A couple of weeks ago I took part in a wonderful challenge with the charity North London Cares. They are a charity that aim to tackle isolation and loneliness in over 65’s who live in Camden and Islington. I joined North London Cares as a volunteer in December 2015 and it is has been such a great experience. They run a wide variety of projects from film clubs to cooking classes, yoga and socials offer engaging and wonderful moments to talk to someone you wouldn’t always get the chance to, build new friendships and combat loneliness. I love going along to the film nights on Tuesdays and the radio podcasts on Saturdays and just listening to other people’s stories.
The challenge was to walk 50k, from London to Braughing or Cambridge if you were completing 100k! I signed up thinking no problem this shouldn’t be too hard however once I had my fundraising page up I started second guessing my decision as many of my friends and family stressed just how long a walk it was and I was hearing a lot of stories of not being able to walk for a week after it!
I thought about reducing the walk to 25k and did feel a bit apprehensive however I did the training walk a couple of weeks before the big event which was over 25k and managed fine so figured I would go ahead and do the 50k and I’m glad I did.
It was a wonderful day, the sun was shining and we warmed up with a little zumba session. Everyone was in good spirits and the route was lovely. We walked a good bit along Lea Valley and the canal and then ended up in the countryside, seeing lots of sheep and cows and little towns. It was also a great way to meet other volunteers and have a good chat whilst stocking up on loads of chocolate treats at each of the pit stops!
I devoured a good few snickers bars throughout the day but the food item I kept coming back to and which was a great energy boost were the chocolate peanut butter energy balls I made the night before.
The batch I made created over 30 balls which I whipped up with the intention of sharing but I think I only gave out 5 in the end and ate the rest! They are so easy to make and a great little treat. They only take fifteen minutes to prepare and then you just need to leave in the fridge overnight, ready to be eaten the next day.
Here’s what you need:
90g rolled oats
100g dark chocolate
75g flax seed
140g crunchy peanut butter ( I used pips)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl. I usually do it in the microwave heating at 30 seconds at a time – take it out and stir it after 30seconds and repeat this process until melted and smooth.
- Combine oats, melted chocolate, flax seed, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract together in a bowl.
- Roll into balls using your hands. Arrange energy bites on a baking sheet and leave in the fridge to set. (If you want your energy balls to be ready sooner, you can leave them in the freezer for an hour).
Unless doing a 50k walk, I’d maybe advise just snacking on one or two but they are a little dangerous as they can be very addictive!
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