In the summer, when the temperatures range from 80 to 90 degrees, when the sun is blazing down, and the humidity is so thick you could cut through it with a knife…. that’s when I run.
I always admire the runners I pass on the side of the road when it’s freezing outside, when there is snow on the ground, and you can’t feel your face until three hours after your run. (Ok, maybe that’s a sliiight exaggeration….) Needless to say, I’m not much for running outside in the winter. I’m already cold (all the time!) as it is, so the idea of choosing to run in cold, icy, and windy conditions just doesn’t appeal to me. I’m so impressed by runners who keep their alarm set at 4:30am and are out the door, hitting that pavement, without missing a beat. I used to think I wasn’t tough enough, wasn’t strong enough, if I couldn’t run in the cold weather too. I don’t think that anymore… it’s important to think about your goals as a runner and what you are striving for. If your goal is to run 5 miles today, then does it matter if those 5 miles are on a snowy ground, or on a treadmill at the gym? Maybe I don’t run outside in subzero temperatures, but I do in extreme heat. It’s just a different kind of strong.
Of course there was the time lately I wore this shirt to the gym… halfway through my run I looked down and realized what the shirt actually said. Oops.
When I do run in the heat of the summer, there’s only one thing on my mind by the end of my run. A cold, refreshing smoothie. Smoothies are the perfect way to refuel and cool down after a hard run! Even though it’s not summer yet, I can’t wait for the warmer weather to arrive. This Autumn Nut Smoothie is the perfect way to beat the winter blues and look forward to summer! The cinnamon, maple syrup, and nuts in the smoothie reminded me of Autumn, but this smoothie is great anytime. In fact, I made it today! If you need to call it a “Winter Nut” or “Summer Nut” smoothie to justify when you’re making it, go right ahead… I won’t tell. It’s that good.
Here’s what you’ll need.
First up, a banana. Frozen or a ripe one works here! I like my bananas as fresh as possible- I always look for the greenest ones they have at the grocery store. In my opinion, there is only a 2 day span where bananas are good to eat, and then they’re too ripe and only good for banana bread. Don’t get me wrong- I love them… by themselves, in smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, with yogurt… I can’t think of a way that I don’t like them! I’m just picky when it comes to eating them plain- they have to be the perfect ripeness. I didn’t think it was possible for a banana to be “too green,” but after I got an arm workout while trying to peel my banana today, maybe, just maybe, it is.
I like my smoothies to be pretty thick, so I added some ice here. When your smoothie is so thick you need to use a spoon to drink it, it’s a good one in my book! I added a small handful of ice cubes here (4-5), but if you used a frozen banana, you may want to add just a couple ice cubes so it’s not too thick. I also added 3/4 a cup of almond milk here.
Next up, the nuts! Pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, and walnuts. I added almonds the first time I made this smoothie, and it turned out really well with those as well, so add whichever one you prefer. I didn’t have any almonds on hand this time (maybe because I ate them all already…) so I threw in some walnuts instead!
To keep the autumn theme going, let’s add in some cinnamon here. I like a lot of cinnamon (in everything!) so you might want to add less, depending on your preference. I put cinnamon in my coffee, oatmeal, pancakes… really just about anything lately. If you’ve never tried cinnamon in your coffee, I highly recommend it! Just sprinkle a little (or a lot in my case) on the top of the coffee grounds before you make it… mmmm, it’s like autumn in a cup. But back to the smoothie! I also added just a little bit of maple syrup here to add just a hint of sweetness, without overpowering the smoothie with sugar.
Ice cubes (4-5)
3/4 cup of almond milk (or another kind works too)
1/8 cup nuts (walnuts or almonds)
1 tbsp. raw pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 tsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Throw everything in the blender, blending on a medium speed for about 45 seconds, or until fully mixed.
Time to drink up- Enjoy!!
Question of the Day
What is your favorite smoothie recipe??