I’ve started running again. That doesn’t sound like much, but after six months of working so hard at my day job that I didn’t have time or energy for the gym, it’s a lot. After trying to juggle work, my home life, and cooking for this blog, I realized I needed to make time for running again or suffer some emotional consequences.
It was the right choice. Though my body’s sore, it already feels happier. After a month or two of indoor treadmill training, I’ll be ready for the hiking season — and ready to run outdoors with my favorite exercise buddy.
A renewed exercise plan means a renewed focus on food as fuel.
When I was doing CrossFit, my instructor used to tell us to go home and eat something with protein in it to speed recovery; my fiance’s trainer used to tell him to drink chocolate milk after workout, for the sugar-protein combination. Rather than do that, though, or choke down a protein bar that may or may not be full of processed food-like substances, I went searching for a more natural recovery option.
This smoothie, adapted from a recipe by Minimalist Baker, is just the ticket. All sugars are natural, from the raspberries, banana, and prunes; I’d recommend using unsweetened almond or peanut butter and unsweetened almond milk in this recipe, as the prunes and fruit make it sweet enough. The flax and nut butter give you the protein boost you need without all the terrifying ingredients that can be found in regular protein powder.
I modified it only slightly in that I used prunes instead of dates and raspberries instead of blueberries, to give it more of a classic PB&J flavor.
It’s pretty much the ideal post-workout snack. It is, however, a little high-calorie. If you’re doing pretty intense workouts, that’s not a problem — if you are walking a mile with no incline and calling it a day…well, maybe this becomes breakfast rather than a snack. No hardship either way, trust me.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie
- 4 prunes (or dates, I guess, but I actually like the prunes here)
- 1 Tbsp unsweetened peanut butter (almond butter for paleo)
- 1 small banana
- 1/2 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened almond-coconut milk)
- 1/3 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
- Add ingredients to the blender in this order: milk, flax, banana, berries, peanut butter, prunes. Blend until smooth; serve cold.
- Add more almond milk if you’d like this a little thinner! You can also substitute light coconut milk if you can’t find additive-free almond milk where you are.