Meredith Merriman’s energy bites

For many people, workday afternoons can be low-energy and even downright sleepy. For Meredith Merriman, compensation and classification services supervisor in King County’s Human Resources Division, the temptation for something sweet is high. Instead, she reaches for her homemade, satisfying energy bites.

MMerriman_desk
Meredith Merriman powers through another workday afternoon with her energy bites

“I like having them at work because my energy drops in the middle of the afternoon and I typically run for a croissant at the café downstairs,” she shares. “It’s something I don’t need to heat up, don’t need a fork (or a plate for that matter) and I can eat them at my desk or as I’m running out the door to a meeting.”

Why the afternoon slump?

Research points to our natural circadian rhythms that naturally dip in the afternoon. This feeling can be exacerbated by long periods of inactivity, eating a carbohydrate-heavy lunch, or mild dehydration.

If you feel tired in the afternoon, try to step away from your desk for a few minutes, swap your coffee mug for a glass of water, or grab a snack. Carbohydrates can spike your blood sugar levels, followed by a dramatic drop that can leave you tired. Choose snacks with whole grains and protein to feel full longer.

Try the recipe

Meredith was inspired by a recipe from Instagram foodie @restoring_radiance and makes the energy bites recipe on Sundays to get her through the week. “Plus, I don’t need to use the oven (super important, especially during summer), and the ingredients are items I commonly have on hand,” she says.

Many ingredients in this recipe can be found in your grocery store’s bulk section. Shopping in bulk allows you to buy only what you need, and is often less expensive than buying pre-packaged ingredients. Meredith likes using local honey in her recipe and since she doesn’t otherwise use protein powder, purchases individual packets. To add another local ingredient, try peanut butter from local Kingston nut company CB’s Nuts.

Quick and Easy Energy Bites (makes 14-15 bites)

2 cups rolled oats
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tbsp maca (optional)
1 scoop vanilla protein
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey

Blend all the dry ingredients in a food processor.  Add the peanut butter and honey into the food processor and blend again, and then pour ingredients into a bowl and mix with hands.  Alternatively, you can just mix all the ingredients with your hands without using the food processor.

Have a healthy recipe to share? Share it with healthyincentives@kingcounty.gov!

MMerriman_ingredients
The ingredient list for this recipe is relatively simple and easy to substitute based on preferences and what’s in your pantry.
MMerriman_rolling
Mix all the ingredients, then roll energy bites by hand.

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