Blueberry Mango Protein Smoothie

I came across this great post yesterday written by Australian Sports Dietitian, Dietitian without Borders, entitled “Do You Need Protein Supplements?” – I tend to share posts like these on social media because they align with my views on supplement use. Overall I think most athletes and those that are active in “gym culture” tend to over-consume supplements–specifically protein supplements. There are so many products available these days, it’s overwhelming and mostly unnecessary, not to mention a waste of money, since many of these products claiming health benefits are way overpriced. The bottom line is that unless you have a hard time getting protein from actual food sources, you don’t really need supplements as long as you eat a varied, balanced diet. Another great article: “What Protein to Eat–And How”, is about protein sources for athletes written by a Dietitian for Outside Magazine. An article in Today’s Dietitian magazine called Ergogenic Aids — Competitive Edge or Hidden Danger? breaks down popular supplements such as whey protein, creatine, branched-chain amino acids (or BCAAs), and carnitine.  As athletes, we want to fuel our body the best way possible and the best way we can do that is by eating a variety of nutritious, whole foods.

If you love your protein shakes, but want to try a whole-foods alternative, ditch the protein powder and add Greek yogurt. With nearly 20 grams of protein in 1 cup, it provides the protein necessary to build and repair muscle after intense exercise.

This smoothie is a nutritious alternative to a a protein shake made with your typical protein powder. Not only are you getting about 12 grams of protein as well as calcium from the Greek yogurt, you’ll get additional vitamins and minerals from the fruit. Mango is loaded with Vitamins C and A, while blueberries are loaded with antioxidants. Tart cherry juice, also high in the antioxidant known as anthocyanin (which give fruits like cherries their dark red color), is also shown to improve exercise recovery! Additionally, mangoes and blueberries contain fiber that promotes healthy digestion.

Disclaimer: I’m a Cheribundi Tart Cherry Juice Ambassador! Tart cherry juice has been a staple of my diet for the past five years -I love it! Not only does it taste good, research shows that it actually does help improve exercise recovery. In fact, I wrote an entire research paper on it last year for my Food Science class. 

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Nutrition Spotlight: Tart Cherry Juice

One of my favorite drinks is Cheribundi Tart Cherry Juice. I’ve been drinking it for years and it’s a staple in my diet, especially during marathon training! Tart cherries are said to have anti-inflammatory properties, which make tart cherry juice a great drink for post-run (and post-hike!) recovery.

Tart cherries contain beneficial nutrients such as:

Anthocyanins

These are plant colorants that are responsible for the red, purple, and blue colors found in many fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, and flowers. Studies show that anthocyanins protect against liver injuries; reduce blood pressure; improve eyesight; contain anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties; and stop of spread of human cancer cells.1

Phenolic Acids

These are a type of phytochemical called a polyphenol. Phenolic acids are easily absorbed through the walls of your intestines, and may be beneficial to your health. They work as antioxidants that prevent cellular damage from free-radical oxidation reactions. They also may act as an anti-inflammatory when consumed regularly. 2

Flavanols and Flavonols

Studies show that consumption of foods containing these compounds may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. 3

Check out Cheribundi the next time you are the grocery store. My favorite way to drink it is in my Tart Cherry Blast Recovery Protein Smoothie!

Sources

  1. Konczak I, Zhang W. Anthocyanins—More Than Nature’s Colours. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. 2004;2004(5):239-240. doi:10.1155/S1110724304407013.
  2. Liu RH. “Potential synergy of phytochemicals in cancer prevention: mechanism of action.” J Nutr. 2004 Dec;134(12 Suppl):3479S-3485S.
  3. Erdman J, et. al. Effects of cocoa flavanols on risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Asia Pc J Clin Nutr. 2008. 17(S1):284-28.

Disclaimer: I was sent tart cherry juice for review on this blog–all opinions and views on the topic are my own. I don’t post about a product unless scientific evidence backs up their health claims.

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Tart Cherry Smoothie + Cheribundi & Cherry Tree Giveaway!

Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by Cheribundi. I haven’t been compensated for this post, but Cheribundi provided me with the Tart Cherry Juice for review. All opinions are my own.

