Thursday, January 8, 2015

Great Smoothie/Shake Recipes

I recently got a new blender as you know, the Ninja is awesome.  I have a few go to recipes that I use often for shakes/smoothies and I have a couple others that I have made that are great to.  In general, you can really do anything you can think of and tolerate in a blender.  Some tips or observations I have made include:

1.  Freeze peeled bananas, they make smoothies colder & stop them from over        ripening.
2.  Almond milk to go low calorie or FF milk to add more protein.  
3.  Stay away from OJ, Honey, & anything else that adds a lot of sugar.

Here are the recipes.  The top three are my shakes I use always.  Beyond that, some I have tried and some sound like future possibilities.  Enjoy!

Basic Fruit Smoothie:

1 cup of almond or fat free milk

1 banana
1 cup of ice
1 low sugar, light yogurt or plain greek yogurt
1/3-1/2 cup of a frozen berry or berry mix, (no sugar added)

Basic Protein Shake:

1 cup of almond or fat free milk

1 cup of ice
1 scoop protein powder
1 banana
1 greek yogurt (optional)

Power Green Smoothie

2 peeled kiwi
1 peeled lime
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
2 handfuls of kale, (rip off the big stems)
few sprigs of mint
some ice

Mango Melon Smoothie

2 cups spinach
2 cups coconut water
1 ½ cups diced frozen mango
1 ½ cups diced watermelon

Strawberry Ginger Zinger

2 cups almond milk
2 cups baby spinach
2 cups strawberries
1 banana
1 tablespoon grated ginger, to taste

Coffee Almond Breakfast Smoothie

4 oz. chilled coffee
4 oz. fat free milk
1 frozen banana
2 tbsp whole almonds
2 tsp natural cocoa powder

Pineapple Mojito

2 cups kale
2 cups coconut water
3 cups pineapple
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
Juice of 1 lime

01/08/2015 6.5-7 miler in the afternoon, blog planning

Today I got in a 6.5-7 mile run by doing about 1000 laps around a small rectangle gym.  Yikes, but I did have Scott Jones at AthleteonFire to help me pass the time and it had to be because it's like 8 degrees outside.  No F-ing way.  After the quick strength workout yesterday, I'm a little bit sore.  Consequently, I changed the speedwork sprints I was going to do today to tomorrow.  I thought it would be safer on the muscles to just run a comfortable pace and get in some miles today.  Push the body tomorrow.

I am gathering ideas for some new blog entries.  I have a post coming later today, by request from a friend, for some smoothie/shake recipes.  Glad to help and if anyone has any they like that I do not mention, send them my way.  Also, I am trying to add a couple different formats for a couple posts coming soon.  Hopefully, I will be starting my interviews with runners soon and have a couple ideas to build on.  Enjoy and if you have a question or suggestion, let me know!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Product Review; my new bad a@$ blender, a Ninja Professional BL610

I cannot believe I dealt with a shitty blender for like 10 years.  On Christmas day, I threw out my old blender I got like forever ago.  Jokingly, it had like 10 setting and 2 different speeds.  As if a $20 blender has anything really other than on/off.  A few days later, I dragged the family to Bed, Bath, & Beyond and bought what I had researched as my best option for a new blender, the Ninja Pro BL610.  
Perfect price/Great product

Quite simply, it is the best.  If you are like me, not only can you not dare to spend $300, 400, $500 on a Vitamix or some other outrageous costing blender, I had no interest in doing so either.  I looked it up a bit and found the Ninja as a great blender based on reviews and got mine for $80 after my 20% coupon from BBB that everyone has 10 of in there car door or glove compartment.  It is sturdy, quieter than my old piece of sh*@, and has 3 settings, low, medium, and high.

I have already used it a handful of times and I love it.  The consistency of the smoothies are great.  It comes apart easy to clean as well.  So far, I have no complaints.  

Get rid of your crappy blender and you won't regret it.  

