• Carolyn Smith

Don't Deprive - Thrive plus Energy Balls!

When the subject comes up about eating a plant-based diet, the focus inevitably turns to what you will miss, what is left out, what is lacking. What am I going to do without my beloved cheese?

I'm with you - I get it.

This is not about deprivation, suffering, or lack. Instead, it’s about improving your health, increasing your vitality, and doing what’s best not just for you but for all of us as one connected organism we call Earth. So let’s flip the equation. Shift perspective away from what is missing on your plate and let’s focus on all the new, nutritious foods you are now including. Look at it like an exhilarating adventure. Excitement over trying new things. Keep it light. And make it fun.

Once I shifted my focus from an animal-based plate with a side of veggies to a plant-based plate my palette shifted too. I soon began to taste new flavors and even crave vegetables.

Want to hear something really wild? Ramping up your plant intake will seed the intestinal tract with a healthier microbial ecology that will profoundly impact cravings.

Take it slow if you need to. Pick one day a week you leave animal products off the menu. Try a 10-day or longer "Cleanse" where animal products are not part of your day. See how you feel, notice shifts large and subtle.

Let’s not focus on the animal-based and processed foods we are removing from our diet. Instead, let’s spotlight the bounty of beautiful healthy foods we are including. These foods will allow you to thrive, feel nourished, and anything but deprived.

Need a go-to snack? Easy to grab and head out the door?

Triple Almond Energy Balls from Oh She Glows I love these because you can easily customize. I suggest storing a batch in the freezer and then popping a few in a mason jar before you leave the house.


  • 1 cup raw almonds

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews

  • 1/2 cup tightly packed pitted Medjool dates*

  • 2 tablespoons roasted almond butter or raw cashew butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, or to taste

  • 5 teaspoons water, or as needed**

  • Shredded coconut, hemp hearts, ground shelled pistachios, or cocoa powder, for rolling


  1. Add the almonds and cashews to a food processor and process into a coarse crumb. Be sure not to overprocess the nuts into butter.

  2. To the nut mixture, add the pitted dates. Process again until the dates are finely chopped.

  3. Next, add the roasted almond butter (or raw cashew butter, if using), cinnamon, salt, almond extract, and water (starting with a couple teaspoons) to the processor bowl and process again until the mixture comes together into a dough. You should be able to easily roll the dough into balls without them feeling dry or crumbly. If the dough is too dry, add more water one teaspoon at a time and continue processing until the mixture moistens to desired consistency.

  4. Roll the dough into 11 to 12 golf ball-sized balls. If using, roll each ball in your garnish of choice: shredded coconut, hemp hearts, ground shelled pistachios (or other nuts), or cocoa powder. (If the garnishes aren't sticking, you can lightly wet the balls with water before rolling.)

  5. Chill the balls in the freezer for about an hour to firm up, or feel free to eat them at room temperature if you can’t wait that long! Leftover balls will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for a few weeks. You can also store them in the fridge in an airtight container for several days if you prefer.


* You’ll want to make sure the dates are very well packed into the measuring cup. If your dates are very firm and dry, I also recommend soaking them in hot water for about half an hour, and then draining well before using as directed.

** The amount of water you will need will depend on how fresh and sticky your Medjool dates are.

These energy balls have a soft texture. If you prefer a crunchier consistency, you can roll the balls in ground nuts or stir some chopped nuts or chocolate into the dough itself.

To make the pink shredded coconut, I mixed unsweetened shredded coconut with a bit of beet juice.

#plantbased #energyballs #thrive