Raspberry Cheesecake Smoothie Recipe

Try this "raspberry cheesecake" smoothie recipe

Try this "raspberry cheesecake" smoothie recipe

One of our favorite things to do is to come up with different smoothie recipes that emulate the things we love in real life....like cheesecake!  One of the beautiful things about our Primo Smoothie mix is that the neutral vanilla flavor lends itself so well to so many complimentary flavors instead of always stealing the show.

Try this Raspberry Cheesecake inspired recipe to satisfy that sweet tooth of yours!

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8 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk, vanilla coconut milk, or dairy milk

2 scoops Primo Smoothie 

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

1 whole wheat graham cracker**

Dash of cinnamon

Blend and enjoy!

**Note that for a gluten free version of this recipe, substitute the graham cracker for about 2 T of roasted, unsalted almonds.

Anatomy of a Smoothie Part III: Superfoods

Three of the superfoods we examine, dried goji berries, spirulina, and acai powder

Three of the superfoods we examine, dried goji berries, spirulina, and acai powder

We all hear about them all the time, and it seems like every week the media or local news has a new study about "the next" superfood for your health - whether it be wine (grapes), chocolate, acai, or kale.  What do all these superfoods have in common?  To be honest, it's the unknown about each one that ties them together more strongly than just about anything else.  Will they help you lose weight in exceptional (and safe) amounts?  No.  Will they give you health super powers that will tack an extra 5 vitality filled years onto your life of fuel your athletic performance?  No, not likely.  That said, are some of them worth taking a look at and can they potentially have some indirect or subtle impacts on your overall health?  We think so.

Typically when we hear about "superfoods" - an undefined and therefore unregulated term, mind you, the thing that makes them so "super" is typically their phytonutrient content and the effects of compounds like resveritrol or other antioxidants, which in some credible scientific studies have been shown to improve biological health markers like reducing the impacts of oxidative stress and even reducing cholesterol levels.  Below we take a look at some of the real darlings of the modern superfood conversation, so keep reading to find out more.

Chlorella

Chlorella is a single celled fresh water algae that by weight is particularly high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.  Specifically b vitamins, vitamin A, Iron, magnesium, zinc, and others.  Some credible research on chlorella suggests that it may help reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and enhance immune function.  A 2008 study showed dietary supplementation with chlorella to reduce body fat percentage, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels.  Some additional studies on mice seem to show additional positive effects of chlorella when it comes to fat metabolism in the body.

The verdict:  Chlorella is pretty super, and if possible, incorporating it into your diet on a regular basis would be a good thing.

Spirulina

Similar to chlorella, spirulina is a type of algae, albeit with some differences.  Specifically, it is a type of blue-green algae and is not a single-celled organism like chlorella.  Spirulina's roots as a superfood run deep, as Spanish explorers arriving in Mexico found it a staple part of the ancient Aztec diet.  From the ancient Aztecs to NASA, spirulina was more recently popularized when the US space program incorporated it into the diets of astronauts on manned flights up into the heavens.  

Spirulina has a lot of favorable characteristics, particularly that it is a "complete" protein, meaning that it contains all essential amino acids your body needs to function properly and can only be obtained through diet.  It is also a very low impact food to produce, and very nutrient dense, making it a great food for consumption in our modern times of swelling populations and dwindling resources.  Spirulina is approximately 60% protein by weight and is also a good source of thiamin and riboflavin, two b vitamins, as well as vitamins E, K, iron and magnesium.  It has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and research suggests it has anti-cancer and cholesterol lowering effects.  It also has solid amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

The verdict: Spirulina is pretty super, and if possible, incorporating it into your diet on a regular basis would be good thing.

Acai

Acai is a berry found on Amazonian palm trees, and dare we say, is the highest flying superfood of the moment.  It has a kind of earthy, nutty flavor and is not all that sweet.  Like many things new to western culture, it has been a staple part of local and indigenous diets long before it ever made it's way up to us - acai bowls, drinks, smoothies, etc are just as much a part of life in Brazil as Coke and McDonalds are in the US.  

Multiple sources indicate that acai has the highest antioxidant concentrations of any fruit measured today.  That's saying a lot with all the hype and buzz around antioxidants as a new staple for any diet.  Is the exact effect of these antioxidant compounds known?  Not really.  But we do know that antioxidants do good things within the body, and this fruit is very rich in them.

Acai is also a good source of fiber, vitamin A, and calcium.

We are starting to see it quite a bit in the US market, but often just as a flavored beverage with actual compounds and antioxidant quantities in question.  One of our favorite sources of acai around comes from Trader Joe's in little frozen pouches of pure acai puree that can be easily added to your smoothie.  We highly recommend!

The Verdict:  Give it a go.  We're not sure you will see immediate, life changing effects, but the antioxidant concentration can't be beaten.  

Goji Berries

Goji berries are another foreign superfood du jour, though instead of the Amazon, they originate in China and have long been used for traditional Chinese medicine.  They are high in fiber, vitamin A, riboflavin, iron, copper, and selenium.  Goji berries contain a decent amount of known antioxidants and phytonutrients, but "good" science mostly seems to be lacking on the plant.  They have an earthy taste which we find quite appealing and a fair amount of plant protein, but also contain natural sugars so should be eaten with this in mind.

The verdict:  They have some antioxidants and other benefits, but other than being relatively exotic, we don't find them that much more "super" than many other berries and plants.

A few other honorable mention superfoods:

Microgreens (micro broccoli) - we LOVE.  Read about it here.

Cocoa - high in antioxidants and if using unsweetened cocoa, is relatively low in calories and will make anything chocolately!

Any other traditional leafy green veggies like kale, chard, and spinach.  They are great for you, and you can't have too much!

Enjoy!  

Field Work Nutrition Co-Founder Jesse Kropelnicki's 100k Run

Field Work Nutrition Co-Founder and elite level endurance coach puts himself to the test  in a 100 kilometer running race of his own.  Spoiler alert...he did really well.

Field Work Nutrition Co-Founder and elite level endurance coach puts himself to the test  in a 100 kilometer running race of his own.  Spoiler alert...he did really well.

Talk about putting your money where your mouth is.  Field Work Nutrition Co-Founder and product formulator Jesse Kropelnicki coaches some of the best endurance athletes in the world (see here, here, and here amongst countless other examples), but over the past few months he has been training for his own little endurance event...a mere 100 kilometer (60 miles) run around Eugene, Oregon in a race called the Waldo 100K.  Jesse put his own training methodologies and nutrition plans to the test and it worked out pretty well for him.  Over 60 miles of running, he finished within minutes of his projected time!

Now you certainly don't have to run 60 miles to use our Primo Smoothie, but in between his training runs, Primo played a big roll in helping him get the calories and nourishment he needed to complete this epic event.  Read below for a Q and A with Jesse on what his training, nutrition, and race day were like.  Enjoy!