As you probably know, I’m a Cheribundi Ambassador! I’m a big fan of the tart cherry juice and all its recovery benefits. My favorite so far has been the Tart Cherry Restore! I love drinking it after hot yoga or a really intense workout! I also make sure I have a few bottles of it in my gym bag when I travel to races.

cherry

One of my all-time favorite ways to drink cherry juice is in one of my protein recovery smoothies. I’m pretty sure I’ve perfected it.

smoothie

Ingredients

  • One bottle of Cheribundi Restore or other Cheribundi flavor of your choice
  • 1/2 banana, sliced & frozen
  • 1/2 cup of frozen cherry & mixed berry blend, no sugar added (I use trader joe’s)
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango slices
  • 1 scoop protein powder of your choice (I use growing naturals brown rice protein)
  • 2 -4 tbsp of water or more, depending on how thick you want your smoothie

Instructions

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth, and enjoy this refreshing smoothie.

Makes 2 Drinks

Cheribundi & Cherry Tree Giveaway

Now, for the best part. Cheribundi has offered to give one of my readers a case of Cheribundi. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post. I’ll pick a winner on Tuesday, July 2nd.

Win a Cherry Tree

The grand prize is a Cherry Tree! How awesome would that be? Just head on over to Toni’s blog to enter to win the Cherry Tree! Toni will pick a winner for the cherry tree on July 12. Good luck!

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Some New Tart Cherry Juice

We all know how much I love Cheribundi Tart Cherry Juice. I drink it a lot during marathon training, after races,  and after strength workouts to prevent muscle soreness and fight inflammation. They recently sent me some of their new products to sample.

Last night I tried the new Tart Cherry Restore.

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This flavor has 40 cherries and only 90 calories per serving.  I liked that a lot because I’m a big fan of their Light Cherry, which has the same amount of calories.  Restore cherry juice just has an added bonus. It contains high levels of vitamin B6, B12, Thiamin, Biotin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Panthothenic Acid and Folic Acid keep you going longer and help you recover faster after workouts.

The flavor was exactly the same as  the light cherry. Tart with a tiny hint of sweetness. I loved it! It’s definitely a great way to rehydrate after an intense workout. I drank it immediately after bikram-style hot yoga where I was sweating buckets. Its a great alternative to Gatorade, which I can get sick of easily.

The other new flavor I have yet to try is Tart Cherry Relaxthis juice contains 40 fresh-pressed cherries and 90 calories per 8 oz. bottle.  The natural melatonin in tart cherries coupled with L-Theanine provides drinkers with a delicious, healthy choice for relaxation and deeper sleep.  L-Theanine has been studied for its potential ability to reduce mental and physical stress, improve cognition and boost mood.

I also really like that the new flavors have less calories and less sugar than the traditional cherry juice! I can’t wait to try this one, along with Tart Cherry Rebuild–the cherry juice with added protein. I’ll report back on those soon.

In the meantime, check out my recipe for my Tart Cherry Recovery Smoothie, a perfect smoothie that I love drinking post-long run.

As always, I’ll reveal I was sent Cheribundi free of charge in exchange for review of the new products. All opinions are my own.

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First Race of 2013 – Bill Hogan 3.5 Miler

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a fun and safe start to 2013. Monday night Chris and I hosted a small get together of a few of our friends, so ringing in the new year was pretty awesome.

We had a blast!

I wasn’t sure how I’d be feeling the next morning, but I woke up pretty early to send off our friends who had stayed over, and after drinking plenty of water and having a green juice for breakfast, I felt pretty good. I decided to head over to U Albany for the Hangover Half Marathon/Bill Hogan 3.5 mile race. A bunch of my friends were running the half so I figured I’d join them and run the short distance. I wanted to star the new year off on the right foot. 🙂

It was freezing and windy–which made me sort of glad I wasn’t running the half marathon. We headed down to the start area at noon, which is an awesome race start time, by the way. Beautiful day, no? The past two years I’ve ran this race the weather had been perfect. I guess now it is our time to run in the cold and snow.

I didn’t feel particularly great during this race–probably because of my crappy eating habits lately and too many drinks the night before…which made me realize it is time for a change. Need to get back on board with the healthy eating, cutting out sugar, etc.

The GPS running app on my phone told me the race was actually 3.75 miles, and I ran it in 35 minutes, averaging at a 9:25 pace. I’ll take it.

Race Stats

Distance – 3.75 miles
Time – 35:21
Average Pace – 9:25/mile

Afterward I stretched and drank one of my favorite post-run recovery drinks, Cheribundi!

Even though I didn’t feel the best during the race, I’ve been feeling relatively pain-free lately during my runs, but the past few days my leg has felt a tad uncomfortable. I’m going to the sports doc later today and hopefully he can tell me what’s up. Wish me luck that it’s nothing horrible! 😉

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