So, the story behind this post begins with a little event I participated in on July 23rd: the San Francisco Marathon! I have been training for the past 3+ months and got to fulfill a longtime dream of running across the Golden Gate Bridge. I fly home, along with Nick & Kevin, to the San Francisco Bay Area every summer to visit family and savor everything cool about California (especially the food and the fog). Last summer, after reading about the SF Marathon in the San Francisco Chronicle, and feeling envious, I decided to take the plunge and sign up for 2017.
I did it!
For anyone out there considering any of the SF races (there is a 5K, an ultramarathon, as well as a first half and a second half marathon, in addition to the full marathon), let me just say that this was my favorite race of all time. It was pure nostalgia running through the Golden Gate Park, across the Golden Gate bridge and back, and through multiple neighborhoods, the other runners nd volunteers were full of cheer, and the weather (foggy 50s to start, sunny 60s to finish) was perfection. The hills were intense, but hometown vibes were on my side, and I managed to improve my PR by more than 15 minutes. Whoohoo!
The most significant factor in training this time around was food. More than ever before, I concentrated on upping the amounts of nourishing foods I was eating. My energy and satisfaction soared, I was rarely hungry (never ravenous), and my cravings disappeared. It is eminently easier to concentrate on eating more nourishing foods than it is to restrict less healthful choices. I didn’t cut anything out, I only added more of the good basics–tons of vegetables, fresh and dried fruit, lean protein (especially beans and lentils–sorry family! :)), whole grains, and water all day.
My marathon time was only one of many benefits, but also my overall state of mind and physical well-being. I tend to keep the commentary pretty light here on power hungry, so forgive me if any of this sounds preachy. My hope is that all of you have the opportunity to nourish yourself, in ways big and small, as you work towards, and through, your many goals. I’ll keep supplying the recipes to make it quick and easy. Deal!
And now, this smoothie. You don’t need a marathon of any kind to make and savor this smoothie. It is a bit of a “recovery smoothie” for all in that it does a body (and mind) good. Nevertheless, the ingredients were inspired by uber-nutritious options that I knew I needed post-marathon.
Avocado is the shining star in this recipe. I love adding it to smoothies, because it creates instant creaminess (it is also easily disguised in chocolate and blueberry smoothies that I make for my son. Shh!). They are brimming with heart-healthy monunsaturated fats, and are packed with other essential nutrients (for runners and everyone else with hectic lives), including potassium, copper, zinc, brain-boosting choline, vitamins E and K, and B vitamins like folate.
I like to brighten the avocado with lime and get most of the sweetness from fruit (although you can add a bit of stevia, or your favorite sweetener, to taste). Potassium-rich bananas and fiber-full pears do the trick, deliciously.
I added a smidge of matcha (green tea powder), but it is completely optional. It is rich in antioxidants, plus it lends some bonus energy in the form of caffeine (the summer is not over yet– extra energy accepted here!).