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How long did you train for the race, and what was your mileage / frequency like for the past few months? 

I began training around middle of February, first for the Boston marathon and then for the 100k.  Mileage for the Boston buildup was 45-55 miles, and then more recently before the 100k, it was in the mid 60s.  Long runs were generally never more than 35% of the weekly mileage, but were VERY race specific in the mountains.

What was day to day nutrition like for you during your training?  Did it shift at all from the early stages up to race day?  

Things didn’t change a lot throughout training other than tightening things up during the final 4-6 weeks.  As founder of The Core Diet, I generally stick to that year round at about 80% compliance,  including the Primo Smoothie between workouts.  During the final 4-6 weeks I ramped this up to 95-100% compliance in order to trim the final few pounds of body fat.

On a big training day, what would you typically eat? 

I generally stick to The Core Diet, and with that, only the final 60 min before the workout, and during the workout things change.  During the 60 minute prior, I have a higher glycemic grain or refined sugar, and then during the workout have a PowerGel each 30 min, along with 24oz per hour of BASE Hydro drink mixed full strength.  This does the trick for me given my sodium, fluid and carbohydrate needs.  Post workout is always Klean recovery drink, and then later in the day onto the Primo Smoothie.

What did you eat in the 24 hours leading up to the race, and what did you eat during the race? 

Starting from the race and working backwards, I generally had during the race exactly what I had in training.  The day before the race, the general Core Diet day to day nutrition goes out the window and I instead focus on simple carbohydrates with limited fat, fiber or protein.  The “carb load” for me is typically about 700 grams of carbs, or about 10 times your body weight in kilograms.

What was the toughest part of the race?  Was there ever a moment where you thought you had had enough? 

This was insanely hard.  Ultras are hard.  You get to mile 30 and you feel as if you have run 30 miles…then there is another 32.5 miles to go.  Lots of suffering, but very far from feeling the need to quit.

What was the best part of the race?  Did you experience any sort of next-level runners high being out there for so long?

NO. Hah!  11:19 is a long time to spend running in the woods alone.

What was the course like? 

VERY hilly and all woods trail or mountain climb.  This course had over 10,000 vertical feet of climbing over the 62.5 miles.

What was your splurge meal after the race, if you could even eat anything? 

I had a cheese burger.  That was about it….the next day was back to business as usual although I’m only operating at about 70% compliance to The Core Diet a week later.  I have managed to maintain my Primo Smoothie about once a day which I’m sure has helped the recovery along.

How could someone training for any race, not necessarily an ultra benefit from using a Primo Smoothie in their nutrition? 

It is a great product specifically created for the endurance athlete to provide many of the macro and micro nutrients that endurance athletes need.  Most days, using the smoothie as a breakfast is a great way to get a lot of the nutrient density you need while keeping blood sugar stable.  The smoothie provides a great option for any athlete to keep feeding frequency up, blood sugar stable, and have it be convenient.

Any desire to do it again any time soon? 

Good question.  The jury is still out on this one.

Kim Schwabenbauer's Ironman Mont Tremblant Podium Finish

Kim on the podium!

We love podium finishes, and this year, after taking some time off to have her first child, Kim seems to be finding them quite often!  We caught up with Kim after her impressive 2nd place finish at Ironman Mont Tremblant last weekend, read below for more!

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Now that you've got a few races in your legs post pregnancy, how are you feeling?

It has been an amazing (and challenging) process to get my body back to this place. In some ways, I actually feel more bullet-proof and strong after not racing for a year and carrying around an extra 30 pounds!  Things are clicking again and having fitness back is fun (and also difficult as it means fast running and riding!). 

Does racing feel any different after having your child, either physically or motivation-wise?

It certainly feels different in the training as I have to be so scheduled without a hint of procrastination! There can be no snooze button! In terms of physically, I feel as strong and consistent as I've ever been. The only issue is staying healthy immunity-wise with Emma getting every bug that goes around and make no mistake, these are super-bugs! They absolutely destroy my husband and me!  Motivation-wise I'm just looking at it as rare window for training and racing so I'm making the most of it! It won't be open forever! 

How did you feel at Ironman Mont Tremblant?  What were the highs and lows of the race?

I felt a quiet confidence at Tremblant! My training had been going well and I felt like I was in the kind of shape I was when I left triathlon in 2015. However, until there are numbers and performances to back that up it feels a bit shaky! You just don't know for sure!!  The low of the race was getting out of a swim where my time off of racing and swim strategy really showed to only see 3 bikes left on the rack! I wanted to quit right then and there! The high(s) were gaining ground on the bike, feeling the passion for racing again and getting on the run to feel my legs were ready to rock!  I was smiling and hunting! 

Can you give a brief overview of how the race unfolded for you?

I certainly did not swim up to my potential. I was swimming with a group when the age group men came through and broke us up. I swam alone the rest of the way and it felt VERY long! On the bike I resolved to follow my plan and see where the day headed. I felt better each lap and had fun assessing the time to the girls in front. Finally, on the run I knew it would be key to just keep it conservative for the first five miles and then see what I could do to run down as many women as possible. By half way, I knew I was getting closer and that gave me motivation to keep the pedal down! 

What did your nutrition look like in the 24 hours or so leading up to the race?

My nutrition is pretty bland in terms of there aren't many fun new foods!  I eat a large breakfast with pancakes made with Ultragrain flour and toast (welcome to carb-town)!  I snack on fat-free fig newtons and pretzels.  For lunch, I have a turkey sandwich and some pretzels. Dinner is early (5pm) and light with a side of pasta and some chicken.  I also hydrate with sports drink to keep sodium levels high and get extra carbohydrates! 

What did you guys do after the race to celebrate?  More importantly, what did you eat?

Once I got myself together my husband and I were treated to a nice evening alone since my mother-in-law came with us and offered to watch Emma!  I actually took pictures it was such a rare evening to be alone sitting on the porch of one of our favorite places from the last time we were in town and I could actually eat which was a surprise! I had a filet and side of pasta with a glass of white wine! It was fantastic! 

What's next for you for the remainder of 2017?

That's a great question as I don't even know at the moment! I start teaching as an assistant professor of nutrition next week so time to train will be limited. I'm talking to my coach today to see if we can pull off one more big one in 2017! I guess my answer is TBD! 

Thanks for the interview and for your support! I love Primo Smoothie Meal! It keeps my immunity up and supplements my protein needs in such a delicious shake!

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Thanks, Kim.  We hope for at least one more big one in 2017, and many more in 2018 and beyond.  Congratulations from Field Work Nutrition!

Broccoli Sprouts (aka microgreens) the Healthiest Vegetable You Can Eat?

