My husband, Bill, is in the process of preparing his mind and body for an epic life event – his first Ironman triathlon in Lake Placid, New York this summer.
With only one triathlon under his belt, he knows what he is about to do in a few short months is no small feat, but he is determined to make it happen.
He’s training with my dad, who has completed five Ironman races since starting at the age of 56, and will be competing in his sixth Ironman with Bill at the age of 66.
Bill has been diligent about his training, putting to use the discipline he’s learned as a lifelong athlete. His training schedule is rigorous and requires activities like four-hour bike rides on a Saturday morning and 5:00 a.m. swims at the gym in order to be guaranteed an open lane.
People often ask me, “Are you going to do one?” (Translation: Are you going to swim 2.4 miles in a lake, bike 112 miles through the mountains, and then run a marathon (26.2 miles)?)
Hmmm, let me think about that…probably not 🙂 It doesn’t appeal to me in the least!
What does appeal to me and what I do enjoy is making sure Bill is well fueled and nourished. Eating well is an often overlooked aspect of athletic training. It’s critical for ensuring your body has enough energy and strength to endure long training hours and essential for speeding up the recovery process.
By modifying his diet over the years, Bill has connected why and what he eats with how he feels and functions. We eat as Michael Pollan suggests – real food, not too much, mostly plants – so our diet is packed with nutrient-dense foods. He eats the way he does to fuel and nourish himself, so he can perform physically at the highest level. One of his favorite fueling snacks, especially on the days of early morning workouts, are these chocolate peanut butter energy bites.
Packed with healthy fats, fiber and protein, these little no-bake bites are energy-dense, meaning a little goes a long way.
For someone like Bill, popping a few of these before, during or after all of those hours of training stokes his fire, since he’s burning a lot of energy. But for the rest of us, one or two a day will do.
Like most of my other no-bake bites, these tasty treats require a food processor, so if you don’t have one yet, I would highly recommend adding it to your wish list. They’re not super expensive but are incredibly versatile. We have a Cuisinart one and use ours just about every other day!
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (I love Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats or Trader Joe’s)
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1.5 cups Medjool dates, pitted (find these in the produce section of the grocery store)
- 2/3 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt (add 1/4 tsp more if your peanut butter is unsalted)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Put oats and shredded coconut in the food processor fitted with the S-blade and run until it reaches a fine meal, about 45-60 seconds.
- Add the remaining ingredients and process until everything is evenly combined.
- Form dough into 1-inch balls with your hands and roll gently between your palms to even out the edges. Store in the fridge or freezer.