A Green Beret {26.2} Pro Endurance Smoothie (vegan, grain & gluten free) 1/2

A Green Beret {26.2} Pro Endurance Smoothie (vegan, grain & gluten free)

This all-natural smoothie is inspired by my Green Beret’s endurance training diet; it is loaded with nutrients that will complete any athlete’s meal plan – especially those training for a marathon! On top of it, it tastes wonderfully creamy and fresh; sweetened only by naturally occurring sugars in bananas and berries. Bottoms up!

My soldier finally agreed to run a marathon with me!! I say “finally” because whenever I have suggested to run a marathon together in the past, he wasn’t sure in which part of the world he would be during said event so I could never get him to commit. This year, however, he’s 99% sure he’ll be around to run a marathon with me this coming fall so YAY ME!

If you have a soldier for a husband (or wife — I met some bad-ass soliderettes; looking at you, Leah!) you will understand my slight resentment when it comes to practice and training. Most soldiers I know do not train for a marathon. They just run it.  While the rest of us must hit the pavement 3-4 times a week and log an insane amount of miles to prep for a race, my soldier just slips on his running kicks and off we go!

Getting ready for a long-ish run together with my Green Beret looks like this:

Me: I prepare my special running gear which includes knee pads (after falling flat on my face and busting my knees open three times in a row while navigating some trails, knee pads are mandatory), knee braces, camel bag, GPS watch, interval timer, sun screen/bug repellent, poopy bags (no, they’re for the dog), pepper spray (coyotes, wild dogs… seen it all), water, pocket knife, chap stick, mid-run trail snacks… did I forget anything?

Him: chafing cream, done.

That’s literally it. He applies some chafing cream and off we go to run 5 miles, 15 or 25; it’s all the same to him. Also, my running pace is a fast walk to him so he patiently trots alongside me although he is not getting much of a work out at all. But hey, slow running = fat burning so we all win ;)

A Green Beret {26.2} Pro Endurance Smoothie (vegan, grain & gluten free)

There is one aspect of exercising, though, that makes us totally compatible with each other: nutrition. I’m lucky to be with a man who takes pride in nourishing his body adequately. So based on his nutritional habits for endurance sports, I’ve created  this smoothie which is the best pre- and/or post long distance running smoothie I have had. It covers all major nutrient groups to support an endurance athlete’s diet.

Here is just a quick list of what each of my smoothie ingredient contains – it’s quite impressive and most definitely incomplete; I’m just presenting you the highlights (or else I’d be writing 5 more blog posts about this very subject):

  • Bananas are known to be high in potassium, manganese and Vitamin B6, plus fiber. Especially potassium and fiber are known to provide cardiovascular protection – excellent endurance nourishment!
  • Almonds contain magnesium and Vitamin E. Another cardio-protective player in the field; don’t forget to add almonds to your smoothie!
  • Berries: If you get a good mix of different berries, you will get your dose of folate, iron, potassium, vitamin C and K and of course, fiber! Berries reduce inflammation so load up on ‘em!!
  • Chia Seeds are all kinds of good but their main health benefits come from calcium, phosphorus, fiber and manganese. One 28-gram serving of chia seeds has 4.4 grams of protein – no joke!
  • Greens (e.g Kale, Sprouts) – super food alert! There is virtually nothing these greens won’t protect you from: cancer, heart disease, diabetes, shark attacks – you name it! Some of the key nutrients are (buckle up!) protein, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin A, C, K, B6, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese.
  • Green Tea is full of antioxidants that fight and prevent cell damage. Kiss those free radicals good-bye!

Did you know that some sprouts, such as lentil, sunflower sprouts or pea shoots contain up to 30% quality protein?

Best of all: This smoothie is purely natural. No additives, no chemicals, no special protein powder but also no animal fats/protein (although I wouldn’t be opposed to some yoghurt in it, I just prefer to keep it vegan).

Do you need animal fat/protein for endurance sports?
Both my soldier and I believe you do not {although we include meat in our diet for different reasons}. There are plenty of vegan ultra marathon runners who are beyond healthy and happy; as long as you know which plant food gives you what and when to eat it, you’re in the clear! It’s a rather complex subject which definitely polarizes; more on this in my next post when I present Marathon Prep Smoothie No.2!

Please note: These smoothies do not replace actual meals; we drink them for extra “fuel” or to kick-start our training day. I will occasionally have one for breakfast before a short run (3-4 miles) but I would not recommend to solely rely on a smoothie for long distance runs.

Paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne jumping out of a C17 at Fort Bragg, NC

Paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne jumping out of a C17 at Fort Bragg, NC

 

I also wanted to share these photos with you which I took with my phone while I was out and about trail running.

A benefit of running on Fort Bragg, NC is that you can watch the 82nd Airborne do some kind of field training on any given day of the week. We run past one of the big drop zones and if I time it right, we get to see paratroopers jumping out of big military planes!

My friends think I’m a total nerd for getting excited about it but a) I’m a passionate plane spotter b) it never gets old to see troops in training; where else can you get a free show like this during your run if not close to a military installation? Yes, we love Fort Bragg.

 

A Green Beret {26.2} Pro Endurance Smoothie (vegan, grain & gluten free)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Yields 1 large smoothie
Author:
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ¼ cup (sliced) blanched almonds
  • 1½ cups frozen mixed berries
  • ½ tablespoon chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 handful of greens: Sprouts, kale, spinach etc
  • 1⅓ cup of green (iced) tea - brewing instructions
Optional
  • Goji berries, ½ avocado, 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. It may take some time to achieve a non-gritty texture as chia seeds and berries are coarse.
  2. Serve and enjoy immediately!

 

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I lived in Fayetteville when I first moved to North Carolina and was very grateful to some of the boys at Bragg when a hurricane blew through and they came out in the middle of it to make sure I was okay. Awesome bunch of men and women over there.

  2. says

    This smoothie looks amazing! I love the little pop of green on the top…so beautiful. I’m so jealous that you are a runner. I would feel amazing if I could just run a mile…haha.

  3. says

    Geez. I really wish you came last week so you could give me some photography pointers!

    And hooray for smoothies! One of the very few healthy things I actually enjoy. :)

    Congratulations on getting a marathon running partner! I hope you two will have fun training together. :)

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