If you've read our last blog post, Kristy and I will be running a half marathon this coming November. We want to share our experience with you through the next several months on training, eating, drinking, and sharing some recipes with you that we have found to help us with our energy levels. It's been three years since we attempted a long distance race and we were not very well prepared for it. This time, however, we want to not only be prepared, but finish the race with smiles on our faces!

I'm a big believer in exercise and what it can do for you, not only physically, but mentally as well. For years I suffered from depression, many times wanting to take my own life. While in college, I took a health course where our teacher required us to run two miles within a certain amount of time to pass the course. This was the first time I'd run since the Army days when I couldn't even run a half mile without cheating! At this point in college, I was still bulimic, (binging on food and then throwing it up) beginning when I was fifteen years old. Even so, I started running and little by little, I was able to run the two miles in the allotted time. What I noticed the most, though, was how I no longer felt depressed. I have realized over the years, how much my body needs exercise. I didn't keep up the running like I should have, but I did try and exercise as much as I could. It wasn't until I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 50, when I seriously began to run. I finally talked Kristy into running with me about four years ago and it has made a huge difference in her life as well. We have run several races together and its been great having a running partner. I really do get a runner's high that no other exercise seems to give me. When Kristy first started running with me, she would ask me where her runner's high was! I told her to just wait and it would come. It took awhile, but I think she would tell you today that she gets the runner's high and it's no longer the torture it used to be for her!

You have to find what exercise works for you and your body. We're all different and need different things to make our bodies work at their maximum. I encourage you to take up some form of exercise, because it will make a huge difference in your life. I believe we were meant to move and not sit most of our lives. Today, it seems too easy to sit for most of the day and do little activity. I personally can't do that because I would revert back to my depression and I never want to go back to those days. Find what works for you and encourage others to move their bodies. I really do believe we'd be happier people.

Here's a simple recipe I've made a few times. I like to keep these balls in the freezer and snack on a couple of them an hour or so before I exercise. I also add a raw cacao bean to the middle of each ball. I know most of you won't have cacao beans on hand, this is just something I like to add for extra energy and nutrition. I've also added part of a Medjool date to the middle but you don't have to add anything. I just enjoy the crunch of the cacao bean.

 Peppermint Energy Bites with Cacao Beans

Peppermint Energy Bites with Cacao Beans

Peppermint Energy Bites

1 cup almonds

6 Medjool dates, pitted

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup buckwheat groats, soaked at least 30 minutes and dehydrated or dried in a warm oven

1/2t cinnamon

1/2t vanilla

2T water

1/2t peppermint extract

hemp seed and unsweetened coconut shreds for coating

Process all ingredients except for hemp seed and coconut in a food processor and process until mixture comes together. Roll into balls. I push the cacao bean in the middle of the ball and then seal it up again. Roll balls into hemp seed and/or coconut shreds. Store in freezer. These do not get hard and you can eat them right out of the freezer.