Working out -- it’s so important for mental clarity, let alone physical well-being. Yet, with a family and a business to run carving out the time to get to the gym is really tough. Although I love the idea of getting my workout done in the morning, there is no way I am giving up my precious sleep to hit the gym. Plus, it’s hard to find an early morning Zumba class!
That’s right, Zumba! I love it – so much that I find it hard to write about it without using an exclamation point. For me, Zumba takes me back to my days of ballet and modern dance. It’s freeing, expressive, fun, and a great workout. When I have an evening Zumba class to look forward to, I feel excited all day, which in and of itself helps me power through.
During Zumba, I feel exhilarated. I love the beat of the fast-paced music, the energy in the class, and the thrill of letting go after a day of meeting lots of people’s needs. This hour of freedom rejuvenates me.
One slight hiccup is that I don’t have much of an appetite after an hour of hot, sweaty Zumba. Even after I have cooled down, showered, and made dinner for the family, I still don’t feel like eating a full meal. So rather than partake of the main course, I typically make a post-workout smoothie that I can slowly sip while the family eats.
I like a smoothie that is rich in protein and good carbs so that I can trust it to fill me up enough that I won’t wake up hungry in the middle of the night, without being too heavy. And the Fruit Bliss Chocolate Delight Smoothie definitely gets the job done. The milk and yogurt add creaminess, the banana makes the drink dense, and the nut butter packs a wallop of protein. Of course, I love to mix in Fruit Bliss dates for their sweetness and filling fiber. Our rehydrated dates work well in the blender because they are naturally moist, unlike most others you will find on the supermarket shelves. And, to give my smoothie an extra bit of fabulousness, I add some cocoa powder.
Unsweetened cocoa powder is a great ingredient. Just 1 tablespoon contains 3 to 9 percent of the recommended daily intake of iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc. Plus, it makes the smoothie so chocolatey you would think you were drinking a milk shake. Often I double the recipe so that my kids and husband can have a smoothie dessert.
A full day behind me, I am sated and ready to have a moment to myself. Then it’s off to bed before another day of hard work getting Fruit Bliss products out the door to a store near you.
Makes one smoothie
1 cup milk or milk alternative
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
6 Fruit Bliss dates, chopped
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon peanut or almond butter
Place milk, yogurt, dates, banana, cocoa, extract, and cinnamon in a blender container. Turn blender onto its low setting and process for 20 seconds. Switch to the high setting and blend until dates are pulverized, about 1 minute. Drop peanut or almond butter into the liquid and process for 10 seconds more.