Snacking is often driven by convenience, cravings and the urge to quickly soothe those hunger pangs. By mid-afternoon, many of us are reaching for a little something to get us through a workout or tide us over until dinner — chocolate bar and coffee at 3 pm sound familiar?
But many of those convenient and accessible packaged and baked goods offer a short-lived energy boost, followed by the ever-dreaded sugar crash. And as we become more health-conscious and active, the demand for nutritious, guilt-free snack alternatives is on the rise.
With this in mind, Ann Conrod and Sean Wallbridge, founders of Victoria’s Ballsy Foods, have created a line of protein balls, a highly customizable snack alternative offered in a variety of flavour and dietary profiles to curb energy dips and boost nutrient consumption. (And, yes, the company has a lot of fun using various plays on the word “balls.”)
Ann, who is also the owner of a nutrition coaching company called Fettle + Food and a personal trainer at Innovative Fitness, began incorporating protein balls into her clients’ weekly diets.
“The biggest challenge for a lot of people is meal prep and finding healthy snacks. I started making up recipes for protein balls to fill this void. I’d make them weekly, [customized] specifically for my clients,” Ann explains.
One of those clients was Sean.
“Sean was one of the biggest supporters; he loved the protein balls right away. He is not one to sit down and have big meals during the day, preferring to eat something quick and small several times a day to keep his energy levels up,” says Ann.
During their personal training sessions at Innovative Fitness, Sean began putting the bug in Ann’s ear to start a protein ball company.
“These balls last seven to 10 days in the fridge, and I don’t feel guilty about eating them. I know I’m eating something healthy and I don’t crash,” Sean explains.
Operating as an online store, exclusively servicing Greater Victoria, the balls are handmade to order on Sundays.
“All weekly orders are made fresh on Sunday and are delivered free to your home that night or Monday morning,” says Sean, “We offer packs of 12 in glass containers which allow us to avoid waste.”
The store has two constant flavours — the Bl’ann’d Ball and the Blue Ball — and one rotating flavour that changes every four to eight weeks. All of the balls are gluten-free, and the Bl’ann’d Balls are also vegan.
“All of our balls are oat-based, so they are not keto. We are aiming to bring sugar levels down, so they are lightly sweetened with maple syrup or honey. Every ball is filled with healthy carbs, fibre and protein powder. The other flavours incorporated are based on the specific ball,” says Ann.
Every ball comes with directions for consumption. Some are anytime balls, and some are workout balls.
“You could eat all of the balls anytime, but some give you a bit more energy before or after a workout and sustain you until your next meal. The highest carb count is 15 grams, and protein ranges from four to six grams depending on the type of ball,” explains Ann.
With rotating flavours that have included chocolate and salted caramel, Ballsy Foods is making it easy for you to keep your hands off that secret desk drawer filled with sweet treats. It’s effectively ensuring that you can feel good about snacking and, more importantly, feel good from snacking.