Sunday Smoothie Sharing – my 67.5 mile Week, Six Things and Breakfast and Dessert Smoothies

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Is it really Sunday May 4th already?!? When did THAT happen? This week has flown by and has been very eventful – my trip to Troy (post coming tomorrow), Lisa had a work trip, the boys had a concert, Chris had a ‘Chem Bowl’ competition, Danny had the SATs … and whew we’re exhausted!

Laura from the gluten-free treadmill is having a link-up for Smoothies – so I wanted to share … but a few other things first!

My Running Summary

Yeah, I said I wasn’t worrying about these anymore … and I’m not worrying about them – but I will still do them on occasion! This was a great week, so here is my weekly summary:

Sunday: Travel & Rest
Monday: 9. miles
Tuesday: Double – 6.75 miles and 9 miles
Wednesday: 10.25 miles
Thursday: 9.25 miles
Friday: 9.25 miles
Saturday 15.5 miles including one mile I saw at 8:03!

Yeah … that is 68.75 miles! It is the most I have run since it was warm last year … and I feel great! I was thrilled just to be out there this week – the coldest morning was in the mid-30s and most days were in the 40s! I had fast and slow days, but really just loved every stride all week long.

Six Things for Sunday

1. Taper Hypochondria – I am directly stealing the title from Running Bear, who documented every little ache and pain he had leading up to his marathon (which I am SURE he ROCKED!) … and it makes me smile, because I totally get it!

And at the same time I have been reading things from others leading up to races from Sara before Boston (which SHE rocked), Salt (who continues to amaze), Laura (who struggled in her Ultra and is slowly coming back), Cori (made the hard decision to skip her marathon), and Aimee (just had to drop).

Obviously real injuries and those niggles we all feel are very different – but it is interesting to me how the impending race has an amplifying effect on every little twinge. I was about a mile into my 15.5 Saturday run and had a little twinge, which was long gone and never returned by the second mile – but it had me thinking about what I would think if I was approaching a race.

Do you suffer pre-race hypochondria?

2. Shape Magazine – I have always been clear that while I am the thinnest and fittest of my life, the impact of having been >375lbs at 23 has a lifelong impact on my body. My skin fits better now than ever, but there is no way I will look like a fitness model … ever.

This week there was an article highlighted for me by Danielle about a woman who was being featured in the ‘Success Stories’ for Shape magazine after 170 lb weight loss … but when things got close to the end the magazine requested a different ‘after’ picture, and the one she had sent showed very clearly what a body looks like after extreme weight loss.

I don’t claim to know any of the inner workings of any of this, but I DO know a couple of things:
Unreality sells – people want to think that there is a quick & easy path to looking like their favorite celebrity or like one of those hardbodies in the marketing materials … so magazines have little interest or incentive to show what extreme weight loss REALLY looks like.
Reality is real – and we need to have more of it. If you read some of the comments, you see many themes, and for me the worst was people saying that seeing an image of a woman who had lost so much and had ‘loose skin’ would be UN-motivating, why not just stay fat in that case?

That just makes me sad – we should be proud of our bodies, and for those of us who have lost loads of weight, we need to own the fact that the result will never be the perfection we might have envisioned at the start. I joke about my ‘4-pack’, how I am really fit and toned but will NEVER have a full 6-pack. And I am OK with that … well, alright, not OK enough to post my picture, but still …

3. Injuries Make Me Sad – the other day I was driving the kids somewhere and saw a young woman who I often see out running in the early evenings most of the year. But this day she was in shorts (always a yay! for warm weather) … and I could see she was taped up in a way that said to me ‘IT band problem’. And her face as she passed by the end of the road and we waved – not her normal smile. Ugh.

And then yesterday morning I saw a guy in his 50s out running as I was getting close to the end. He is another one I see often, but haven’t seen more than once or twice since the fall. And even though he wasn’t far from home, his knee was wrapped and it was clear that the run was a struggle.

