For many fitness coaches, working in a gym means working before and after you “normal folks” (read 9-5ers) go to work. Twice a week, I work from 4-8 pm without a break. Since I don’t love eating dinner at 3:30 or 8:30 pm, on those nights I have to eat while on the fitness floor. It’s bad form to eat a three course meal while helping someone perfect their squat, so I’ve taken to drinking Precision Nutrition Super Shakes for dinner.
A Super Shake is a smoothie that’s well-balanced enough to be a meal. It has the following ingredients:
1-2 fist-sized portions of veggies
1-2 cupped handfuls of carbs
1-2 thumb-sized portions of fat
1 scoop of protein powder
liquid of your choice
You can adjust the portions and choose your toppings to support your goals. Need more carbs in the morning so you have energy to workout? Add an extra handful of fruit or top with oats. Need more protein to gain muscle? Top with greek yogurt or add cottage cheese. Need more fats because you're trying to gain weight? Top with shredded coconut or flax seeds or add an extra thumb of nuts.
Just remember that, while a Super Shake is a complete meal, it’s only going to come out to about 20 oz of liquid — that means that it won't fill you up the way those same ingredients would in solid form. But that doesn’t mean it’s unsatisfying. Drink it slowly, savor the deliciousness, and pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues. This is a well-balanced meal. Enjoy it as such (even if you’re drinking it on the go).
My favorite Super Shake includes milk (liquid), spinach (veggie), frozen berries (carb), peanut butter (fat), vanilla whey protein powder, and unsweetened cocoa powder (topping). If you’re using greens, like spinach, blend the greens into the liquid before you add any other ingredients. This will lead to a smoother finish (and you’ll be less likely to chew spinach as you drink).
Shannon’s Favorite Super Shake
8 oz milk
1 fist-sized portion of fresh spinach
1 handful of frozen mixed berries
1 thumb-sized portion of unsalted, chunky peanut butter
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Place milk into a blender or blender bottle and add spinach. Blend until spinach is smooth. Add frozen berries, peanut butter, protein powder, and cocoa powder. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!
For an excellent infographic on Super Shakes, complete with ingredient and recipe ideas, visit Precision Nutrition.