I haven’t run since early September. Why? Back-to-back surgeries. Lack of motivation. The thrill was gone. But, honestly, I haven’t been a “runner” for a couple of years now. And I miss it! I miss the rhythmic pounding of my sneakers on the shoulder of the road. I miss the intoxicating aroma of the wet pines in the winter and the flowering trees in the spring. I miss the sights and the sounds that you never experience while sitting within the confines of a car. I miss the first gulp of cold, cold water after a hot, sweaty run. And I miss the self-satisfaction and inner peace that comes from being a runner: “when your feet are in the right place, your mind will follow.”
I had that on my mind when I rose this morning. I allowed myself some gentle yoga while I thought about the limits that I used to push my body to (and beyond) just a few short years ago. I sat at the laptop with my morning cup of coffee and began to read through my e-mail inbox. A blog post about running caught my eye. I read it. I clicked her links, and then a few more links. And then a miracle happened: I put on my long-neglected running shoes and my ratty old “Just Do It” t-shirt and I stepped on the treadmill. I fixed my determined gaze upon my motivational focal point: an old Bloomsday poster with a refrigerator magnet affixed to the metal frame. And I began to run!
I promised myself that I would only run 1 mile [Sidenote: technically, I am not medically cleared to run until my post-op appointment next week]. And, truthfully, I was more than happy to step off the treadmill after only 1 mile. But I did it! And while it was difficult, it was also an exhilarating victory (albeit a small one) for me. I can’t wait to climb back on and do it all over again. But for now, it is (celebratory) smoothie time.
A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the Cacao Bliss Smoothie at Free Bird in South Lake Tahoe. Since that trip, I have been on a mission to replicate it. While my version is not identical, it’s still pretty dang good. I added a banana to my version of the smoothie and I used the organic (but not raw) cacao powder that I already have on hand. I also added cacao nibs for an extra bit of yumminess. And, because it is a celebration of sorts, I enjoyed my cacao smoothie in a choc-tini glass.
♥ ♥ ♥
Makes 2 servings
1 ripe banana (fresh or frozen)
2 heaping Tablespoons cacao powder
4 Tablespoons almond butter
1 Tablespoon agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (The Free Bird uses Celtic sea salt in their smoothie but I like Fleur de Sel because I think it pairs wonderfully with chocolate)
1 large pinch of cacao nibs (about 1/2 Tablespoon), optional
15 to 20 ice cubes (depending on cube size and the desired thickness of the smoothie)
Place the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Garnish with extra cacao nibs if desired.
- ♥ Tropicado Smoothie (greytveganlife.wordpress.com)