This morning, let’s start with a joke. How do you know if your friend has finished an Ironman?
Don’t worry. They’ll tell you.
So with that in mind … have I mentioned lately that I’m training for an Ironman for a second year?
Well, I am. And with that training comes approximately nine workouts a week on average, which takes up a great deal of my non-office time. And THAT makes what free time I do have very, very sacred indeed.
I’ve always been a fan of efficiency, but during Ironman season, it’s a necessity! Laundry (especially workout clothes, because they get so much use!) needs to be handled swiftly; meals must be planned in advance; the house has to stay tidier than usual at all times so we don’t have to have a huge decluttering session on Saturday mornings. And breakfast – that important meal of the day, the one I dream about in the predawn swimming pool – has to meet all my nutritional needs and be quick about it.
Enter my peanut butter and banana protein shake, that sweet elixir that I fixate over during the last few minutes of morning training each day. It’s an all-encompassing, 400-calorie meal that refuels me after a hard workout and tides me over till lunchtime!
For the past year or so, I’ve used Vega protein powder almost exclusively and haven’t been let down. A single scoop offers about 20 grams of protein, plus a passel of other nutrients, and I’ve not found it to be think and chalky like so many other powders on the market. It’s plant-based, so no worries there, and the founder of the company is an endurance athlete himself. Win-win!
So into the blender I put a scoop of the powder – I like the vanilla or coconut almond flavors best – along with a banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter, and a cup or so of almond milk (sometimes more). Then I whip it up, blend it well, and within half a minute or so, breakfast is served!
Talk about efficiency – it doesn’t take me long to gulp down the smoothie. And unlike so many others I’ve tried over the years, this really does keep me full for hours as opposed to hankering for a mid-morning snack at 9:45 a.m. And even though it’s healthy and even, dare I say, nutritious, it’s also completely decadent. The silky texture of the shake, the shock of peanut butter against the smoothness of the banana, renders this an almost dessert-like treat any time of the day.
And by the way, I’m relying on this shake to propel me to the finish line of this year’s Ironman. And when it does … don’t worry. I’ll tell you about it.