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Mena's Minute

Edible Reno


Fall is a great time to be outdoors. Enjoy the wonders and beauty around us with a hike onReno-Tahoe’s beautiful trails; a bike ride along the Truckee River with the family in tow; and skiing, snow shoeing, and sledding on snowy days. Did you know an hour of hiking burns up to 500 calories and an hour of skiing burns 400 calories? You don’t have to be in a gym to be fit.

After nine years in the fitness industry, one element has stayed the same: the misunderstanding of the importance of food when it comes to exercise. Most people try to cut calories drastically, or they attempt to outrun their poor eating habits.

Clean eating will help you lose and maintain weight, while exercise will help sculpt your body. Both have numerous health benefits, including giving you a healthy heart, adding years to your life, and keeping you moving strongly through life.

Clean eating is a healthy way of life, not a diet. Your ultimate source of eating is delicious, unprocessed foods that are seasonal and nutrient dense. Choose lean proteins such as chicken, fish, and lean cuts of meat, all the vegetables you enjoy, and energy-supplying carbs such as sweet potatoes, brown or wild rice, quinoa, and oatmeal. Go for well-balanced meals, watch portions, and eat five to six times a day to keep your metabolism humming!

In terms of exercise, I recommend adding a minimum of five days a week of physical activity — ideally, cardio six days a week and strength training for two to four days a week, in 30-minute sessions for each.

To help you on your journey to eating better, try the recipe below. It is one of my clients’ most relished clean-eating treats. I am sure it will become one of your favorites, too.

Mena Spodobalski owns and is an advanced fitness trainer at Evoke Fitness in Reno. She also is a state champion and nationally qualified fitness competitor. For details, visit http://www.Evokefit.com


Peanut Butter Energy Balls
(Makes about 12 to 15 balls)
½ cup oatmeal
¼ cup flaxseed, ground
½ cup unsweetened coconut
½ cup peanut or almond butter
¼ cup organic local honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup dark chocolate chunks (365 brand at Whole Foods Market is 67 percent cacao)

Mix all ingredients together and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Once cold, roll into 2-inch balls. Store in airtight container.

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