Cherry Chocolate Protein Shake

In less than 6 weeks I’ll be taking on my 3rd half marathon, this one with three of my best friends on Halloween. As with the other two, it is at this point where I suddenly have an “oh, crap!” moment, realizing that the twice weekly three-milers I’ve been doing aren’t quite going to cut it for my training regimen. But now that the optimum running weather is starting to make its way in, the transition into those seven and eight mile practices should (hopefully) go smoothly.

Most long-distance runners will agree that when the training becomes intense, so does the eating, but in the best way possible. So thus begins the days where I’ll load up on carbs, protein and potassium with a side of yellow Gatorade, of course.  Over the summer I’ve really gotten to know my Vitamix well and have taken to drinking the many forms of protein shakes and power smoothies after my runs. They are cool and refreshing, the fruit works fast to replace the sugars in the body and the protein satiates tired muscles.

Though my smoothies usually end up as a conglomeration of the random bits of appropriate ingredients found in my fridge in freezer, I have recently found a combo that is really tasty and energizing too. Chocolate whey protein alongside powdered peanut butter provide tons of protein, a banana adds creaminess while preventing muscle cramps with potassium, frozen cherries provide many vitamins, antioxidants, and carbs while almond/coconut milk is the soy-free glue that holds it all together. And though there are many ways to change up this basic combination, with a simple substitution of different flavors, types of protein, and fruits, I have a feeling this one will be sticking around for quite a while.

Cherry Chocolate Protein Shake
Serves 1-2
Below are the brands I used but feel free to substitute you favorites

1 cup Califia Toasted Coconut Almondmilk
2 Tbs Tera’s Whey Dark Chocolate Whey Protein Powder
1.5 Tbs Bell Plantation PB2 powdered peanut butter
1 banana
½ cup frozen sweet cherries
a handful of ice cubes

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Turn on to high speed until the ice is totally crushed and everything is well blended. Add more ice if you a want a frostier texture. Pour into a glass, dust with a little cocoa powder on top, and drink right away!