Cinnamon Coffee Breakfast Smoothie (Hot or Cold)

What better way than to wake up than with a sweet, creamy coffee with 30g of plantbased protein? Not only is this also great for an anytime pick-me-up but it also comes in handy as a postworkout recovery shake as well.Ā And if you’re tired of cold smoothies in these chilly months of autumn, heat your plant milk first for a warm decadent treat.

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8 oz Califia Farms XX Espresso Cold Brew Coffee (Cold or Hot)
1 serving Vanilla Vega Sport Performance Protein
1 Banana
3-4 Dates (pitted)
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Chia Seed

Cold Version (shown):
Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Add Ice for a frostier consistency.Ā Pour and enjoy!

Hot Version:
Add the Banana, Dates, Cinnamon and Chia Seed to a high speed blender. Heat the cold brew (hahaha) on low/medium in a small saucepan on your stovetop just until small bubbles begin to form; then carefully pour into the blender jar along with the other ingredients. Blend on low setting first, slowly working up to high. Blend until smooth.Ā Pour into a large mug and enjoy!

Power Up Your Recovery Routine with new Vega Sport Performance Protein (+ 2 mind-blowing smoothie recipes!)

We’ve all been there before; leading our hectic livesĀ and just barely finding the time to fit in a workout. And whether we’re running, riding, stretching, swimming or lifting, we may train that extra bit harder to make it worth our while. And boy do we ever feel it the next morning! That achy soreness all over…it hurts so good, doesn’t it? Well, sure, for a little while but at some point we’re going to want to feel good enough toĀ do it all over again. For some of us, it can take up to 3 days to fully recover depending on the effort of exertion. One of the reasons is because many of us focus so much on powering up our pre-workout fuel, that we completely forget about our recovery nutrition.

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To energize beforehand, we usually planĀ on getting a decent amount of complex carbohydrates in order to build a glycogen reserve (the muscle energy weĀ burn during aĀ workout). And when we finally “hit the wall”, we just guzzle down some water or a sports drink and call it a day until lunch or dinner. Thats the mistake which our muscles can pay dearly for. To curb this bad habit, let’s shift our thinking a bit. First off, we want to replenish the glycogen we lost during the workout; so yes, more carbs (leafy greens, low fructose fruits, starchy root veggies, etc.). ButĀ we also want to take this aĀ step further with a combo of Carbs, Protein and Amino Acids. This “trifecta” is the key to restoring, repairing and rebuilding our depleted muscles. Further,Ā research tells us there is an 45 minute window after working out, when many of theĀ body’s metabolic systems are activated. This is when we should be refueling for a quicker, more optimal recovery.

“ButĀ how am I going to get all of this stuff,Ā prepare it and eat it within 45 minutes when I’m already tired, have to pick up the kids and get groceries”? Wow, that does sound tricky…maybe even impossible.Ā But notĀ if you have a tub of the new Vega Sport Performance Protein handy! You can simplyĀ blend one serving of thisĀ with a Banana and some Almond Milk and you’llĀ not onlyĀ beĀ on the road to recovery butĀ on the actual road as well (just in time to pick the kids up from soccer practice). Vega has taken the guess work out of post-workout nutrition and passed the convenience on to you. They alwaysĀ take things to a whole other level and I truly think they’ve outdone themselves this time!

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Heres what’s in store from this upgraded Vega Sport Performance Protein:

  • Complete Protein w/ Amino Acids to Build and Repair Strong Muscles:Ā 30 grams of GMO-project certified, complete-plant based protein per serving andĀ 6 grams each BCAAs and glutamine
  • For Managing Inflammation: turmeric, tart cherry, black pepper, probiotics (1 billion CFUs), and bromelain
  • New Non-GMO Project certified Protein Blend:Ā from pea, pumpkin seed, organic sunflower seed and alfalfa protein

Taste: I have found the taste of all 4 flavors (Vanilla, Chocolate, Mocha and Berry) to be a well rounded compliment to any veggies, fruits and seeds that I add in. I’mĀ partial to Vanilla because it is the most versatile; and I love that the flavor is smooth and mellow with no lingering aftertaste (as some of the other brand’s protein powders have).

Texture: The powder itself seems finer than the last version, it doesn’t clump at all and blends for a nice smooth, silky texture. Just be careful when scooping not to toss it in the blender too fast; since it is so light and fine, you’ll be breathing in an airborne cloud of it.

