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Do your body a favor. It’ll thank ya!

13 Jun

It feels like forever since the last post!  Let’s change that with a little delicious nutrient-rich smoothie bowl, shall we?

This morning was an EXCELLENT workout for me.  I took a day off yesterday and so my body was literally craving a hard run and intense P90X session to follow.  I even threw in a 15-minute ab workout just because I was feeling that great… Why?  Because weekends I usually indulge a little bit here and there : an extra scoop of (fat free, of course!) frozen yogurt on Friday, some mini chocolate chips in my yogurt on Saturday, a Starbucks Skinny Frap on Sunday…

Not this weekend. Nope.   I was totally on target with every single little thing that went into my mouth and tummy.  Nothing but clean eating for this girl!  So naturally, I was super fueled and ready to go this morning before the birds even started chirping away.  Successful Monday morning: CHECK!

Now, I lucked out this morning but not every Monday morning feels as great which is why this smoothie bowl is perfect get your body back on track because it’s packed full of nutrients from fruits, spinach and lots o’ protein.  Don’t be intimidated by the green color – I swear you will not even taste the spinach!!  Top it off with some sweet and crunchy granola and you’ve got yourself a power meal.

Ingredients:

1/2 frozen banana

3 frozen strawberries

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 pinches xanthan gum

Small handful of ice

1/3 cup cold water

Generous handful of fresh baby spinach

1/4 cup granola

Directions:

Throw everything but the granola into a blender and puree until smooth and creamy.  Top with the granola and enjoy a tasty, healthy, refreshing snack (or breakfast or lunch or dessert for that matter)!  Your bod will thank ya!

– Alex

After-Dinner Delight

6 Jun

Last week Keira and I went on a nice long walk downtown where we spent some time shopping around and just getting some good old fashioned exercise.  It was nearing lunchtime and so I decided we head back home.

On our way back home we passed a Muscle Max that must be somewhat new because I don’t remember seeing it there before.  It’s a sports nutrition store that sells all different kinds of supplements and vitamins.  I decided to check it out, mainly to see what the prices were like, and ended up being in there for almost 30 minutes.

I got chatting with the person who worked there.  He was very knowledgeable about nutrition and fitness and had a lot of good pointers for me.  I learned that in order to achieve the kinds of results I’ve been working so hard to achieve, I should increase my protein intake.  Protein is essential to build muscles as well as to maintain them.  Protein powder is one great way to reach your required protein intake instead of constantly trying to shove chicken and fish down your throat.  If you’re following a weight training regimen like me, your body needs 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight in order for your muscles to not only get bigger and stronger but also to recover.

That being said, I left the store learning that I really need to include even more protein in my diet than I already do.  You know I absolutely LOVE those protinis but there’s only so much I can really stomach every day.  There’s got to be MORE ways to use protein powder and enjoy it all at the same time.

Protein smoothie bowl, anyone?  I had read about these in the past but was never inclined to make one because I was so satisfied with my protinis.  This, my friends, could probably be considered dessert, especially since it’s chocolaty and I had it tonight after my light and low-cal dinner of chicken breast and Mama Roy Salad.  Not only did it satisfy my chocolate craving, it is jam-packed with nutrients from spinach (yes, spinach), almond milk, peanuts and protein powder.  For everyone who’s skeptical about this right off the bat – I don’t blame you.  But give it a chance – it tastes more like a very thick and cold chocolate pudding or frozen yogurt than anything else.  And for the record I promise you, the spinach is overpowered by all the other ingredients that you won’t taste even the slightest trace of it.  I love this protein smoothie bowl so much that I will have an entire category dedicated to them all.

This makes one HUGE smoothie bowl.  Feel free to cut the recipe in half for a smaller portion.  This left me FULL!

Chocolate & Peanuts Protein Smoothie Bowl

Serves 1

Into the blender went….

1 cup almond milk

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1/2 frozen banana

1 1/2 tbsp. cocoa

1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (a thickener commonly used in gluten-free foods – this will make it super thick like cold pudding

1 generous handful of fresh baby spinach

3 tbsp. dry roasted peanuts (optional)

5 or 6 ice cubes

Splash of cold water

Blend all the ingredients up until the mixture is thick, smooth, creamy and dreamy.  Your muscles with thank you and your taste buds will love you.  P.S. – This makes a GREAT post-workout breakfast!

Onnnne more little side note:  This smoothie bowl is perfect for an evening nosh especially with the added peanuts.  Why?  Peanuts (and all other types of nuts for that matter) contain healthy fats that slow the absorption of protein in your body which is particularly beneficial for your muscles overnight since we go 6-8 hours (or more if you’re super lucky) without eating.  But feel free to enjoy this in the morning for breakfast or even at lunch time!  It’s THAT delicious and nutritious!!

– Alex