I am a huge fan of berries. The brighter and the darker in color the better. I sometimes think I could eat several metric tons every year. I am fortunate that since I stopped gardening and focused my time on coaching and competing that my in-laws are still cultivating all kinds of fresh berries. Unfortunately, I will eat my share of fresh berries before fall. This has me purchasing frozen berries from my grocer.
Frozen berries are just as good as fresh berries with one exception, taste. If you have access to a farmers market or your own berry patch you know what I mean. So I have had to concoct new methods of getting all the benefits from the frozen berries without loading up my smoothies with empty sugar calories to sweeten them.
So to reduce the calorie counts in my blueberry smoothies I have come up with a way to get the benefits of the blueberries without adding a sweetener or at least limiting the sweetener I do use.
All recipes will use a Magic Bullet blender. Why Magic Bullet blenders? It’s the one I use and I find that it is very easy to control the amounts of calories I consume! To learn more about the Magic Bullet check out their website.
When it comes to my ingredients I am a creature of habit. I use NutraBio.com Concentrated Whey Protein and Aminos, Nature’s Way and Spectrum Organic, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Any other items listed in future articles I will call out but more than likely they too will be organic or come with a GMP Certification.
I will not be using milk or milk replacement in this month’s recipe as I am trying to cut back on the calories and when I have used milk or yogurt it just ends up tasting like blueberry ice-cream which in turn makes me want real ice cream.
Note: I am not sponsored by any of the manufacturers or supplement makers listed in these recipe posts. However, GU Energy does sponsor me.
Blue Berry Zinger Smoothie
1 cup Frozen Blueberries
1 TBSP Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
5-6 Oz Water
1 TSP Lemon Juice
.5 TSP Lime Juice
1 TBSP Organic Agave Nectar (optional)
1 Scoop NutaBio Unflavored Whey Protein Concentrate
1 Scoop NutaBio l-Glutamine (optional)
1 Scoop NutraBio BCAA 5000 (optional)
Add several ice cubes
Blend until smooth.
Total calories: 425-500.
Why Organic Virgin Coconut Oil?
There are many types of coconut oil but the only one I care for is Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. As of late Coconut oil is touted as a cure-all for various ailments and weight loss. However, the big takeaway for me as an athlete and a coach is its ability to improve insulin sensitivity and its huge store of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs)!
Organic and Virgin are Important
Wouldn’t you like to know that no chemicals were used to cultivate and harvest your food? Wouldn’t you like it that your food contained all the nutrients that it was harvested with? This is where the term organic and virgin comes to play. I can tell you that when it comes to Organic Virgin Coconut Oil you can tell a difference. It will have a slight coconut smell. Very few other non-virgin coconut oils will have a smell.
Medium Chain Triglycerides as an ergogenic aid
“The basic chemistry of coconut oil was figured out back in the 1920s and 1930s. Back then it was discovered that coconut oil was distinctly different from other fats and oils. Coconut oil was found to be composed predominately of a unique family of fats called medium-chain fatty acids. In coconut oil, these fatty acids are in the form of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org”
“One of the pioneer studies to assess the chronic use of MCT was Fushiki’s et al.48. Its aim was to investigate the effect of chronic MCT intake (6 weeks) in swimming endurance capability of sedentary and trained rats. Two diets were prepared, one with 80 grams of MCT + 20 grams of LCT, the other with 100 grams of LCT.
Swimming capability for groups receiving chronic MCT supplements was the same as for the LCT supplement group. However, two weeks after the beginning of training associated with supplementation, MCT group presented a significantly higher resistance to fatigue than the LCT group48. Resistance to fatigue of rats that received a single MCT dose (acute supplementation) was not affected48. These data confirmed most results from acute MCT intake studies. http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1517-86922003000300005”
So basically what many studies have found is the supplementing with MCT may promote the use of fat as a fuel and delaying the use of precious glycogen delaying fatigue in endurance athletes.
Next month’s featured smoothie
In next month’s recipe, I will give you another one of my favorite recipes or maybe one of my new ones. I will also cover the details of one of the important ingredients like I did with Organic Coconut Oil
Feel free to share the recipe with friends.
Until next time
Train Smarter Not Harder