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No-Bake Energy Bites

Lately my life has been pretty crazy, so I find myself eating on the go all the time. However, I won’t take my busy lifestyle as an excuse to eat junk. As a result, I’ve altered a no-bake energy bite recipe from another blog to fit my personal taste. Don’t worry if you’re not exactly a culinary expert, as assembling these scrumptious snacks is extremely easy!

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Start by mixing all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl with a spatula or spoon. When everything is well combined, let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to make the assembly easier.

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Once the mixture is chilled, take a small handful and begin shaping it into a ball.(Don’t be afraid to get a little sticky!)

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Keep rolling until the “batter” is gone–there will probably be about 20-25. The bites can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. I prefer having them frozen, but they will be just fine in the fridge if you want them softer.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup ground flax seed

1 Tbs. chia seeds

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. natural peanut butter

1 1/2 tbsp. raw honey

2 tbsp. pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips

2 tbsp. raisins or other dried fruit

Steps:

  1. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.
  2. Let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to make rolling them a little easier.
  3. Once they are chilled, roll them into balls about an inch in diameter.
  4. Store them in the refrigerator or the freezer depending on if you want them soft and chewy or more firm.

 

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The Ideal Salad

Is your go-to salad bogged down with thick ranch, fatty bacon bits, and unnaturally orange croutons? Or maybe you’re just tired of the same old boring salad. Whatever your dilemma may be, I have just the solution!

Each salad begins with a base. It could be romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, or a mix of greens. Try to avoid iceberg lettuce when possible though–it has very few nutrients.

The next layer consists of any seasonal veggies you have on hand. Some of my favourites are cherry tomatoes, sweet pepper slices, and cucumber. I use whatever I have in the fridge or the garden, so no salad is exactly the same.

After all the vegetables–or technically fruits– comes protein. Typically, I use tuna and garbanzo beans, but grilled chicken breast is also scrumptious! If you’re not allergic, you could even add some hard boiled egg slices or nuts.

Now it’s time for fruit. Fresh berries are my top choice, but sliced apple or pear works well too. When buying produce, it’s important to go with organic and locally sourced items. However, that can be expensive, especially in the winter months. If organic, local produce isn’t plausible for you, that’s okay–it’s better to have an inorganic apple from 700 miles away than no apple at all.

To top off my salad, I sprinkle some crumbled feta cheese on top. (Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Herb is my favourite!) It adds one more boost of protein with a little pizazz. For dressing, I use olive oil and balsamic vinegar. They come in lots of flavours too, so you’ll never run out of healthy options. For instance, olive oil can be infused with garlic, basil, or blood orange and balsamic vinegar comes in maple, tangerine, Neapolitan herb, and cranberry pear.

By using this formula, you can incorporate all the food groups into one delicious, on-the-go meal. These salads not only taste better than what you would find at the average salad bar, but they are packed with fresh nutrients leaving you feeling satisfied all day. If you’re looking for a salad that’s slightly more exotic than the standard green salad, try this sweet potato quinoa salad or this avocado, garbanzo, and feta salad.

 

Clean Eating

Clean eating isn’t just a health kick or a random phase. It’s a lifestyle. It doesn’t happen overnight either. I first started  “clean eating” about a year or two ago. Since I’ve lived with food allergies my entire life, I’ve always had to read labels. It wasn’t until recently though that I realized I had no idea what the majority of the ingredients in my food actually were!

I started out slowly by trying to eliminate high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, palm oil, foods with more than 15 ingredients, and anything deep fried. I did my best, but I made exceptions all the time. Gradually, I started adding more “rules” and got better at following them. I still make exceptions and have off days, but I do the best I can and try to make improvements to my lifestyle each and every day. Below is a list of what I personally deem unclean and clean.

Unclean:

  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Palm oil (environmental reasons)
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Fried foods
  • Artificial colours and flavours
  • Preservatives
  • Cellulose
  • Food with more than 10-15 ingredients
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Soda
  • Juice

Clean:

  • Fruits and veggies
  • Lean meats
  • Real cheese
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Fish
  • Greek yogurt
  • Low fat/ skim milk
  • Hummus
  • Seeds
  • Dark chocolate
  • Homemade goodies from scratch 🙂

Eggs, tree nuts, and shellfish are also clean and nutritious, but I leave them off my list due to my allergies. I also want to note that these lists are just suggestions of what I try to adhere to. (I certainly don’t do it perfectly.) Hopefully you find these guidelines helpful!

 

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