And I mentioned all of the other folks struggle with injury, as well as others. I know I am really lucky – 25 years without an injury. But I don’t take it for granted – knowing how much running means to me makes me sad for those who end up hurt.

4. Serendipity – I love when I find out others doing similar things; I had a new friend from my fraternity who ran the same distance (15.5) as me yesterday, and for whatever reason having friends on Facebook who were out for runs at the same time, or on Instagram posting gorgeous weather when I had great weather, or whatever.

Maybe it is a way to have a shared experience across the miles, but it is a small connection that means something when I can’t actually go running with someone else.

5. Hold Crap … Will We Never Learn? – for whatever reason there are times when drivers on phones really bug me. Last weekend in Troy I ran about 15 or so miles between two days, and as I ran I was astounded at the number of drivers talking – and even more so texting … it was appalling! There are just more cars than where I live so I expected to see more … but then returning this week I’ve had two ‘daylight’ runs and was again appalled at all of the phone use. Here is a brutal reminder of how little it takes:

6. Perspective – again on Facebook I had a friend from work who I haven’t seen in a while post “Knowing that I am so out of shape makes me sad…two miles just kicked my butt…darn these bad knees.”

And I didn’t know what to do or say other than to ‘like’ it and give a quick comment of encouragement. But it again reminds me of my total lack of perspective – here I am pushing 50, just going out running long distances at will, good bones and joints and overall health. It really made me stop and think.

Sunday Smoothie

Sunday Smoothie Sharing!

I love that Laura has created a link-up for smoothies … because for the last few weeks I have been all about making smoothies all the time. So I had two recipes to share – one for breakfast and a dessert smoothie. They are both quite good, not really complete meals but

Decadent Ice Cream Sundae Smoothie

This is somewhat of a go-to dessert for me, and I totally love it. It is like an ice cream treat – if you have never had a frozen banana … you have no idea what you’re missing!

Ingredients:
– 2 frozen bananas
– Frozen mixed berries (or fresh, if in season)
– Vanilla unsweetened almond milk
– Grated cocoa or chocolate
– (optional) crushed peppermint or walnuts to top

Sunday Smoothie01

The first thing I do is to prep the bananas – cut off the ends, slit the sides and slice into 1″ pieces. This will make the skin fall off most bananas … but recently we’ve had very thin-skinned ones locally so I haven’t worried about it too much. Note: if you leave the skin on, you should really get organic bananas.

Sunday Smoothie02

For better blending I suggest doing the bananas in some of the almond milk first. I use the vanilla unsweetened because I found the plain almond milk a bit too savory and it detracted from the banana sweetness.

Sunday Smoothie03

Once the mixture is purely liquified, you can add other ingredients. If it is too thick, add more almond milk.

Sunday Smoothie04

Dump in a few tablespoons of chocolate bits and fill with the berries, then add more almond milk to fill it to the ‘max’ line. I will often add chopped walnuts or pecans or almonds at this point as well.

Sunday Smoothie05

This should be a much thicker combination, and it will slowly combine fully. Here you can see the berry part slowly combining into the main banana mix.

Sunday Smoothie06

At this point you should need a spoon to eat the smoothie – personally I like it better this way than as a milkshake consistency. Then I take a little peppermint ‘snow’ (Trader Joes, leftover from a Christmas gift) and mix it in with a spoon and sprinkle it on top.

Sunday Smoothie07

The flavor profile is interesting – you get banana throughout, but at first you have peppermint, then berries, and the chocolate sneaks in after that, and the aftertaste combines it all. Because of the banana it is very filling … and really not the worst dessert for you!

Breakfast Smoothie

I love breakfast smoothies as well, combining fruit, yogurt, nut butter and more! Here is one I had yesterday before my long run:
– Pitted dates (loaded with fiber)
– Vanilla Greek yogurt
– Vanilla unsweetened almond milk
– Peanut butter

Sunday Smoothie08

This is one of those ‘add stuff to blender and go’! Recipes. For me, I do 1 yogurt serving, 2 servings of dates, 2 tbsp peanut butter, and fill to max with the almond milk.