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We all know how healthy cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale are, right?  We love them so much we've turned them into t-shirts (and counter / protest t-shirts for that matter).  But what if I were to tell you that there was a food that had between 10 to 100 times the nutrient value of broccoli?  Well in fact, when it comes to microgreens, this is exactly the case.  One of the primary benefits of eating broccoli is it's concentration of a known cancer-fighting compound called sulforaphane, and a 1997 study confirmed that in broccoli sprouts just 3 days old, concentration of this compound could be found in amounts of 10 to 100 times that of the full grown adult plant.  And it's not just cancer-fighting, sulforophane has plenty of other known benefits, too.

If we've got your attention, keep reading.  

So what exactly are microgreens?  With so many different types of vegetables at your local grocer or farmer's market, it is possible that you have completely overlooked them (they are small, after all).  You may have seen them at a local farm to table style restaurant, garnishing your  beet and burrata salad, or sprinkled on top of your mahi mahi ceviche.  The simplest comparison we can make that most of us will be familiar with are alfalfa sprouts - yet they can be found for all kinds of vegetables, in all kinds of colors, from kale to broccoli to cilantro to cabbage.  Note, they are not broccolini, another, but not "micro" variation of broccoli.

So what are some of the other health benefits of micro broccoli?  One study that got our attention as athletes linked the consumption of sulforaphane, again, found in high concentrations in broccoli sprouts, to reduced oxidative stress in the upper airways of humans.  This could have some very positive effects for people who suffer from asthma, or those of us who are pushing our bodies during exercise on a regular basis.  Increased exercise intensity and duration increases oxidative stress, and any aerobic exercise requires optimum oxygen exchange in the lungs.  So anything we can eat or do to reduce oxidative stress and enable better oxygen consumption and delivery to working muscles is definitely worth noting.

Other benefits that have been directly associated with sulforaphane via clinical research are its positive effects on fighting cancer stem cells, as well as positive effects in regulating blood glucose, which could have significant and positive implications for type II diabetics.  

Not sold yet?  As self-proclaimed advocates for raising awareness of some of the perils surrounding our food system, microgreens have been demonstrated to be a great, nutritionally dense and resource conserving alternative to growing "traditional" vegetables to feed our ever growing global population.  We can get behind that.

So what do you do with them?  Well, as a smoothie company, we recommend tossing a small handful into your smoothie every day.  This is an incredibly convenient way to consume microgreens like micro broccoli sprouts without having to whip up a gourmet concoction.  But we've found an almost endless use for them.  Their subtle flavor and soft texture make them the perfect garnish for just about anything.  They can mix into any salad seamlessly, adding a nutritional benefit you'll hardly even notice.

You can find microgreens at many grocery stores nowadays, and definitely at place like Whole Foods, Lazy Acres, and likely whatever your local organic grocer is.  You can probably find them at your local farmer's market, too.  If you really get into eating them, the most cost-effective way to keep them on hand is to grow them yourself.  We haven't tried this yet, but figure it can't be too hard.  They grow quickly and require very little space.

Give them a try, and if you do add them to your smoothie, give us a shout on Instagram (@fieldworknutritionco) and let us know what you think!

 

 

Anatomy of a Smoothie: Part II: Fruits and Vegetables

A few weeks ago we started our Anatomy of A Smoothie series with a look at choosing a liquid base, and talked about some of the benefits and drawbacks of certain options, covering everything from almond milk to dairy milk, to coconut water.  In this new installment, we are going to look at what is arguably the "meat" of the smoothie (however ironic that may sound) - fruits and veggies.  

Now, it would quite literally be impossible to do a comprehensive look at all the possible fruits and veggies you could include in a smoothie - there are simply too many.  So for this entry, we focused on some of the major players for each - from berries, to citrus, to avocados and coconut.  Keep reading below for a deeper look at each and what they provide.  

Note - we are going to do a deeper dive specifically into "adding sweetness to your smoothie" and "superfoods" you can add to your smoothie - so some of those may not be covered below in our fruit and veggies section.

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How much and fresh or frozen?

Let's start with the basics - when it comes to adding fruit to a Primo Smoothie, we tend to use about 1/2 to 1 cup total per smoothie.  This depends on the type of fruit and how much carbohydrate we want in our smoothie total, but this is a good starting point.  When it comes to most fruits, particularly seasonal ones like berries, we like to use frozen!  For one, they just make your smoothie taste better as they help make it cold, but frozen fruits are generally picked at the peak of their ripeness, which makes them tasty year round, and also higher in key nutrients.  On top of that, they are just convenient.  Instead of going to the store and having to constantly buy fresh fruit to keep on hand, you can always keep frozen fruit in the fridge and it won't go bad.  it is definitely the way to go.

Berries and fruits

Strawberries.  Strawberries are one of our go-to frozen fruits for smoothies.  They are tried and true and blend well with so many other fruit combinations.  Compared to some other berries like blueberries, they also tend to add a decent amount of sweetness to your smoothie.  Our favorite combinations are strawberry banana and strawberry mango.  Strawberries are high in Vitamin C.  

Strawberry nutrition (1 cup, whole) 47 cal, 11 grams carbs, 7 grams sugar, 3 grams fiber.

Raspberries.  Raspberries are another one of our go-to berries.  They also add quite a bit of sweetness without adding too many calories.  Consider mixing raspberries with banana and / or pineapple.  They also add (in our opinion) great texture to your smoothie.  Raspberries are particularly high in fiber and Vitamin C.  

Raspberry nutrition (1 cup) 65 cal, 15 grams carbs, 5 grams sugar, 8 grams fiber.

Blueberries.  Blueberries round out our top 3 go to berries when it comes to making a smoothie.  A cup of blueberries has a bit more calories than a cup of strawberries or raspberries, and a bit more sugar.  But, blueberries are notoriously high in antioxidants, particularly resveratrol, which we often hear so much about found in red wine and chocolate.  This makes them fantastic for daily consumption, and especially after a training session to help reduce the harmful metabolic effects of training.  Careful, they also tend to get stuck in your teeth, so blend your smoothie well!  Blueberries are also high in Vitamin C and a decent source of the mineral potassium.

Blueberry nutrition (1 cup) 85 cal, 21 grams of carbs, 15 grams sugar, 3 grams of fiber.

Bananas.  Bananas are kind of the elephant in the room when it comes to smoothies.  Some people avoid them at all cost, which we think is a bit of an over reaction.  Yes, bananas have sugar, but so do all other fruits.  If you are a banana-phobe and are active, your fears may be a bit unjustified, particularly if you are eating bananas before or after exercise, to help with either fueling or recovery.  Your body depends on carbohydrates to fuel performance, and bananas provide this.  One study even showed that bananas help athletes fuel and recover as well as Gatorade or another carbohydrate sports drink.