01/07/2015 Stretching out the legs and mind

After a couple days of running, including an hour run yesterday, I was a little tired in the lower half this morning.  I stretched out the legs and took a half hour walk to shake it out a little.  It felt good to move and loosen up.

What I always find interesting is the range of things that go through my mind during a half hour walk.  Ideas for different posts, the BBWAA screwing over Mike Piazza again yesterday, lessons I want to cover in class, and generally out of the box stuff that pops into my mind.  I suggest a good walk once a week for anybody.  It is a great way to get a little exercise, free your mind (and the rest will follow?), and just not stay sitting down.

Later in the day, a strength training workout I found in my recent Runner's World.  I will share it after and give my thoughts.

01/07/2015 The "Office" workout, 21 minutes total

After work, I did my strength training as I had planned on, but a little differently than I originally intended.  As I stated earlier, I fully intended to do a workout I found in Runner's World this month.  It looks like an awesome, full body workout with basically nothing needed.  As I looked at the article a bit more, I liked it, but found it overwhelming.  There are 13 different exercises, with about 18 different pieces to each.  I would have spent more time reading in between exercising that I would have been more annoyed than tired.

Consequently, I went ultra minimalist for my workout.  I warmed up for 5 minutes, the did about 11 minutes working out, then a 5 minute cool down.  I called it the "office" workout because as I was doing it, I could picture someone doing it in the office, without the need for a lot of space or any equipment.  As a runner, this was a great basic workout that will supplement my running.  Here it is:

5 minute jog warm up (if in the office, jumping jacks)

Then the following 4 exercises for 30 seconds each, rest for 30 seconds at the end of a set:

Push ups
Air squats
Planks, alternate front and sides
Lunge & twists, return up, no travelling

I finished up with 5 minutes jump rope (in the office, jumping jacks)

I would aim to do between 3-5 sets of the exercises.  Combine that with the 5 minute warm up and the 5 minute cool down and you have yourself a great workout in no time, using no equipment!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

01/06/15 6-6.5 mile run in an hour

Today's workout consisted of an hour long run getting in a comfortable pace, finishing up at about 6-6.5 miles overall.  I have been listening to some podcasts again of AthleteonFire.  Scott Jones is great to listen to and he has a couple different show formats so he keeps it interesting.  If you are looking to listen to something and take inspiration from other athletes or learn a bit about some of them and the everyday things they do, check it out.  It really is geared to everyone, you don't have to be a running nerd like me or a fitness freak to enjoy it.  

Tomorrow, I will strength train as a day off of running.  I look to continue my workouts focused on running and supplementing with strength work and some alternative cardiovascular choices.

Monday, January 5, 2015

01/05/2015 First run of 2015, commitment, resolution, motivation, whatever you call it

I just completed my first run of the new year and I am happy.  A 5 miler in about 45 minutes to get the heart rate up and sweat feels good.  During the run it occurred to me, every year I stress about the time I take off in winter.  Every year between November and January, I take off between a couple of weeks to a couple of the months from running, working out, eating well, etc.  Then, afterwards, I am annoyed and disappointed about it.  However, while running today I realized that it is a natural plan that my body is following in order to recharge, recommit, whatever you want to call it.  I constantly read articles with elite runners and they all talk about the rest periods they take at the end of their respective track seasons or cross country seasons, or marathons.  

My focus is on maintaining commitment now that I am back after it.  I have big plans for 2015 and I know what I have to do to achieve them.  I have never been a New Year's resolution guy.  However, I will say that I have some basic goals for the future that will help me attain my goals.  They are, in no particular order:

1.  Utilize rest day strength training more consistently.
2.  Make smarter nutritional choices (including more H2O).
3.  Enjoy running more.

In the coming months, I will share how I am doing on these goals and encourage you to look ahead at what you can do, rather than what you didn't do.  Who cares if you didn't run last week, last month, last year.  If you want to start, put your sneakers on and go.