Pure Power Energy Bars

In my long going efforts to perfect, not only for me, but also for my fellow training partners and endurance athletes, I am continually working on my own homeade energy drinks, gels and other energy sustaining treats.

Normally, I do not have an actual recipe. I have been cooking long enough, that I pretty much know how to pair various ingredients in their respective quantities and just go one ingredient at a time until I believe it is “just right”. But, so that others can re-create these energy bites, I have come up with a recipe.

DISCLAIMER: Please understand that substitutions can and should be made based upon tastes, allergies, ingredients available, etc.

So lets get started! Oh, I should also add that the name Pure Power is something I got from Kris Lawrence.http://kris-lawrence.com/  It is a little inside joke between her and her former coach and I just liked the name and figured it was perfect for my energy bites….hope you don’t mind Kris 😉

STEP # 1

Acquire the ingredients below (make subsitutions as necessary). BANANA NOT PICTURED!!

The above ingredients are mostly the WET and or BINDING items.

Ingredient List

1/3 Cup Flax Seed (ground meal)

1/3 Cup chia seeds

2 tbsp Peanut Butter

1/3 cup Almond Meal

2/3 cup applesauce

2 tbsp greek yogurt

1 cup Trader Joe’s Golden Berry Blend (dried raisins, cranberries, blueberries, cherries)

1/3 cup shelled sunflower seeds

3 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoon Trader Joes brand Sugar/Coffee Bean/Chocalate grinder mix

1/3 cup blue agave syrup

1 cup dark chocalate chips

1/3 cup wildflower honey

2 cup multigrain oats

1 mashed banana

1 medium cooked and mashed sweet potato

1 egg

1/3 cup coconut milk.

Step # 2

Peel the sweet potato, cut into small pieces and boil in hot water for approximately 20 minutes, or until soft. Once the potato is soft, remove from heat, strain and mash.

Step # 3

In a large mixing bowl, add and mix all of the above ingredients. Mix until all ingredients are combined and the batter is the consistency of peanut butter. Then, pour batter into baking dish. NOTE: I use a muffin pan and the above recipe will yeild 12 large muffins. However, you could use a cookie sheet and scoop the batter into cookies, bake in a cake pan and then cut into various sized bars, or you could also use a bread pan (if you use a bread pan, the cooking time may be different due to how deep the batter is. In the muffin pans, the batter is 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick).

Step # 4

Place into oven and bake at 250 degrees for approximately 25 minutes (check every few minutes, since every oven cooks differently). When you can stick a toothpick in the middle and pull it out without any batter on it, THEY ARE DONE!


The Spartan Salad

Here is something that I HAD to share! Yesterday, Crystle made this amazing, ALL INCLUSIVE salad, that turned out to be quite possibly the most amazing thing ever!! It is not only delicious, it pretty much contains about every daily nutrient you could ask for. You could pretty much alter this recipe a million different ways and use a million variations of the ingredients to change it up and mix it up to keep the flavors coming.

As most of those who read this blog are healthy athletes, this is in my opinion, the PERFECT recipe for fueling up during the day. This here salad will get you through and fuel you up for the most intense workout and it can be enjoyed any time of day as a before or after workout snack/meal.

Here is a the EXACT salad that Crystle made yesterday and I will also add a few other ingredients that we will be adding to future variations.

Keep in mind, there is not necessarily any exact measurements for the ingredients. Measurements and quantity will be based on how much you are wanting to prepare and how much of the ingredients you have in your kitchen.

2 cups chick peas (you could subsitute chick peas with kidney, black or other type of bean, legume)

4 cups of fresh leaf spinach (could use other leafy greens here…kale, watercrest, etc)

2 cups endamame shelled (Trader Joes brand)

1/2 red onion (diced)

1 tomato cut into small triangle wedges

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup almond slices

1/2 cucumber cut into small chunks

1/2 cup feta cheese (try not to substitute cheese type here..the flavor of feta works well in this salad)

1 cup brocolli (raw and cut into small florettes)

2 cups cooked couscous (you could subsitute regular couscous with Isreali couscous, Quinoa, Bulgur Wheat or other)

1 cup diced bell peppers (try to use multiple color, orange, yellow, red, green)

2 hard boiled eggs (diced up)

Baked Chicken breast (could substitute with turkey burger, steamed shrimp or other lean meat of your choice…or no meat for you vegetarians)

THAT’S IT!!! That is the recipe…Now, for the other yummy variations and optional ingredients:

Fresh berries (strawberries, blue berries, raspberries, etc.)

