I wonder how your arms, back, and chest are feeling this evening?  Way to put those new bands to the test as you punched, pulled, curled and pressed!  Ohh–Do we need a burpee time out? Perhaps you can take a few tomorrow:)
With solid workouts and hectic work and family schedules, shakes are a great way to get quality nutrition in a hurry.  You all know my favorite shake–water, frozen kale, almond butter, banana, and hemp fiber/protein blend.
I really love going to Precision Nutrition for many of my health and nutrition questions.  This article was pulled from their website.  If you’ve got time, take a look at the Precision Nutrition Blog.  The articles are often long, but full of reliable information. 
Anywho–I kept it light tonight with the SUPER SHAKE article.  Check it out!
SUPER SHAKES!
By Ryan Andrews
To celebrate the launch of Precision Nutrition V4, over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing with you some important “big ideas” from V4, the most complete version of the Precision Nutrition System we’ve ever offered.

Today’s “big idea”: Turn Your Protein Shake Into A Super Shake

How to use liquid nutrition

Here’s one of the secrets to good nutrition: Not all of your meals have to be food meals.

In fact, you can even replace one to two meals each day with easy to make, tasty little drinks we call Super Shakes.

Now, we know that there are tons of stores and juice bars springing up all over, offering smoothies. However, store bought and juice bar type shakes are usually barely better than fast food milk shakes. They’re typically sweetened heavily with sugar, loaded with poor protein sources, and missing many nutrients found in whole foods.

The Super Shake, on the other hand, is packed with good stuff like high-quality protein, fiber, good fats, antioxidants and more. Translation: Super Shakes are da bomb.

And that’s why we devoted an entire guide in PN V4 to the creation of Super Shakes. Indeed, in PN V4 we’ve got over 20 Super Shake combos created and battle-tested by the PN Team and members of the PN community. All nutritious. All delicious.

That’s right, Super Shakes don’t just stand in for whole foods when times are tough. They can actually be superior to most of the meals your neighbors are eating. They’re are quick, easy, and high quality. And you can use them as a snack, dessert, breakfast, etc.  (Uh, the shakes, not your neighbors).

But you have to do them right.  And that’s where this guide comes in.

Get a good blender

Before you start experimenting with our step by step guide, here’s a question for you. Do you have a decent blender?  If not, and you want to start making Super Shakes, you’re going to have to go get one. And remember, you get what you pay for.

That’s right, if your blender starts smoking when you add a few ice cubes, it’s time for a replacement, one that’s more powerful and ready for the task at hand. And while you’re at it, why not splurge and get a nice-looking one too. If you’re embarrassed by your blender and you keep it on the top shelf, tucked behind the cake pan, even with the best of intentions, you’re not going to use it.

Recommendations? Sure.

For every-day use, I like the Magic Bullet. It’s only 50 bucks and it’s quite powerful. The only issue is that it’s small. So if you want bigger Super Shakes you’ll have to go bigger with your blender. In which case you might choose the Vita Mix.  This is the Mercedes Benz of blenders. It’s pricey. But I’ve never seen another blender match its power and longevity.

Making your shake super

Ok, so let’s assume you’ve got your blender out and it’s powerful enough to do the job. Now you can follow the step-by-step guide below for creating nutritious and tasty Super Shakes.

In our step-by-step guide we selected some of the fruits, vegetables, and proteins that seem to work best for our clients. However, our list isn’t exhaustive.

Feel free to branch out. For now, just go through each step and select an item (or two) from each column. Mix and match as you like. You’ll end up finding combinations you prefer the most.

Keep in mind too, not all of the steps below are mandatory. If you don’t a topper, you can leave it out. If you want extra veggies, go for it. If you are trying to keep your calories down, you can manipulate variables like portion sizes, and carb and fat amounts too.

STEP
1

 

Pick a liquid

  • Water
  • Almond milk (unsweetened)
  • Cow’s milk
  • Soy milk (unsweetened)
  • Hemp milk (unsweetened)
  • Iced green tea

Less liquid = thick shakes. More liquid = thin shakes. 6-12 oz is a good starting point.

 

STEP
2

 

Pick a protein powder

  • Whey protein
  • Rice protein
  • Pea protein
  • Hemp protein
  • Other proteins or protein blend

Some protein powders have thickeners added. This will increase the thickness of your shake. Find the protein supplement that you digest well and enjoy the taste of. 1-2 scoops should be sufficient (25-50 g).

 

STEP
3

 

Pick a veggie

  • Dark leafy greens: Spinach / Swiss chard / kale
  • Pumpkin / sweet potato
  • Beets / beet greens
  • Cucumber / celery
  • Powdered greens supplement

Spinach is usually your best bet, as it is virtually flavorless in your Super Shake. Canned pumpkin is great too. It goes well with vanilla. When using beets, try roasting and removing the skin first. Beets go well with chocolate. If you add celery / cucumber, make sure to adjust the amount of liquid you add. Add 1-2 fists.

 

STEP
4

 

Pick a fruit

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Dates
  • Pineapple / mango
  • Powdered fruit supplement

Bananas give an excellent consistency. Using half of a banana is usually enough. Dates are very sweet. Make sure to get rid of the pit first. Apples are great, simply remove the core and slice into wedges. You can use fresh or frozen fruit. Aim for 1-2 cupped handfuls.

 

STEP
5

 

Pick a healthy fat

  • Walnuts
  • Flax, hemp, chia seeds
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Peanut and nut butters

Nuts and seeds give the shake an excellent consistency. 1-2 thumbs is usually enough.

 

STEP
6

 

Pick a topper / extra

  • Coconut
  • Cacao nibs, dark chocolate
  • Yogurt
  • Oats, granola
  • Cinnamon
  • Ice cubes (if using fresh fruit)

A little goes a long way. Cinnamon is good with vanilla and pumpkin. Add oats if you need extra carbs, yogurt if you want more protein and a smoother consistency.

 

So, how about an example?  Here’s one of my favorites.

  • Step 1: Water (just enough for it to mix)
  • Step 2: 2 scoops of plain pea protein powder
  • Step 3: 2 kale leaves & 1 tsp of powdered greens supplement
  • Step 4: 1/2 frozen banana & 2 pitted dates
  • Step 5: 2 thumbs of walnuts
  • Step 6: Top with a few sprinkles of coconut and 5 ice cubes
  • Step 7: Drink. Feel smug about getting more nutrition than most people get in one week.

There you have it, a template for creating awesome Super Shakes, every time.

Eat, move, and live…better.

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