So what about when it comes to your smoothie?  We like bananas because they add both sweetness and texture, but will admit that of typically will use a half banana instead of a whole.  In addition to all of the above, as we all are probably well aware of at this point, bananas are also a great source of potassium, and also vitamin b-6.

Banana nutrition (1 medium) 105 cal, 27 grams carbs, 14 grams sugar, 3 grams fiber.

Oranges.  Oranges and other citrus fruits are great to add to your smoothie...but be careful as a little goes a long way.  Occasionally we will use orange juice in our smoothies, but will typically do it half and half with either milk or almond milk - it can be very sweet and acidic and can totally take over the flavor of the smoothie.  If you have the option, use whole fresh oranges so you get the benefit of all the fiber from the fruit.  Check out our healthy "Orange Julius" recipe if you'd like to try a quick, simple, and tasty orange-based recipe.  Oranges are a great source of Vitamin C.

Orange nutrition (1 small) 45 cal, 11 g carbs, 9 grams sugar, 2.5 grams fiber.

"Healthy" fats

Avocado.  Avocados are a bit of a darling in the world of nutrition these days, but they have been a staple in Latin America (and thus, Souther California) for as long as any of us have been alive...and a lot longer.  They are fantastic in smoothies because of their creamy texture.  But do keep in mind that although avocados are high in "healthy fats," they are also pretty high in calories, too.  Although they are high in omega-6 fatty acids, they have no omega-3 fatty acids, which are arguably more important.  Typically you want to keep your ratio of omega-3's to omega 6's as about 2:1, so if you are getting a bunch of omega 6's from avocado, be sure you are ingesting omega-3's elsewhere.  

Consider adding avocado to a smoothie with a bit of cocoa powder for a rich, chocolate-y shake.  Avocados are very high in fiber, and are also high in potassium and Vitamin C.

Avocado nutrition (1 average) 320 cal, 17 grams carbs, 27 grams fat, 13 grams fiber.

Coconut.  Coconut is another "fatty darling" of late.  Though we love coconut and it's oh so many uses, like avocado, keep in mind that it is high in fat and high in calories.  As with most things, moderation is best when it comes to eating coconut, particularly due to its saturated fat content.  We will admit, we often add a bit of coconut to our smoothies, but it is mostly for flavor and texture.  

Coconut nutrition (1 cup) 280 cal, carbs 12 grams, fat 27 grams, fiber 7 grams

Vegetables

When it comes to adding vegetables to our smoothies, we really have two main staples - spinach and kale.  We all know the benefits of eating leafy green veggies are abundant, and we should all try to find more occasions to slip more vegetables into our diet, and tossing a handful of spinach or kale into a smoothie is a great way to do it.  As with fruit, you can keep frozen spinach and kale on hand for convenience.  Our go to is spinach as we find it has a slightly less "grassy" flavor than kale, and can even add a tiny bit of sweetness.  

Other vegetables to consider adding to your smoothie are yams, sweet potato, and squash like pumpkin - just make sure it's cooked.  A good rule of thumb is that if there is a desert made with a vegetable, it's probably good in a smoothie, too!

Spinach nutrition (28 g) 10 cal, 1 g carbs, 1 g fiber and high in vitamin A, K, folate, minerals and phytonutrients.

Kale nutrition (28 g) 14 cal, 3 g carbs, 1 g fiber and high in Vitamin A, C, K and many minerals and phytonutrients.

Q and A with Rachel McBride on Her Ironman Canada Podium

A huge congratulations to pro triathlete Rachel McBride on her incredibly impressive podium finish at Ironman Canada not long ago!  We had the opportunity to talk to Rachel about race day, and some of the other things she does with her nutrition in training and racing, enjoy!

How did you feel when you crossed the line on Sunday?

I was so ecstatic to hang on to a podium spot at my second attempt at the distance, knowing my family, partner, friends and fans had all been cheering for me on the sidelines all day.

We know you've been struggling with some injuries, can you talk about those, and what it's like to be back and firing on all cylinders?

Coming back from injury feels like a normal part of my career! I have struggled a lot with foot injuries. I would not have survived this sport if I hadn’t found a way to learn and grow from all my set-backs. Having to take so much time off running makes me truly appreciate and be so grateful for the times when I am running. I savour every stride.

How many times have you raced an iron distance race?  How did this race compare to any previous Ironman races you've done?

Ironman Canada was only my 2nd full Ironman race. My debut was Ironman Cozumel where I placed 5th. In both races, I’ve been so surprised how the time out on course just flies by! It doesn’t actually seem like it’s twice the distance I’ve been racing for the past 6 years. Ironman Canada was a much more challenging course with the large amount of climbing vs. Coz that is super flat, but super hot. I felt a bit more confident going into IMC because I knew more what to expect from the distance.

What was your nutrition like in the 24 hours leading up to the race (as specific as you're able to be)?  What did you eat out of course?

My nutrition 24 hours leading up to the race is VERY specific. I struggle a lot with GI issues on the run, so I have developed a low fibre and low residue diet with my dietician to try and decrease the chance of having issues. I’m basically eating nothing but potatoes and some protein all day. On course I rely completely on Eload Endurance drinks and gels. I’ve been using Eload for the past 6 years. I’ve been training on a completely liquid set-up so all my nutrition is in bottles and flasks of watered-down gels. My race nutrition is definitely still a work in progress as I don’t feel it’s 100% dialed for this distance.

What's your go-to for post race splurge meal?

I head straight for burgers and ice cream! Or a nice steak. And beer! Basically everything I’m not able to eat in the week leading up to the race. Race hard, party hard!

Can you walk us through how the race unfolded for you?

I had a career-first lead out of the water in 51:21 which was amazing with all the crowds and the whole 70.3 race waiting for their start up in transition. The bike course is no joke with 4000ft of climbing, but I set a new course record in 5:06. I held onto my lead until getting passed on the run mid-way by Linsey Corbin and in the last 10km by Jen Annett. My goal was a 3:20 marathon, but hung tough for 3:25 and finished 3rd! It was amazing to have so much family, friends and fans on course cheering the whole way. I think I was smiling during 90% of the race!

What's next for you, and any other big goals for 2017?

Next up for me is ITU Long Distance World Championships August 27th. The rest of 2017 will be looking to get a head start on Kona points for 2018, so at least one fall Ironman and possibly a 70.3.

Last but not least, what's your favorite Primo Smoothie recipe?

My favourite Primo Smoothie recipe is based of an organic juice and smoothie bar I used to work at in Toronto many years ago: Primo smoothie mix, 1 banana, 2T almond butter, 3-5 dates, cinnamon, maple syrup, vanilla soy milk. Oooohhhh yeeaahhh….

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Congrats again, Rachel!  So proud and honored to have you as part of the Field Work Familia, and good luck wit the rest of 2017!

