So for the next few days you'll have my random thoughts on running instead. Let me introduce myself, I'm Katie, Sarah's biggest sister and I live in Cardiff.
Confession; I'm much more of a 'brisk walker' than a runner, particularly when you compare me with Sarah's marathon efforts. But I do love a gentle plod around the park and it was actually me who got Sarah running in the first place.
|Yummy homemade energy balls- the prefect pre-run snack|
So what have I decided to write my first post on? Balls of course! By that I mean energy balls. If you're a runner you've probably tried energy balls, or at least heard of them, but if not, let me explain. Energy balls are basically little snacks made from protein-heavy ingredients - to give you a quick hit of energy pre-run, or a protein boost following a workout.
I first tried the pre-packaged variety you can buy in shops last year and they weren't really to my taste. Although the first bite tasted OK, they were dry and left that awful cardboard-y taste in my mouth that I've only ever experienced with energy bars and baby food (it must be some sort of preserving agent - yuck).
However I did find that the energy ball was a really good mid-morning energy kick, which didn't lead to the afternoon crash I'd get from something less healthy like a chocolate bar. I also noticed that my legs were not aching as much as usual after my workout, which I'm putting down to the protein hit.
Since then my husband Gavin and I have been experimenting with making our own energy balls at home. Deliciously Ella has some great recipes if you're not sure where to start (the cinnamon and raisin bites are so, so easy).
After much testing, we've found a recipe that we really like, so here's a very loose idea if you want to try them. I'd encourage you to play around with the ingredients and see what works for you, which is why the measurements are not very technical.
A large dollop of peanut butter
A large dollop of almond butter
A couple of dates
Small handful of sultanas
Handful of chopped almonds and peanuts
Whizz all the ingredients except the coconut together in a food processor until combined, you may need to scoop up a handful and squidge it together to make sure it sticks. Then roll into balls.
Dip each ball in the desiccated coconut and leave them to chill in the fridge for a few hours.
Hey presto! Lovely, scrummy little balls of energy.
The balls should keep in the fridge for around a week or can be frozen for around a month. Eat them whenever you're craving a snack, with a smoothie for breakfast or for a pre-run boost.
Basically add whatever you fancy - oats, cinnamon, different nuts and seeds, a scoop of protein powder if that's your thing post run. Just give it a try.
I'm heading to Cardiff Park Run tomorrow so will definitely be having one before I head out.
Sarah AKA Crandon Runs is currently on holiday.
If you're in Cardiff, you might want to follow my blog cardiffgirl.wordpress.com