While my kids have been enjoying Thrifty Banana Cream Pie Smoothies with their peanut butter toast for breakfast, I have started making smoothies for myself as my post-workout treat!
Yes, I am proud to say that my 30 day exercise challenge is turning into a way of life for me. I have continued to try and exercise three to five days a week, but this last month I started to feel like I needed something to help keep my blood sugar level. I headed over to to the nutritional supplement store and picked up a container of Strawberry Creme whey protein to add to my smoothies.
Buying smoothies can be expensive, but making smoothies at home can be inexpensive. Not only am I saving by working out at home, but I have my own smoothie bar upstairs in my kitchen to keep expenses down.
I freeze my banana slices in a shallow dish and then scoop them into a freezer bag to add to these smoothies. I can buy a large container of low-fat strawberry yogurt at Walmart (Great Value Brand) for $1.89. This large container has enough in it for eight smoothies! The protein powder is $14.99 at The Vitamin Shoppe, but contains enough protein for 30 smoothies. After some tough calculator-crunching, I know that I can make a protein-packed delicious treat for roughly eighty cents! I would love to see where you can find a large smoothie for that price!
The protein powder is an added expense, but one that definitely leaves me feeling fuller for longer. Fitness Magazine had a great article this last month entitled, “Alternative Energy,” focusing on the protein hype because fit women are now the fastest growing market for sports nutrition products. They covered everything from those expensive protein-packed bars to gels and the protein shakes.
How much protein does your body need to support an active lifestyle? Well, some mixes contain 40-50 grams, but ideally women only need 20-30 grams. According to this figure, you might want to check the back of the containers to insure you are getting the proper amount of protein and not just extra calories!
Despite sharing that a lot of protein is a lot of hype and can be satisfied by our normal healthy diets, it concluded that whey-protein powder is absorbed into your system more quickly than other forms of protein, which makes it useful in muscle recovery.
This scoop of protein powder has helped a lot with keeping my blood sugar levels steady and has even been a nice snack instead of reaching for a bag of chips. For me, it works, and is a fantastic reward for completing a workout. Paired with a favorite read or a soak in the tub, it is something that makes me look forward to the completion of my workout. You could say that our blender is now one of our most used appliances!
Protein Packed Strawberry & Banana Smoothies
1/2 cup sliced ripe banana
1/2 cup low-fat or non-fat strawberry yogurt
1/2 cup milk
4 ice cubes
1 scoop of strawberry-flavored protein powder
Arrange banana slices in a single layer on a baking sheet, and freeze until firm (about 1 hour). Place frozen banana and remaining ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth.
What do you eat after you work out? Do you buy alternative protein products to feed your active lifestyle? I would love to hear your perspective on this!