I don’t like smoothies. Now, before all you smoothie loving masses stop reading here and immediately black-ball me, at least let me explain my case. I don’t get a lot of trendy things, I don’t even drink coffee, for shame! But I’m hyper enough as myself, caffeine would probably end up effecting me like cocaine.
The running realm and the healthy living world are interconnected and whenever people find out I’m a runner and the conversation drifts to food and nutrition, the topic of smoothies seems to inevitably come up. They rave about their protein powders, their spinach combos leaving their glass looking like the Swamp Thing, they start spouting off their must-try recipes and I nod and smile. But in the back of my mind I’m thinking, “I still have teeth and I plan on doing as much chewing as I can until I lose them and then I’ll turn to your smoothies along with Jell-O and applesauce.”
Smoothies work great for TONS of folks and power to you, I can see the benefits:
* Quick and easy to make sure you hit the 30 minute recovery window
* Convenient to eat on the go and tote around
* Wonderful for people who don’t like fruits and veggies and thus need to sneak them in
* Adding protein to them is easy and great for people who are lacking in that department
I get it, and keep on blending if that’s what you need and it works for you. But I’m one of those crazies who really do enjoy eating fruits and veggies as they are and don’t have a problem eating the real versions throughout the course of my day. I also love eggs, cottage cheese and shrimp and have no problem getting that protein amount in real food either. The ocean called and they were running out of shrimp because of me, actually. 😉 You know it if you got that last one.
So an ode to fruits and veggies today, they are great in oh so many ways, even if they are blended. With summer coming up plenty folks find them more appealing and could see using their teeth as a more plausible option.
* Water content: A portion of the water you get each day does, in fact, come from a few of the foods you eat, fruits and veggies are some of those. Obviously not enough to slack on the real liquids but watermelons, melons, pineapple, celery, lettuce and ‘juicy’ fruits/veggies supply more of that H2O good stuff.
* Fiber: Yes, running can help keep you regular, but fiber does that too! Fruits and veggies can be a great source of fiber; again celery and lettuce fall into that category, as do broccoli, cauliflower, and apples. But be warned, because of this they may be better eaten AFTER your run, not before, if you are sensitive to GI issues.
* Antioxidants: Berries are our besties for this one, those colorful blueberries and raspberries may stain your fingers but they are rockstars in the nutrient department. Pair these babies with cottage cheese or greek yogurt and you’ve got an award winning protein, carb, and antioxidant combo!
* Iron: Those dark, leafy spinach greens contain iron which is essential for runners…trust me, low iron is NO energy and it’s important to ensure you get enough of this element.
* Potassium: Bananas, because they also have more carbohydrates than many other fruits, are often thought of as the ‘perfect runner food’. The reason that their high potassium count also swings in their favor (like a chimp on a vine…sorry, lame-sauce, I am!) is because this is an important electrolytes; it’s one of the ones, that when their levels are too low in the body (along with sodium), that people have gotten over-hydrated by drinking too much water.
Eating for running fuel and health: We all know fruits and veggies are things our body need to run at its best and if you’re asking your body to run to perform it’s even more important. Sometimes people find it hard to swallow certain things even if they know they ‘should’…I can’t argue cookie dough ice cream may be more appealing than an apple, but sometimes we need to eat to fuel!
Other quick ideas to bulk up your fruits/veggie intake:
* Toss bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc. into your omelets. Not only do you get the veggies but the protein in the eggs is even better.
* Stack those sandwiches higher with more veggies; toss in more veggies to your tacos and burritos too.
* Portabella burgers, have you ever tried these, they are in fact awesome.
* Kabob parties! Grill up those pineapple slices along with your skewered shrimp and chicken; also, have you ever skewered mangos and papayas?? Yum! For veggies, squash and zucchini kabobs rock too.
Smoothies aren’t the only way to go and I may be a bit of an anti-smoothie-ite, please at least read my case before hating me. And if smoothies are your slurp of choice, that’s okay too.
1) Are you a smoothie lover or hater? If so, what’s your favorite kind of smoothie?
2) Are you pretty good about getting your fruits and veggies in? What’s your favorite kinds and how do you eat them?
3) Do you use any kinds of protein powders in your recipes, smoothies included? If not what’s your top protein choices?
I’m not a huge powder person, I eat a ton of protein foods and know I’m covered.
4) Have you run into a person who refuses to acknowledge or accept you’re not a huge smoothie person?
Yes, I swear some people who try to sell Homer on the idea of the liquid donut.