Weekend Reading: My Favorite Breakfast or Pre-Workout Super Smoothie Recipe

**Scroll down for recipe**

Wow. Thank you so much to all of you who wrote me in response to last weekend’s blog and video about my top 10 core strength moves! I tried to write back to as many of you as I could, sorry if I missed a few. There were some great questions and suggestions in your emails for additional topics, and several people asked me about breakfast choices or pre-workout choices for athletes on the go.

Well, I can relate. I’m running a business, raising two school-aged children with my wife (our third is away at college), and doing my best to train for events like the Trans Andes Challenge and the Tour of California and USA Pro Cycling Challenge Race Experiences. Plus, my Trek cyclocross bike for the Dirty Kanza 200 just showed up! (More on that in future blogs). “On the go” is definitely how I’d describe my lifestyle, so here’s a recipe for a Super Smoothie I make for breakfast, especially on days when I know we’re going to have one of our 70-mile “10 O’clock Staff Meeting” rides from the office!

What’s so special about the smoothie, and why is it so good a few hours before a workout?

Quick and Convenient: You literally toss it all in a blender and turn it on. Even with prep time it takes me fewer than 5 minutes to make. If it’s a leisurely morning I drink it while we’re getting ready to start the day. If we’re in a hurry, I can take it in the car and it’s a lot easier (and cleaner) than trying to eat crumbly or drippy breakfast foods. And when I’m looking for a pre-workout snack for an afternoon ride, and I don’t have my blender around, I reach for a 200-calorie Double Chocolate PR Bar.


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Energy: At nearly 480 calories, the smoothie packs quite a punch. Maybe that’s a lot of calories for a sedentary individual to consume in a smoothie, but for an athlete looking for energy and recovery, it’s great. The smoothie is very heavy on carbohydrate (68% of calories), low in protein (only 6% of calories), and 26% of calories come from fats, primarily heart healthy unsaturated fats. For a while I tried to increase the protein component and reduce the carbohydrates a bit, but when you factor in taste, consistency, and convenience, this is the recipe I’ve honed in on. In the morning it delivers much needed carbohydrate, and whenever I drink it the fat, protein, and fiber content help keep me feeling satisfied for a long time.

Nutrients: There’s really no nutritional fluff in this recipe. Everything brings value to the table. As a result, you get nearly 80% of your recommended daily Vitamin C intake, 78% of your manganese and 40% of your Vitamin B-6, (both important for metabolizing carbohydrate and protein), 73% of your vitamin E, and 25% of your Vitamin D. There’s more good stuff in there, too, but you get the picture. For athletes who are training hard and need to focus on immune support and tissue maintenance, getting plenty of Vitamins C and E is a good idea.

Why Almond Milk?

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I know this question will come up, so I’ll address it here instead. My choice of almond milk over cow’s milk was based on my desire to eat a predominantly plant-based diet. My choice of almond milk over soy milk (both plant based) was based on taste; I just prefer almond milk over soy. Can you substitute cow milk or soy milk in the recipe? Sure. Almond milk is higher in fat but lower in total calories than soy milk. Soy milk provides more protein and carbohydrate than almond milk in order achieve that higher calorie count.

Power-Packed Super Smoothie!

1 Cup almond milk, unsweetened
1 apple (Macintosh) , cored and cubed, with skin
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon Oat bran
1`/2 cup raspberries, fresh
½  cup blueberries, fresh
½ cherries (fresh if possible, frozen are easier because they’re already pitted)
1 banana
½ cup ice

Grind up in a blender to desired consistency and drink!

Nutritional information:
Calories: 478
Carbohydrate: 81grams
Protein: 7grams
Fat: 14grams

Have a Great Weekend!
Chris Carmichael
CEO/Head Coach
Carmichael Training Systems

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Comments 2

  1. Thanks Chris I think this is a great idea.

    I have a smoothie similar to this most mornings in the car on my way to work.

    I have noticed that it keeps my hunger in check (I add some protein powder), and has been helping stay near my summer racing weight, even though we are in the depths of winter.

    Of course in the my other hand as I head out the door is strong cup of coffee – that helps too!

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