I’m finally back on the road after a very long winter. I missed running. I missed being outside. I even missed dark morning runs. The treadmill just doesn’t do it for me. But getting back into the routine of running has been a challenge.
Finding the time to hit the road – or um, getting myself up early enough for a run – has proven to be far more problematic then I remember. So for the mornings when I don’t get up exactly as early as I had planned, I’m working on streamlining my morning routine. I’ve discovered smoothies help. A lot.
Let’s be clear, before you confuse me with an elite runner, understand I hardly consider myself an experienced runner. I’m just a mom who wants to run a half marathon or two this year. I like running and I like the challenge of following a training plan, but finding the time to run often means that I am up early and pressed for time in the mornings. Mornings are busy enough as it is. So on the days that I run, I often make myself a smoothie for breakfast.
Here is the real bonus – smoothies are portable! You will find me sipping my breakfast smoothie while I’m getting ready for work and putting on my make-up. Sometimes I even drink it in the car on my commute. Key is to start refueling as soon as possible after a run, but you don’t need to drink it in one go. Take it with you and get your day started.
Here are my four rules for healthy smoothie making:
1) Always include protein.
Without protein a smoothie might be just sugar from fruit and veggies. This will leave you hungry long before you even get to your desk later that morning. And then you will find yourself raiding the break room for something, anything, to eat. A good quality protein powder is a quick, no-need-to-think way to make that smoothie a complete meal that will keep you full until lunch time, or at least until you planned to eat that healthy snack your packed for yourself.
2) Frozen fruit.
It’s reasonably priced and often just as nutritious (maybe even more so) than fresh. Plus it saves you from cleaning, peeling and chopping when you don’t have time. A busy mom bonus!
3) Change things up.
Don’t make the same thing every day. I keep several varieties of frozen fruit in my freezer all the time so I can make what I feel like in the morning. I also keep a couple varieties of protein powder on hand so my body is getting its protein from various sources – hemp, rice, whey. And of course, one in North Coast Naturals 100% Iso-Protein in chocolate and one in vanilla.
4) Keep it simple.
You don’t need 10 different ingredients to make something satisfying and delicious. Smoothies can easily become calorie bombs once you start throwing everything in. I like to limit myself to 4 or 5 ingredients – a liquid (usually coconut or almond milk), a protein powder, no more than two servings of fruit and then maybe one other add-in…. like chia or hemp seeds, nut butter, wheat germ or a handful of greens.
This mango and orange smoothie is my current obsession. It’s simple, frothy and tastes like sunshine; a perfect way to start your morning.
- 1 scoop of North Coast Naturals 100% Iso-Protein in Vanilla Flavour
- 1 large orange, peeled and cut into quarters
- ½ cup frozen mango
- 1 cup coconut milk (or other milk of choice)
- handful of ice, if desired
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Trish from In Fine Balance posts recipes that are mostly plant-based, but always minimally processed, practical and great-tasting. She says her food is about “making honest and informed choices everyday.” She doesn’t believe in following a strict diet, counting things or living up to unrealistic ideals of perfection. She also posts about her adorable kids, her experiences in running, healthy meal plans and food tips and tricks.