Life is too short for blandness and blahness (which is, indeed, a philosophy I live by for food and beyond). But flavor aside, a food’s function is also a top priority … what benefits can it offer? It’s always my mantra to marry the taste/function combo in any recipe I make.
Currently, with the warmer weather getting started, I’m SO ready to rev up my running schedule, which has been on a lighter “maintenance” mode while I was finishing up my new book. I have all the running motivation I need: a new pair of *amazing* athletic crop pants (I may never take them off), the nag of a new yellow bikini (no polka dots, sorry), and a brand new post-workout smoothie recipe that’s 100% bland/blah-free while FULL of function.
Post-workout nutrition is of premium importance: not just because you’re hungry after being active, but because any kind of activity essentially breaks down the body, so that it can rebuild itself even stronger. It makes sense that if we eat properly after a workout, we’re giving the body the tools it needs to construct the strongest and healthiest machine possible. While a slice of pizza may not make this “eat properly” cut, a delicious superfood smoothie certainly does. Hydrating, filling, and easily assimilated, these smoothies are among the most efficient ways to stockpile nutrients after a workout – be it a bike ride, a hike, a yoga session, or in my case, a run. I’ll admit, I often rely upon a “lazy” smoothie, using premade formulas like Vega Sport which provides everything I need in one trustworthy fell swoop. But sometimes I like to make my own blends too, as I enjoy being conscious of each and every good ingredient I’m putting into my body.
So while sharing my newest post-workout superfood smoothie recipe below, in addition to the “how” of the recipe, I also wanted to shed some light on the “why” – aka the function. There’s no scientific proof that being keyed into the nutrition of food actually makes it any more beneficial, but I like to think that self-satisfaction is a virtuous nutrient in its own right.
Strawberry-Banana Post-Workout Smoothie
This smoothie refuels the body with over 20 grams of protein, immune-boosting vitamins, lubricating healthy fats, and stress-reducing superfoods.
1 Tbsp hemp protein powder (A concentrated and easily-digestible protein – essential for building/repairing muscle tissue.)
2 Tbsp hemp seeds (Packed with essential fatty acids – lubricates joints and decreases inflammation; another protein source as well.)
2 Tbsp cashews (Full of minerals like copper and magnesium – supports collagen production and muscle relaxation.)
1 tsp maca powder (A potent adaptogenic herb – supports the adrenal glands [which get heavily taxed during exercise], responsible for regulating stress and hormones.)
1 banana (Easily digestible carbohydrates – needed for re-energizing.)
2 cups frozen strawberries (Concentrated source of antioxidants and vitamin C – essential for supporting the immune system.)
1½ cups coconut water or regular water (To rehydrate and replace electrolytes.)
stevia, to taste (To sweeten without adding unnecessary post-workout refined sugar.)
Use a blender to mix all the ingredients together (except for the stevia) until smooth. Stir in stevia to taste to adjust sweetness, if desired. Serves one-ish.
Note: Length of activity, exertion level, and body size will dictate the amount of smoothie/calories/nutrients needed after a workout; this smoothie is intended as a guideline.