The Benefits of Eating Breakfast

healthy breakfast smoothie

We all know we should do it, and yet so many of us continue to fall short.  Ah, the human condition!  But eating breakfast has never been easier.  As with most things when it comes to nutrition, the science on eating breakfast, its benefits, and why, when, and how you should do it still has some gaps to fill, but the overwhelming consensus is that eating breakfast = good, and skipping breakfast = bad.  

People who skip breakfast can be up to 4.5 times more likely to be overweight, amongst other things.  And it's not just eating "something," focusing on foods that are nutrient dense and have a little protein will not only keep you full until lunch, research has shown them to have all kinds of other health benefits.  Keep reading below to understand some of the benefits to be reaped by eating a healthy breakfast daily.  

First and foremost, of primary concern for most of us, is that eating breakfast has been associated with weight control - ie people who eat breakfast tend to weigh less.  There is a lot of speculation as to what the exact mechanism for this is, but one prevailing theory is that if you eat a little more at breakfast and lunch, your overall calorie intake for the day will decline.  This is because you will be more satiated and less likely to "graze" or snack on unhealthy, calorie dense and nutrient void foods later in the day.  This makes sense.

An added benefit is if you are able to consume a little bit of lean protein at breakfast (let us reiterate...lean...we see that bacon in your mind's eye!).  A little lean protein from sources like an egg, or in the case of Primo Smoothie, whey protein, can help keep you full longer, fighting the desire to snack on unhealthy foods and / or overeat at your next meal.  

It's not just all about weight loss and feeling full, either.  A 1999 study in the journal of International Food Sciences and Nutrition indicated that people who ate breakfast felt less tired during the day, and other studies have shown a balanced meal of enough calories (but not too many) can even help aid short term memory.  Now where was I...oh yeah.

Another study from 2011 showed that breakfast eaters tended to eat more nutrients in general.  If you are active, getting additional nutrition will not only benefit your performance, and even if you aren't particularly active, our bodies are incredibly complicated machines that are often undernourished when it comes to certain key nutrients, vitamins and minerals, so why not take advantage of every opportunity to feed your body what it needs?

On the flip side, the effects of skipping breakfast are worth noting as well.  First of all, we all love to eat, so why would you avoid an opportunity to do one of the most satisfying things we do as humans, especially when it has been shown to be god for you?  Skipping breakfast is linked to agitation and generally being in a bad mood (I think the technical scientific term for this is "hangry"), and has also been linked to high blood pressure, obesity, and higher levels of cholesterol.  

It's was also noted in a 2017 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that those who skipped breakfast were put in a prolonged state of metabolic stress, which caused low grade inflammation, thought to have all kinds of negative downstream effects over time.  

Hopefully we've begun to paint a pretty compelling picture for you on the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast.  Whether it's with our Primo Smoothie, or some other food that is rich in nutrients and adds convenience to your life, we hope that in the morning you're able to eat something that will kick off your day the right way, and set you up for long term health over time. 

Anatomy of a Smoothie: Part I

Anatomy of a Smoothie

Over the next few blog posts, we are going to take a look at how to build up the perfect smoothie for your personal needs by explaining what different ingredients will bring to a smoothie.  Thanks to our friends over at The Core Diet for collaborating on this content…they know their stuff when it comes to nutrition and fueling!

Part I:  Chose your Liquid Base

Water: The most boring choice!  Just kidding!  Water will not provide any micro or macronutrients to your diet, but this option is inexpensive and can be ideal if you are looking to keep the calorie content down. Water is also a great way to thin out a smoothie that has gotten too thick (is there even such a thing?).  Keep in mind that a serving of our Primo Smoothie is 200 calories and contains 20 grams of protein, so mixing it with water will keep you at those nutrient levels. 

Though it does taste great mixed with just water, we do still recommend blending for a better texture.  Also, if you can, add just a little bit of ice before blending…a cold smoothie is a happy smoothie!

Juice: Avoid processed juices as these are not the same as fresh squeezed or those you may make at home with a juicer. Many of these juices have been heat pasteurized and contain only a fraction of the nutrients they once had as a whole fruit or vegetable, not to mention may contain substantial added sugars.  No bueno.

While juicing removes the fiber from the whole fruit or vegetable, it’s filled with those nutrients that commercial juices are often lacking. Best to use a combination of both fruit and vegetables juice, as fruit juices are very high in fructose, which can cause spikes in blood sugar and is not great for your metabolism.  If you are using Primo Smoothie as your base, the combination of protein and healthy fats will help moderate this blood sugar spike, but just be mindful that in general juices contribute calories from carbohydrates and sugars.

Coconut Water:  A favorite of surfers and travelers alike! When you crack open a coconut, the liquid inside is water, natural sugars and minerals.  It’s actually quite hydrating, think of it like nature’s natural sports drink.  Though unlike coconut milk, which is the coconut “meat” ground up with the liquid pressed out, coconut water is low in fat and calories!  Even if you don’t love the flavor of it on its own, it can be very tasty in smoothies as it ads a bit of subtle sweetness! This is a great option for those that want to keep the calories down with the flavor up!  If you don’t have any coconut trees handy, look for coconut water at your local grocery store (pro tip: if you live by an Asian market, they often have very cheap coconut water).  Just be aware that some store bought coconut waters have added sugar for sweetness, so be sure to check the label. 

Look for “young” coconut water as this tends to have a slightly favorable flavor in our opinion.  Though admittedly a bit pricey, our favorite one on the market is called Harmless Harvest…it’s superb!

Dairy: Whether milk or yogurt, this is probably the most common liquid base used in smoothies today. If you are going to use either of these options, go with organic and definitely go with unflavored Greek yogurt over something like a sweetened vanilla yogurt.  Greek yogurt also tends to have a higher protein content.  It can also be high in fat, so if that is a concern of yours, maybe opt for a low- or non-fat version.

For those that have it available, raw dairy is our preferred type of dairy.  This can be a touchy subject filled with a lot of misinformation, but if it is available, we will always opt for this.  Just be sure it is from a high quality, trusted source.  One of the biggest raw dairy producers out west is called Organic Pastures.  We have been using their raw dairy products for years and love them for the way they taste, the nutrients they provide, and the way they treat their cows.

Kefir: This creamy product filled with beneficial yeast and probiotic bacteria and can be made from any type of milk (cow, goat or sheep), coconut, rice or soy. It’s loaded with vitamins, minerals and easily digestible complete proteins making it a great choice for the lactose intolerable.

The key sell with Kefir is it’s probiotic content, a result of the culturing process which allows the “good bacteria” to propagate.  Think of it kind of like supercharged yogurt.  But as with yogurt, be aware that some flavored kefirs have added sugars, so avoid these. 

Again with kefir, if you have access to a raw source, we definitely recommend going that route.  It will have substantially more and varied sources of probiotic bacteria, which have all kinds of benefits for your body.

