5 Minute Energy Balls to Go, No Nuts Recipe


I buy Cliff Bars here and there to hide in my cupboard for emergencies. However having three young, growing children feels a lot like emergency quite often 🙂

There are also only a certain amount of cliff bars I can eat or want to keep paying for. I like Cliff Bars, they have quality ingredients but I always do just as good or often better when I make some snack myself.

However that lots of times require the use of nuts. I think nuts are wonderful but the human body fills up with them quick. Plus having them in a power ball it’s way too easy to over eat them. They also are expensive, have you noticed how much the price of nuts went up the last few years?

So I was super excited to try something new, refreshing, grainy and velvety at the same time. It passes the test of my kids, they officially are in love with these coffee balls.

I used shredded coconut as the main body for the recipe. Next time I will turn the shredded coconut to coconut butter and will report you which bar I like better. This version I will share with you today is more grainy, if you blend your shredded coconut or use coconut butter, you will get a more smooth consistency.

Also feel free to alter the amount of the different ingredients. You like it chocolatey, put more cacao powder in it. You want more crunchiness, add more cacao nibs. Do you want it to Ben more smooth, add more coconut oil. Is sweet and salty your style? Add more salt. No craving for coffeine, use decaf coffee or change to instant coffe for a less grainy taste.

This recipe will give you the fundamental idea and you tailor it to your liking. Some people say they always use a recipe, some go by their instincts. This recipe isn’t the perfect mixture of these two groups of people.


2C Shredded Coconut

3 Tbs Coconut Oil

1 Tbs Cocoa Nibs

1Tbs Cacao Powder

1 Tbs Ground Coffee

1/4 tsp salt

Honey, just enough to process the ingredients into a ball

1 tsp Vanilla


Process the ingredients in a food processor and form them into 1 inch balls. Refrigerate in a sandwich bag and use them for energy bars when needed or in a hurry.

I hope you enjoy them 🙂

My kids can’t wait for me to make another batch of these yummy and super healthy treats.

5 Minutes Abs for Every Day Core Conditioning

I have to admit it, the weakest part of my body was always my core strength. Therefor I used to overdo ab workouts even though I have never even liked them. They were always hard to do for me since my core strength wasn’t there to help me through the workout.

I kind of managed somehow since I was always active in my life and was in shape most of the time. I have strengthened my abs just enough to not have any physical problems and have enough core power to feel strong and balanced.

However throughout the years this situation got worse and worse and then I got under the spell of the idea that if one does enough exercise, there is no need for extra, specific abs and core workout. Tell you honestly, I was just relived that there is any kind of scientific study that gives me an excuse not to have to work on my abdominal muscles. So I didn’t research it too long, I jumped on the wagon and didn’t do anything for my mid section other than staying active, as I have mentioned that before and sticking to my regular workout routine, which has contained sometimes less sometimes more whole body exercises, which made me believe that my abs are taken care of.

Then things got even worse. I got blessed with three kids 🙂 After my third pregnancy my abdominal muscles didn’t ever get to where they were before the pregnancies. I have read a lot about it and realized that this condition is quite common after a woman had several pregnancies. I had an opening about a two and a half finger wide, which means that I could fit two and a little of my third finger, put next to each other in the opening between my abdominal muscles. That’s the way people measure how wide the opening is.

First that discovery didn’t change anything and I still wasn’t doing any abs strengthening exercises. Since I had that condition, I believed its better to leave it alone now, until my ab muscles close.

But they didn’t and sometimes the opening actually widened instead of getting better. I also had a pouchy look to my stomach, to my lower abdominals, giving the illusion that my tummy was poking out, when actually I just had weak ab muscles and the opening enabled a bulging, which didn’t cause any pain, discomfort or physical problems, I was happily doing long runs, 30-60 minutes whole body exercises, even worked out with heavy weights, and the bulging wasn’t really a bulging, it just felt like it 🙂

Then I have started to reconsider of the idea that one doesn’t have to do extra ab moves, if the person is active and what I have described above. I have slowly, a little even too slowly, after several years, started to realize that unless I do something about it, my situation is going to be worse and worse. One day I have decided to start to do ab workouts again and being the stubborn person I am I have jumped full hearted into working on flattening my stomach and work my core up to a power house.

Obviously that was a mistake. I wish I would have done more research on that subject. I don’t think its a common mistake to start to do lots of abdominal exercises but in my condition it was. I have worked out a lot and used heavy weights, then I have just started to do the same, incorporating ab workout routines every time I have worked out and even on days when I didn’t, I still challenged my mid section.

After about 5 months of doing that, I got injured with a hernia, right above the belly button. That was the peak of the mistreating of my stomach area for several years or maybe even decades. That was the unavoidable sign that I had to change something about that.

The hernia was minor, an easy fix, but it kept me thinking…
I have started to research everything about open abdominals and abs generally. I have read everything I cold about these two subjects and I have made a plan.

I had to learn how to live with open abdominals and how to make the condition better and I had to educate myself about how to strenghten the core generally. All of the research in these two subjects benefited me tremendously.

Finally I had hope, that I can turn the years of abuse around and build a power house, a foundation for my body in a healthy, most structured and scientific way.

However, I didnt go to far with my enthusiasm. I did some changes. I have learned what abs exercises to do and how to do popular abs exercises to actually narrow the opening in my abdominals and create a steel hard core. First I have only done the alternated,open abs workouts, then later, when I have felt strong enough and saw that I am ok, started to add common ab moves.

I still havent enjoyed them tremendously, but I didnt hate them anymore and expected great results from my plan. I have seen improvements right away and I should have stayed with my routine, but I didnt. As soon as I have gained my strengh and confidence back and flattened my belly more than ever before, I have fell into the old habit of ignoring the mid section. Here and there I still have incorporated ab workouts but not near enough.

Just recently, in the last year I have finally decided to do abs regularly, remebering all the smart things I have learned and experienced throughout the years. I did incorporate a minimal amount of abs in my workout days a couple times a week, max. it was more about, “Abs, checkmark” kind of feeling.

Now I am done with old habits and old believes and hopes that one day my tummy will magically flatten and strenghten itself. It won’t. Now don’t give me wrong, I am not complaining at all. I am in shape and proud of my body, I dont feel like my stomach is bulging out. (But is sure feels like it sometimes).

I just want to develop and maintain the strongest core I can possibly can, through regular, daily exercises. I calculated that about 10 minutes abs a day, 6 times a week will get me the famous results I am looking for, and this time it would be hard to change my mind about it.

I just needed some good abs workout routines.

So let me introduce to you my first, 5 Minutes Abs Challenge video, which hopefully will be one of many in the future to come. In this video I focus a lot on the obliques, creating a nice, welcoming frame for the lower and upper abdominal muscles.

As I said, I will do them for about 10 minutes a day, about 5 days a week. In the case of this video, since it’s 5 minutes long, I will do the routine twice, starting the video again, when it’s over.





Debating The Ketogenic Diet

Debating Keto

The video I’ve posted here is a talk between James Grage, Dr. Osbourne, and Whitney Reid about the Keto Diet.

Update: Since I created this post, the video was removed from Youtube.  I apologize because it was such a helpful video for understanding the keto diet.  I’ll do the best I can to find another video that is as informative about keto diets as this one was.

They are not so much debating the ketogenic diet, as they are having a friendly and informative conversation about it.

Keep in mind these folks have tried the keto diet and Dr. Osbourne has helped many people to do some form of what people refer to as the Keto Diet.

I’ve posted it because it reveals a lot of truth about Keto and being in ketosis. (Update: The debate video about ketogenic diets was removed so I replaced it with another video from Dr. Brett Osborn)

Right now there’s a lot of interest in doing a Keto Diet, but most people don’t really understand what that means, and many people believe they are following a keto diet, but they are not actually in ketosis.

This video clears up a lot of the confusion and will help others to really understand what they are getting into when they are considering following a diet like this.

Some of the questions answered are about the ketogenic diet are:

  • Can you build muscle mass while you are in Ketosis?
  • Do you need to be in Ketosis to lose weight?
  • What does it really take to be in ketosis?

There are many other questions answered about the Ketogenic Diet in the video, and if you have the patience to listen to this talk, you’ll learn a lot, and you’ll probably be a little surprised even if you are familiar with Keto.

Thanks to James Grage for creating this video.

Sye Rodriguez
Things Very Good

Improve 5K Time To Under 21 Minutes 30 Seconds

5K In Under 21 Minutes 30 Seconds – How I Smashed My Personal Best 5K Time And You Can Too

If you’re ready to beat your current 5K time of more than 21 minutes 30 seconds, you’re in the right place, & I’m going to share the exact conditioning and strategy I used to do it.

Conditioning To Run a 5K In Under 21 Minutes 30 Seconds

I’m very excited about the fact that I just broke my personal best treadmill 5K run of 21 minutes 40 seconds. I have been wanting to break my personal best for several months, but I just wasn’t getting there with the strategy I was using.

5K In Under 21 Minutes 30 Seconds Things Very GoodThe good thing is I was conditioning myself to beat it all the time I was trying, and I hope my experience helps you.

For starters, if you run 8.5 mph for the whole 5K you’re going to beat a time of 22 minutes.

For conditioning, I recommend getting used to running your 5K in under 22 minutes several times, so you feel confident doing it anytime.

I also found that running 8.5 mph for the whole distance works, but I like to break it up a little and I think this could be helpful for you.

Try running 8 to 9 laps (2 to 2.25 miles) at 8.5 mph, then take a break for a lap or less at 7 miles per hour.

Wait until you feel a little drop in the pain you’ve been feeling at 8.5 mph, then jump back up to 9 miles per hour for a couple of laps before finishing most of the last lap at 8.5, and then jumping up to a sprint of around 10 mph to finish.

You can obviously play around a little with the last mile to 1.25 miles, the key being to make sure you are still consistently finishing in under 22 minutes.

This conditioning will give you the confidence to make the leap to a 5K in under 21 minute 30 seconds.

The Exact Strategy I Used To Smash My Personal Record And Run A 21 Minute 9 Second 5K

1st, I decided, no matter how painful it was, I was going to smash my 21 minute 40 second 5K time on my next run.

I was committed, and you should commit as well.

I decided I was going to run at 9 miles per hour the whole way if I could, knowing that would smash my record, but I was for sure going to do it long enough to KNOW I could beat my personal best time.

The 1st quarter mile at 9 mph was difficult, but I’m happy to let you know, it got easier after that, and I maintained that speed for almost 2 miles.

I knew that was plenty good to beat my current best, as long as I maintained 8.5 miles per hour the rest of the way.

From there I ran up to 2.75 miles at 8.5 mph; Then I jumped back up to 9 miles per hour up to the 3 mile mark; Then finished off with a sprint for the last .11 miles.

It was surprisingly easy to sprint the last .11 miles, knowing I was going to smash my previous personal best, and I think you’ll feel the same when you’re committed to it.

So that’s how I did it. I hope this helps you to smash your time of 21 minutes 30 seconds or longer 5K time. Now that you know my strategy, maybe you can run just a little longer at 9 mph and finish in under 21 minutes.

Thanks for reading about how to run a 5K in under 21 minutes 30 seconds at Things Very Good. I’m honored to have you here.

Top 3 Vegan Protein Powders Battle & Taste Test

Battle Of The Best Plant Based Protein Powders

Orgain Protein Powder Vs Now Organic Pea Protein Vs Root2 Organic Hemp Protein

Are you looking for the the best vegan protein powder money can buy?

Right here, on this page, we’ve compared 3 of the top Plant Based Vegan Protein Powders to help you decide which protein powder is best for you.

We’ve covered the important things you want to know about each protein powder:

  • Which protein powder tastes best?
  • Which one gives you the most protein for your money?
  • The protein powder with the highest amount of BCAAs (branched chain amino acids).
  • Which plant protein might be best for weight loss and why?
  • Which vegan protein powder might be the best for muscle gains and why?

Things Very Good has tasted all 3 protein powders and you can see the reaction in the video on this page.

Vegan Protein Powder Taste Test Winner

For most people, the clear winner for taste is going to have to go to the Orgain protein powder. It’s texture is creamy and the taste is sweet.

If you prefer tasty to natural, you’ll definitely want to go for the Orgain based on taste alone.

NOW Organic Pea Protein Powder doesn’t have a strong taste, but it’s a little beany tasting. I personally don’t mind the taste, but I tend to not mind anything I think is good for me.

Overall NOW’s pea protein is pretty mild tasting and it’s also pretty plain; A little organic stevia and vanilla extract could make it taste pretty good.

Root2’s Hemp Protein Powder is a different story; You’ll most likely like it or hate it.

I think it has a very natural hempy taste, and it also tastes healthy and good to me.  That being said, it’s going to be an acquired taste for some people.

