For the last 6 weeks I have been trying to follow the Autoimmune Diet Protocol with my husband. He is doing it to determine if eliminating certain foods will reduce his psoriatic arthritis symptoms and I am tagging along because I have a whole host of digestive issues from food (e.g. milk, wheat, potentially oats & nightshades as I am learning from the elimination diet).
Even though I have felt very good on the diet, I have found it very difficult to find sources of energy that keep me going for high endurance physical activities. It really hit me last Sunday when I trekked out for a 14 mile run. From the start, I felt off and my time showed it. On a normal training run I clock in at around 8 minute miles, but that day I was just under 9. This is not optimal when I am training for the Boston Marathon. Due to my general decline in running ability, I have started to reintroduce foods, such as flax seeds, chia seeds, oats, nuts/nut butters, and gluten free grains (oats primarily), that gave me energy for runs before. The kicker now is oats, unless I consumer them in small quantities they are really hard on my digestive system. I made these scrumptious little bites with oats and I have predominantly okay, but I am going to try other recipes using Quinoa flakes.
What I can say is I have been making my normal green smoothie and then grabbing two of these babies before my short runs this week and my times are back up. Whoop, whoop! These little treats have made a WORLD of a difference in my performance and I am sure they will help you too. Needless to say, I still like the overall feel of the autoimmune diet, but I really need to fuel my marathon training. To do that I am going to keep adding homemade energy bars and balls to my workout routine. Also, overall the next couple of months I plan to add a lot of different variations of these little guys, so stay tuned!
Oh, these are pretty easy to make too! All you have to do is add the ingredients to your food processor like this picture and hit buttons (well and maybe stir them a few times):
The chia and flax seeds make these energy balls slightly crunchy. If you do not like that texture then use flax or chia meal. Now on to the recipe!
- 1 C Gluten Free Oats
- 1 C Ancient Grain Cereal Flakes
- 2 tbsp Flax Seeds or Meal
- 2 tbsp Chia Seeds or Meal
- 4 Medjool Dates, pits removed
- 1 1/4 C Almond Butter
- 1/4 C Coconut Palm Sugar
- 1/8 C Maple Syrup
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- Add ingredients to a food processor and pulse together until a thick dough forms. You may have to stir the mixture a couple of times mid-way through the process.
- Once the dough has come together, you can either press it into an 8x8 pan to make bars or take a heaping tablespoon and roll them into balls like I did in the picture.
- For the ancient grain flakes, I used Erewhon Quinoa and Chia cereal flakes.
- I store mine in the freezer (for up to three months) and take a couple out 10 minutes before I want to eat them.