Nut Milk and Other Non-Dairy Milks: Although a processed food (minimally), these dairy substitutes are typically our “go-to” when it comes to making a smoothie. These “milks” are lower in protein compared to their dairy counterparts, but if you are making a Primo Smoothie, you will already be getting 20 grams of protein, so unless you have very high protein needs, that should be more than sufficient.  A big bonus when it comes to nut milks is shelf life.  You can buy and store (most of) them in your cupboard until ready to use. You can also make your own from scratch if you have a high-powered blender such as the Vitamix􏰀. Keep in mind that all of these milks come in different varieties, so be sure to buy the unsweetened, plain versions to avoid adding unnecessary sugar into your diet. 

One of our favorites, and also one of the most affordable, is the Whole Foods 365 organic line which consists of almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk (low fat), rice milk, and oat milk.

Soy Milk – the elephant in the room: When seeking to avoid or eliminate dairy from the diet, many people default to soy milk over other nut milks.  For those that are looking for a higher protein alternative, soy might be a good choice, but generally we are not a fan. Soymilk is still debated today in regards to whether it, and other soy-based products, are actually healthy foods.  Keep in mind this debate is largely fueled by pro-soy or anti-soy and pro-dairy political lobbies (it’s one of the most heavily farmed products in the US, although most does go to animal feed…another issue of its own, so is big business with lots of political clout).

There are other issues surrounding soy which are still inconclusive, including its effects on hormones within the body, particularly estrogen levels.  Soy is also a big culprit in unsustainable farming practices around the globe, including deforestation in many rainforest regions.  But if you are going to use soy milk as your base, our recommendation is to only choose organic due to the fact that over 90% of the soybean crop in the United States is genetically modified and sprayed with pesticides. 

Stay tuned for our next installments of Anatomy of a Smoothie!

 

 

 

Justin Metzler Wins Challenge Iceland Half Ironman

Photos by Arnold Bjornsson

Justin Metzler took his first win as a professional triathlete in commanding fashion at Challenge Iceland, a Half Ironman distance race on July 23, 2017.  We got to ask Justin a few questions about his preparation, his performance, and his nutrition.  Read below for more!

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This is your first win as a pro, how many years have you been racing professionally and what does it mean to finally get a win?

This is my fourth season as a professional athlete but I have been racing triathlon competitively for over 10 years. My single focus and dream this entire time was to win a race and on Sunday, that dream came true. I've spent thousands of hours in the pool and on the roads, doing the work that I knew would be required to be prepared for a result like this. To see all of that time, money and energy that I invested finally pay off was a very gratifying feeling not only for me but also for the unwavering support team that has been by my side throughout the process. 

Can you talk about your nutrition in the 48 hours before the race, and what you took in out on course?

While in normal training, I follow the “Core Diet” (http://www.thecorediet.com) which focuses on fruits and vegetable dense in nutrients and lean proteins in order to achieve optimal body composition. But during the 48 hours leading into a race, I significantly alter my diet in order to give my body the power it needs to execute on race day. On the Friday evening before the race I had a meal that was very high in carbohydrates (typically pizza or pasta, this time I went with pasta). The day before the race I am continuously consuming high carbohydrate foods with the majority of that coming from a large breakfast.  For that meal I had a whole bunch of local sourdough bread with some eggs and a muffin. I taper off my consumption throughout the day and finish the evening feeling topped off but not stuffed.

Then, race morning I have apple sauce, 1 scoop of whey protein, a bottle of EFS from First Endurance and 1 banana. 45 minutes before the start I have 5 pre-race capsules from First Endurance and 1 can of Beet Performer. Over the course of the race I consumed 2 bottles of EFS sports drink, 8 caffeinated gels and 2 pre-race tablets. Immediately after the race I had 2 scoops of EFS Ultragen and 1 hour after the finish I had a Field Work Nutrition Primo Smoothie with berries and banana. 

What did you do after the race to celebrate?  More importantly, what did your nutrition look like after the race, ha?

We had a whole lot to celebrate after this race with both myself and my girlfriend, Jeanni Seymour, taking the top steps of the podium. All of that sugar and caffeine typically upsets my stomach after the race but a Primo smoothie with banana generally makes me feel better. Jeanni and I both have races coming up quickly after this one so we didn’t go crazy on the junk food but we did enjoy a bottle of wine (maybe it was two?).

How do you typically use Primo Smoothie?

I use Primo on a daily basis as a perfect snack while in between training sessions. It tastes great, has a lot of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that I aim to get in my diet, and most important, it is easy. Throw it in the blender with some fruit and almond or coconut milk and it is perfect. 

Briefly, can you walk us through how the race unfolded for you?  Were there any particularly high or low moments?  Generally how did you feel out on course?

The day started off on an unpredicted note with a modified swim course due to high winds and choppy waters in the crystal clear glacier fed lake. When racing in Iceland, one can expect cold water and this year was no different with the temperatures ranging between 8-12 degrees celsius (46-54 degrees f).

Despite the chill, I had a strong swim coming out of the water in 3rd position right behind First Endurance athlete Kevin Collington. As an experienced athlete and the defending champion, coming out of the water with Kevin was a perfect place to be. I was able to make up some time in T1 and got onto the bike in 2nd position. Riding together, Kevin and I quickly realized the biggest challenge of the day would come from the powerful crosswinds blowing at 30-40 mph on the screaming descents around the fjord roads. Kevin unfortunately suffered a crash and had to abandon the race (but he is is OK!).

After seeing Kevin go down, I rode very carefully for the next 30 minutes ensuring I did not do the same. I lost a bit of time but was able to keep the bike on the road which at that point was priority #1. Some of the main contenders caught up to me around the halfway point on the bike (also FE athletes- Trevor Wurtele and Jordan Rapp). I was unable to hold Trevor’s pace but my legs started to feel good on the back half and I was able to ride the final 40km with Jordan back into the transition zone.

I felt great on the final 1 hour of the bike ride which I knew would set me up for a fast run. Again, I made up some critical seconds in T2 and got out onto the run course where I hold the course record. I knew if I was able to execute a similar performance, very few athletes would be able to match my speed. I passed the early breakaway leader within the first 5km of the run but Trevor and I seemed to be running nearly identical paces with trevor about 200m up the road. I would reel him in a little bit and then he would dig deep to extend his lead back out. We played this cat and mouse game for nearly 15k of the run and there were multiple times where I thought the win was his.

But I never gave up and pushed all the way through this race. Around the 18km mark, I was able to pick up the pace as Trevor faded a bit. I never looked back and took my first ever Half Ironman distance victory. A moment and feeling I will never forget.

What's next for you for 2017?

