When Mark had to get ready for a role last year that might involve a shirtless scene (it didn’t in the end, much to his relief), he signed up for a boot camp at our gym that totally kicked his butt and left his muscles in deep need of recovery. The instructors advised the group to eat something before the workout in order to have enough fuel to power through — ideally, an easily-digestible meal with a high carb/moderate protein/low fat ratio — and to recover with a small meal or drink one to two hours after working out. The pre-workout meal was easy: whole wheat toast, a boiled or scrambled egg, one orange and plenty of water. But the post-workout meal was a mystery. What would help him recover but not plateau?
I did a little research and then devised this delicious and easily customizable protein shake. Now, he takes it on the go when he has short meal breaks during rehearsals and needs to refuel quickly without getting too full. The best part? You can tweak it to your liking very easily. Swap peanut butter for almond butter, or combine equal parts of each; add more banana if you like the taste (Mark doesn’t). You could use soy or rice milk instead of almond, but I wouldn’t use dairy since the whole idea is that this is easy to digest. If you really want to make this an indulgent treat instead of a post-workout recovery shake, you could even toss in a scoop of chocolate gelato 🙂
1/2 cup almond milk
2 spoons full of almond butter (and/or peanut butter to taste)
- 1 spoon full of chocolate protein powder (I like Trader Joe’s organic hemp version, above)
1 frozen banana (you can also use fresh; I keep plenty of frozen ones around in small pieces so they are easy for the blender to process in smoothies)
optional: cashew cream to taste/creaminess level
- also optional: ice and/or water to chill it or thin it out
Starting with the liquid on bottom, blend all ingredients until smooth; taste and adjust to your preference. I often add more almond butter if it’s too chocolate-heavy, or I might throw in another piece of banana to thicken it (or a splash more almond milk to thin it out).
Serve cold and enjoy!