Maple Almond Chia Shakeology Balls

Shakeology Balls

Shakeology balls are my weakness lately.  They start out as such a healthy snack choice, and then about 450 balls later, healthy has flown out the window, never to return.  I’m determined to be able to keep these craving busters around my house, and be able to eat them responsibly.  And, by responsibly, I obviously mean 1-2 per day, compared to 35.

I was in the grocery store for something else, and I ended up finding this really cool almond butter.  No secrets about it, almond butta ain’t cheap, but when I spotted this Barney Butter Raw Almond + Chia I was tempted to step outside my Plain Jane comfort zone.  This recipe is what happened next…

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Ingredients

1 1/4c gluten free oats
1c almond chia butter
1/2c dark chocolate chips
1/3c honey and pure maple syrup
1 packet or scoop of vanilla Shakeology

There isn’t an easier snack to mix up.  Pinky swear.

Directions

1. Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl

*Tip for getting your honey & maple syrup out of the measuring cup: Take a little bit of coconut oil (liquid or solid, doesn’t matter), and smear it on the inside of your measuring cup before adding the sticky stuff.  You watch.  No mess.  Everything will pour right out in to your mixing bowl.  You’re welcome.

Almond Chia Ingredients

2. Mix ingredients together using a large spoon and/or clean hands.  Mix the dough until all ingredients are combined, and you’ve got something that looks like a cross between chocolate chip cookie dough and granola.  Bottom line?  You shouldn’t have lots of oats left over at the bottom of the bowl.

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3. Using your hands, form ping pong sized balls.  Line a plastic food container with parchment paper, and you should be able to store approximately 16-18 snack balls per recipe.

Personally, I keep my shakeology balls in the freezer.  I wish I could tell you that I keep them there because they last so long at my house that they might spoil if left in the fridge, but that’s definitely not the case.  They just take a few minutes to thaw, though, and they’re perfect to grab & go!

– Keegan

3-Day Refreshing Like a Boss – Part 2

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A few weeks ago I shared with you my most recent experience in completing the 3-Day Refresh, the three day mini-detox program from Beachbody that helps you bounce back from a clean eating hiatus or kickstart your health and fitness journey. Now that you know a little bit about how the 3-Day Refresh works, allow me to share some of my top tips and key takeaways for making the most of your experience should you decide to give it a go:

1. You will NOT be on the toilet all day. 
This is the #1 question I get about the Refresh. It is not meant to “clean you out” the way that the stuff people drink before a colonoscopy does – so let’s get that outta the way right now. You will, however, have a few normal, healthy…. umm… bowel movements over the course of the three days. You may be peeing a little bit more than usual from the shakes and the water you are drinking. Not a huge deal.

2. Drink the fiber sweep IMMEDIATELY after adding water.
The fiber sweep is taken once a day and it’s made up of both soluble an insoluble fibers to help gently get all of the waste out of your digestive system. It’s kinda like a garbage truck, slowly picking up the nasty stuff in your body and taking it to the dump (pun intended!). For this reason, this drink gets thick, FAST when you add water. So bang it back as soon as you mix it up. It tastes a citrusy and refreshing, but the consistency is thick. I mean, ya can’t really expect to be drinking margaritas on the Refresh, so, in my opinion, this is a small hurdle on the road to feeling SO much better.

3. Don’t be afraid to combine veggies and fruits.
For your fruit and veggie servings you don’t have to pick just one option from each list. Make yourself a “meal” by putting smaller portions of fruits and veggies together. For example, I made a salad with a cup of greens, about 1/3 of a small red pepper, and about 2 chopped up baby carrots. I used some lemon juice, Himalayan salt, pepper and vinegar (all freebies) as my dressing. If I was having my fats in that meal, I would add some olive oil to my dressing too. You can also mix and match fruits the same way and make yourself a fruit plate!

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4. Choose options that will give you the most food on your plate.
When you look at the food lists and recipes, you’ll notice that the serving size for some of the fruits and veggies is larger than others. For example, the serving size for spinach is 2 cups, but the serving size for Brussels sprouts is 2 medium sprouts. I don’t know about you, but I’m going for the spinach in this scenario. My advice here is to choose the options that allow you to fill your plate so that your mind and your tummy both feel fuller. Same thing goes for the recipes. While the Roasted Asparagus with Almonds is tasty, the 8 spears and my Vanilla Fresh shake left me wanting more food. When I ate the Spinach Salad and the Stir Fry, I felt full and happy.

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5. Put the packets in your purse, backpack, or lunch bag.
One mistake I made was leaving the packets for each day in the box until I was packing my lunch for the day. Well, I packed my entire lunch for the third day and forgot to grab the Fiber Sweep and Vanilla Fresh packet that I would need during the day. I was committed to doing the program the right way, so I drove home on my lunch break and grabbed the packets. My advice, just put all of the packets in your purse or lunch bag and keep them with you throughout the entire three days. That way you won’t have to worry about packing them.

6. Get on board with the guilt-free flavorings.
The Vanilla Fresh shakes are light and refreshing, but let’s be real they aren’t as tasty as a Chocolate Shakeology shake with peanut butter and a banana. Don’t be afraid to punch up the flavor of the Vanilla Fresh shake with some cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, or flavor extracts (vanilla, almond, peppermint, etc). I used cinnamon in my Vanilla Fresh shakes everyday and it made drinking them a much more enjoyable experience.

7. Get enough sleep!
I’m a recovering night owl and the first time I did the 3-Day Refresh I stayed up until about 1 am each night working on various projects. This was a colossal mistake. I felt sluggish and awful throughout the entire experience. I felt so bad on Day 2 that I had to take a nap. I NEVER take naps. I fixed that this time around and got PLENTY of sleep over the three days that I was Refreshing. I never felt tired or fatigued at all. So lesson learned. You need to sleep to let your body work its magic while you are resting.

8. Invest in a travel blender.
The Vanilla Fresh shakes are tasty, but they are WAY tastier when they are blended with ice. I have this handy travel blender that I got at Target for $17. It is AWESOME. I use it even more than I use my Ninja. This blender is clutch for making your regular Shakeology shakes on-the-go and for making your 3-Day Refresh experience so much more convenient.

Just like any nutrition or fitness program, the 3-Day Refresh requires preparation and effort in order for you to see the results. Trust me, I learned the hard way during my first go-round. It’s a mental challenge for three days but its beyond worth it because the way I felt when I woke up on Day 4 was nothing short of, for lack of a better term, totally Refreshed!

If you’d like more deets on the 3-Day Refresh, shoot us an email at nevergiveupkrew@gmail.com.

– Dana