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After dumping a ziploc of fruits into a blender cup
Thanks to one page of a book I was skimming in Barnes & Nobles just before the new year, I ended up with a new year's resolution of sorts without even realizing it. I don't go to the gym everyday, and I don't want to go everyday (I'm a lazy butt), but when I do go, I like to work out my whole body if I can. The book suggested that for people like me who do whole body workouts, I should be going to the gym three times a week (Monday, Thursday, & Saturday)~~~~so I'm trying it out to see what it does for me.

What that really means is that my sleep-loving self has been getting up pretty early three days a week and going to the gym. Being as lazy as I am, making breakfast early in the morning is hard for me. One of the easiest things to make in the morning is a smoothie, especially if you take a couple minutes to prep the ingredients the night before. Just measure out the fruits or veggies you're going to use into a ziploc bag (see my picture below with the recipe; you can spot a ziploc with fruits); keep it in the fridge or freezer, and just dump it into the blender with any liquid ingredients the next morning! The hardest part is really just trying to figure out what goes into the smoothie.

There are a LOT of recipes for smoothies out in the world. Some are made just to taste good, some are desserts, some are snacks, some are meal replacements, some are well thought out, some are just thrown together, and a lot of them are very similar. I hugely love Pinterest, and it loves me back by giving me lots of pinspiration for my foods and drinks, healthy and otherwise. In my pin hunting, I came across this really colorful pin with 18 different smoothie ideas. The one that caught my eye was the Pre-Workout Smoothie! It consists of berries, banana, yogurt, and milk; in other words, it's a really simple smoothie.

The idea is that the smoothie should be an easily digestible snack before your workout that will give you the energy you need while you're exercising. The ingredients for this smoothie are all kinds that won't upset your stomach, and are full of easily broken down carbohydrates that will fuel your body as it works. There are two major kinds of carbs: simple and complex. Simple carbs are usually associated with sugars (fruits, sports drinks, etc.), and complex carbs are usually associated with starches (grains, breads, pasta, etc.). The simple carbs (sugars) are closer to being an accessible energy source than the complex carbs that need time to get broken down into sugars. That being said, the strawberries and bananas are full of your simple carbs. I normally like to freeze my fruits so that I don't need to add ice to the blender (it's nicer to the blender blades, and it's one less ingredient to have to pull out of the fridge).

I personally added spinach and green tea into the smoothie recipe. The green tea is full of catechins (a type of flavonoid, which is a type of antioxidant) that helps boost the metabolism. As a side note, the longer you steep the tea, the more catechins you get out of it. When I'm using green tea for smoothies, I usually just leave the tea bag in the cup with the water in the fridge overnight and throw the bag out in the morning. Read my previous post for the spinach benefits.

Pre-Workout Smoothie

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Making due w/ soymilk & Cuisinart blender at the bf's place
Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 banana, sliced & frozen
  • 1/2 C strawberries, frozen
  • 1 C spinach (approx. 22g)
  • 1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 C brewed green tea (more or less for consistency)
  • 1/4 C plain fat-free greek yogurt
  • Ice, if desired


Directions:
  1. If you don't have time, skip to step 2. If you have the time, blend the spinach, almond milk, and green tea first until spinach is really broken down. This way you won't end up with spinach bits in your smoothie.
  2. Throw everything in the blender and blend until smooth. Add more green tea if the smoothie is too thick.
  3. Drink 30-60 minutes before working out.


Source:
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/sportsnutrition/a/Carbohydrates.htm




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