Sunday, February 19, 2012

Subtly Sweet High Protein 'Milk Shake'

Since I've been trying my best to keep up with training for the Buffalo Half Marathon, I've been experimenting with my diet to help increase energy, build and maintain lean muscle, and most importantly, stay full and satisfied with healthy meals throughout the day.

I've found that with an increase in miles run comes an increase in appetite. After I run, later during day, I get ravenous . . . I want to eat everything I can get my hands on. And, having a sweet tooth, I tend to reach more for the 'naughty snacks'. I never really learned how to fuel my body while training at a pace of at least 15 miles per week, but I think I'm beginning to get a hint of what to do.

I'm learning it's best to eat a good portion of carbohydrates for lunch (anywhere from 12 - 1:30 p.m.) if I plan on running after work (around 6:30 p.m.). On a day where I'm doing a core workout or weight training, I've found it great to snack on some plain Greek yogurt with fruits mixed in (I prefer pineapple and peaches). Although, I've yet to figure out what/if to eat before I run in the morning on weekends. I like to workout on an empty stomach because it saves me from cramps and also, on the weekends, I prefer to workout not too much after I wake up and have a cup of coffee. It gives me the rest of the day to do fun weekend stuff!

One thing I do know is, this new little ditty will be a regular part of my weekend routine after I knock out a good long run. This recipe is not vegan, it's vegetarian . . .and that's alright with me. 

High Protein 'Milk Shake'
You'll need:
1 frozen banana (chopped, then frozen)
1/2 golden delicious apple (chopped, then frozen)
6oz. Plain Greek yogurt
1 hand full of fresh baby spinach
3/4 C plain, unsweetened almond milk
1 T Chia seeds

To make:
1. Place frozen banana and apple into blender; then spinach.
2. Next, add the chia seeds
3. Last, add yogurt and almond milk.
4. Blend on "Crush Ice" setting to work through frozen parts on bottom. Once the blender has grabbed everything and the mixture is mixing through, change to "Liquefy" and let blender mix for about 1 minute. You want to be sure this drink is smooth and mixed well.

This produces a lot of "milk shake", so be sure you have a large glass ready to go (I used a lovely 6'' beer mug my sister gave me for Christmas).
This drink is thick and creamy like a milk shake. It is sweet, but not overpoweringly so. It kept me feeling full for about 3.5-4 hours (which is pretty good for a smoothie!)

By using plain Greek yogurt, you're saving yourself a lot of unneeded sugar that's found in the flavored Greek yogurts (plain=7g, flavored=14-16g), and you've got enough natural sugars from the fruits to give it a nice sweet finish.

Do you like yogurts in your smoothies? What do you eat to help you get through your workouts with a high energy level?


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