Which Plant Based Protein Powder Gives You The Most Protein For Your Money?

NOW’s Organic Pea Protein Powder is the clear winner here. It’s got 34 servings at 15 grams of protein per serving, and the price is great.  That’s 510 grams of plant protein per 1.5 pound bottle.

Orgain Protein Powder comes in 2nd based on the amount of protein it has and the amount of servings.  It’s got 20 servings at 21 grams protein per serving for a total of 420 grams per 2.03 pound bottle.

Root2’s Organic Hemp Protein has 11 grams of protein per serving and 15 servings, for a total of 165 grams of protein per 1 pound bottle.

Even though Root2 Hemp Protein doesn’t give you quite as much protein for your money, it comes pretty close to the Orgain based on the price.

If you were to have 3 bottle of the Root2’s hemp protein you’d have a little more protein than you’d have from 1 bottle of Orgain, and the price would be comparable.

Which Of These Vegan Friendly Protein Powders Has The Most BCAAs?

Serving to serving Orgain and NOW Pea Protein Powder are very close when it comes to the amount of Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine they contain, but…

The Pea Protein has more BCAAs in a container, so you could consider the Pea Protein the winner.

Root2 Organic Hemp Protein Powder has less BCAAs than both Orgain and NOW’s pea protein, but it’s cost would make it pretty close to the value for BCAAs in Orgain, if you were willing to take more of it.

Is Orgain, Now Organic Pea Protein Or Root2 Hemp Protein Powder Better For Weight Loss?

Generally the more protein per serving, and more specifically the more BCAAs per serving, the better for weight loss, based upon 1 reason.

Protein calories in general are more satiating than calories coming from fat or carbohydrates.

Based on this fact, the protein powder containing the most protein per serving should be the winner, making it Orgain.

The above being stated, there’s more protein in a bottle of NOW’s pea protein, so if you have a larger serving of it, it might be the winner in terms of satiation, and as a result, possibly be the best for weight loss.

If you’re looking at the weight loss value from this point of view, Orgain and Root2 Hemp Protein aren’t 2 far off from each other.

The OTHER Weight Loss Ingredient In Hemp Protein Powder

Hemp protein powder does have a higher amount of Arginine than NOW Pea Protein and Orgain Protein Powder.

There has been some research showing that Arginine could be good for loosing fat and retaining lean muscle mass. That being said, Hemp Protein Powder contains more arginine than both Pea Protein and Orgain Protein Powder.

Which Of The Plant Proteins Is the Best For Muscle Gains?

When it comes to muscle gains the 1st thing to remember is it’s about having enough protein, no matter what the source; It could be from a good protein powder or from food.

That being said, BCAAs have been shown to help with gaining muscle, and of the 3 protein powders we’ve reviewed here Orgain has the highest amount of BCAAs per serving.

Again, you could look at how much BCAAs your getting for your money, and make an argument that the the hemp or pea protein powders we’ve reviewed here might be better for building muscle.

One great thing you might want to know is there has been a study comparing participants taking whey protein, pea protein, and a placebo; The subjects taking the pea protein gained the same amount of muscle thickness as those taking whey protein.

The placebo group didn’t experience any gains in muscle thickness. The take away is plant based protein does help you to gain muscle mass in conjunction with resistance training.

So What’s The Best Vegan Protein Powder Of The 3?

The best protein powder is the one you’re going to take, 1st of all.

If you know you’ll only consume it if it tastes good, and your idea of tasting good is something that’s got some added flavor, Orgain might be the best protein powder for you.

You’ll be happy to know, all 3 of these protein powders passed the Things Very Good test for quality of ingredients.

I’d recommend trying them all out and sticking with the one that you like best; or maybe changing them up from time to time.

That’s what I’m going to do.

Based upon purity of ingredients and cost, I really like NOW’s Organic Pea Protein and ROOT2’s Organic Hemp Protein Powder.

You’re only paying for the protein with these 2 products because that’s the only ingredient they contain.

But Root2 Organic Hemp Protein Powder HERE!

Buy NOW Organic Pea Protein Powder HERE!

Buy Orgain Organic Protein Powder HERE!

You may be interested in reading the individual reviews for these top protein powders for even more insight:

Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder Review

Root2 Certified Organic Hemp Protein Powder Review

Now Sports Organic Pea Protein Natural Flavored Review