Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Balls

This recipe is a great snack for athletes with a sweet tooth, but also needing some energy to both get them through the day and recovery from their last workout. Chocolate and almond butter provide great flavor with an air of decadence. Try these today!

When I first made these balls, it was an experiment to see how many different derivatives of the almond I could use. Barney Butter, a company whom I love and am an ambassador, sent me a generous package of all their new stuff to try.

Snack packs!

Single serving pouches!

Almond butter!

Almond meal!

Almond flour!

Almond meal and almond flour?! I totally had to make something!

Almond flour is very hearty and naturally gluten free. I enjoy the taste and texture it gave these balls and it can’t hurt that they are perfect for a few of my training partners who avoid gluten. These balls back a serious nutritional punch, but I also ate them for dessert at night. No, they aren’t a cookie, but sometimes I don’t want a sugar rush before bed.

These come together so fast and freeze really well, so the whole batch will last you a while if you choose.

Also, for all the awesome people who read my blog, you can use my code EatRun20 for 20% off your next purchase at the Barney Butter website!!!


Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Balls

From at

Prep: Yield: 24 ballsTotal:

You'll Need...

  • 1 cup almond butter (I use Barney Butter smooth)
  • 2/3 cup almond flour (I use Barney Butter almond flour)
  • 1/3 cup almond meal (I use Barney Butter almond meal)
  • 1 T almond milk
  • 1/3 cup chocolate protein powder
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 t vanilla


  1. Melt almond butter, maple syrup and vanilla together in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir to combined in a medium sized bowl. Add all the rest of the ingredients and mix until a sticky but firm texture is achieved. Roll into inch sized balls. Coat in extra protein powder or cocoa powder.

Inside Tracker Results

Last Thursday I had my blood drawn and sent to Inside Tracker. A few days later I received an email that my results were ready and a link that took me to my personal profile on their website.

Read about why I wanted to work with Inside Tracker here.

Another email also came with comprehensive results that I could bring to my GP or health care provider if I chose.

Before I received the results, I decided to take an off season from running. I was feeling run down and my Achilles soreness just needed time to heal. My head was not into running and I was more focused on my job. It’s silly to train through that and do races. I want to compete well in races, so I cleared my schedule (after Flower City, which I decided to do with friends) and am taking a nice break from training.

After the race on Monday my results came. I am going to break it down into three categories: at risk, moderate risk and optimal. I will provide levels where appropriate.

At Risk:

The test confirmed what my body was already telling me: I am overtrained from trying to be 110% at both running and work.

My testosterone to cortisol ratio was very high indicating high levels of stress and fatigue: 21 units

Vitamin D: 20ng/mL 

Testosterone: high

Cortisol: 20ug/dL

Moderate Risk:

B-12: 470pg/mL

DHEAS: 183ug/dL

Inflammation: high

Iron: low


Glucose: 79mg/dL

Liver Enzymes

Creatine Kinase: 69U/L

Sodium: 142mmol/L

Potassium: 4.2mmol/L

Magnesium: 2.2 mg/dL

Cholesterol: good

Lipid Profile: good

Calcium: 4.9mg/dL

Folate: 23.5ng/dL

Take Aways:

Overtrained, high stressed, not absorbing nutrients.

My bone health is at risk due to levels of Vitamin D.

I do not have much expendable energy due to low B-12.

I have compromised RBC function due to low levels of iron.

My sex hormones are at a slogging pace.

My body is in a state of chronic inflammation.

I take the three supplements I am deficient in. This means I am either not absorbing them or this is not enough. Likely, it is a combination of those two things. When the body is in a state of high cortisol, it is hard to use its energy to metabolize nutrients. This is why in the later stages of a marathon or ultra, runners find it hard to eat or throw up. The body in a state of stress does not metabolize food efficiently.

After reading the bloodwork, I completed the profile indicating my goals. As of right now because I am not training, that means optimal health. Then, the algorithm created a list of foods to help both with improving my deficiencies and achieving my goals.

So, this is where I am at. Since that time I have taken the recommendations, which I will discuss in a future post as I realize this is a lot of information.

I am encouraged that before I got the results I was able to correctly read my body and decide to take time off. This test could not have come at a better time as I can fix this now, get to optimal health and begin training again.

Thank you for reading.

Ginger Penne

I recently re-read Matt Fitzgerald’s “New Rules of Marathon and Half Marathon Nutrition” book when I was in between finished my last novel (Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay–>great read!) and it snowing 2 feet therefore hindering my ability to get to the library.

I remember when I first read it, and thought it was really smart. It focuses on different principles encouraging whole foods and making fruits and vegetables the point focal point of each meal. I love how in the book he actually states and athlete can eat only vegetables and get ALL the nutrients they need to train appropriately.

Score one for the vegans!

However, I am a fan of pasta, rice and bread, so although I could fuel only on veggies, I don’t have to nor do I want to, so I don’t.

Today’s recipe is something I made up after browsing the internet and hobbling together the ingredients I had on hand. I usually do this type of thing for dinner now-a-days.

I make a big batch of a grain at the beginning of the week and eat it every night with a different sauce or different toppings. I usually make a single serving of a sauce fresh each night because I hate leftovers and can have something different everyday.

This is one such recipe.


Ginger Penne

From at

Prep: Cook: Yield: 1Total:

You'll Need...

  • 1.5T sesame oil
  • 1/3 c red onions sliced
  • 3T soy sauce
  • 1T suga
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 1t salt
  • 1T ginger powder
  • 1.5 cups cooked penne
  • 1/2 c sprouts
  • Tahini for drizzle


  1. Bring a sauce pan to medium heat and add oil.
  2. Saute the onions and garlic until translucent.
  3. Add in soy sauce, sugar, ginger and salt.
  4. Stir in sprouts and incorporate them into the sauce.
  5. Stir in penne until coated.
  6. Garnish with a drizzle of tahini

Flower City Recap and Rest

The Flower City Half Marathon that I completed on Sunday was relatively uneventful and that’s exactly what I wanted. I don’t know my exact time, somewhere around 1:43 and change. It might be my slowest half, but that was kind of the point. I ran with my Strong Hearts teammate Brian and I think he got a PR. The four of us that ran all had fun. It rained a bit and was colder than expected, but I had a great time.

My Achilles started to feel weird around mile 7, but it never felt like I couldn’t keep going. My goal was to finish without further damage to the area. Mission complete.

I was very happy it was only 13 miles for two reasons. The first being I probably would have injured myself more if it was too much longer, the second being how tired I felt. I remember telling Brian right before the start that I could have fallen asleep standing right there. Once the race got going I felt pretty good.

Actually, around mile 8, I felt sad that I only had 5 miles left because I knew I wouldn’t be running for a while. When I finished, I was happy because I know it’s time to rest. I need to rest. In doubt, rest.

My plan for the next few weeks is to make sure my Achilles is completely solid before running again. Even if it is, I don’t really have plans to run at all actually. I am exhausted. I feel like I have run a marathon. I need that level of rest right now.

I got my results from Inside Tracker today and have not analyzed them yet, but will do so and make adjustments accordingly.

Right now I am focusing on being an  effective manager for Strong Hearts and just chilling. It sounds super lax and whatever, but that exactly what I need right now. I don’t have goals like meditate everyday or read a million books. I don’t want to do anything really like that. For now, I’m just taking some time off of focus.

Work, school, rest, eat. Rinse and repeat.