DIY Watermelon Beet & Chia Energy Blocks for Marathon

This post is sponsored by The National Watermelon Board. However, all opinions, ideas and enthusiasm are completely my own.

Almost six years ago, I started experimenting with making my own edible race fuel. There weren’t as many options on the market back then, and I also liked the control I had over ingredients and flavor when making energy gels, jellies and chews from scratch – not to mention saving a ton of money. Watermelon Beet Chia Energy Blocks

Today I’m sharing my recipe for Watermelon Beet & Chia Energy Blocks that are surprisingly easy to make and take advantage of the inherent health and performance benefits of the featured ingredients. Read on to get the recipe, nutrition info and details on how you can use these chews in your next marathon, triathlon, obstacle race or other endurance event.  Continue reading

Almond Eaters Make Better Athletes + Almond Apricot Bar Recipe

Eating almonds may boost athletic endurance, or so says a recent study published the Journal of International Sports Nutrition.  Professional cyclists in the study snacked on either almonds or cookies over the course of four weeks. At the conclusion, almond eaters made the most improvements on bike time trials and researchers concluded that eating almonds helped mobilize more previously reserved carbohydrates rather than breaking down fat as an energy source during intense exercise. Just hanging out with the superheroes at Hood to Coast Relay.To put it simply, almonds are a food for superheros on the course — you may not BONK or HIT THE WALL (as quickly) is you’ve noshed on some almonds leading up to and during intense exercise like long runs, Spartan races, triathlons, ultra marathons and more. Almonds are also a great source of energy-boosting manganese and copper, minerals which minimize the damage free radicals can do to the mitochondria that power our cells and also help keep electrolyte levels in check. Salty almonds, yum!

A handful of almonds (about 23) makes a hunger-curbing, healthy snack.Whether you are a hard-core athlete or not, the nutrient profile of almonds is a natural fit for fueling healthy, active lifestyles.

A 1-ounce serving of almonds (about 23 almonds, a handful or ¼ cup) has 6g protein, 4g fiber, heart-healthy fats, and lots of vitamin E and other important nutrients – and 163 calories (much less than a candy bar).

unleash-the-crunch-power-of-almonds

Another thing I appreciate about almonds? Almonds are super portable and can go anywhere – toss a handful in a little container and stick in your purse, gym bag, backpack or race belt.

I also like to toss almonds in with fresh fruits for a carb-protein balanced pre or post workout snack.Fruit and almonds make the perfect snack

Sometimes I get “fancy” with almonds and use them in a recipe, here is one of my favorites that is perfect for on-the-go snacking!

Apricot Almond Chocolate Energy Bars

Almond Apricot Energy Bars are the perfect snack for lunch boxes or fueling runs, workouts and post-exercise recovery.

Oh, FYI, I just wanted to know that I’m now sharing my recipe on as a publisher on Yummly, visit my Yummly Page! Also, use the Yum button below (in the bar of share buttons) to save my recipes to your personal recipe box on Yummly. If you’re not familiar with Yummly, you should be — it’s a huge recipe database that not only features a digital recipe box for you to save your favorites but also recipe recommendations, shopping lists, and supporting Iphone and Android apps to help you with meal ideas on the go!

Are you an almond eater? What is your favorite nut? Who your favorite superhero? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Power Up Morning with Chocolate – Strawberry Protein ‘Donut Holes’ Recipe

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - chocolate strawberry protein donut holes

The Baked Banana Protein Donut Holes were such a hit last week that I just had to play around with another recipe. Hmm, though, what to put in them this time? Well, if you know me, you know that was a no-brainer – chocolate. Please, please give me a chocolate-induced serotonin surge to go along with my runner’s high. If it’s true that “everything’s a little better with chocolate” then these little bite-sized morsels are sure to get your neurotransmitters all a twitter. I think they make you run faster, too!

Friends who follow a gluten-free or Paleo diet get a green light on these miniature munchies; that’s because they’re made with low-carb, gluten-free coconut flour and no sugar. If you don’t have a fancy-schmancy donut hole machine, you can easily substitute mini-muffin tins in the oven. Also, if you don’t want to make strawberry puree (eg: throwing strawberries in a blender), you can use all-natural strawberry applesauce instead.

Since they’re not messy or sticky, some friends and I are planning to toss a couple batches in zip-top bag as one of our “fuel sources” for the American River 50 Mile Run out in California next month. Enjoy!

Chocolate-Strawberry Protein Donut Holes Recipe

  • 1/3 cup liquid egg white
  • 4 ounces strawberry puree (or if lazy, strawberry applesauce)
  • 1 tablespoons almond milk
  • ¼ cup protein powder (I used 3Fuel)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons Stevia sweetener

In medium bowl, mix together egg whites, strawberries and almond milk.  In another bowl, mix together all the remaining dry ingredients except the powdered sugar. Once well-combined, mix dry ingredients in to “wet” ingredients, stirring well.

Preheat donut hole maker machine and bake according to manufacturer’s instructions (the Bella maker says cook for 5 minutes but I think that’s too much). You can also bake at 350 in the oven using mini muffin tins; bake for approximately 10 minutes or until centers pull clean with a toothpick. While still warm, sprinkle with the powdered sugar. Makes 16.

Nutrition information (per 1 ball) 20 calories, 2g protein, 0.5 sat. fat, 0.0g trans fat, 5mg sodium, 2.5 g total carbs, 0.25g sugar, .75g fiber 

STUFF YOU NEED!

3Fuel is a great protein powder supplement for endurance athletes; there’s some good stuff in there and it’s backed by the latest research on nutrition for sports performance. You can save 10% on 3Fuel Nutritional Shake by using code 3FHUNT at checkout.