Sunday Smoothie09

My goal was that this was drinkable – so it is much thinner than the dessert smoothie.

Sunday Smoothie10

One thing – the dates were not fully incorporated and so it ended up a bit chewy here and there. If you have texture issues I would suggest blending them alone before adding everything else.

So … tell me how YOUR week was? Running, dealing with injuries, experience with body image issues or distracted drivers, and what about smoothies?

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26 thoughts on “Sunday Smoothie Sharing – my 67.5 mile Week, Six Things and Breakfast and Dessert Smoothies

  1. Your smoothies look delicious!!! Love the idea of crushed peppermint on top. But … peel the bananas before freezing!!! So much easier that way :).

    The story of the woman who lost 170 pounds really made me sad … thanks for sharing. I love her response because she was professional and courteous the whole time, while trying to get to the bottom of it and ultimately calling the magazine out for their judgment error. I subscribe to Shape (I consider it mostly “junk reading,” but I love the inspirational stories and they often have little snippets from interesting health-related studies that I then go check out on my own), and I’m now reconsidering due to this. Good reminders, too, about talking/ texting while driving, and all the social media and running connections!

    • Ha – good point on the peels! I got spoiled by the thicker skinned ones, I guess!

      I still think that any place that offers a voice to these inspirational stories is great … but it is a reminder that these magazines are a business – and a struggling one. Bloggers have made things more crowded and offered a great personal voice … which takes away from magazines. So they push what sells … and real bodies (sadly) don’t sell. And I definitely think this is worse for women, which is really sad – it is bad enough what men and the media do for women and body image, but the emerging realization that women do it to each other and themselves makes me sad!

  2. You made some epic smoothies – and I love the idea of peppermint candies on top! I wonder how it’d be if they were blended in… a must try! Thanks so much for linking up to Sunday Smoothie!

    You know, I realized this week that every micro-cycle, I have to re-learn how to push through the pain. I know this sounds crazy when I say it, and I’m not selling any non-runners on running by explaining this, but there is a point past eight miles (and sometimes past two miles) where running doesn’t feel very good. Every year (and this time, I even had to re-learn it after three weeks of non-running) I have to figure out what it means to push through “healthy” pain that comes with running and when to stop because of injury pain (I think my live-blogged 32-miler was the most obvious example – some miles really sucked and others were exhilarating). Around mile five today I have a sharp pain in my right adductor, and at one point in my running career, I would have stopped running. But I kept running and it went away. I’m not saying this is always the right decision, but one of the hardest things about running (in my opinion) is pushing past the miserable miles. More than anything, I think that’s why long runs in training are important – not because of the mileage per se, but because I think we have to learn how to suffer and keep going. When I look back at my ultramarathon (and hindsight is 20/20) I think I could have kept going without any dire consequences because the pain was so much more related to the cold. I didn’t, and I hope that means I’ll be stronger in my next race, and make my next 100k that much sweeter, but training is important because of the painful moments. Not the good ones.

    And I totally rambled, and I’m not sure if it made any sense. And for anyone who doesn’t run already, disregard the last paragraph. Running is awesome, and no matter how hard a run/race is, it always feels worth it at the end. And some runs are so simply amazing that you’ll have a week of bad runs just for that one good one.

    Have a wonderful Sunday!

    • Actually Laura it is an awesome and non-rambling comment!

      Glad my smoothies looked good … I really am just winging it most of the time, but I am a decent enough cook that I can assess flavor profiles pretty well. I just think it is cool when you have a layered taste that evolves … in a totally smashed together smoothie!

