Today on the agenda: a track workout I did this morning, and my favorite vegan breakfast smoothie recipe!
You know that feeling when you complete something you didn’t know you were strong enough to do? And the feeling of accomplishment that immediately follows? Well, that’s just what I feel today!
Here are my immediate reasons:
- – got up early: at 4:50 am to be exact, long before the sunrise!
- – left the house when the sun still wasn’t up, and ran towards my gym (1.2 mi) to – meet up with a couple local runners;
- – ran with them towards our high school track (1.1 mi) to do a quite grueling but very satisfying running workout of 8 by 400 m ( 400 meters of hard running followed by 400 meters recovery jog; repeat eight times – 4 miles total);
- – ran back to the gym (1.1 mi) and got a ride back from one of the runners…
…Guess what? I’m still alive and kicking!
And a lot has to do with my favorite post-workout recovery breakfast:
It’s been a while since my last attempt of running intervals on a track: I did it a few times in spring and had to quit because I got injured. Nothing serious, but I had to stay away from running for a couple weeks to give my hurting ankle a break. So when I was invited for a track workout last week, I was both excited and terrified (my thoughts on this in my previous post).
When my new running friends announced the workout plan for today, I got a little worried ( ‘What?! Eight hard 400 m intervals?! I haven’t run fast in forever! Well, maybe I’ll do 5-6 and then just jog while they keep running?’), but my stubbornness won.
That’s right, I finished all eight. Without dying or throwing up – didn’t even feel like it! Admittedly, I was the last one to finish every interval, but there’s no way I was going to get upset over this – instead, I decided to celebrate with my Swamp Monster Smoothie!
So did you get scared of my breakfast bogeyman yet? No need for that: this Swamp Monster is very well-mannered, means only good to you, and on top of this – quite delicious!
A few months ago, I heard somewhere that eating 1-2 servings of fresh, raw veggies before 10 am kick-starts some pretty amazing reactions in our bodies, and that these veggies are going to do even more good to us than if we had them later in the day. Honestly, I didn’t do any research to prove or disprove this, but it got me thinking: how can I sneak in raw vegetables into my breakfast? I think we’ll easily agree that for most of us, veggies are the last thing we crave in the morning!
Well, this was a few months ago. Since then I went vegan, and now I can eat fresh vegetables any time of day. Also, in these past few months I’ve perfected my recipe for this smoothie through trial and error, and now even Rob finds it good. Most of the time. Why not always?
See, this recipe is highly customizable. There are a few staple ingredients, but everything else can be added/subtracted as you wish. I never really measure the ingredients, so a few times I got carried away with stronger-tasting stuff, and Rob wasn’t a fan. So I drank his half after I was done with mine.
A great benefit: since The Swamp Monster has so many fresh ingredients, all the goodness of their nutrients goes straight to your muscles if you drink it soon after a workout – hence its amazing recovery-aiding strength! I don’t have enough fingers to number all the hard workouts I’ve done in the past few months that were followed by The Swamp Monster – and I was fresh and ready to take on the world every time afterwards!
Please note: there is too much fiber in this smoothie, so do not attempt drinking it right before exercising!
A little bonus: you can add a tablespoon or two of dark cocoa powder (not the Dutch-processed kind) to make a Chocolate Swamp Monster – because life is always better with chocolate!
The Swamp Monster Smoothie is a great way to start your day after a hard workout! This recipe is just a template - feel free to add/subtract ingredients to make it even more awesome!
- 1 big leaf kale, thick stem removed (or 1/2 cup packed fresh spinach)
- 1 carrot, peeled
- 1/2 inch piece ginger root
- 1/4 avocado
- 4 Tbsp rolled oats
- 1 Tbsp nut butter (I use my homemade peanut butter)
- 1 Tbsp raisins
- 4 prunes (or another 1 Tbsp raisins - but it might come out too sweet)
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp ground flax seed
- 4-5 frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup or more water (or 1 small cucumber)
- dash of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp light miso paste
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp wheatgrass
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp spirulina
- 1-2 Tbsp dark cocoa powder
- Up to 1/2 cup other kinds of frozen fruit or berries (I like blueberries)
- Add all of the base ingredients and whatever you're using from the optional list to a high-powered blender (see note below).
- Blend everything together until smooth, 2-3 min depending on your blender, stopping halfway to check on the flavor. At this stage, you can add more of any ingredient to your taste (add more raisins/prunes to make it sweeter). If it's too thick, add more almond milk/water.
- Once it's smooth, pour into a glass and enjoy!
A lot of vegan people prefer Vitamix blenders, but I'm currently using this Ninja brand blender - it works very well and costs way less than a Vitamix! If using a regular blender, stop blending often and scrape down the sides to ensure even blending.
Do you have a favorite breakfast smoothie, or a great postworkout recipe? If so, share with us below!