Dried fruits (apricot, mango, apples, etc)

Fresh fruits (apple, mango, avocado etc)

Nuts (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, etc)

Grains, noodles, pastas (variations of rices, variations of noodles and pasta..just about anything could be used here..get creative).


Other Cheeses

Oils (olive, grapeseed, avocado, etc)

Salts (sea salts, volcanic salts, etc)

Pepper and spices (paprika, black pepper, crushed red paper, etc)..

Okay, we have provided a base to get started with and also some other ideas for variations thereof! Now go out and get the ingredients and get started on your own unique version…Fuel right, perform right!!!

Running Performance: Not Always About The Run!!

As an individual who possesses an analytical mindset, I am not one who accepts something just because.

I am not one who just plugs in a toaster, expecting it to “do it’s thing”. I want to understand HOW and WHY the toaster works and because of this, I have more appreciation and respect for my toast, simply because I understand the process that made it so.

Due to this type of personality, I have become intrigued (more like obsessed) with how the human body functions, particularly the athletes body.

To me, very few things happen by chance, or “natural occurrence”. I feel that nearly every action has a reaction and that all output must have an input.
So what does this have to do with running?
Okay, let’s get started! Who has been brushing up on their chemistry? What is sodium bicarbonate, potassium hydroxide? Why is PH balance important? What is a positive ion? How does any of this correlate to threshold training?

The human body is super complex and made up of more components than what could ever be expressed with numbers. Each cell is comprised of many things. You could take nearly every mineral and chemical known to man and chances are, your body contains some trace amounts of them (some more than others).

With all of this going on inside of us, how do we keep it all balanced so that the body continues to operate as designed?

As we have evolved over time, our bodies have learned to absorb it’s needs via the foods we drink and eat, however, within the past couple hundred years (even more within the last 50 years), we have become deprived of these nutrients because of our modern day diets.

Nearly every one of us are deficient and or lacking something, no matter how well we think we eat. Because of this, we are not operating as efficiently as we could be. Throw in the demands of a high intensity training plan and now you are really setting yourself up for some serious imbalances.

Over the past several months, I have been experimenting with several different supplements that aide in performance, recovery, etc.  After several “trial and error” experiments, I believe I have found a near perfect balance for my needs as an endurance athlete.

Since I have been taking these supplements, I have seen significant improvements in my running and training. I have also seen HUGE improvements in recovery. I can honestly and whole heartedly say that, now that I have been paying close attention to my diet and my nutrition and with the help of supplementation, I am no longer sore or fatigued after workouts. I wake up with no residual muscle soreness, no matter how difficult my workout the day before.

I am seeing major gains in my speed, strength, endurance, sleep and recovery. I am able to go harder, and longer in all of my workouts and I now recover quickly between key workouts and hard training.

I cannot or will not sit here and tell you that by following my practices or suggestions, you will become a SUPER BEAST. However, I will tell you the honest truth about what a few changes and implementations have done for me personally.

Because I am not a doctor, nor do I have any “credentials” to support any of what I am telling you, I have included several links that will go into greater detail about PH Balance, Creatine, Taurine, Casein, etc.

As with anything, there are pro’s and con’s to any and all things. There will be websites and blogs that will support and or criticize any topic. With that said, I am not suggesting that you adhere to any of what I am sharing with you. I only intend to plant the seed, it is up to you to do further research to determine what can work for you.

In a constant effort to improve my athletic performances, as well as my quality of life and health, I am a never ending “research and development project”. I myself am my best test subject and the only one who can say what does, or does not work for my body.

As I make new discoveries (good or bad), I like to share them with my friends, training partners and fellow athletes.

I am an open book and love sharing my knowledge and things that I learn along the way. For those of you who know me, feel free to ask me in detail about anything that I am doing in my training plan. I have no quarrels with sharing all things training, nutrition and life style.

Though several of the articles listed here are quite lengthy, take the time to SAVE them and read through them at your leisure. There is some great information to absorb here. Soak up the information and educate yourself while you continue the pursuit of that PERFECT YOU!!