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If you've been following my journey, you'll know about my pelvic floor dysfunction. Likewise, you'll know that my diagnosis eventually led me to switch from vegan to vegetarian and from vegetarian to pescatarian. What you might not know is that, since contracting (though contracting isn't really the right word) pelvic floor dysfunction, my weight has plummeted. When I say plummeted, I mean in a bad way. In May of last year, just before all of my troubles started, I was 112 lbs. Even that weight is low for me. I usually tend towards 115 to 120 lbs. Starting in June, however, the number on the scale began dropping lower and lower, without me meaning for it to do so.
I went from 112 lbs to 110 lbs, 110 lbs to 108 lbs, and somehow 108 lbs to 96 lbs. This came across as really and truly startling for a number of reasons. First, I am 5'4" and 96 lbs is most definitely not a healthy weight for my body type. In fact, it isn't a healthy weight for most 20-year-olds. Second, the weight fell off without any intention. I was exercising, as it happened, but I was also eating to satisfy my hunger (about 2,200 to 2,500 calories per day). Third, the change was so fast. It felt like one day I was strong, happy, and healthy; and then the next, I was skin and bones, with my size three skinny jeans suddenly verging on "mom jeans."
Even recently (between December and now—March), I have been ensuring that I eat to satisfy my hunger. Still, the number on the scale hovers just at or below 100 lbs. For months, this puzzled me, bothered me, but I never really and truly dedicated myself to do anything about it. Now? I have. I've made it a goal of mine to put on weight and restore myself to a physically, mentally, and emotionally healthier individual. In doing so, I hope to be happier and more vibrant. I just want to lead a positive life.
That being said, the past few days, I've been:
- eating bigger portion sizes at meals,
- focusing more on fats, and
- incorporating a lot more snacks into my day.
This last point (three) brings me to the point of today's blogpost. I want to share one of my favourite snacks that I've been enjoying recently: It being avocado energy balls.
In the past, I loved making date energy balls. It was so easy to soak some pitted dates, drain them, blend them, and mix in whatever add-ins I desired. However, like I said, I've been focusing on eating more fats recently. And so, that brought me to question what sort of healthy fat source could be converted into snack-size balls without the use of syrups and sweeteners. Nuts? No. Seeds? No. Coconut flakes? No. Avocado? Ding, ding, ding! Yes! Avocado would work!
Having found my healthy source of fat, I set to work adding this and that to form the right consistency. After probably 10 or 12 batches now, I can safely say that I've found a nearly fool-proof standard recipe. Here it is: 30g of frozen avocado (defrosted and mashed), 2 tbsp of coconut flour, and 1 tsp of baking stevia. Add-ins are totally optional! In the above picture, I added in 1/2 tbsp of black chia seeds. I've also found hemp hearts, chopped pecans, and pepitas to be a nice addition to the mixture. Really, you can do whatever you want with the recipe! Also, note that the coconut flour can be swapped out for (some, at least) other powders. For example, I've done 1-1/2 tbsp of coconut flour with 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder, and it turned out really well. Alternatively, I've also done 1 tbsp of coconut flour with 1 tbsp of vegan vanilla hemp protein powder, which was also a success.
Obviously, this is a small, single-serving recipe, as it only makes two energy balls. That said, it can easily be doubled (or tripled, quadrupled, or whatever). I like to make mine and store them in the fridge overnight so that they're chilled and ready to eat the next day. However, you don't have to wait; some days, I've made multiple batches and eaten them directly after. It's all up to you!
If you give this recipe a try, I hope that you like it!