      And I really agree on the assessment of normal soreness versus injury pain … it is not easy. Same for normal fatigue versus overtraining and real exhaustion. I cut myself a mile or so short today because I knew I was done. And really, at 12.75 miles of mostly hills, I had nothing to prove – so listening to my body was not a bad thing.

  3. Those recipes looks great! I love trying “dessert” smoothies as a healthier option than ice cream or fro-yo! Crushed peppermint is a great idea. It never even crossed my mind to leave the peel on the banana? I usually just peel them, and break them into pieces and freeze them. I don’t think my blender would be able to handle the thickness of the bananas I have.
    That is some amazing mileage! I am somewhat of a hypochondriac when it comes to running pains. I think my chiro doesn’t even believe half of the complaints I come in with. But I am constantly trying to deal with any issues before them become full-blown injuries.

    • I think Megan was right on dealing with the peels … but instead of copping to my laziness (oops, too late) I’m going to pretend I am totally informed and savvy. Here is some info on peels:

      Nutrients in Banana Peels
      Banana peels are also rich sources of potassium and contain much more soluble and insoluble fiber than their flesh. Dietary fiber promotes digestion and bowel movements and can reduce blood cholesterol levels. Banana peels also contain tryptophan, which increases serotonin levels in the body and affects mood, much like the drug Prozac does. According to “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” researchers in Taiwan discovered banana peel extract can ease depression because of its effect on serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for balancing mood and emotions. Others found that eating two banana skins a day for three days increased blood serotonin levels by 16 percent. Further, banana skin contains lutein, a powerful antioxidant that protects the eye from free radicals and harmful frequencies of UV radiation from the sun. Lutein has been proven to reduce the risks of cataracts and macular degeneration, as cited in “Biochemical, Physiological and Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition.”

      And there have been discussions on other blogs I follow about doctors … sometimes you have to be your own advocate. If that means being overly aggressive with your care, so be it!

      • Very interesting about the banana peels! Thanks for sharing.

        As for the doctor stuff, I agree that we need to advocate for our health. Lately I have been feeling like I’m not being heard, so I am actually researching other providers. I feel like I know how I am supposed to feel and if the person I am paying to help me is willing to settle for less than 100%, then I am going to find someone who is willing to keep trying to help me,.

      • Totally with you Lisa – when our older son was just over 2 years old he was really sick and his pediatrician was sort of pooh-poohing us, and we were at the office 5 times in 7 days … then he was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia! Yeah, last visit with THAT pediatrician! It was a reminder that you need to control your own health care.

  4. thanks for the shout out, a 68 mile week! That’s incredible! And yeah i become somewhat nuts right before a race thinking my body is falling apart, but i try to be hyper aware of those little niggles and twinges no matter what time of year. I don’t like being injured so i’d rather take care of things before they’re a big injury that being said, here’s looking forward to my ankle recovering.

    • Yeah … I’d rather be giving a shout out about the cool acronyms you seem to come up with, or something about your running, Cameron or your wedding instead of an injury šŸ˜¦

      And I think it is important to stay on top of your injuries like you say – it bugs me with my kids friends how many of them are taped and wrapped and whatnot … and they’re just in high school! One of my old college friends I saw last weekend really struggles at this point, already had knee surgery, but still has pain and fatigues easily. So it is important to minimize the impact when you’re younger.

  5. What an amazing running week for you, congrats on that! I love the times running just feels GOOD and there’s no pressure. Your smoothie recipes look great, I’m not a big smoothie person but my kids die for these things so healthy ones are a big plus šŸ™‚

    I think after being injured, even after recovering, there’s always that worry that something may be coming. I’m dealing with that still now after severe tendonitis. But I appreciate feeling good during a run in a way I never did pre-injury.

    • ha – funny that you had a ‘running as joy’ post today, which I loved!

      I’m definitely the big smoothie person in my house, I’m surprised my older son hasn’t done more milkshakes yet, but as you say the healthier options are great. And these can really take care of me after (and before) a long run.

