Yesterday I was rushed to post about my perfect green smoothie as we had big plans for the day. My 8-year-old nephew, Jack and my father-in-law Dan are in town and what better way to entertain a group of guys than to go to an adventure park for the day?! The U.S. National Whitewater Center is only a short drive from our house and it was our first time checking it out. We weren’t exactly sure what to expect but I knew it was going to be HOT. There was a short list of necessities: Sun Block, a bathing suit, towel, close-toed shoes, and my camera. I had my green protein smoothie in the morning so I was fired up and ready to raft! We arrived to the park around 11:00am. We signed our health release forms and got the area map to scope out what we should do first. Rafting is the only thing you had to sign up for a time slot and we couldn’t go until 2:00. Rock climbing was up first.
We walked around the courses and observed the rafters which made me more and more excited to try it out for myself!
It seems so appropriate the timing we have of going rafting to the Olympic training site for American whitewater rafters on the very opening day of the Olympics. I have to admit I had my trepidations before attempting the sport. We were going on the “family” rafting level however so if these little kids can do it then so can I!
We walked over to the Mega Zip Line and I was really feeling the heat. I opted to sit in the shade with a nice breeze. It’s the kind of heat that makes you want to dump buckets of ice down your shirt.
We had lunch at the River’s Edge Bar and Grill and was shocked to see how delicious and healthy sounding the menu was. I ordered a black bean veggie burger topped with grilled pineapple and avocado. Chris got a pulled pork sandwich, Jack got an order of wings (he is a wing eating machine) and Dan got a very tasty looking chicken wrap. I suppose since Olympians train there they need to offer “real” food and not just your standard fried Twinkie theme park fare. This fact actually makes me much more inclined to return to the park for all day adventures.
After lunch we went kayaking on the Catawba river and no pics of this since from here on out my camera was safely stored in a locker. There was no way I was going to chance losing my awesome new camera in the river. There were choices of tandem kayaks, single kayaks and stand up paddle boards. We only kayaked about 15-20 minutes since we were nearing our 2:00 whitewater time slot. There is a very peaceful loop you can kayak that would take about 45 minutes to get around, those waters were so calm and flat which really exaggerated what we were about to get ourselves into. This next video will give you a taste of it:
This video will give you a better idea of all the outdoor activities USNWC has to offer:
Do you want to go there now? If you have any kind of spirit for outdoor adventures then it is a place for you! I honestly can’t wait to go back when it’s not so darn blistering hot. I’m so glad I had made these protein bars the night before because by the time we got home I needed to refuel. The right fuel is especially important on days like these. We weren’t done for the day either…we showered, ate some of my awesome protein bars and off we went to the Knights stadium for a baseball game against the Yankee’s. (This is AAA baseball so not the Yankee’s you are familiar with as Chris had to explain to me)
Homemade Power Bars Recipe
2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup Protein Powder ( I used Jay Robb Vanilla Whey Protein Powder)
1/3 cup Dried Cranberries or dried fruit of your choice
1/4 cup Sliced Almonds (again any nuts will do)
1/2 TBS Ground Cinnamon
1/2 TBS Ground Cardamom
1/4 cup Almond Butter (you can use peanut butter or any other kind of nut butter)
1/4 cup Honey (optional if you are cutting sugar)
1/4 cup Almond Milk ( I use unsweetened Vanilla)
1/4 cup 70% or higher Cocoa/dark chocolate
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Sea Salt
- Combine Dry Ingredients into a medium bowl or kitchen aide mixer bowl (first 6 ingredients)
- In a separate, microwave safe bowl, combine the wet ingredients.
- Microwave about 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave another 30 seconds until chocolate is melted and well combined.
- Pour chocolate mixture into your dry ingredients and mix together.
- Using an 8×8 pan, spray with Pam and line pan with plastic wrap. (the Pam helps the plastic wrap to stick flat to the pan)
- Spread the mixture into the pan and put in the freezer for 20 minutes to set.
After they are set you can cut them into bigger protein bars of 8 or smaller into 16. Mine were definitely on the sticky side so don’t be afraid to get your hands a little dirty
I hope these give you the power you need for your next big adventure! Enjoy!