6.) Next up is a “hometown” race at 70.3 Boulder on 8/5 and then a race I am very much looking forward to at 70.3 Qujing (Central China) on 8/27. 

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Thanks, Justin, and huge congrats again!

Orange Julius...but healthy.

Orange Julius

Here's a quickie but a goodie for you to try.  We all know and love the Orange Julius's we used to get from shopping malls as kids, churning in those plastic fountains that probably got washed once a year (at best).  But it didn't matter, because with the amount of artificial ingredients in them, it's unlikely any bacteria could have even taken hold to grow!

Here's our take on the Orange Julius, you'll be blown away by how similar it is, only difference is, instead of being crazy high in sugar and completely devoid of any nutrients whatsoever...it's healthy!

Of course with our Primo Smoothie mix you'll be getting 20 grams of high quality protein, plus all the vitamins, minerals, and extracts it contains, plus the other whole food ingredients like berries and greens, plus the nutrients and fiber from using real fruit as your base.  Yeah, you get the picture, it's really good for you.

Give it a shot or come up with your own subtle variation.  No matter what, it'll be a tasty, cool, and healthy addition to your nutrition this summer.

Recipe:

-2 scoops Primo Smoothie

-1 medium orange - peeled

-8 oz vanilla almond milk (or other mixer like coconut milk or regular milk)

-A few cubes of ice

Blend and enjoy!

A Quick Q & A with Pro Triathlete Angela Naeth

Angela Naeth on the bike

We took the opportunity for a quick catch up with professional triathlete and 2015 Ironman North America Champion Angela Naeth to get a quick run down of some of the all important questions around her nutrition, and the even more important universal questions like does she like Tupac or Biggie, The Beatles or The Stones, or Beyonce or Gaga.

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Many athletes that find themselves competing in triathlon start out in some other sport and eventually "find" multisport, often on a whim.  What compelled you to enter your first race? 

I graduated college and worked full time as a physiotherapist. I wanted to stay active so I ventured into a bit of cycling and my first triathlon.  Won that first race and fell in love with the sport! 

How long after that first race did you think you might have a serious future in the sport? 

Right away I knew I wanted to give it a shot. So I went to a triathlon camp down south (California) and met a guy who saw my talent on a bike. He said I should try and get my pro card. That year I did my firs half and managed to secure it. 

With an academic background in physical therapy and health sciences, what extra edge does that give you when it comes to training and racing?  Do you bring a lot of that knowledge with you? 

Perhaps a double edge sword! I work to the limit and then some. I know the body well and I'm always intrigued on how art and science fit in with sport.  I definitely love knowing what I know and being able to support others with it. 

What has been the most difficult challenge for you transitioning from being a single sport athlete to a triathlete? 

None really. I always loved all sports. The variety is key to keep things exciting. 

After a massive training day, when you feel the need to splurge on your nutrition a little bit, what is your go to?  

Ice-cream. Chocolate. Definitely chocolate. 

What does your dietary intake look like on a somewhat normal training day in the middle of a big training block?  Be as specific as you can. 

I work with the Core Diet.  

Here's a sample: 

Pre-swim - bagel, Red Bull

Post-swim - recovery drink

Mid-morning. Primo Smoothie with nut butter, milk, and fruit

Snacks: toast or similar with nut butter or eggs

Ride: training food (mostly carbohydrates) 

Post-ride: recovery drink

Snack - I snack a ton! Every 2 hours... I love nuts and a bit of chocolate in the mix! 

Dinner - huge salad with all the fixings: avocado, tons of olive oil, 6 different veggies, meat source.

Desert: chocolate, yogurt and the occasional ice-cream fix, fruit. 

How do you typically use our Primo Smoothie?  

As above. Mixed with fruit and milk in a blender. 

What are you goals for the 2017 season (or even into 2018)? 

70.3 and Ironman.

What's the most inspiring thing you've ever seen in the sport of triathlon? 

My friend Dustin Brady from Shimano, did Ironman Worlds for a loved one who lost her life to cancer. 

What advice do you have to people who may be just starting out, or are even on the fence about doing their first race? 

Just sign up for one and have fun! That's the start... get yourself to the start line and experience first hand the fun and joy from racing triathlon and being in the triathlon community. 

Lightning round

Favorite race? 70.3 St. Croix

Favorite place you've travelled for triathlon? St. Croix Favorite place you've ever travelled, period? St. Croix

Favorite workout? Over/unders - we do this close to the race. under race pace, and then over race pace on the bike! 

Least favorite workout? Easy spins when I have the desire to go hard. 

Do you drink, and if so, favorite libation?  Red Wine. 

Pets? and names? Zoe - she's a yorkie.  Partner in crim. 

Favorite book? Man's Search for Meaning. Viktor Frankl

Favorite movie? too hard to answer! Love anything with Matt Damon. He usually only does good ones. 

What do you hope to do when you stop competing professionally? 

keep inspiring others in the sport. I'll always race and be part of the community. Coach, and continue building iracelikeagirl women's triathlon/cycling/endurance team.

Beyonce or gaga?  Gaga

Tupac or biggie? Tupac

Beatles or Stones? Beatles hands down. 

The Truth: What You Need to Know About Turmeric

Turmeric root and chopped turmeric.  The bright orange color of turmeric is from curcumin, the active compound with reported benefits

Turmeric root and chopped turmeric.  The bright orange color of turmeric is from curcumin, the active compound with reported benefits

Most of us who are health conscious have probably heard of turmeric, a root that is used as one of the primary ingredients in curry powder and which gives it its distinct yellow color (careful, it stains!).  We've probably seen hipstery blog posts providing you recipes for turmeric teas, turmeric juices, and recommending just plain raw turmeric to munch on.

But what many people fail to either recognize or are simply unaware of is that although turmeric is a great food with some reported health benefits, the active compound which actually delivers those health benefits, like inflammation support, brain health, and general anti-oxidant support is a compound called curcumin...and curcumin has a very low bioavailability.  

To put that in easy to simple terms, you can eat all the turmeric you want, and you'll get very little of the known benefits of its curcumin.  That is not to say that you shouldn't eat turmeric, you should!  It definitely won't hurt anything, and it might even do a little good.  And if you like the earthy flavor, then it's all the better.  But if you are looking to reap any of the health benefits that scientists are beginning to discover about curcumin, you'd better find yourself a great supplement with high absorbability or bioavailability.

This is where the Field Work Nutrition philosophy of science meets nature comes into play.  We love food as much as anyone else, and if we had it our way, would get 100% of our nutrition directly from whole food sources.  But...reality doesn't always work that way.  We look at the research and incorporate practical findings into our product development, as is the case with curcumin.  The form of curcumin we use is highly bioavailable and 95% curcuminoids.  With a single serving of a Primo Smoothie and the curcumin it contains, you'll get substantially more benefit than drinking about as much turmeric tea as you can stomach.

