fun with balls.

by Janetha on March 11, 2013

in moves,recipes

soo… i had a couple encounters with balls today. let’s talk about it.

my gym recently purchased 35 swiss balls (also known as stability balls) and i got to play around on them today for the first time!

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i am not good at sports involving balls. like.. i’m straight up BAD at them. no hand-eye coordination here! consequently, i rarely play with balls. i’ll throw the occasional medicine ball into a routine, but when it comes to baseballs, basketballs, or footballs.. count me out. swiss balls, on the other hand, just might be my new favorite thing!

i have used a swiss ball plenty of times in my workouts in the past, but never have i tried to balance on one. i always lay on them for movements like chest press or crunches. but today we used the swiss balls to do balance drills. it’s flipping hard! a lot harder than i expected. today we worked on balancing on the ball from our knees, from a sitting position, on our bellies, and on our backs (hardest for me!) doing swiss ball balance drills definitely is a new type of challenge. it engages muscles you wouldn’t expect and it also takes a certain skill that i am most definitely lacking. something to work on!

after about ten minutes of practice, i finally got the hang of balancing on my knees. once we get the knee balancing mastered, we will start using dumbbells while balancing on the ball. shoulder presses, lateral raises, biceps curls, and other dumbbell movements while balancing on the ball is gonna be rough! but i am sure it will be possible with a little more balancing practice. here is a quick vid of my balancing progress after my first stab at it this afternoon.

it’s a lot of fun! i think i like it so much because it reminds me a little bit of snowboarding. minus the snow. and the board. plus a ball. yep. we will be playing with them in tomorrow’s workout. i’m pumped.

as if one ball encounter wasn’t enough.. i doubled my ball fun tonight when i wanted a healthy, tasty treat.

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i was inspired by candice’s recent ball recipe to make up some balls of my own. i was craving chocolate chip cookie dough and cashews (or cashew butter) always give a recipe that cookie dough flavor i love so much.. so i used some cashews to make up these bite size balls. i added some plant fusion to them for a protein punch!

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no bake chocolate chip cookie dough protein balls
makes 18 balls
adapted from this recipe

 ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup unsalted, roasted cashews or cashew pieces (i used pieces from trader joe’s)
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 3 scoops plant fusion vanilla bean protein powder
  • rounded 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 TB organic brown rice syrup
  • 3 TB agave (i used xagave)
  • 1 TB vanilla bean paste
  • 2-3 tsp almond milk (or more, if needed)
  • 2 TB dark cocoa bits (or powder.. or mini chocolate chips)

directions:

  1. combine cashews and oats in a blender or food processor and pulse until it reaches a flour consistency.
  2. in a bowl combine cashew oat flour, protein powder, and salt. mix well.
  3. add syrup, xagave, and vanilla. mix well.
  4. add almond milk as needed until mixture reaches dough-like consistency.
  5. fold in chocolate.
  6. chill dough for 30 minutes.
  7. use a cookie scoop to form 1″ dough balls.
  8. eat immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or the freezer for up to a month. see notes.
step by step photo tutorial:
combine cashews and oats in a blender or food processor and pulse until it reaches a flour consistency.
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in a bowl combine cashew oat flour, protein powder, and salt. mix well. add syrup, xagave, and vanilla. mix well.
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add almond milk as needed until mixture reaches dough-like consistency.
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fold in chocolate.
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chill dough for 30 minutes. use a cookie scoop to form 1″ dough balls. eat immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or the freezer for up to a month. see notes.
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nutrition stats per ball:

Screen Shot 2013 03 11 at 10 39 43 PM

notes on the recipe:

  • these are STICKY. they aren’t portable balls. they have the consistency of cookie dough.. so don’t expect something else.
  • they will firm up in the fridge and even more so in the freezer. i recommend freezing them on wax paper first and then transporting them to a freezer bag.
  • you can use any combination of sweetener. if you don’t have brown rice syrup, you can use all agave. or you can replace some of it with honey. just make sure it’s a sticky sweetener. that’s the binding agent.
  • i used these dark cocoa bits i got from the dominican republic. not sure if you can find them in the states.. but you can always just use mini chocolate chips in place of the bits. cacao nibs would also be a good option.
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these are a great alternative to eating a whole bowl of this cookie dough. not that i have ever done that…

Qs~

1. what’s your favorite sport involving a ball? (to play or to watch.. or both.)

2. what is your favorite kind of cookie dough?<–not cookie.. cookie dough!

xo. janetha g.

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Julie March 11, 2013 at 10:12 pm

I was on a kickball team once. It was an adult league and mostly fun.

My favorite sport to watch is basketball, only because I understand it best.

I love cookie dough in ice cream.

kendra @ kennygump March 11, 2013 at 10:13 pm

may have to try these little ones. so what would happen if you were to bake these?

Erica March 11, 2013 at 10:44 pm

So funny- I always say to Josh I stink at sports that involve balls (except soccer). You are looking fantastic!! How fun.

1. what’s your favorite sport involving a ball? (to play or to watch.. or both.)
To watch: football, to play: soccer
2. what is your favorite kind of cookie dough?<–not cookie.. cookie dough!
oatmeal chocolate chip mmmm

Carly @ Snack Therapy March 11, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Holy shiz, I need those balls…

(That’s what she said.)

Rachel McIntyre March 12, 2013 at 1:16 am

I’m also useless at any sports involving balls! Balancing on a swiss ball looks fun though!

Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 12, 2013 at 2:34 am

YUM! Those cookie dough balls look delicious. They definitely need to be made!

And as for stability balls…oh geez, there’s nothing about that that looks easy and since I”m working on strengthening my core, I’ll have to give that a shot asap!

lindsay March 12, 2013 at 4:39 am

i play with a lot of balls… i mean bites, each week. They are AMAZEBALLS! haha, i had to write that. I cringed typing it out too. Yes, go ahead, roll your eyes JG.

Love ya

Tina @ Best Body Fitness March 12, 2013 at 4:46 am

I would so kill myself somehow by trying that! So not coordinated! And your balls look tasty.

Linz @ Itz Linz March 12, 2013 at 5:03 am

i love playing on new gym equipment! :) :)

Lee March 12, 2013 at 5:29 am

All the ball talk is making me laugh.

Corey @ When We Wander March 12, 2013 at 5:39 am

I love balancing on the big balls! One would think it’d be super easy but it is an intense core workout! I can’t believe you guys are going to get up there with dumbells!! I think that will need another video!

betty March 12, 2013 at 5:44 am

i guess i’d have to go with softball, since i played it for 19 years. hahah my favorite dough is def.

jessica’s snickerdoodle chip cookies. i usually eat 1/4 of the batch before i even get to rolling the cookies.. oops!

Claire @ Live and Love to Eat March 12, 2013 at 5:44 am

Tennis was my sport in high school, but I’m not too skilled with most ball-sports. Those balance balls look challenging!

ML Bishop March 12, 2013 at 6:01 am

A little bit (or a lot) off topic but I just saw that daiya just came out with dairy free cream cheese! in three flavors. holy noodles!

Tamara March 12, 2013 at 6:27 am

Thanks for the yummy ball recipe! And for giving sweetener alternatives, since I don’t have any brown rice syrup. I can’t wait to try them! I hope my blender is up to the task!

Maren March 12, 2013 at 7:00 am

Those are some nice lookin balls! I am a basketball girl all the way. Not that I’ve played in MANY years. I also played volleyball on our honeymoon and I actually wasn’t that terrible! So glad you introduced me to plant fusion protein powder! It’s so freaking good. I’ve been having smoothies every morning for breakfast because I enjoy it so much!

kc lea March 12, 2013 at 7:17 am

i want to make those balls!

i wonder if you have any suggestions for oat substitutions? something gf, maybe? do you think ground flax seeds would do the trick? or chickpea flour…?

Janetha March 12, 2013 at 7:54 am

I am sure either one would work!

jessiker March 12, 2013 at 8:04 am

Haha I love the video. You’re good at this kind of ball. You’re also a ball! Miss you.

Neil March 12, 2013 at 11:23 am

These comments are a ball … Takes balls … You are a baller … laughing so hard I’m bawling … I feel like I’m missing some.

Good work today. Fun to see how quickly you picked it up.

the delicate place March 12, 2013 at 11:32 am

my worst sport is basketball but i was pretty good at softball and played fast and slow pitch (haha i typed bitch the first time). my fave cookie dough is ginger snap! i have a stability ball and i use it prob 2x a month ha so it doesn’t get much use really.

Neil March 12, 2013 at 11:50 am

Also, you two have amazing arms.

Annette@FitnessPerks March 12, 2013 at 11:52 am

Those balls look yummy!

I’ve never tried to balance on a Swiss ball like that, per say, so I want to try now! hah :)

Meghan @ After the Ivy League March 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

I was just thinking I wanted to make some protein bites of some kind in the next couple days…cookie dough protein bites sound even better. My favorite kind of cookie dough…so tough. Probably peanut butter. Or plain chocolate chip. Or oatmeal…

Valerie March 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm

i’ve recently joined a rugby team. i’m not terribly sporty, so i apparently throw the ball wrong, and have gotten hit in the face a couple times. haha

Nicole @ Fruit 'N' Fitness March 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm

I love watching basketball! my favorite cookie dough is peanut butter

BroccoliHut March 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm

These look awesome! Cookie dough ice cream has always been my favorite, so I bet I would love these.
Favorite ball sport (heh) is basketball. Well, really I just watch Duke basketball.
Favorite cookie dough has to be the dough for these chocolate cut-out cookies I made for Valentine’s day–it tasted like crushed up Oreos!

meggi March 12, 2013 at 5:58 pm

haha! This post cracks me up! I love the idea of balancing on your knees! I have never thought of that. I have always used it for presses and push-ups and sit ups. I am excited to try it!

Sarah (The Simple Dietitian) March 12, 2013 at 6:23 pm

I love the whole ball balancing workout! What a fun and unique idea!!!

Also, chocolate chip cookie dough is hands down my favorite dough! :D

Kim March 12, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Oh my goodness. I tried balancing on my ball today–and I scared my dog away. I only hope after spending 10 minutes trying it out that I can last as long as you did in that video! A personal challenge to master this by the end of April.

Tiffany @ Snack Snark Bark March 12, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I pinned your balls!

Trisha March 12, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Just gonna say it… I love the word balls.
Baseball is my fave for sure. And as for dough, regular ol’ chocolate chip cookie dough is THE BEST!

Laura @ Mommy Run Fast March 18, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Mmm, I make no bake balls almost every week, love your combo! I need to get more cashew butter. Btw, I recently signed up for Blend, excited to get to say hello then!

Janetha March 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Yay! Happy to hear it!! See you in May :)

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