You know your healthy endeavours are working when you stop enjoying the things that are maybe not so good for you.

It’s also slightly depressing.

Exhibit A: In an attempt to become the best athlete I can be, I am slowly transitioning myself to a largely plant-based diet. Up to this point overloading myself with chicken breast, eggs, and whey protein hasn’t served me much good, so I figured it would at least be a good experiment.

Since October I’ve been “doing the vegan thing” a few times a week, while still eating the occasional chicken breast, omelette, and California roll. Oh, and turkey – I ate a lot of turkey over Christmas.

But when Jordan and I went out for dinner on my birthday a couple of weeks ago, I decided to order myself a big juicy steak. This girl loves her steak.

Except this time, I didn’t. It was seasoned nicely and cooked to perfection, but I just didn’t enjoy it the way I used to.

Exhibit B: During this time I have also been making an effort to reduce my coffee consumption. I’ve had varying levels of success since September, but for the most part have limited it to enjoying my coffee on the weekends only. Except last weekend.

I felt gross and jittery after my usual cup of Coconut Oil Coffee. I thought it was a one-off so I tried it again on Sunday. Same thing.

No desire to eat steak. No desire to drink coffee (except almond milk lattes – bring those babies on!). And quite possibly the most shocking thing…no desire to eat peanut butter?!

WHO AM I?!

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I’m not sure if my unwillingness to eat peanut butter is a side effect of incorporating more healthy plants into my life and generally just feeling better (nothing cheers you up like eating PB out of the jar with a spoon), but it’s there. And it’s weird.

So this week when I decided to make some energy balls, I was a little stumped on what I should put in them. Almond butter is out of the question because I can’t justify spending 14 bucks on a jar and I wanted to stay true to my inner desires and leave peanut butter out of the equation.

Fortunately I had some Sun Butter kicking around so I decided to give it a shot, and man were those little balls tasty! I’ve tried Sun Butter on toast and it was a little intense. Pretty heavy on the sunflower seed taste. #Duh But mixed in with some coconut, maple syrup, and dark chocolate chips (vegan, of course), among other things, it tasted amaze-balls! Pun intended.

energy balls

I adapted these little guys from the energy balls I made a couple of years ago, but the recipe is still fairly similar. The beauty of energy balls is that you really don’t have to follow the recipe. Don’t like cranberries? Don’t use ’em! Don’t like chocolate chips? Leave ’em out!

These tasty little energy balls keep in the freezer and make for delicious morning, afternoon, or evening snacks. But they are addictive, so don’t say I didn’t warn you 😉

Plant-Based Sun Butter Energy Balls

Serves: Approximately…30ish? I don’t know – I keep eating the batter when I make them 😉

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You Will Need:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2/3 cup Sun Butter (or any nut/seed butter)
  • 1/3 cup plant-based protein powder (reduce to 1/4 cup if using whey)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup dried fruit and nuts of choice – I used dried cranberries, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • Dash cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Mix reaaaally well – you’ll probably want to get your hands in there to get everything evenly distributed!
  3. Roll into 1-inch balls, store in the freezer, and enjoy!

energy ballsHave you ever found yourself not enjoying some of your regular foods as you change your eating habits? Any tips for an aspiring vegan?

*Disclaimer: I was provided two jars of Sun Butter complimentary, but as usual all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. You guys know I would never lie to you!

Showing 18 comments
  • Nicole @ Fitful Focus
    Reply

    I love love love sun butter, and the only place I’ll buy almond butter is Trader Joe’s – they have jars for $5!

    • Ariana
      Reply

      Ooo good to know about TJ’s! By the time I drive to the states and factor in the exchange rate right now I’ll still end up paying like $15 a jar hahaha.

  • Reply

    My diet has changed unintentionally as well! I eat a lot more lean protein (poultry and eggs). But every once in a while I’ll indulge in a steak. There’s a price I pay for that, in feeling sluggish for a day or two.

    I’m not a huge fan of PB unless it is in something. I love PB cups…what can I say?
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Less is more: Quality race trainingMy Profile

    • Ariana
      Reply

      I love PB cups as well 😉 It’s amazing how quickly our bodies adapt to new foods and let us know when they don’t like certain things, hey?

  • Janelle @ Run With No Regrets
    Reply

    I love energy balls, delicious!

    • Janelle @ Run With No Regrets
      Reply

      I made some energy balls a couple of days ago and completely forgot about them – I was starving and in a rush and had to go for the less healthy option. It’s interesting how our tastes can change over time!

      • Ariana
        Reply

        I agree! So sad when healthy snacks are ready but forgotten!

  • Maureen
    Reply

    The only example I can think of is when I stopped eating junky candy…a few months later I tried my beloved Butterfinger and nearly spit it out because it tasted so gross!
    Maureen recently posted…Whole30 Round 2, Day 1 {WIAW}My Profile

    • Ariana
      Reply

      Oh boy! Your body definitely wanted you to know it didn’t like that 😉

  • Reply

    happy to hear that you are coming over to the dark side-vegetarian life! Hope you will join us for Meatless Monday more often. Don’t you just feel great?! I have not really tried sun butter yet but maybe I should!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…QualityMy Profile

    • Ariana
      Reply

      I will do my best to come up with some creative recipes to join with! So far it’s just a lot of burrito bowls 😉 I do feel fantastic though!

  • Becki S
    Reply

    Glad your diet changes are working out so well! The body is just one big experiment right 😉 Thanks for sharing this recipe they look delicious!

    • Ariana
      Reply

      Totally agree! I’m a human guinea pig 😉

  • Toni
    Reply

    Looks delicious, I have been seeing a lot of these lately and need to make some, I have always been curious abou sunbutter, now I definitely want to try it.

    • Ariana
      Reply

      Energy balls are the best because your flavour combos are limitless!!

  • Patty @ Reach Your Peak
    Reply

    These look delicious and like a great snack! I love making my energy balls – will have to try this recipe 🙂 These are also perfect for my sweet tooth.

    • Ariana
      Reply

      I hope you like these!

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