Sunday, 25 August 2013

Tasty Fruit & Veggie Protein Smoothies

When I did the Jamie Eason 12-week trainer, one thing she recommended was drinking a protein shake within 30 minutes of working out to aid in muscle growth and recovery.  I do this pretty religiously, making my shake as soon as I get home or ordering one at the gym if I'm not coming straight home after my workout.  Protein is essential for muscle development and recovery, but you can get the adequate amount from whole foods, like meat, fish, beans, egg whites, nuts, and milk too.

I'm usually a protein powder plus water and a few ice cubes kind of girl, but lately I've been trying more fresh fruit and veggie smoothies (with protein powder).  The other day, I added about 6 ounces of Odwalla Superfood drink to my protein powder and it tasted so good.  Although Odwalla is made with all natural ingredients, the calorie content and sugar is high, so I'd use it sparingly.  Mixed frozen bagged fruit is usually what I use.

Since I don't like a huge shake (it feels so daunting- like a chore to chug down), I make just a regular sized glass or mason jar size.  

I add about a scoop and a half of my protein powder (30 grams of protein) as opposed to the recommended 3 scoops (60 grams) because I don't think I can process that much protein at once, nor do I need it.  I'm currently using Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60 and I like it because it has amino acids (great for muscle growth and energy).  I have the chocolate powder too and just blend it with water and a few ice cubes and it's pretty good.

The best results I've seen working out were when I was adding BCAA (branched chain amino acids- Amino Fuel) to my diet.  The BCAAs are among the nine essential amino acids for humans, accounting for 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle proteins and 40% of the preformed amino acids.  It's easy to do- I add 3 tablespoons of the liquid right into my water bottle when I work out.  It tastes like orange juice, so it's like drinking citrus water.  But, if I don't put the Amino Fuel into my water, I just add it to my shake.  

Chia Seeds are another ingredient in my diet (they are full of omega-3 and fiber) and go in my protein pancakes or oatmeal, but I'll also add a teaspoon to my shake.  I've gotten hooked on mango lately and this Bolthouse Farms mango drink is good (but again, sugary- sweetened with fruit- so use sparingly).  

I'll also add about two big hand-fulls of spinach (the pre-washed bagged kind) to the mix.  I feel good knowing I'm getting my greens in. 

I tried adding two small carrots to a smoothie and have to admit, I didn't love it.  It wasn't terrible, but I don't think I'll do that again.  

I think the point is to just experiment to see what you like, what combinations taste best to you and what other nutritious things you can add to your shake.  After looking at the nutrition on the prepared drinks, I'll probably just stick to my bagged frozen fruit.  

Are you a smoothie person? 

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