Orange and Nut Protein Smoothie

This festive orange and nut protein smoothie is creamy and nutritious, made from your favourite protein powder and healthy ingredients.

This recipe takes 60 seconds to create in a high-speed blender. 

Simply add all the ingredients below. 

160g oranges (vitamin C)

60g banana (vitamin B6 and potassium)

75g walnuts and almonds (vitamin E and manganese)

50g of my favourite pea protein powder (from Bulk Powders)

400 ml of cold water

Although not necessary, the mixture of almonds and walnuts can be pre-soaked. 

For a more refreshing taste the drink can be placed in the refrigerator for an hour before stirring and enjoying.

3 Training Principles from Ultramarathoner Lee Grantham

Lee Grantham’s recent stardom on social media and being a genuine contender at top ultramarathon races is testament to his strength of staying true to himself.

But what stands out about the Mancunian’s training approach?

1. Cross-Trains to Build Mileage

Grantham may be a full-time athlete, but he doesn’t spend all his time running. He instead complements his 60 miles per week (an achievable target for some recreational runners) with substantially more cycling.1

At around 150 miles per week, Grantham is improving and maintaining his aerobic capabilities while reducing his injury risks. This strategy gives him the perfect opportunity to keep mixing up his workouts, whilst maximising his most important energy system.

2. Replicates Tough Running Conditions

Grantham is known to run up mountains for hours in hot conditions, only to have to hitch-hike back home.1 This allows his body to adapt to conditions he will inevitably face in competition.

Mentally, he is further challenging himself to cope with the multitude of ups and downs when running for many hours at a time. Although he may have a relaxed character he continually tests his survival skills by relying on factors outside of his control (namely motorists) to return him to the safety of home.

3. Stays Himself

At 35 years old, Grantham has never been more ambitious, looking to win some of the longest races in the world. Grantham trains his way though, admitting he travels to different parts of the world, such as Thailand and mainland Europe, to both train in picturesque and awe-inspiring landscapes as well as experience new cultures.2

Grantham believes that these unique races can also help runners keep determined throughout the winter months when enthusiasm can easily wane.3

Surprisingly, Grantham has only been focusing on running for eight years, beginning in his late 20s.1 Nevertheless, his experience playing football and rugby in particular, where running was emphasised2 has put him in good stead.

His marathon personal best of 2:21:43 reveals that he is certainly no ordinary athlete. Add to this his vegan diet, eco-friendly lifestyle and interest in strength and conditioning at the gym, and no wonder he is popular in an already extraordinary sport.4


1 The Athletics Weekly article is entitled Aiming High. Published on 23rd August 2018.
2 This Steemit article is entitled Interview with Playboy and Elite Runner Lee Grantham. Published on 22 January 2018.
3 The MyProtein article is entitled Racing Overseas: How to make the most of it. Published in 2016.
4 The Athletics Weekly article is entitled Trail-blazing Endurance Athlete’s Winning Social Media Strategy. Published on 23rd August 2018.

My Top 3 Vegan Protein Smoothies in July 2018

Below are my favourite recipes I made last month.

Try a wide range of protein powders to help you recover from your training at Bulk Powders.

Let me know if you attempt any of my recipes.



My Top 5 Vegan Protein Smoothies in June 2018

Last month I experimented more with my protein smoothies, and even baked with protein powder for the first time.

Below are my favourite recipes in June.



Cranberry and Date Protein Flapjack

Last month I attempted my first baking recipe using protein powder.

Despite some difficulty it was an enjoyable challenge, one that was ultimately successful.

Bulk Powders Flapjack

The protein-rich treat is ideal for recovery after a workout.

I experimented with almond milk and pea protein powder to find a mixture that did not adversely affect the taste.

For the full recipe visit Bulk Powders blog.



My Top 5 Vegan Protein Smoothies in May 2018

I have become a Bulk Powders Affiliate.

I love their vegan protein powder range, which supplements my diet in delicious ways.

Below are my favourite experiments in May.

Please comment if you try any.



My Top 3 Vegan Protein Smoothies in April 2018

I have become a protein smoothie addict.

Last month I experimented with a range of ingredients.

Below are my most delicious and filling recipes in April.

Even my Vibrams wanted some.

Comment if you try any.



Vegan Lime Smoothie

This new recipe is a unique mixture of strong flavours. This provides a refreshing, creamy and delicious drink at any time of day.

