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What athletes eat: Arielle Gold's peanut butter and pumpkin snack balls

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Arielle Gold is quickly becoming one of the best in her sport. She was the halfpipe gold medalist at the 2012 junior snowboarding world championships before qualifying for the 2014 Olympic team (though she separated her shoulder and wasn't able to compete).

Last year, Gold finished second to superstar Chloe Kim at X Games Aspen, and she'll look to challenge Kim again later this month when X Games begins on Jan. 26.

She's also very serious about fueling her training in the healthiest way possible. "I typically try to avoid sugar, dairy and wheat, and eat lots of fruits and veggies. Unless it's a special occasion," she says, such as her birthday or winning an event.

One of her go-to snacks? These energy balls -- packed with nutrients and healthy fats -- that give her a little boost whenever she needs it.

Day and time: Before a workout or during a training session on the snow.

Place: My home mountain in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

What I'm eating: Pumpkin peanut butter energy balls.

Whose recipe: My U.S. team nutritionist gave me this recipe, and I don't usually revise it at all because it doesn't contain anything that I would normally avoid.

Why I'm eating it: I love these, because they are a great pre- or post-workout snack. They're healthy and easy to eat on the hill or in the gym.

The recipe:
Ingredients:
3 cups dry, uncooked oatmeal -- I use gluten-free thick cut oats
1 cup all-natural pumpkin puree
1 cup all-natural peanut butter or almond butter
2/3 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
4-6 tablespoons ground flax seeds -- if the 'dough' seems too wet, then add more ground flax; if it's too dry, add less. Start with a smaller quantity and add from there.
1 cup small chopped walnuts, chopped almonds, chopped peanuts, coconut flakes or any combination of mix-ins that totals up to 1 cup

Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Then roll the dough into roughly 1-inch balls. Keep refrigerated and eat whenever you're hungry.