Wednesday evening, around 7 p.m., tired and hungry, I pulled into the Trader Joe’s parking lot. I’d just dropped Posey off at home after his trip to the animal hospital, where my budding veterinarian and I learned that he may have a heart murmur. A possible sign of kitty cardio-myopathy, this may require a diagnostic echocardiogram and medication – and perhaps, lead to an early death for our beloved Maine Coon. A lot of unknowns, but some grief, nonetheless.
It was kind of late to throw dinner on the table, but I figured I’d find something healthy and novel at their nifty taste-test station. But then I smelled the irresistible aroma from the grill of a nearby burger joint and got take-out instead. Know what I mean? Dang it. (Note to self: No way, no how, do you attempt a TJ’s visit at dinnertime.)
Whatever. Some days are like that. Tomorrow will be better, I decided. The only good thing about indulging in that greasy, salty meal is that I felt so gross by Thursday morning that I decided to head to the gym immediately after the kids went to school. I had to sweat it out.
Had I not already been dressed for the gym, however, I might not have made it at all. One of my dear offspring slammed the door when I quietly insisted that a coat was necessary, which rattled my nerves.
Sometimes that’s all it takes to throw us off, isn’t it? (No excuse for it, but perhaps, now that I consider the possibility, I may not have been the only one feeling “gross.”) I did indeed sweat out the grease – and my frayed nerves, at the gym, which is where I drafted this column. Because, you see, after I got off the Stairmaster (where columns sometimes percolate) and started my crunches I spotted a piece of dog hair dangling from my sneaker. So, I reached up to yank it – you know, because it was bugging me – and it turned out to be one of MY gray hairs. And, like one of those never-ending scarves magicians pull out of their hats, it was much longer than I’d anticipated. Seems it was attached to a ginormous tuft of other “stuff” (dog hair? cat hair? God-only-knows what?) that had been lodged in my sneaker. So. Gross.
I HAD to get up and go throw it away (I couldn’t just leave said tuft of random stuff lying beside me on the floor of the busy workout room, could I?).
Once on my feet, too giggly and my focus too far gone for more crunches, I texted column notes to myself. Then I headed straight to Trader Joe’s (no detours) to buy chocolate and coconut and other ingredients for the no-bake energy bites I spotted this week online.
I needed energy and had a hunch that the kids and I needed a little bit of fun mixed into our after-school snack. If you and yours are anything like me and mine, you do too, so I’ve reprinted the recipe. (See no-bake energy bites below.)
Here’s a quote by an unknown author that I stumbled upon this week that also made me smile.
“On particularly rough days, when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100 percent. And that’s pretty good.”
Moral of the story? I’m sleeping in my gym clothes. But I’m not giving up chocolate.
Yeah, bring it on.
No-bake energy bites
• 1 cup of dry oatmeal
• ½ cup chocolate chips (we used semi-sweet)
• ½ cup peanut butter
• ½ cup ground flax seed (we ran out so we used hemp seeds)
• 1/3 cup of honey (we used local honey from Poplar Acres in Batavia; delish!)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
Let the kids measure, mix and roll into balls. Good luck saving any for school lunches!
Optional: My friend Mary suggested adding shredded coconut, and we do believe she’s right. We found that tossing the bites in the coconut makes sweet sense, as they’re quite sticky otherwise.
We also added 1/3 cup crushed macadamia nuts because, well, why not?
• Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her husband, Todd, and their two children, Noah and Holly. Contact her at email@example.com.