Trail Mix Energy Bars

My coworker made these a couple of months ago and I was soon addicted.  I finally made my own version today and they also turned out delicious!  These bars require no baking and prep time is only about 15 minutes.  It’s such an easy recipe and are probably healthier than most store-bought granola bars. 


  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (or any chopped nut)
  • 2 cups dried fruit (I used 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries and 1/2 cup dried blueberries)
  • 1/3 cup ground flax-seed
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • A little pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/2 cup pure honey
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1) Combine oats, peanuts, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, cereal, pumpkin pie spice, & ground flax-seed in a large bowl.

2) In a medium-size microwave safe bowl, combine: peanut butter, honey, light brown sugar, & vanilla extract.  Microwave for 1 minute.

3) Pour the peanut butter mixture onto the dry ingredients and stir well.

4) Evenly pour the mix onto a 9×13 inch baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.  Make sure to press the mixture firmly.  Wait 1 hour before cutting into pieces.  The bars can be stored at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer.  Enjoy!

Yum, so good!  These bars taste amazing crumbled in a bowl of greek yogurt or as pre-workout fuel.  I think next time I’ll even add dark chocolate chips and eat them as an afternoon snack. So many options! 😀

Hartford Half Race Review

I finished the half marathon yesterday, yesss!  And it was tough!  It was mostly a mental challange but oh so physical too.  There were so many points along the course where I just wanted to stop and call it a day.  I was even tempted to call it quits and stop at mile 11.  I was done with running and wanted nothing more than to walk to the finish.  But I pushed along, stopped only once to take off my long sleeve shirt, and finished in 1:46 (8:08 per mile pace).  My legs felt heavy and I wasn’t able to PR but I’m still happy that I pushed it and have no regrets! 😀 

Alright, let’s talk Hartford.  Here’s a quick recap of the day:

Distance Options: 5K, half, and full marathon.  Perfect for groups of all levels. Our group had 1 running the 5K, 4 of us ran the half, and another completed the full marathon (Go Brian!).

Course: The course for the half marathon was mostly flat, fast, and beautiful.  We ran through the vibrant neighborhoods of Hartford and West Hartford, through a park and finished right past the arches.

Music: Live bands and DJ’s are everywhere.  They had 12 groups lined up along the half marathon course which was a very pleasant surprise for me.  They included: Acoustic Folk, Acoustic Rock, Latin DJ’s, Rock & Roll, African Drums, Bagpipes, Funk, and Blues.  Great lineup!

Parking: With over 13,000 athletes you would think parking might be an issue but it was not at all.  Parking garages and open lots were all over the place and within a short 5 minute walk to the course.

Spectators: Are everywhere!  The streets were lined with so many enthusiastic crowds.  It felt like the whole community was out there for the race and it was awesome having them there.  There were cute, lil’ kids all over the place cheering us on and waiting for high fives from everyone.

Post-race: Mike (who PR’d yay!) cheering on the full marathon runners

Swag Bag: So.Much.Free.Stuff! 

There was more food in the bag but I ate it after the race…

Water Stops: There was plenty of water/ Gatorade stops along the route… I believe 9 in total.  There was also a stop for GU energy packets which really helped me out. 

And lastly, the “After-Party”:  There’s nothing better than a cold beer after running 13 miles, right?  After we quickly stretched and changed into warmer clothes, we made our way over to the beer tent to enoy some Harpoon beer.  Each runner gets 1 free drink ticket included on their bib and can purchase more beers for $5 each.  There was also a huge food tent but I never made my way over there.

That’s it.  I highly recommend this course!  I’m already thinking of doing the full marathon next year but in the meantime I’ll be happy that I finished the half.