There are other companies that make high quality curcumin supplements, which you can find at many health food stores and even mainstream retailers these days.  If you are going to buy a supplement, be sure you get something with high bioavailability and a high percentage of curcuminoids.  And as with any supplement, if you can verify the quality of its manufacturer through a GMP certification and / or third party quality certification, that's even better.  

The media loves to sensationalize anything that appears to be the "next big superfood."  Though some foods have more benefits than others, remember to do your own research and that few things beat a healthy diet with a variety of whole foods, lean meats, and lots of vegetables and fruits.  

We'll see you out there.  

Red, White, and Blue-ish Smoothies

Hi folks, in the spirit of the 4th of July holiday, we threw together a few patriotic smoothie recipes for you, check them out below.  We're calling them our "red, white, and blue-ish smoothies."

Red - 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, 8 oz almond milk, 2 scoops Primo Smoothie - blend!

White - 2 fresh angelcots (white apricots), 8 oz almond milk, 2 scoops Primo Smoothie - Blend!

Blue-ish - 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 8 oz almond milk, 2 scoops Primo Smoothie - Blend!

Enjoy these fresh summer smoothies and have a safe and sane 4th of July holiday!  We'll see you out there...

 

 

Our red, white, and blue-ish smoothies

Our red, white, and blue-ish smoothies

The Superfood Smoothie Hack

Adding a daily smoothie to your diet is a great way to conveniently get additional quality nutrition

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It’s time to face the music, we all know we can stand to get more fresh fruits and vegetables in our diet, particularly brightly colored berries and leafy greens.  And for the training triathlete, an additional dose of 20 grams of clean, convenient protein between meals, or at meal time, goes a long way to help aid muscle recovery and maintain lean body mass, crucial when you are doing two, and sometimes more, workouts in a day.

One of the best ways to do this is with a high-protein smoothie.  It’s quick to make, portable so you can take it with you on the go (you’re busy, we know and feel your pain!), and customizable, allowing you to boost up the flavors or ingredients you particularly like or need.  As a busy triathlete training for more than one sport who’s body is in constant need of fueling and / or recovery, it’s hard to beat the convenience and nutritional value of a good smoothie with the right ingredients, not to mention portability.

When we make our smoothies, we tend to look at them as the “catch all” for everything healthy we know we need to eat in a given day.  Had a particularly hard run session that morning? Throw in a little extra protein.  Feeling like you’ve been missing getting enough green roughage in your diet lately? Toss in a handful of spinach or another leafy green.  It really is what you make it, and gives you the certainty and peace of mind that if later in the day all else fails because your swim went long and you just aren’t going to have the time to throw together that well balanced dinner you had been planning, forcing you to compromise your food choices (let’s face it, we all do from time to time), “at least you had your nutrient dense smoothie!"

Let’s address the nutritional elephant in the room and the smoothie’s not so equal counterpart:  juicing.  It is an alternative way to get micro and phytonutrients in your diet, but frankly, it is far inferior compared to a well-balanced smoothie.  Juicing omits almost all the fiber from whatever you are pressing to make your juice, which means you are leaving nutrition on the table.  We'll come clean and say that at times we do believe in juicing, but not as a primary meal.  We only use it as a supplement because it does not provide your body the complete nutrition it needs for both fueling and recovery.

A well-balanced smoothie on the other hand should have a blend of low glycemic carbs, the micronutrients and fiber of whatever fruits and / or veggies you add, protein, some healthy fats, and a general profile of other vitamins and minerals that the athlete's body needs.  It is hard to beat the nutritional punch this packs for a body that is constantly looking for a little reprieve.  Not only will those ingredients provide a balanced and steady insulin response, you get the added benefit of providing your gut with pre-biotic fiber from the blended up fruits and veggies, which can help maintain healthy digestive system flora, better known as the beneficial bacteria that keep everything “running smoothly.”  Just make sure you use a very good blender (we prefer the Magic Bullet) and texture will always be amazing.

If you are using a Field Work Nutrition Primo Smoothie as your base, you will be getting 20 grams of high quality protein with a full spectrum of essential amino acids, whole food based carbohydrates, healthy fats from sources like coconut and flax, including omega-3’s, berries, greens, turmeric and tart cherry to help reduce exercise induced inflammation, probiotics, prebiotics, a whole profile of vitamins and minerals that triathletes are regularly deficient it, plus a whole lot more. 

So if you are looking for one simple way to add some additional nutrition to your diet in an extremely user-friendly way, consider a daily superfood smoothie. 

Try one of our favorite recipes:

½ cup strawberries

1 small banana

1 handful of spinach

8 oz milk or milk substitute

2 scoops Primo Smoothie Meal mix

Blend and enjoy!

Why your performance may be suffering from a lack of magnesium

Electrolytes.  We hear about them all the time.  Made famous by Gatorade, and made better by just about everyone else, we all know that electrolytes are important to help hydration and help athletic performance by doing things like helping to prevent muscle cramping and helping to support proper muscle function.  

A villain in the normal world, when it comes to electrolytes, cramping, and hydration, sodium tends to reign supreme.  But although sodium may be critically important while working out, there are other electrolytes that are just as important for athletes and anyone living an active lifestyle, one of which is magnesium.  

On the most basic level, magnesium is an essential mineral that we must have in our diets for the proper functioning of the body.  Period.  It is involved in over 300 known chemical reactions in the body, including muscle contraction and relaxation, cardiac activity, immunity, blood pressure regulation, and basic metabolism and energy production, to name a few.  

For athletes, or anyone exercising at an above average to strenuous level, magnesium becomes even more important.  It is directly involved in ATP production, one of the body's primary mechanisms for producing energy.  A deficiency in magnesium present can be a limiting factor in ATP production, thus limiting the amount work work that can be done, and potentially leading to fatigue and overall reduced performance.  No bueno.  

Magnesium may also play a role in limiting lactic acid accumulation, and for the training athlete, lactic acid accumulation is directly correlated to performance limitations, so limiting build up while exercising can have a positive effect on performance.  Due to the relaxing effect magnesium has on the nervous system, it may also help reduce perceived effort while working particularly hard.  Even if this effect does not actually help improve performance, anyone who has ever spent time in the pain cave or hurt locker will surely welcome any help they can get - perceived or actual!

There are plenty of foods that are rich in magnesium, like certain leafy green vegetables and pumpkin seeds.  As is our approach with many things, we all know that reality often steps in and inhibits even our best intentions, throwing off our dietary plans and sending us to the cupboard grabbing things we probably shouldn't.  This is why we have included magnesium in our Primo Smoothie - helping you get an adequate serving daily.  If you feel you may need a little extra, throw a few pumpkin seeds in your mix, or a small handful of leafy green vegetables.  

As always, eat well, and we'll see you out there.