I had it all planned out today. When we left our house to go to church, I could tell that it was going to be a beautiful day outside. This time of year those are few and far between so when they do come, it can only mean one thing for me. . .RUN! I plan on getting a few miles in this afternoon. There is nothing like a good run to get your head ready for the rest of the week.
When I plan on doing a long run (for me that is anything over 5 miles. Yeah, I know, I’m a pansy), I know I need to fuel my body appropriately beforehand. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they begin an exercise routine is not fueling their body CORRECTLY before they exercise and not replenishing their body CORRECTLY after they exercise. Notice the emphasis on CORRECTLY. There is nothing that will kill your run faster than eating junk before you head out.
To fuel my runs, I prefer what I can SUPER SMOOTHIES. So clever, I know. Super smoothies can be made a hundred different ways, but the goal is always to fill your body with the fuel it needs to help you perform your best during, and recover quickly after a workout. I made my smoothie a little while ago, had my wife film it, and planned on posting it as a video. I like for you to be able to see exactly how I put it together. After an hour of fighting with both the camera and the computer (I lost this fight) I realized that I’m a moron and that I screwed up the video.
Sooooooo. . .this is now going to be a regular post. Sorry! Here are the ingredients I used for my SUPER SMOOTHIE today:
Medjool Dates: Say what?? If you haven’t discovered dates yet, GET ON IT. Dates are literally nature’s candy. They are great on their own, or you can put a little almond butter in them and eat them as dessert. Here, I added a couple to not only sweeten my smoothie, but give my body some of the sugar it needs for long runs. (Quick note: Don’t forget to take the pits out. I learned the hard way a while back that date pits don’t go down easily.)
All of these items are pretty standard and they provide the flavor base. I also threw in a scoop of protein powder to keep the guns bulging (didn’t figure you needed a picture of that). Now let’s kick it up a notch!
Flax Oil: This oil is made from, of course, flax seeds. Flax seed oil is extremely high in essential fatty acids, or the ‘good fat’ that your body needs. Not only is the fat good for your heart, but it helps deliver vital nutrients to your muscles more quickly as you exercise. Don’t forget though, this is still FATTY OIL. I like it when people eat a pound of salmon and then say “but it’s good fat!” This is true, but good fat will still make your BUTT fat. Use it sparingly. If I’m not working out hard on a day, I won’t include this in my smoothies.
Fresh Spinach: Say what?!?!? Yep, you heard me right. I LOVE spinach and I LOVE putting it in my smoothies. Spinach is a superfood (just like all leafy green vegetables are). The benefits are so many that I’m not even going to try to list them. I’d eat spinach all day long if I could. For those of you who are still 13 years old and say “but I don’t like spinach!”, smoothies are your lifesaver. Throw spinach in your smoothies and you can’t even taste it. I promise! It turns the color green, adds all the benefits, but the flavor is masked by the fruit. We could do a lot of good for our bodies by adding more of this stuff to our diets. You can thank me when you are old (and still healthy).
Maca Powder: Maca WHAT?!?! Maca, also known as the “endurance athletes secret weapon,” is an old incan superfood that has been gaining a lot of traction in the last few years. I have just started using it and I’m pretty much Superman now (well, maybe not quite). As an adaptogen, maca works broadly to contribute to overall well being. It nourishes and calms the nerves with calcium, phosphorus, vitamins B1 and B12 , and fatty acids, all of which work beneficially on the nervous system.
It stimulates the appetite and aids in digestion with calcium, vitamins B1 and B2, B12, and fatty acids. Its phosphorus is a primary building block in the cell fuels Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) and glucose-6-phosphate (G6P).
At the same time it supports the adrenal glands so they don’t have to rely on damaging corticol to fuel the body. Its sterols, calcium, and vitamin C help build muscle mass and its starches aid in physical endurance. Its alkaloids help the body assimiliate all these nutrients just where they are required. Basically, its awesome!! Add it to a smoothie to kick up the health benefits even more.
That’s it! Add all that to the blender (save up and get a Vitamix if you don’t have one), add some ice and almond milk, and booyah!
So, how does it taste???
It may look gross, but it really does taste GREAT. Even IF it didn’t, it is so good for you that you need to drink it anyway! Get ready to have TONS of energy and take your workouts to next level. Go big or go home right?? Ha!
Thanks for reading! Look for a video (if I don’t screw it up) soon.
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