Hungry Haley

it's more than food

PB Pumpkin Protein Pops (Vegan, GF, Paleo option)

GF, Snack, Vegan, Freezer-friendly, Meal-prep, High-proteinHaley HansenComment

Oh, how good it feels to just be so lazy. Like, the kind where you lay on the couch and watch five episodes of Friends on Netflix and just eat.

I mean, I think I deserve it, though. For starters, my mom and I hiked for a good hour today and we even rode our bikes to the park from where it starts and back. Also, I haven’t watched TV like that since last summer.

I never sit still. My mind is always going – it’s thinking about what I’m doing, what I could be doing, what I should be doing, what my plans for the next few days are, possible recipes I can create, and more. When I was in school, the two-hour class periods were the hardest for me. Especially when the teacher didn’t give us a break. Ugh.

Relaxing like this more often is something I’m struggling with. I know that it’s good to let my body take a break and reset/re-energize itself, but I usually convince myself that 10 minutes of laying on my bed is good enough rest.

Wrong, Haley. Wrong. During the school year, my schedule was a non-stop combination of working, going to class, doing homework/studying, keeping up with Hungry Haley (maybe the next hit reality TV show?), and hanging out with friends. I had a little blue planner that I used as a back-up brain so that I didn’t forget something important to do throughout the day.

And guess what? I loved every second of it. But my body used subtle signs to tell me I was pushing it too hard and not fueling it right – random pimples and zits, bags under my eyes, and, *sigh*, belly fat.

So, as soon as I got home, I promised myself I’d take better care of my body.

·      I’d sleep at least 7 hours each night

·      I’d get back into my routine of making a protein shake everyday

·      I’d squeeze in more cardio workouts

·      I’d spend time hanging out with God everyday

·      Most importantly, I’d just listen to my body

And I’d say I’m doing a good job keeping all those promises, so far!

So, anyway, I pretty much laid on the couch for a solid three hours today. And I’m proud of myself for actually doing nothing! One thing many people mess up on when they have these lazy days is their eating schedule. Either they don’t get hungry because their body isn’t really burning many calories or they just forget to feed themselves.

Not me, however. That’s part of the reason I earned the name “Hungry Haley”.

I had some leftover grilled zucchini and radishes with Trader Joe’s Beet Hummus (which is, like, holycraphowhaveinevertriedthis good).

Aaaaaaaaaand one of these. What are these, you may ask? Why, they are peanut butter protein balls with pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, a mixture of ground flax/chia seeds, brown rice protein powder, pure maple syrup, oats, and some spices. I designed them to be a post-workout or afternoon snack, but today they became part of my lunch.

They’re creamy with the perfect balance of nuttiness and sweetness, crunchy with just enough toasted pumpkin seeds, unsweetened coconut shreds, and gluten-free oats, and satisfying with protein powder, fatty acids, and yumminess to hold you over until your next meal.

Also, they’re easy and fun to make. Just sayin’. 

Makes about 8 pops

½ cup + 2 tbsp. natural creamy PB**
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup oats
3 tbsp. ground flax/chia seeds
¼ cup roughly chopped pumpkin seeds
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. cloves
2 tbsp. brown rice protein powder 

1.     In a large bowl, stir the peanut butter and maple syrup. Set aside.
2.     In a medium size bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Pour into the peanut butter-maple syrup mixture and stir until everything is well incorporated.
3.     If you find your batter to be too moist, simply add more flax/chia or protein powder.
4.     Once you’ve got your desired texture, scoop portions a little bigger than a golf ball and roll them into balls. Refrigerate them for at least 12 hours, and then serve!

* You can also freeze them if you won’t finish the whole batch in less than 2 weeks (doubt it). Just freeze, and then transfer to the fridge a few hours in advance before you serve them. 

** If you're looking for a Paleo version, replace the peanut butter with sunflower seed butter, almond butter, or any nut butter you like.  

Try them and let me know how they turn out! Tag me on instagram and #hungryhaley, comment below, or email me. I love talking to you guys!