Life is full of demands no matter who you are and how much you have on your plate. As an athlete, student, parent, or world traveler it’s up to you as to how you mitigate these demands to stay nourished and have the energy to thrive throughout the day.
I recently finished a half marathon at Disney World and my sore aching muscles reminded me how important recovery is after a big event. During my many years of training I learned that for optimal recovery it’s important to consume your post-workout meal/drink within 30 mins. I tried many different combinations of foods, but my favourite (and easiest by far) was to whip up a smoothie! The possibilities of flavours and combinations are endless AND I could consume an adequate amount of protein without much effort.
Finding the right protein was my only challenge; being a “lightweight” meant that I needed to maintain a certain weight and therefore had to be very careful of the foods that I ate and the effects they had on my body. Most of the heavyweight athletes that I trained with used whey protein powder as recommended by our nutritionist, however after several attempts I discovered that whey did not agree with me. So, an alternative needed to be found and that’s when I discovered pea protein. At 15 grams of protein per serving, pea protein powder provides a delicious alternative source of protein for anyone but especially for vegetarians, vegans or those following restricted diets. It is entirely gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free; it provides an array of benefits for health and fitness. Peas supply a unique array of amino acids, the building blocks of body tissue, muscles, DNA/RNA, hormones, enzymes that help your body function normally, and even your immune system! Being rich in lysine and arginine, pea protein is especially beneficial for active lifestyles.
So now the fun begins, I challenge you to experiment with ingredients to create the ultimate smoothie (with a little help of course)!
Here is my secret formula:
The Ultimate Smoothie Formula
1. Choose a liquid base 1 to 2 cups. Some of my favourites are:
Water, Almond milk, Rice milk, Kefir, Milk, Yogurt, or Juice
2. Add 2-3 servings of fruits, vegetables, and/or greens.
Some of my favourites are:
Fruits: Apples, Avocado, Bananas, Berries, Pears, Pineapple
Vegetables: Beets, Carrots, Celery, Cucumber, Ginger
Greens: Kale, Spinach, Wheatgrass
3. Add 1-3 teaspoons of nutritional boosters. Some of my favourites are:
Honey, Maple Syrup, Tumeric, Spirilina, Acai berries, Seeds,
Nuts, Dark Chocolate
4. Place all ingredients (except protein powder) into a blender and
blend on high until smooth. Add ice to increase the thickness.
5. Add 1 scoop of protein powder and pulse until thoroughly mixed.
To get you started here are a couple of my favourite recipes:
Pear Pineapple Green Smoothie
Makes 2 servings
• 2½ cups (or large handfuls) of fresh baby spinach
(only 17 calories and loaded with vitamins, minerals
• 1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
• 1 fresh medium pear, cored and seeded
• 1 cup your choice yogurt (I used strawberry Kefir)*
• 1 scoop vanilla pea protein powder
• ½ cup orange juice or pineapple juice
• ½ cup water
• 2 Tbsp chia seed
• 5 to 10 ice cubes (depending on how thick you like
*Use dairy-free yogurt to make this recipe vegan
Banana Split Smoothie
Makes 2 servings
• 1 medium frozen banana*
• 1 cup frozen strawberries*
• 2 cups strawberry or vanilla yogurt, your choice
(I used strawberry kefir)**
• 1½ scoops chocolate pea protein powder
• Tbsp chia seeds (could substitute ground flaxseed)
*You can use fresh fruit instead, but you’ll have to add 1 to 2 cups ice if you want a thick smoothie.
**Make this recipe dairy-free and vegan by substituting with a vegan yogurt.