Post-Run Smoothie

Not to sound like dirty hippies, but we are dirty hippies. After a long run we like having a cool refreshing smoothie, but we think making something as simple as a fruit smoothie at home makes infinitely more sense than spending the money on the junk in the bottles. Homemade smoothies are the perfect solution to the overripe fruit sitting on our counters (American households toss away a lot of rotten fruit each year). Our over-ripe bananas and other fruit go into our freezer for future smoothie use. We like mixing things up depending on what we have on hand. Today it happened to be mango and banana.

We’ve developed our own “super food” supplement blend that adds both flavor and nutrition to our smoothies and we try to include it no matter what else we add. These are whole or very minimally processed foods (dried, hulled, ground) that you can find in most well stocked grocery stores; hemp seeds, goji berries, bee pollen, chia seeds, and dried white mulberries. Grinding them in the blender first breaks everything down to a fine powder.

We typically only drink smoothies after a hard run. All that physical spending requires a refueling, and nothing hits the mark more effectively than a bunch of whole fresh food blended into a cool, thick, tasty and nutritious mini-meal! Smoothies are quick to build and serve, plus they’re an efficient delivery system for the macro and micro-nutrients our bodies crave after a hard workout.

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Mango Banana Smoothie
2 servings

1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon goji berries
1 tablespoon dried mulberries
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 teaspoon bee pollan
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut water
1 frozen banana*
1 ripe mango (or other fruit, fresh or frozen)
1 cup kefir or yogurt

Add the chia seeds, goji berries, dried mulberries, hemp seeds, bee pollan, and cinnamon to your blender. Blend until it turns into a powder. Add the coconut water and blend for a few seconds. Add the banana, mango, and kefir to the blender. With the top on, blend until smooth. Add more coconut water if the smoothie is too thick. Pour into two glasses and enjoy.

*To peel the banana, run it under cold water and remove the peel with your fingers or a knife. It’s ok if some of the peel is still attached.

Cocktails for runners

Not our typical cocktail; water, honey, tangerine juice, and chia seeds.

We’ve all seen those Chia Pet commercials, and you may have even received one as a secret Santa, white elephant or gag gift at some point. It’s a mystery why anyone thought we needed terra cotta animals that you spread magical seeds over the top of to watch them sprout and grow. Have you ever wondered where those seeds come from and if they could have other uses besides being a pop culture flash back to early-80’s décor?

We first learned of chia seed consumption from Christopher McDougall’s book, Born to Run. In it, McDougall describes the Tarahumara Indians, a hidden tribe that lives in Northern Mexico’s Copper Canyons area. If they aren’t drinking their other favorite refresher – corn beer – they’re drinking a chia seed concoction called Iskiat or chia fresca. They make chia fresca out of those As Seen on TV chia seeds, also known as Salvia hispanica, which they mix with water, sugar and a squeeze of lime. It’s refreshing, if a bit textured. Before, during, and after runs, the Tarahumara recharge by eating Pinole – chia, corn meal, some form of sugar and cinnamon – kept in pouches at their waists. The chia seeds are high in protein and fiber that will keep any long distance runner feeling full without feeling bloated.

Ch-Ch-Ch Chia

Once the seeds mix with water or fruit juice they become gelatinous. It’s similar to the gel packs that runners use when they need a quick jolt of energy on long runs. The seeds are very healthy, full of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and amino acids. The seeds themselves have been around in culinary use for hundreds of years used in baking, in drinks, or eaten raw. They can even be sprouted and added to salad and sandwiches in lieu of alfalfa sprouts. We add them to fruit and yogurt smoothies, sprinkle them on top of yogurt and fruit, and add them to our oatmeal.

Our running habits have been a bit hit or miss this year. Every night we plan to wake early for a quick morning jog, but end up sleeping too late for even a quick morning stretch before Steve has to get on his first call of the day. Then, at night, during our free time, we’re either too tired, hungry, thirsty, or lazy to get out the door and into the park for a good run. It’s the end of the year and our lives are about to change for the better. Time for a fresh start. As Madonna sings, “Are you ready to jump? Get ready to jump.”

We ask, “How high?”

Even if you’re not a runner you should give these seeds a try. Who knows, you might even start sprouting green hair on top of your head!


Where's the rum?

Pina Colada Smoothie

Makes 2

1 cup pineapple, fresh or canned, unsweetened, (or almost any other soft fruit)

1 banana, peeled and broken into pieces

4-6 frozen coconut water cubes*

½ cup keffir or plain yogurt

2 tablespoons chia seeds

Add everything into a blender and mix until smooth consistency. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

*Freeze coconut water in ice cube trays overnight.