Cost: The price has also come down $10 from it’s predecessor, which is also great news. More bang for your buck!

Overall:Ā Vega never disappoints when they announce an upgrade. The Vega One reformulation was epic, as is this Vega Sport one. Not only did they increase the Protein, BCAA’s and Glutamine but then topped it off by adding extras like Turmeric, Tart Cherry and Probiotics (known for their anti-inflammatory properties). I love Vega because their products are well conceived and each ingredient serves a purpose; they leave no room for chemicals, fillers and other garbage that some other brands use. It’s a win for me!

Enjoy these 2 delicious, post-work out smoothieĀ recipes using the newly formulated Vega Sport Performance Protein!

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Vega Sport Hemp Nog

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Hemp has long been known for being one of the most complete plant-based sources of protein containing all of the essential amino acids. And Lucuma is packed with B vitamins, iron and helps with inflammation. These are great compliments to your post-workout shake. Those tired muscles will be up and running again in no time. Also, if you’ve been looking for a healthy replacement for egg nog; this is it. I could drink this stuff all day!

8 oz Hemp Milk
1 Banana
2 Tbsp Lucuma Powder
1 Serving Vega Sport Performance Protein (Vanilla)
2 Tbsp Hemp Seed
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Clove
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg

Blend all ingredients on high speed until smooth. Add ice cubes for a frostier texture. Garnish with Hemp Seed and Ground Spices (if desired).

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Vega Sport MochaĀ Cappuccino Smoothie (w/ Peanut Butter Swirl)

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I’m not a huge advocate of Coffee, especially since I had an addiction to it a couple years back. But it does have it’s benefits; there is definitely a time and place for it (just not everyday). Ā There has been some debate over the years about consumingĀ caffeine post-workout.Ā Although, an Australian study done in 2008Ā by trainer Monique Ryan, author of “Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes”, showed that endurance athletes who combined caffeineĀ along with carbohydrates after their workouts actually increased their glycogen levels 60% more than those who had no caffeine. Isn’t that something? Convinced me anyway. Drink it down 45 minutes after your workout. ItĀ can also be consumedĀ “pre-workout”Ā as well; the caffeine will give you a stimulating boost whileĀ giving it your all.

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For the smoothie:
11ozĀ carton So Delicious Cococcino (Coconut Milk Iced Coffee)
1 Banana (or Avocado if you’re feeling a little crazy)
1 serving Vega Sport Performance Protein (Mocha)
1 Tbsp Chia Seed

Blend all on high setting until smooth. Pour into a glass.

For the swirl:
2 Tbsp Natural Peanut Butter
1/2 tsp Filtered Water

In a small bowl, whisk water and peanut butter together until liquidy but still thick. Adjust with more water or Peanut Butter if needed. Pour mixture into smoothie and swirl in with a straw. Garnish with Shredded Coconut and Cinnamon (if desired).

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BLUEBERRY ORANGE QUINOA SMOOTHIE

For the last 3 days I’ve been suffering from a pinched nerve which has caused muscle inflammation and spasms in my neck. This was all due to sleeping the wrong way (on my stomach with head turned 90 degrees). On my quest to heal and rebuild these damaged muscles I’ve been resting, stretching, hydrating, taking Turmeric, Ginger and icing. Admittedly, I also leaned a bit on the help of a prescription muscle relaxer to help take the edge off (man has the pain been fierce). But to also help kickstart my recovery I’ve been drinking smoothies with Vega Sport recovery powder as it is packed with Glutamine, BCAAs and of course protein. Together, these are the building blocks for our muscles and are paramount in repairing and building new muscle tissue.

To add in some extra powerful ingredients I chose: Blueberries which are high in antioxidants and known to help aid in the recovery of damaged muscle tissue. Orange which helps boost the immune system and reduces inflammation. And let’s not forget Quinoa which packs a plant based punch of protein to help build new muscle.

So, whether you’ve injured yourself or just overdid your workout a bit, don’t underestimate the power of plant based nutrition. The right combination will get you back in the game in no time. Keep it up!

8 oz Cashew Milk (or other nut milk)
1 Frozen Banana
1 Cup Frozen Blueberries
1 Orange
1/3 Cup Quinoa Flakes
1 serving Vega Sport (Vanilla)
1 Tbsp Acai Powder
2 Tbsp Flax Meal
2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds

Blend all ingredients on high until smooth. Drink it. Love it.

