Well, today was not a banner day for nutritional quality. At lunch, I was unfairly peer pressured into eating a super
delicious greasy deep dish cheese pizza.** And then, I ate a piece of the leftovers later in the afternoon! I think I might have been hypnotized at that point. After all that hard work last week, by early evening I was feeling some remorse. Especially when I went to input my calories so far for the day into my calorie counter. So, I decided to make my workout a little bit more intense than usual, focusing especially on extra core exercises. That helped a little. But I still didn’t feel like I wanted to eat anything else for the rest of the day.
**Okay, when I say unfair peer pressure I might mean casual suggestion….
The only problem with not eating anything else for the rest of the day was that I didn’t want my only nutrients coming from cooked canned tomatoes and the banana I ate for breakfast. Thus, I decided to turn to my old stand-by, the smoothie. I knew that it would give me more vitamins and nutrients, and might serve to counteract the bad things I put into my system with that Achilles’ heel, the pizza. Plus, I thought I could probably use several cleansing ingredients that might make me feel less greasy. And, even though I really wasn’t hungry, I knew my body (or my brain at least) would expect to have some dinner. Therefore, the smoothie was just the trick. I wanted to make it as packed as possible with macro and micro nutrients, so I tried to find ingredients that would compliment each other for tastiness and also would go well with the several “add-ons” I planned to use. The result was not necessarily an attractive mixture, but it did taste pretty dang delicious.
The smoothie consists of mango, fresh peach, frozen peach, banana, mango-peach flavored fish oil, vegan protein powder, kale, coconut water and chia seeds. In other words, it is nutrient DENSE! It has approximately 18 grams each of fiber, 20 grams of protein, plus crazy amounts of a lot of different vitamins and minerals, including significant amounts of vitamins E and K, niacin, potassium, iron and bank-breaking amounts of vitamins A and C. I will be honest, this smoothie is high in calories (600)…but it is so nutritious and so filling, I think it totally makes up for it, personally. Especially for a post-workout meal. Of course, that is assuming you drink the whole thing. There’s a lot going on, so drinking half and giving the other half to someone else or having the rest later would totally work! (Just keep in mind, they say you should drink smoothies and juice within 24 hours for the best nutrient retention.)
I should point out that whipping up this smoothie is not a spur of the moment activity. I like to use frozen banana and frozen kale, both of which need at least an hour in the freezer (more is better). The frozen banana adds a creaminess that you’d get from ice cream or frozen yogurt smoothies in a cafe. The kale is nice because it sort of disintegrates when blended frozen, so you don’t get much taste of it that way, while the nutrients stay in tact. I got that idea from a lady at the organic market and she was totally right! It’s a great move. So if you’re planning on having this smoothie, go ahead and put these two items in the freezer ahead of time. Like, at bedtime for a breakfast smoothie or before you go to the gym for a post-workout smoothie.
Another caveat is that the fish oil is a pretty specific product. I was convinced to try it by a guy doing marketing inside Whole Foods. At first, I thought, this guy is literally trying to sell me snake oil, like it’s 1850 and I’m some dumb villager. But it tastes delicious and is a full day’s dose of fish oil, which is specifically recommended if you have joint issues. Since I injure myself fairly regularly, I thought it was a good investment. It is Barlean’s brand Omega Swirl, and ended up being totally worth the money because I’ve been using it in yogurt and smoothies several times a week since I bought it. For today’s purposes though, I’m sure if you skipped it, this smoothie would be fine (and probably mostly the same).
So, if I haven’t managed to scare you away yet, here is the recipe:
Mango-Peach Super Smoothie
- 1 Large Mango
- 1 Cup Frozen Peaches
- 1 Medium Peach
- 1 Banana, Sliced, Frozen
- 1 Cup Kale, Chopped, Frozen
- 1 Tablespoon Peach-Mango Fish Oil (Barlean’s Omega Swirl)
- 1 Scoop (or tbl) Vegan Protein Powder (I use Jarrow, not flavored)
- 3/4 Cup Coconut Water (Plain, not flavored)
- 1/2 Cup Ice
- 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
Place everything except chia seeds in blender, blend on high until kale is mostly disintegrated and everything is liquified. You can add more ice or coconut water depending on how you like the consistency. Pour into a glass and add the chia seeds, mixing well. Enjoy!
I realize I post a fair amount about smoothies. But, even after several months they are still a staple in my diet. Especially for days like today, when I want to get as many nutrients as possible while still being kind to my body after a hard day of processing delicious Chicago-style pizza. They are still the best method I’ve found for consolidating important nutritional elements. And even when they look a little bit sketchy, they are almost always super tasty, which should also be a goal for any food preparation!
PS I found this fantastic website, health-alternatives.com, which provides a great database for daily vitamin and mineral goals and what foods have what quantities. I’m definitely bookmarking it for future frequent use!