Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Runner Bar & PiYo

Ok, I'm just out of catchy names, so here you are: The Runner Bar.  Fueling carbs and protein and healthy fats all combine into a chewy yet crispy rice texture to fuel you on your long workout.
If you read my previous post, you'll know there's also some ingredients that may help promote infertility including dates, iron from pumpkin seeds and complex carbs such as quinoa and brown rice.  If you'd like even more protein and essential fatty acids, toss in some chia seeds!

I must admit that a Runner Bar for breakfast and a PiYo workout is a fabulous combination.  When I decided I wanted something a little gentler than Insanity but that would still give me a good workout yet with a larger focus on leaning and toning muscles and increasing flexibility, I settled on giving PiYo a shot.  I'm so glad I did!  The teacher is startlingly good: I love her personality, which usually is the reason I get bored with workout DVDs.  I like it when a teacher is actually entertaining and the time flies by.

As a certified yoga instructor (I've taught Vinyasa and Power yoga on and off for about 3 years), I'm happy to report that the PiYo instructor, Chalene Johnson, actually knows what she is talking about and has great cues, without it getting boring.  Basically, if you like aspects of yoga, and aspects of Pilates, but classes are usually too boring or repetitive for you: you'll love PiYo.  The workouts are unique, they fly by and are actually fun without draining you physically.  I've tried three of the workouts so far and love them.  So if you''re interested in trying them with me or incorporating a new workout into your routine, especially on non-running days, I highly recommend it!  I'm hoping to get my friends locally on board to come over for a PiYo workout sometime.  I'm thinking PiYo, gentle stretching, tea: my kind of girls' night!

PiYo workout: fun combination of yoga and pilates

Back to the bar.  I think what sets this one apart from some of my other recipes is the slight crispness of the brown rice cereal.  I'm happy to report that even after three days chilled, they are still crispy and possibly even more amazing than on day one.  I know I say every recipe is my new favorite, and this one is no exception.

The Runner Bar
yields 9-12 little bars


1 cup dates
1 cup crispy brown rice cereal
1-1/4 cup cooked quinoa, chilled
1/3 cup protein or superfood powder*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup Wild Friends Maple Sunflower Seed butter*
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

*I used my favorite superfood powder and sunflower seed butter, but alternate options are listed below!


1.  Soften dates in water; pat dry and food process until chopped up.
2.  Mix cereal and quinoa, protein powder if using (totally optional: I used chocolate vegan Shakeology, but hemp protein powder works good too, though you'll likely want a sweetener.  You can always omit the powder and use 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds instead) and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.
3.  Heat Wild Friends Sunflower Seed butter or nut or seed butter of your choice mixed with 2-4 tablespoons maple syrup (if you're using unsweetened protein powder you may want to increase the syrup to 1/3 cup) and once warm and bubbly, add in vanilla and sea salt, then add that combined mixture into the large bowl with all the ingredients.

4.  Press mixture into a 8" or 9" square pan lined with wax paper and chill 1 hour to set; cut and serve.

5.  Cut and wrap extras and keep chilled for up to 12 days or at room temperature for about 3 days.  These make great portable snacks and breakfast on the go, too!

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