Many of you have asked about my half-marathon training fuel. Much to anyone’s surprise, I don’t solely live off of chocolate chip cookies. Although, that’d be quite the life. As I train, I’m making sure to fuel up and recover appropriately. With the occasional cupcake, of course. Cookie dough frosting is good running fuel, no?
And so is peanut butter, granola, chicken, oats, lots of veggies, and most certainly… a lot of smoothies. And sweet potato fries (obsessed). Maybe a margarita thrown in every now and then? With chips and salsa? Come to mama!
While I have no certification to give running or nutrition advice, I can certainly share with you one of my favorite ways to fuel up.
I have a little thing for smoothies. Cold, creamy, fruit-filled smoothies that are so thick, I have to eat it with a spoon.
My common smoothie ingredients are nothing strange or specialty-store required. Nope, just a simple mix of frozen banana, frozen mango, greek yogurt, almond milk, spinach, and frozen blueberries. Lately, frozen strawberries and peaches have been making the cut as well.
But I always, always start with frozen banana chunks. I typically buy a bunch of bananas at the beginning of the week and if I’m not baking banana bread with them, I chop them up when they ripen and freeze them in a ziplock bag to have on hand for smoothies.
Frozen bananas lend the creamiest, thickest smoothies. Exactly what I’m looking for.
Today, I made a new smoothie for my post-run recovery drink. A chocolate-cherry bomb of sorts. With the frozen banana chunks, into the blender went: Chobani black cherry nonfat greek yogurt, frozen cherries, a touch of almond milk, and a drizzle of sugar-free chocolate syrup. Nothing fancy.
You may certainly use chocolate protein powder for a chocolate kick, but I haven’t been able to find a brand that doesn’t taste “chalky.” Any suggestions?
The Chobani lends quite the protein punch already – 14 grams – which was good enough for my muscles & I. :) It was everything my muscles and stomach craved.
Feel free to leave out the chocolate drizzle or just sprinkle with chocolate chips instead. Use different berries or even add some spinach. Smoothies are so versatile, which is why I my fruit-obsessed self loves them!
Chocolate Covered Cherry Protein Smoothie
This chocolate cherry power smoothie packs 14 grams of protein!
Yield: 1 large smoothie
- 1 and 1/2 large bananas, cut into chunks & frozen
- 6 oz Chobani Black Cherry Nonfat Yogurt
- 1/2 cup frozen cherries
- 1/3 cup milk (I used almond milk - use more or less, depending on how thick you'd like it)
- 2 Tablespoons chocolate syrup (I used sugar free, see below for substitutions
Add first 4 ingredients to blender. Blend for 1 minute. If bananas are not mixing well, give the ingredients a stir to move them around. Blend until you've reached a smooth consistency. Add more milk for a drinkable smoothie.
Instead of chocolate syrup, try adding 1 Tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder or 1 Tablespoon of mini chocolate chips.
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Make a Banana Whip!
Instead of fruity smoothies, sometimes I blend up a a bunch of frozen banana chunks with just a splash of milk. The end result is a creamy, smooth soft-serve that is reminiscent of vanilla ice cream. In fact, sometimes I add a touch of vanilla extract before blending too.
A good source of carbs, bananas also contain potassium which runners lose through sweating. Pure frozen whipped bananas. It certainly cools me down after a run. Top with sprinkles, peanut butter, frozen fruit, or toasted coconut.
Some of my other favorite foods I eat to recover from or fuel up for a run are:
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