The ground almonds were blended with the water for 60 seconds first. Then the other ingredients were added, and 60-90 seconds further in the high speed blender created the nutritious blend. I left the drink in the refrigerator for an hour to chill before enjoying.

100g ground almonds (calcium and magnesium)

200g banana (vitamin B6 and potassium)

100g spinach (vitamin A and potassium)

50g of my favourite pea protein powder

50ml maple syrup (calcium and magnesium)

100g limes (vitamin C and iron)

500 ml of cold water

Green Lime Protein Smoothie

Vegan Cranberry and Kiwi Smoothie

This new recipe is a delightful blend of frozen and dried fruit, and milled seeds. This provides a unique texture, nutritious and filling after a run.

It only takes 60 seconds to make in my high speed blender.

100g dried cranberries (antioxidants and manganese)

65g kiwis (Vitamin C and Vitamin B6)

50g frozen strawberries (Vitamin C and antioxidants)

55g of my favourite pea protein powder

20g organic milled flaxseed (fibre and Omega 3)

750 ml of cold water

Cranberry and Kiwi Protein Smoothie

Vegan Cacao Date Smoothie

This recipe is one of my favourites as the dates thicken the smoothie, whilst the mix of fruit create a sweet and delicious taste. It is a packed full of nutrition that I enjoy before and after runs.

The frozen fruit makes the smoothie cool and refreshing. It only takes 90 seconds to produce in my high speed blender.

150g pitted dates (potassium and magnesium)

65g frozen strawberries (Vitamin C and antioxidants)

60g frozen blackberries (Vitamin K and manganese)

50g frozen blueberries (Vitamin C and E)

50g of my favourite pea protein powder

20g raw cacao powder (iron and calcium)

50 ml of cold water

Date Cacao Smoothie

An Ultra Transformation

Finding Ultra (2012) by Rich Roll


Serious Swimmer

Roll was born in the 1960s and by age six he was swimming, inspired by his grandfather who was a top swimmer, an Olympic hopeful and local legend. He was mentored by excellent older swimmers and his love for the water grew as he began winning local summer school meets before he was ten.

He was bullied throughout his school years so worked hard on his studies rather than his social life. It taught him to accept and thrive despite pain, as he was accustomed to the disconnect with his peers.

His tenacity to develop and realise his swimming potential resulted in him training in the pool as early as 5am and accumulating over eighteen hours of swimming a week. At age sixteen he was travelling all over the United States competing in the 200m butterfly, recognised as eighth in the country for his age group, often finishing in second place. He also single-handedly inspired his school to found a swimming team.

He attended Stanford University due to its superb swimming programme and was made freshman co-captain.

Audacious Alcoholic

Roll’s performance levels would soon fall once he was hooked on drinking alcohol, which was partly a mechanism to overcome his social anxiety. He dropped out of the team and would later become a legal assistant in New York. His raucous social drinking lead him to dodging DUIs, a failed marriage and eventually being arrested in Los Angeles.

Roll continued to relapse until he was forced into rehab after realising he had a problem and would lose his job if he did not change his habits. Over the next one hundred days Roll changed his perception of himself, and rid himself of resentment and fear in order to draw on spirituality and faithfulness to recover.

Lean Vegan Triathlete

Despite staying sober for many years, fathering a family and setting up a successful entertainment law firm, Roll was overweight and addicted to unhealthy foods. As he turned forty he knew he needed to change if he wanted to live longer. So he transformed his diet with support from his yoga and juice enthusiast wife.

Roll quickly adjusted to a vegan diet, similar to Scott Jurek, becoming ripped and losing over forty-five pounds. Inspired by the popular movement of Ironman Triathlons, he entered a long-course hilly half distance in 2007 but did not finish, suffering cramp and succumbing to high muscle lactate. In the same year he had to walk the last eight miles of the Long Beach Marathon.

So in May 2008, Roll experimented more with his food choices, motivated by fuel optimisation rather than for political or ethical reasons, and worked with top coach Chris Hauth.

After lactate tests, months of zone 2 training, periodisations and a whole-foods plant-based diet Roll steadily enhanced his aerobic endurance capacity.

Inspired by David Goggins, he completed the UltraMan World Championships in 2008 (eleventh overall) and 2009 (sixth overall). Not satisfied, Roll embraced an even more extreme test of fitness in 2010 – the EPIC 5 adventure. Alongside Jason Lester, a disabled athlete and friend, he embarked on a series of back-to-back Ironman Triathlons on the islands of Hawaii.

