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“Walk in the Park” + Smoothie Madness

July 7, 2011

Today’s 7M “hill” workout was a return to one of my semi-regular treadmill sessions called “Walk in the Park”.  It goes up to 8% incline at the peak, with almost 3 miles of the 7 at 5% or greater incline.  It’s a solid strength workout and I think my 1:07 for 7 miles was just about the right effort.  Here’s what the profile looks like:

Over the last couple of runs I’ve watched Running America, a documentary that covered the 2008 trans-America record-breaking run attempted by Charlie Engle and Marshall Ulrich, two living legends in endurance sports.  The movie was good – though not as good as Running the Sahara from 2007 – but one of their event sponsors caught my attention.  In passing shots in the movie you see a Vitamix blender churning up liquid nutrition in the background.  I’ve been hearing about the magic of these machines from a variety of sources lately, most notably my Boston-transplant, life-long buddy, and occasional travel companion, William Brokhof.  If he’s a fan, I know the product has been properly vetted.

I’ve long been a fan of protein shakes.  I started drinking them back in high school to pack on weight and continue to drink one more days than not in hopes of getting some of the nutrition I can’t otherwise fit in with “real” food.  My “high quality” KitchenAid blender recently started spitting out pieces of once-hardened rubber from the blender-motor coupling, which has rendered it useless, at least for blending.  (Sagan and I are contemplating other uses for it, since the motor still works and we like to re-purpose household objects for mostly safe father-son projects.)  For the time being, I’m working with another smoothie-specific blender but come next Friday, thanks to Costco’s semi-annual Vitamix sale, I’ll be the proud owner of a blender that can spin up to 240mph – fast enough to create enough heat to produce soup, should I choose to leave contents spinning for a few minutes.

In eager anticipation for lots and lots of blending, I’ve been whipping up all sorts of smoothies.  The recipes, usually done without forethought or consideration for flavor, have run the gamut.  Most have some soy milk, whey powder, and ground flax seed but lately I’ve been throwing in everything from sweet potatoes to broccoli to piles of field greens.   Now, pretty much all of my smoothies have some fresh, organic vegetables, along with whatever fruit is handy (strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and bananas are the go-tos but I’m not afraid to toss in blackberries or pears or pineapple, depending on what is around).  Though I genuinely enjoy vegetables and salads, often it is hard to get the quantity of what I need in a day.  Fitting the equivalent of a restaurant dinner-sized salad into a drink, however, is easy, cheap, and fast. And, most of the time, they end up tasting pretty good, too.  Dark chocolate-covered espresso beans blended with orange juice, however, may be an acquired taste.

From → Gear, Nutrition

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