Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Runner's Meal: Chewing is for Suckers, so Blend Blend Blend!

Food post! I like doing these, so I hope you like reading them.

Thanks to Chicago getting confused and giving us more snow in LATE MARCH, I did not get to run as much as I wanted to this weekend. Since I just started my 10k training plan, I was...slightly frustrated by this. 

Pictured: my face upon first seeing snow on Sunday morning
But that's okay, because you can't control everything in your running life, and sometimes it's nice to be reminded of this. 

You know what you can control, though? Smoothies. As a food, smoothies are the epitome of control. Everything that goes in can be exactly measured, and all of it gets precisely poured into your face. You can't leave bits and bobs on a plate, you can't wonder how the meat cooked down or what nutrients just steamed out of the broccoli. If an ingredient goes in the blender, it stays in the blender.

Unless you leave the lid off. Then this happens.
So I looked through the smoothie section of The Runner's World Cookbook, and found a recipe that just seemed bananas to me. First, it didn't involve bananas. What? Bananas are my smoothie staple. I mix them with ice and orange juice, and always enjoy liquid deliciousness shortly thereafter. But as I've learned in my never ending running education, bananas have carbs, and carbs are what you want BEFORE a run, not for running recovery.

(Incidentally, bananas are perfect for quick pre-run fuel. I  just started having one every morning before running, and it's great quick, light fuel. Highly recommended.)

This smoothie is for recovery, so no banana. Boo.What does it have? Unsweetened blueberries. Greek yogurt. Rolled oats. Low fat milk. And finally, flax seed. Yes, flax seed. You guys, I have no idea what flax seed is. And there's really no excuse for that. I have the internet. I am literally typing this on a computer right now. But still, I won't look it up. I feel like any explanation of what it is will just involve more weird words like flax and hyphenate and curdle. I just put it in the blender, made my peace with God, and pressed blend.

Immediately, everything inside turned purple.

Much like my childhood bedroom when the walls were repainted
I blended and blended, and then I had my creation.

My glass had both the name Joey and a mustache. I, unfortunately, only have one of those. 
Verdict: good not great. Tasted a lot like something that's just healthy, instead of healthy and tasty (like last week's burgers). It had a good texture, but no real flavor. I suspected as much given the ingredients, but I thought that flax seed might have some magic taste-giving powers.

It does not.
But I drank all of it, and I felt reasonably recovered from the non-run I took that morning thanks to our bipolar weather. I think that, next time I delve into smoothies, I will look for one with more pep. In the mean time, give this blueberry smoothie a try if you lose your taste buds in some sort of horrible hot tea or coffee accident. Also: add ice, because it came out lukewarm without it.

I will not be able to update again until next Monday, since I'm visiting my family in Nashville until the end of the week! I have quite a back catalogue of posts, though, so check those out if you're hurting for gifs paired with running-related witticisms. 


  1. Flax seed does have a slightly nutty flavor - golden flax is slightly milder to dark flax seed... good source of protein and omega-3 for vegetarians though I think chia seeds are supposed to be slightly better for you due to the fact that it's a complete protein and because it provides fiber.

    Anyway, I think I'll try the recipe you posted with a few modifications to see if I can get it to have a better taste.

    1. Come to think of it, there was something nutty about the taste, so that explains it!

      Let me know if any modifications improve the taste!

  2. Well I tried two different smoothies, one was a slight modification of the one you posted and another just completely different but supposedly good for recovery. The one with a slight modification, I used Greek yogurt, rolled oats, chia seeds (instead of flax), and about half a peach and a few blueberries.

    The other one that I tried that was completely different was basically just cantaloupe, Greek yogurt and chia seeds. This is supposed to be pretty good for recovery because cantaloupe is made mostly of water, so good for hydrating and it has as much potassium as a banana without it having as many sugars.