Despite the enormity of the challenge, adverse weather conditions, frequent mechanical faults with bicycles, saddle rashes and the loss of essential gear, they both navigated five separate islands over seven days, accumulating 12 miles of swim, 560 miles of cycling and 131 miles of running (703 miles in total).

Transformation

Roll’s journey from high school swimmer to chronic alcoholic, and overweight lawyer to elite endurance triathlete is remarkable. Along with an unwavering dedication to change his life, Roll took advantage of the advice and presence of national swimming champions, Olympic Trial qualifiers, and even Olympic medalists. He came into contact with some of the best swimmers in the world, including his idols such as Pablo Morales and John Moffet.

His persistence to better himself led him to realise that a healthy and fit lifestyle is within everyone’s grasp. He distilled his vegan diet into easily digestible and compelling advice for his readers. Foods he uses throughout his incredible feats include many slow-releasing carbohydrates:

  • Avocado and veganaise sandwiches
  • Coconut water
  • Kale and spinach
  • Mustard greens and spirulina
  • Rice balls and yams

His openness to explore himself and follow proven principles resulted in him running many miles at a lower intensity to improve his ratio of exertion to relative speed. He is a true inspiration because his positive attitude and quest for finding other people’s motivation (through his own popular podcast) is second-to-none.

Vegan Cacao and Cranberry Flapjack

This thick and tasty flapjack is ideal as a snack to energise you before a run. It is quick to make, lasts for days and is not too sweet.

After slowly melting 200g vegan spread (vitamin B6 and E) I stirred in 400g rolled oats until they were coated. Away from the heat I added the following ingredients:

250g golden syrup (sugar)

40g organic raw cacao powder (iron, calcium and fibre)

40g dried cranberries (antioxidants)

The flapjack baked in the oven for 30 minutes at 150°C.

Cranberry Flapjack

Vegan Fruit and Avocado Smoothie

This thick and tangy smoothie is best consumed after an hour of refrigeration. The fruit provides nutrition and sweetness, which compliments the protein-rich powder.

I blend the following ingredients in a high speed blender for 60 seconds:

40g of my favourite pea protein powder

1 medium-sized avocado [125g] (vitamin K and folic acid)

1 orange [100g] and 1 lime [50g] (vitamin C)

1 banana [90g] (vitamin B6 and potassium)

200 ml of unsweetened soya milk (calcium and vitamin B12)

200 ml of cold water

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Fig, Grape and Walnut Bars

This nutrient-rich energy bar is a delicious treat after a run, as it contains natural sugars and will hydrate you.

I first chop 220g of dried figs (antioxidants and vitamin K). I place them in a food processor with the following ingredients:

  • 270g fresh grapes (vitamin C)
  • 100g crushed walnuts (manganese and folic acid)
  • 10g milled flaxseed (vitamin B6 and Omega-3)

I spread the mixture in a loaf tin and placed it in the freezer for at least an hour. The loaf can then be cut into slices.

The bars are best eaten individually straight from the freezer as they quickly lose their shape due to the high water content.

Fig, Grape and Walnut Freezer Bars

Vegan Super Blueberry Smoothie

This cold light concoction has a strong blueberry taste. It is nutritious with plenty of water and quality protein inside.

I blend the following ingredients in a high speed blender for 90 seconds:

250g of frozen blueberries (antioxidants)

50g of my favourite pea protein powder

30g of milled flaxseed (Omega 3, iron and magnesium)

100 ml of unsweetened soya milk (calcium and vitamin B12)

500 ml of cold water

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Vegan Cranberry and Oat Protein Smoothie

This thick and creamy shake has a sweet oaty taste with a smooth texture. It is nutritious and replenishes your protein and carbohydrate stores.

I blend the following ingredients in a high speed blender for 90 seconds:

100g of dried cranberries (antioxidants)

50g of my favourite pea protein powder

25g of chia seeds (Omega 3 and fibre)

25g of rolled oats (vitamin B1 and carboyhrate)

100 ml of unsweetened soya milk (calcium and vitamin B12)

550 ml of cold water


Tip: Due to the heat of the blender, add ice cubes to make the drink cool. For best results prepare the smoothie and place in the refrigerator before your run.

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Vegan Banana and Blackberry Protein Smoothie

This thick and creamy smoothie has a subtle hint of banana and is ideal for replenishing your protein and carbohydrate stores after a run.

