Having been through various ’bouts’ of training over the years, I have discovered- usually to the detriment of my weeks of fitness planning- that combining a restrictive low-calorie diet with a vigorous exercise regime is a recipe for failure. So many times have I started out with huge determination, only to completely burn out with exhaustion after a week or two and slump back into me (relatively) sendentary and over-eating state. this time around I resoved to ignore calories and focus instead on the nutritional value of the foods I eat. This has two-fold benefits as it means I can maintain enough energy to complete the training I set myself and it has also played a huge role in combatting my problems of binge-eating but that is for a seperate post.
I used to be a Vega girl…until I started wondering if it was an unecessary expense, and if there was a way to feel great after my workouts without having to deal with the taste of stevia, which- rather disappointingly considering its general awesomeness- I loathe.
Slightly ironically it was a Vega Blog article about the ideal protein:carb ratio for muscle recovery that made me realise I could go DIY with my nutrition. For some reason I do feel a little guilty about this, but I like to think that Brandon Brazier (Vega founder, plant fueled mega-athlete extraordinaire) SHOULD, by his own standards, approve of my desire to fuel myself with real foodstuffs that come from my kitchen, rather than powder from a packet.
My diligent research (google) into recovery nutrition came up with 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein. After a gruelling workout your body needs easy digestible sugars to replenish it’s glycogen stores as well as protein to help repair muscle tissue. Too much protein however will hinder the refueling and rehydration process.
That chocolate milk is widely heralded as the optimum recovery beverage is something that I LOVE. Unfortunately, I wanted something a little less on the processed side. Armed with various nutritional information tables and a calculator, I set about creating a ‘real food’ 4/3:1 smoothie. Here is the result, it’s delicious and makes me feel happy inside.
The DIY Recovery Shake
342 calories, 10.8g protein, 32g carbohydrate
1 medium banana kcal 95, carb 23g, protein 1.2g
200ml almond milk kcal 28, carb 1g, protein 1g
1tbs linseed (I use the Harvest Morn mix with pumpkin seeds and goji berries) kcal 77, carb 1.8g, protein 3.8g
1tsp chia kcal 40, carb 3.4g, protein 1.4g
1tbs raw almond butter kcal 102, carb 2.8g, protein 3.4g
cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
Throw everything in the blender with a few icecubes and whizz up until smooth.
Delicious and nutricious 😉
Extra wisdom provided by: