Smoothies are Key!
If you are working out, you can eat whatever you want, right? Honestly, the idea sounds amazing and, to a certain extent, it is true. Having done Ironman distance training for the past six years, I was able to eat pretty much whatever I wanted and not did not gain weight. Sounds too good to be true? Well, it is.
I have learned that what I eat effects how my body feels. It is about more than gaining, losing or maintaining weight. If I put healthy food into my body, I have more clarity, energy, better workouts and better recovery.
Dark leafy greens are a great source of nutrients and one of the essentials to eating healthy. But, you can only eat so many different concoctions of salads before never wanting to eat salads again. So, instead of loading up on traditional salads, I make my salads into smoothies.
Smoothies are a dream source of nutrients and are great for those of us who are always on-the-go. The great news is, you don’t have to spend a fortune buying them at your local smoothie shop every day. Invest in a powerful blender and make yourself a smoothie in the evening to grab as you rush out the door in the morning; your body will thank you.
Perfect to take with you for a quick blast of protein after a workout, to bring with you to work or use as an afternoon snack to curb those sweet cravings, here is my trusty super-food smoothie recipe that I make almost every day. It provides two 16 oz. servings.
Add the following ingredients to a powerful blender in the following order to make sure they mix well:
1 cup water (Or coconut water.)
1 cup almond milk (Any kind of milk that you already have in the refrigerator will do.)
2 Tbsp. Flax Meal (Nutty flavor, high in Omega 3- fatty acids—the good stuff!)
1 Tbsp. Maca Powder (Optional, maca is a root in the radish family. The powder is a supplement with benefits ranging from increased energy to skin health and mood benefits during those special times of the month. If you have never used it before, start by only using 1 tsp and working up to 1 Tbsp.)
1 Tbsp. Cacao Powder
1 Serving Protein Powder of your choice (Optional, but a good idea if you need a little extra protein—if you plan on getting very little during your other meals of the day— if you are training or working out that day.)
1-2 cups frozen berries
1 tsp coconut oil (Coconut oil is great to have around the house. It is a dairy-free replacement for butter, has a super high smoke point—so it is good for sautéing—and has a ton of beauty uses. But, the reason it is so good in a smoothie is because it doesn’t change the texture, adds a yummy tropical flavor and is said to boost metabolism since it is processed differently from other fats.)
1 small handful of almonds
3-5 Large Handfuls of Greens (Kale/Spinach/etc)
1 tsp of Stevia, honey or agave
Mix well, serve it up, put it in the fridge for a great breakfast in the morning or make a bunch and freeze it.
Tips and suggestions:
Kale can be quite bitter, if you are not used to it. Sweeten it up with extra berries, lemon or a bit more Stevia, honey or agave.
If you are trying to spare the calories, you can omit the almonds, go lighter on the cacao powder or use only water/coconut water and no milk. But, healthy fats are GOOD FOR YOU. Fats help your body absorb the nutrition in your food, so never cut them out completely.
If you need more calories for heavy training days add healthy fats that are high in protein.
Avocados (healthy fat)
Hemp seeds (healthy fat & high protein)
Coconut Oil (healthy fat)
Flax Meal (Healthy fat & high protein)
Chia Seeds (healthy fat & high protein)
Nuts of your choice (almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc. – all healthy fat & high protein)
The great thing about smoothies is you can use whatever you happen to have in your refrigerator and pantry. Experiment and have fun!
Nom, Nom, Nom…. Or rather slurp, slurp, slurp.