Resting is Hard Work (Vega Sport Performance Protein Review & Recipe)

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For as far back as I can remember I’ve suffered from seasonal depression. When winter hits, I basically retreat into my cave and overdose on Vitamin D supplements; occasionally exercising, not really doing anything to write home about. But as soon as the snow and bitterness of winter finally passes, I get back out on my bike and push myself. Fueled by the sun, fresh air and calming energy of the ocean water, I transform into an entirely different person. With this also comes my desire to workout and be active. I wasn’t always like this, though, until I changed my life last year by juicing, blending and going vegan. Through this new and exciting journey of health, I learned a very important thing (the hard way); you can easily overdo it! This is why I went out of my way to research more about nutrition in the first place. I discovered that it is a MUST to give your body proper rest and recovery time between workouts. Since our muscles actually become damaged from physical activity (in varying degrees), they need sufficient time to heal and rebuild themselves. In fact, contrary to popular belief, if you are trying to “build” muscle, this process occurs entirely when you are at rest (not while you’re in the gym working out). That all said, recovery is just as important than the workout itself. “Awesome! So I can just sit around drinking beer and eating tacos all day”? Ummm…no. šŸ˜‰

For a proper muscle recovery, you do need a bit of a plan. Reduce your physical activity to some light activity such as walking, light cardio or stretching. Lots of rest and sleep. Stay off as much of the inflammatory and acidic foods as possible. Stay hydrated, alkalize your body and choose foods that are known to be helpful in repairing and building muscle. Filtered Water, Coconut Water, Berries, Nuts, High Glycemic Fruits, Leafy Greens, Cinnamon, Turmeric and Ginger are all very good. And what a better way to get some of these servings in than by blending them up quick and drinking them? That said, let me introduce you to Vega Sport Performance Protein. My friends at Vega sent me a large tub of the Mocha flavor and I had been completely floored to try this for a while now. Especially because this particular variety is specifically meant for recovery.

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 Learn More about Vega Sport

As stated on the product page, it’s a multisource, plant-based protein powder, featuring 25 grams of complete protein, 5,000mg of BCAAs and 5,000mg of glutamine per serving. Great, so what does all that mean? Well, for starters, 25 grams of protein per serving is pretty awesome! We all know that protein is a must for our muscles. As for the BCAAs (branched chain amino acids), these are essential for repairing and building new muscle; they can only come from a food source (your body does not produce BCAAs). Interestingly enough, BCAAs are also metabolized directly in the muscle tissue, not in the liver which gives the body immediate access to their benefits. Glutamine is also an amino acid known for repairing and building muscle cells, although it is not essential, as our bodies can already produce it on it’s own. That said, the added Glutamine in the powder is an extra boost to what you’ve got naturally; which is great since it is also a component of digestive and immune health. All in all, this is a great, clean protein powder to aid in your workout recovery. Drink it within 45 minutes after your routine to maximize the benefits.

But how does it taste? The quick answer is: incredible! I’ve tried it on it’s own with just some Almond Milk as well as mixed into more complex smoothies and it all around tastes great. It has a very smooth, chocolatey coffee taste (hence Mocha flavor) which seems to go well with nut milks, dates, berries, nut butters, Maple, etc. I’ve also added leafy greens and the taste is still on point. But don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself. Here’s an all in one recipe designed to give you everything your body needs to help recover after going hard. Coconut Water is known to aid in replenishing electrolytes, while Bananas, Blueberries and Kale are a power trio in helping repair and build new muscle tissue. On top of all that, its smooth, tasty, super quick and clean eats for post workout. Here’s to giving your muscles the love they need…Cheers!

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Mocha-nut Berry Recovery Smoothie

8 oz Coconut Water
2 Cups tightly packed Baby Kale
1 Frozen Banana
1 Cup Frozen Blueberries
1 serving Vega Sport Performance Protein (Mocha)
2 Tbsp Cacao Powder
1/4 Cup Coconut Flakes
1 Tbsp Flax Seed

Pour the coconut water into your blender and add the Baby Kale leaves. Blend on the high setting until the leaves have been completely broken down. Now add in all the remaining ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Add some ice if you prefer a more “slushy” consistency in your smoothie. Garnish with some shaved Coconut and Cacao powder if desired. Drink up and enjoy!

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Want more info on how to prepare, sustain & recover? Vega has got some excellent FREE Running Training & Nutrition Plans here. Click on the banner and sign up now!