Friday, May 16, 2014

Purple Sunrise Smoothie

I am a big fan of breakfast. It's the one meal I won't ever forget to eat and most days, I actually have two or three breakfasts. I know you other endurance athletes hear me on that one! Usually, I grab a Lara bar before I ride, have recovery drink after my ride (Vega Recovery Accelerator), and then have a real breakfast when I sit down at my desk and start to do work with coffee. Lately though, I've gotten tired of taking the time to pack, and then lugging around the breakfast, lunch, snacks, and sometimes even dinner that I take with me into MIT to get me through my day. I almost never buy food on campus so with the amount of food one has to eat if you're doing a lot of training, this gets old really fast! So that I can get away with packing less, I've started making smoothies in the morning, even if I haven't gone riding since it's something I can "eat" while getting ready. i.e. One less thing that I need to take with me! It's a throw-back to high school, when during swim season, my Mom would have my brother and I drink Carnation Instant Breakfast along with our "real" breakfasts just so that we wouldn't get too hungry before it was time for lunch. This smoothie recipe has been my favorite lately. It's only 4 ingredients (blueberries, spinach, protein powder, and almond milk) and with those packs in a serving of fruit, a serving of vegetables, and some good quality protein. With my vegetable smoothies, I've been using a sweetened protein powder, specifically Vega One Nutritional Shake. This protein powder is fortified with extra nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids, chlorella, antioxidants, and probiotics, which helps me forgive the addition of stevia. Also, adding spinach or another non-sweet ingredient helps cut what I consider to be the excessive sweetness offered by the stevia. I hope you enjoy it!

Purple Sunrise Smoothie

3/4c frozen blueberries
3/4c frozen spinach (or fresh spinach if you don't have a high speed blender)
3/4 scoop sweetened vanilla protein powder (For this, I've been using Vanilla Vega One Nutritional Shake)
1/2- 1c vanilla almond milk and/ or water (I usually do half and half)

Blend or food process all ingredients until smooth. This will take a bit longer than usual because of the spinach. If you don't have a high speed blender, use fresh spinach, as the result will be too stringy with the frozen spinach. Check the viscosity and add additional water if necessary. Enjoy the sunrise with a nutritious start to your day!

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