Healthy eating is a mind-set; when you think about food as being a source of fuel instead of an over-indulgent hobby, healthy eating is easier to accomplish and harder to unlearn. Incorporating exercise into your routine also helps as a motivator to think of food as a way to nourish and sustain your body — and let's get real, combined they make for killer summer selfies. So to help you maximize the benefits of both your food and your workout, I put together a post-workout smoothie recipe that's as delicious as it is easy to make.
If you're considering the switch to a more balanced, nutritious diet — the lifestyle kind, not the two-weeks-to-Cabo kind — it's best to start small. Swap processed snacks for fruit and veggie alternatives like apples and peanut butter, chickpea chips, or carrots and hummus. Choose simple recipes with few ingredients and loose measurements (like this one!). And be strategic about when and what you're consuming. A post-workout smoothie is an efficient and tasty way to pack in the nutrients at a time when your body is in peak performance mode. Not to mention, this chilly beverage is also a great way to cool down after a good sweat sesh.
What You'll Need
- 1/3 cup mango
- 1/2 cup strawberries
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 scoop vanilla almond butter
- 1 cup water
Pour 1 cup of water into your blender. Remove the stems from 1/2 cup's worth of strawberries, and toss the strawberries into the blender. Add in a frozen banana to thicken consistency — if freezing your own bananas prior to making your smoothie, be sure to peel them first (trust me)! Roughly peel and chop 1/3 cup of mango, place in blender. Drop in a scoop of vanilla almond butter and blend. The most important part: Don't forget to enjoy! See, it's super simple!
The natural sugars in mango add a boost of post-workout energy, and are packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Plus, the subtle tropical flavor is a nice addition to the traditional strawberry/banana combo.
Did you know strawberries can help with inflammation after you've worked out? Not to mention their tiny seeds make for an added crunch.
You might remember this tip from Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, but bananas are an excellent source of potassium. It's important to replenish your levels, which drop when you sweat a lot. When frozen, bananas make for the perfect smoothie thickness.
Trending in hipster pantries all across America, almond butter helps rebuild muscles. Since your ability to absorb protein increases 50 percent after workout, it's the perfect time to consume foods high in protein and healthy fats.
What's a food post without a Pinterest-worthy aerial shot of the garnish? Try chia seeds — they're said to aid in weight loss, but mostly they're great for added texture (if you're crunch-obsessed like me).
Images: Elisa Llera & Kristin Martz