be afraid to get messy
  5. Add Fluff. Don’t be afraid to get messier
  6. Add cranberries
  7. Roll into 20 equal sized balls. Place on parchment paper
  8. Let it set in fridge for 30min
  9. Dust with Cinnamon before serving.

 

Sweat Power Hour!

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Yoga off the Mat: What is free? Exploring Moksha

Summer is a time of celebration of bounty, of fun in the sun, and a season for exploring what it means to be free.  The July season holiday finds meaning in recognizing the freedom fought by our ancestors. But aside from having the Bill of Rights and the ability to call ourselves Americans, what does living free actually stand for?

Moksha, in Sanskrit, means emancipation, freedom or release. The practice of yoga teaches us to become self aware, and develop knowledge about our bodies and how our energies relate to those that surround us in our community. On the mat, we are able to play with our physical postures as we explore and tonify our breath. In Hindu tradition, Moksha is a central concept, and an aspect of what it means to be blessed with human life. This liberation, is not merely an absence of suffering, but to be at peace and find bliss amidst all storms.

Here are some tips to embody Moksha in your daily life:

a.)   De-clutter your space. Throw away, recycle, donate and just plain organize. It does not take much to physically stuff your energy

b.)   Forgive. Forget. Let go. Let it be. Bad energy can block healing and thriving. Let go what does not serve and allow kindness to forgiveness to unburden your stress.

c.)    The most important things in life are not things. Cherish people and the time that you have together. Live in now, focus on now, love now. It’s very liberating.

d.)   Take a breath in, hug it for a bit longer than usual, relax your face. Close your eyes , visualize yourself in your happy place. What do you see? Exhale all expectations. Really let yourself hear you breathe.  Then inhale the inspiration from that visualization, drop your shoulders, smile, set a focal point, and exhale again into your bliss. Breath is life. Don’t forget to breathe. Rejuvenate, invigorate, ignite your soul.

Movement of the Month: Running

Summer fun is enjoyed best outdoors. Running is a sport that not only frees your soul but also improves your health. I am thankful this year to join my run club at Lululemon Athletica Rochester to share joy outdoors with a fun run every Monday night. Community bonding through sweat dates not only brings accountability, but also nourishes socialization in an otherwise very independent sport. Here is small list of health reasons to start running!

(Fit2bWell tip: Talk with your doctor about your desire to run. Make sure that foot, knee, hip and back problems are cleared before attempting any rigorous training event to avoid injuries. Consider looking up free run clubs in your area that can motivate you to start something new. And sign up for charity race to set sights on goals that can bring a new dimension to your exercise routine.)

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1.)   Runner’s High

  • No matter how tired, a small dose of exercise can make anyone feel better. This rush of endorphins can instantly boost mood. In fact, exercise has been demonstrated  in many studies to help treat depression, and improve concentration and sleep.

2.)   Running slim

  • It is no secret that exercise burns calories during a workout. But did you know that cardiovascular exercise like running, can strengthen your muscles including your heart and lungs that will help you burn calories even when the workout has stopped. Now that is a good investment return!

3.)   Running strong

  • Running is a wonderful way to tone and strengthen all muscles. By strengthening your muscles, you can take stress off your joints. Excessive running can add stress however to joints that already have significant arthritis however. A balance of intensity, duration and frequency of running can keep you strong and pain-free! This strength extends to your heart and your lungs as well. This translates to more efficient and powerful oxygen delivery to your muscles and your brain!

4.)   Running sharp

  • Aging gracefully is a desire for all. Studies show that not only can exercise extend your life, but there are studies that demonstrate improved attention, memory, judgment and thinking (ie overall brain function). So stay sharp, get your sweat on!