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Candy Cane Protein Smoothie


’Tis the season… to train hard and feed your muscles.

By Amanda Burrill, MS

 

Holiday season checklist of things not to do:

  1. Eat too much
  2. Drink too much
  3. Sleep through a workout or three

So maybe a few of these things are bound to happen, and if ever there were a season to give yourself a bit of a pass, ’tis now. Unlike everything else during the season, this frothy minty concoction will add to the holiday without adding to your body-fat percentage.

These ingredients add up to a familiar yuletide taste but have been craftily conceived to refresh brittle hair and nails, supplement trace minerals you may be lacking, provide a source of good fat, and above all else, deliver protein to those hungry muscles.

I have sweet, chubby memories of plucking candy canes from the tree and gnawing through them like a rabid dog. I heard a rumor that some kids actually unwrap them before eating. Well, no need to hold back here. Joy to the world, let’s chow down!

 

Ingredients

5 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or favorite milk)

1 small container Greek yogurt (about 5 ounces)

1 tablespoon lecithin

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

1 scoop collagen powder

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 serving trace minerals

A few drops of peppermint extract (be careful, some are stronger than others!)

2 strawberries (I added these for color)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Handful ice

 

Total: 373 calories, 22 g carbs, 50 g protein, 11 g fat, 3 g fiber

 

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender, beginning with the liquid to avoid sticky protein-powder clumps. Blend until smooth.

 

SUPERFOOD 101

Lecithin

This is one of nature’s miracle foods that doesn’t get enough love. Lecithin is found in egg yolks and organ meats—things we often bypass. Your body uses choline, which lecithin packs, to produce a substance involved in muscle function, arousal, hormone secretion, and circulation. With all these holiday parties that choline could serve several purposes.

Collagen

You can find collagen in flavorless or vanilla powder or capsule form. Although I love this for its skin, hair, and nail benefits, it’s worth noting that collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. Steel crushers love their protein trivia! It’s everywhere in your body: muscles, bones, skin tendons. Think of it as an essential glue to keep everything healthy and flexible. If you’re hard on your body, collagen becomes all the more important for bouncing back.

Flax Seeds

We’ve sung its praises a million times. This smoothie is already packing serious nutritious heat, which flax also does in and of itself, but I added this mostly for the fiber content. Flax seeds have high levels of mucilage gum, a water-soluble gel-forming fiber that keeps the stomach from emptying too quickly, keeping you feeling nice and full. This slowing process also helps increase nutrient absorption. What good is all this goodness if it just flies through your system? Flax on all the things!

Trace Minerals

Remember the opening credits of Breaking Bad? Okay, go back a little further to chemistry class and learning about the elements. Many minerals gracing the periodic table also grace your sexy body. Multiple chemical and electrical processes are occurring in your body right now, and they need the proper balance of minerals to pull them off successfully. Zinc, magnesium, chromium, sulfate, and lithium. Don’t be a boron. If you sweat, start adding an eyedropper of this on the daily!

 

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