Nature’s Emporium SL5K Virtual Challenge + 3 Superfood Recipes to Help You Crush Your Goals!

The Nature’s Emporium SL5K Virtual Challenge is just around the corner! If you are participating in this important community event, we have the info you need to help fuel your fitness.

Choosing the right foods can make a tremendous difference in your energy and performance.

This is how it works:

Optimum Nutrients From Organic “Real” Foods + Optimal Functioning of the Body’s Cells + a state of Balanced Health Highest Level of Physical Fitness = Crushing Your Goals!

Athletes have always been looking for that competitive edge to be successful and help them exceed their limits. Early records of ancient Olympians show that they understood the connection between diet and performance. For example, from ca. 500-400 B.C. warriors used foods such as deer liver and lion heart to reap the associated benefits bravery, speed and strength to go into their battle. We’re not recommending that diet for you! We do have some great foods to reach for when it comes to fueling for fitness and you can find them all at any Nature’s Emporium location.

First, let us briefly explain what your body uses as fuel. Carbohydrates are the most efficient form of fuel and is stored as glycogen in your liver and muscles. Fat comes in second as the most concentrated source of energy. Protein is used in late stages of long distance run or extreme circumstances.

When you reach for nutrient-dense organic foods that contain quality carbohydrates, fats and protein that provide you energy, you can never go wrong.

Consider including these fitness superfoods too:

Tart Cherries

Tart cherries are high in anthocyanins (potent antioxidant) more effective than aspirin at relieving pain and reducing inflammation. Try drinking an ounce of cherry concentrate 20 mins before your training session.  You can also add cherries to your smoothie. See my Chocolate Cherry Performance Smoothie made with Garden of Life’s Raw Organic Fit Protein!

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds have been used for centuries as an energy/electrolyte booster: Try 2 tablespoons Chia seeds combined with one cup water and one freshly squeezed lime for a DIY electrolyte drink.


Spirulina supports the body’s ability to preserve glycogen stores and utilizes fat for energy more efficiently. Those who supplement with spirulina before running were able to run an average of 30 percent longer. Spirulina also helps to heal the body, post run.

Beets (and Beet Juice)

Beetroot juice increases runners’ endurance during high intensity running by 15 percent. Ideally this juice should be consumed 2 hours before exercise if possible.


Turmeric (the bright yellow spice) contains curcumin, the active compound that has been shown to help reduce inflammation. Add to any dish before or after training.

Fitness Fuel Fun Facts

  • The average endurance athlete needs a diet consisting of 60% carbohydrates, 15% protein and 25% fat;
  • You can store about 400g of glycogen in your muscles, and about 100g in your liver  
  • First hour of running: energy comes from glycogen in your muscles
  • After an hour of running: muscles draw fuel from stored glycogen in the liver.
  • For low intensity exercise (distance running etc.) glycogen stores can last as long as 90 minutes. For prolonged high intensity exercise, glycogen stores can provide energy for approximately 20 minutes. “Hitting The Wall” is the result of this depletion
  •  Consuming 30-60g of carb from food or a sports beverage every 60 mins can help prevent this sudden energy crash
  • Sip on a sports beverage every 15 mins from the start of the run
  • Some studies report that you can get some benefit from swishing and spitting out a sports beverage as carbohydrate begin digesting in the mouth. This sends a signal to your brain that still have energy, which communicates to the rest of your body to move it!

Properhydration is also key for better performance. A loss of more than 2% of body weight impairs performance. Aim to consume for half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. Pay attention to your individual needs and assess what is right for you.

To help you keep fuelled up for the Nature’s Emporium SL5K virtual challenge we have three tasty recipes! All include our exclusive Race Kit Sponsor, Garden of Life’s Organic Raw Fit Protein Powder!

Apple Pie Protein Muffins

Course Dessert, Snack
Keyword Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 12 muffins
Author Sabrina Cellupica & Nicole Ensoll


  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1 scoop Garden of Life Raw Organic Fit Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 2 tbsp Lakanto Classic Monk Fruit Sweetner
  • 2 tsp Nature’s Emporium Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 Nature's Emporium Eggs
  • 1 cup plain coconut yogurt
  • ½ cup organic apple sauce
  • 1 organic apple diced

For the topping:

  • 3 tbsp organic pecans diced


  • Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  • In a medium bowl, combine oat flour, protein powder, monk fruit, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, sea salt and whisk together.
  • In a small bowl, combine eggs, yogurt and applesauce.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.
  • Divide evenly into two muffin pans and top with crushed pecans.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Let them cool completely and enjoy by spreading some of your favourite nut butter on it!

Pumpkin Protein Balls

Course Dessert, Snack
Keyword Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Sabrina Cellupica & Nicole Ensoll


  • Food processor


For the balls:

  • 4 tbsp Nature’s Emporium Oats
  • 4 tbsp Garden of Life Raw Organic Fit Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1 tsp Nature’s Emporium Cinnamon
  • tsp nutmeg
  • tsp cloves ground
  • ¼ tsp ginger powder
  • 2 tbsp Lakanto Classic Monk Fruit Sweetener
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 6 tbsp cashew butter
  • 6 tbsp pumpkin purée
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds crushed
  • 1 tbsp Lakanto Classic Monk Fruit Sweetener
  • ½ tsp Nature’s Emporium Cinnamon


  • Pulse the oats, protein powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, gloves, ginger, monk fruit and the sea salt in a food processor until you get a powder.
  • Add the remaining ingredients: cashew, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and pulse to fully combine.
  • Transfer mixture into a bowl and roll into balls. Then, roll it into the topping until the ball is fully covered in the topping.
  • Refrigerate to cool completely and enjoy!

Chocolate Cherry Performance Smoothie

Course Drinks
Keyword Dairy Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 smoothie
Author Miranda Malisani


  • High-powered blender


  • 10 oz unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 scoop Garden of Life Raw Organic Fit Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1/2 scoop Boreal Organic Frozen Tart Cherries
  • 1 medjool date pitted
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp Nature’s Emporium Raw Cacao Powder


  • Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender and enjoy! 

We are thrilled to partner another year with Southlake Hospital on this very important event for the community, by the community. Our Partnership with the Southlake Foundation started in 2012 evolving from the Run or Walk for Southlake, presented by Nature’s Emporium with approximately 1000 participants taking part in 2.5, 5 or 10KM to the present day Nature’s Emporium Run for Southlake with over 1900 participants completing 5KM. This event has since evolved into one of Southlake’s biggest annual signature events and become a fixture in our community, with the first ever sold out event in 2018.

Just as Southlake touches the lives of people beyond York Region, participants come from all over to join in. From South Simcoe, Durham and Dufferin Counties, Toronto and even as far north as Muskoka. Participants from 3 to 80 years old come to support leading edge health care for their family, friends and neighbours. We are humbled that Nature’s Emporium has helped to raise over $1.5M for critical care equipment. Southlake relies on the generosity of the community to help replace the life-saving tools that have become worn from overuse, and to purchase new technology that helps improve patient care. The 2020 NE Run for Southlake originally scheduled for Sunday, April 26 was postponed due to Covid-19 and be offered as a virtual 5-day event from September 23-27

There’s still time to register! Click here for more info:

Miranda Malisani, RNCP

Spokesperson, Director of Health & Wellness

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