      Thank you again for all of the great Paleo wisdom and tips on your site – love it! šŸ™‚

    • I was so excited about getting it for my birthday last month – never stop being a little kid, growing up is definitely over-rated! šŸ™‚

      I am conflicted in many ways over the thing about Shape, except for one thing: beauty comes in all sorts of forms, and we should never be made to feel ashamed of our bodies.

  6. Oh my, I hadn’t read Aimee’s post yet. So unfortunate. I seem to get 2-3 pains per year, but for the last 8 or so years, it’s never been something that’s needed more than a week off, so I feel pretty lucky. But I definitely get taper hypochondria — something about cutting my mileage sharply and being focused on a race brings out all kinds of phantom pains.
    For smoothies, I do a breakfast one daily that I love. From the bottom: kale, spinach, frozen fruit mix (peach, mango, pineapple, grape, strawberry), frozen beets, carrot juice, soy milk, Vega protein powder, chia seeds, flax powder.

    • I have just found it amazing tracking the real and imagined injuries … and I would much rather everyone had imagined ones!

      Love that smoothie recipe … might have to give it a try!

  7. Thanks for the mention and for the supportive comments on my post. I’m still holding out a little hope for the sports medicine appointment on Thursday, but I’m realistic. There will always be other races. My health comes first.

    I also read Brooke’s post about her experience with Self magazine. I am very impressed with her integrity. I think she looks amazing and hope her story continues to spread the word about positive body image.

    What a terrific week of running! I hope the sun continues to shine for all the runners out there. As difficult as it is watching from the sidelines right now it is still great to see people outside and active at last.

    I’m back on a smoothie kick. Yours looks fantastic! I’ve been keeping it rather simple lately with almond milk, Vega One Vanilla Chai, spinach or kale and ice, but I love the idea of doing a dessert smoothie.

    • Thanks Aimee – it always breaks my heart to see runners get hurt. šŸ˜¦ I am hoping things go well on Thursday for you as well, but like you say – health first!

      Thanks on the smoothies – I LOVE dessert smoothies … and am always making SOMETHING whether or not it is a smoothie – and half the time no one else will touch it! šŸ™‚ Fine by me!

  8. Wow, those smoothies, I just had my protein shake in my blender bottle but I am wishing I had a magic bullet at work to make a blended smoothie like that and crushed peppermint? GENIUS!! I agree with the shape article, it was circulating all over social media the past few days and I am SO happy that Danielle stuck to her guns, she is incredibly strong and motivating and I applaud her!!

    • Thanks – I had the whole family making smoothies last night. No one else likes banana based smoothies like me, but everyone came up with a recipe they liked … and I more or less duplicated my dessert smoothie.

      And the whole thing with Shape magazine is very troubling and complex and bugs me in a variety of ways. But ultimately I do applaud her for getting her story out and standing by her thoughts.

  9. Back from the marathon, just getting caught up with blogs. Thanks for the link, I’m glad my post was suitably thought provoking. I think using that blog post as a 2-week log book of any little ailment helped me vent the anxiety. All of the items in there turned out to be non issues on race day, I finished the taper feeling strongest I’ve ever felt in my life.

    • You really rocked it – and I know it is just because we’re entering a busy race period, but I felt like I was seeing more and more worried posts from folks about real and imagined pains. I thought yours was perfect šŸ™‚ And so glad it turned out to be nothing and you had a great race!

  10. taper hypochondria is a thing! I see that phrase a little different though-maybe it’s just taper phobia. I’m petrified to taper before a race because I don’t want to lose fitness or sadly, gain weight by not running as far. But I was hyperaware of every ache, pain, and tiny misstep I made in the week leading up to my half and dissected them all mercilessly. Is it wrong that before the race I was most concerned about being able to, um, go before the race instead of in the middle?

    • It is so funny how we will blow through things in our normal and training periods, then right before a race everything is the worst ever! šŸ˜€

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