I blend the following ingredients in a high speed blender for 90 seconds:

200g of bananas (vitamin B6 and potassium)

100g of blackberries (vitamin K and bioflavonoids)

100g of ground almonds (vitamin E)

30g of my favourite pea protein powder

2 teaspoons of green superblend powder (fibre and protein)

400 ml cold water plus 50g of ice cubes

Banana and Blackberry Smoothie

Why I Consume Pea Protein Powder

I began supplementing my diet with vegan protein powder in late July 2016.

The purpose was to ensure my diet best supports my running training.

Pros:

  • It ensures I eat additional and necessary protein to maintain my healthy vegan diet.
  • It means I recover quickly and consistently as a runner who exercises regularly and intensely.
  • It is a relatively cheap source of high quality protein (18-21p per 30g serving)*.
  • It encourages me to make delicious smoothies rich in protein, such as the Cherry Cacao Shake.
  • It makes me feel that I am taking my running seriously, providing me with extra confidence.

Cons:

  • The lack of flavour means that mixing the powder with just water and/or soya milk does not elicit the best taste.
  • It took me months to gain the habit of making and drinking a pea protein smoothie after my workouts and on rest days.

I chose to consume the pea variety as it has 80% protein in every serving, and is significantly cheaper than alternative forms such as hemp and brown rice.

I would recommend any serious runner to consider taking this or similar supplements to enhance, not replace, existing protein intake.

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* The price is based on buying the powder in 5kg bulk bags as I do from a local supplier, Bulk Powders.

Audiobook Review: ‘Eat and Run’ by Scott Jurek


Background

Jurek’s autobiography offers insight into the journey and successes of an ultramarathon legend.

By his own admission he was an average kid growing up in northern Minnesota. He took on many familial responsibilities once his mother was diagnosed with multiple Sclerosis and needed physical therapy. Despite Jurek’s high blood pressure, and his father’s tough parenting, he found peace in his local woods.

As his family could not afford much equipment he became fitter and more competitive through endurance running and cross-country skiing alongside Dusty Olson, a man with whom Jurek would have a tumultuous relationship.

Jurek studied and trained hard whilst reading books on philosophy, yoga, Pilates and veganism, as well as working in running shops and as a physical therapist.


Accomplishments

Jurek chronicles winning and breaking records in some of the toughest foot races in the world, including the Hardrock 100, the Spartathlon (in Greece) and the Western States 100, a race he wins seven consecutive times from the age of twenty-five. They are dramatic and fascinating, even when he paces a friend at the Western States 100.

Jurek accomplishes all this in spite of coping with divorce, his mother passing away, a friend committing suicide and injuries that force him to drop out midway through races.

Yet his obsession with healthy living and asking (and answering) existential questions keeps him grounded and hungry to reach his potential.

Jurek shares his thoughts on succeeding as a runner and vegan athlete, and many notable competitors, including Ferg Hawke, Tough Tommy, Mike Sweeney, Karl Metzler, Kyle and Erik Skaggs and Yanus Korus. His exploration into the Copper Canyons of Mexico to run alongside the famous Tarahumara Indians and Cabello Blanco, is an illuminating account of how running can be an efficient means of survival.


Advice

Scott offers unique motivation throughout the book, including inspirational quotes, nutritional recipes and racing advice.

  • Winning races should make you confident yet humble.
  • A strong runner knows the difference between significant pain (which is a signal to stop and rest) and insignificant pain (which is a signal to push through).
  • Running is a metaphor for life – the ultimate test of mental willpower, where non-essential thoughts are detrimental to progress.

Jurek is a true champion and inspiration of the ultrarunning community. In this enthralling audiobook he offers a rare tale of how sport can truly transform a competitor into a better person. He is one of my main running influences, a man who knows that winning can enlighten oneself and others.

Homemade Energy Balls

I can eat so many of these homemade treats that I always have to make more.

I first chop 250g of dates (magnesium and potassium). I then blend them in a food processor with the following ingredients:

  • 100g dried cranberries (antioxidants)
  • 55g ground almonds (vitamin E) or milled tiger nuts (fibre)
  • 50g organic cocao powder (magnesium and antioxidants)
  • 30g flaxseed (vitamin B6 and Omega-3)
  • 100g chopped prunes (potassium and copper)
  • 30g chia seeds (phosphorus and Omega-3)

I also add several tablespoons of water to bind the mixture.

I then roll into 15 equally sized squidgy balls and freeze them for several hours before devouring.

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