Well I've decided to train for my first Triathalon (August 18th ahhhh). Which means I have been doing a lot of running, biking and swimming (if you can call it that...it often looks a little more like drowning). Anyway, with all of the intense workouts I wanted to make sure that I was getting enough protein. Now I am certainly not one to usually worry about my protein intake. In fact, when I changed my diet, my protein drastically reduced; and I still felt fantastic. I firmly believe that we can get all the protein we need from a plant-rich diet. We live in a high-protein food fad that is wreaking havoc on people's health. That said, I hope people understand that protein is still a VERY important part of a healthy diet. There are many "junkitarians" out there that may limit their animal products, but still aren't getting the essential nutrients that they need.
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle (grumble and groan as you might, it is still extremely important to do it regularly :). When I increase my training I also what to increase my protein a little. The easiest way for me to do this is right when I get home from my workouts. I typically workout first thing in the morning so a green protein smoothie is the perfect breakfast.
I decided I would share exactly what I put in my smoothie. The recipe below makes about 32 ounces. I usually pour it into 2 glasses (so I can rinse the blender right away :). I drink one immediately (which is about 7:00 am) and then I save the other glass for my mid morning snack a few hours later. Sometimes I am still hungry, so I will add some fruit to my morning or some whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, or muesli.
(my chickens wanted to make their debut in the photo)
The Ultimate Green Protein Smoothie (you can click on most of the ingredients to see more info)
1 scoop of Sun Warrior Raw Vanilla Protein Powder
1/2 cucumber (peeled if it is not organic or English)
2 cups of spinach
1 TBS Hemp Seeds
Piece of Silken Tofu (about 1 inch x 5 inch piece or 2 ounces) - a great source of protein
1 TBS Green Powder
Juice from 1/2 a lime
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp flax oil
1 packet of stevia (for a little added sweetness :)
1 cup of water
optional, cilantro and parsley (both VERY good for you)
8-10 ice cubes
Combine all of the ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy right away or save in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.
Here is an approximate break-down of the nutrition (using myfitnesspal - which by the way I entered using the same name). This is for the full 32 ounces (so don't feel guilty at all for swigging it down in one sitting).
Carbs 19 g
Fat 14 g
Protein 30 g
Don't be alarmed by the fat content at all. 5 grams come from the hemp seed and 5 grams come from the flax oil. These are both a great source of ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS. I will sometimes put a half of an avocado in this smoothie to get even more (which is wonderful for kids).
This smoothie is mostly raw and very alkaline. I have learned to love (and even crave the taste). If you are new to green smoothies, feel free to add some fruit for added sweetness (bananas or berries are my fave)! For more sustaining power (i.e. keeps you fuller longer) you can try adding half a cup of rolled oats and some cinnamon to the smoothie - it's delicious!!