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Original photo by Mia Knapp

Healthy Recipes by a Collegiate Athlete

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Iowa chapter.

What do athletes and fall have in common? Fall is the season when the University of Iowa’s cross-country season is held which means many athletes who are members of the university’s track and cross-country teams will be competing. Fall is also the perfect time to try new healthy recipes. 

Original photo by Mia Knapp

Leah Kralovetz is a sophomore on the track and cross country team. She is majoring in enterprise leadership with a minor in sports and rec management. In the future, she wants to open a cafe and write a cookbook. While Leah enjoys running, she also values her faith and strives to be a role model. Aside from her studies and practice, Leah enjoys creating healthy recipes in her free time. 

Instagram profile
Original photo by Mia Knapp

Creating recipes gives Leah a creative outlet and a way to inspire other people. She even has an Instagram page dedicated entirely to faith, running, and recipes (@lifethroughleahslens). On this page, she shares the recipes she creates which are healthier versions of foods we already love such as donuts, waffles, and smoothies, just to name a few. 

Original photo by Mia Knapp

As an athlete, Leah views food as fuel and tries to make sure her fueling will best support her running goals. She also stresses the importance of allowing oneself to have food freedom and to remember that “no food is bad but having no food is bad.” She says it is good to remember that eating ice cream once in a while will not affect your performance goals. 

Another aspect of her Instagram page is body positivity. Leah created her Instagram page after having a negative experience with fueling her body properly. At the beginning of her running career, she did not fuel enough to keep up with the intensity of her training regimen and restricted foods that were deemed ‘bad’. Now, through her page, she reminds her audience to be gracious to themselves because God made everyone unique and not to let their diet be the main focus of their lives. 

Below is Leah’s favorite original recipe: 

Original photo by Mia Knapp

HEALTHY NUTTER BUTTERS – Makes 16-17 sandwiches
  • For the cookie: 

    • 1 can of chickpeas
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • For the peanut butter filling

    • 6 tbsp peanut butter
    • 1 tbsp maple syrup/honey


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
  2. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Lay out a towel and hull them. Discard the shells and use the towel to pat dry.
  3. Add all of the ingredients for the cookie part into a blender and blend until fully combined (about 1 minute). 
  4. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the dough, placing them in 2 circle pairs right by each other (you should make 32-34 small circles)
  5. Use a fork to make crisscross lines on each circle. Be sure to press the two circles together to make sure they stick.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the dough browns (don’t take them out too early or they will be too soft). Let cool.
  7. To make the filling, place peanut butter and maple syrup into a blender and blend until fully combined. Spread a bit on 16-17 of the cookies (half of however you made) and make sandwiches by placing two cookies (one with peanut butter and one without peanut butter) together. 


Follow Leah on Instagram (@lifethroughleahslens) or Tik Tok (@_leah_5) for more running, faith, and food-related content!

Hi there! My name is Mia Knapp, and I am currently a second year at the University of Iowa. I am majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication along with a business minor. In my free time, you can find me enjoying a caramel latte, spending time with my dog, or hanging out with my friends and family.
U Iowa chapter of the nation's #1 online magazine for college women.