“I felt like a seed in a pomegranate. Some say the pomegranate was the real Apple of Eve, fruit of the womb, I would eat my way into perdition just to taste you.” – Jeanette Winterson
Pomegranates are in season. Sweet, Succulent, Sexy, Seductive Pomegranates. Exciting the imaginations and passions of cultures and artists for centuries, pomegranates are a fruit of legend. Regarded as a symbol of prosperity, ambition, fertility; A representation of the heart, of passion, lust, and desire. The fruit of Kings and Gods. Oh, baby. This protein shake is gonna be epic.
Besides its cultural prowess, the pomegranate is also a nutritional powerhouse. The juicy seeds, also known as “arils” are loaded with fiber, viatamins C and K, folate, and a bit of potassium for good measure. The actual seed inside of the arils contains some of those delicious essential fatty acids you’ve been hearing about. Believe the hype. You need those ESSENTIAL fatty acids, so make sure you eat the whole aril. Don’t spit out the seed, eat it! That deep, crimson color of the pomegranate juice, spoken of so passionately in novels and poems, can only signify one thing: antioxidants. So rich, and deep is the color that the antioxidant value is said to be three times that of green tea. A plethora of health benefits accompanies this magical fruit which include:
- Reduction in inflammation, making this great pre- and post-workout.
- Lowers blood pressure and helps with arthritis
- Promising studies in the area of erectile dysfunction (it wasn’t a cultural symbol of fertility for thousands of years by accident)
- Helps general blood flow, which resulted in a promising study that found enhanced exercise performance… EAT AND LIFT!
Seeing as how this is my first Protein Shake post on Eat and Lift, let’s hit the basics.
Training For Warriors: Seven Steps to a Super Shake
Start with Ice
Add a fruit from the Warrior 20
Toss in some spinach or a Greens Powder
A scoop of your chosen protein powder
Select a nut or seed
Select your liquid
Choose a topper
With this basic template, you can complete any shake you want to make, but be warned, protein shakes can be used as a meal replacement, or an even better use is as a post-workout drink once a day only. Never use more than one protein shake a day to replace a meal. Eat real food. Don’t rely on drinking shakes all day as part of a “diet”. You will end up burning muscle instead of fat in the long run, and your body will start failing to absorb nutrients from constant shakes. Bottom line: EAT and Lift. There is no DRINK and Lift.
1/2 Cup, Pomegranate Arils
1 Orange, Seeded
1/2 TBS Chia Seeds
1 Scoop Protein Powder
4 Veggie Ice Cubes
3/4 Cup Green Tea
Cinnamon on Top
I combined the ice and spinach steps of the above Super Shake. Got some veggies in your fridge that are about to go bad? Great, stick them in your blender with a bit of water and blend it all up until smooth. Pour the veggie liquid into some ice cube trays and place it in the freezer. I use these in all my shakes.
These cubes contain spinach, as well as some carrots. Bonus carrots. If you don’t love bonus carrots, I don’t think I love you. Now you are able to sneak in some extra veggies, and seriously, that is ALWAYS a good idea. There is a vitamin by the name of Provitamin A. Provitamin A helps your liver process protein. Without Provitamin A, your liver can only process and absorb a fraction of the amount of protein that you are consuming daily, and now your gains will suffer.
Don’t allow gains to suffer. Eat your vegetables.
With all the fruit in these shakes, you won’t ever notice the presence of these veggies anyways. So do it.
Now, combine the ingredients in your blender in this order:
- Veggie Ice
- Pomegranate Arils
- Protein Powder
- Chia Seeds
- Green Tea
The protein powder I almost always use is Garden of Life’s Raw Protein. I just like the quality. It’s one of the best powders out there. If you have another protein powder that you prefer, then go for it. Just make sure that whatever protein powder you use is free of any added artificial sweeteners or, good god, sugar. There is enough sugar in the fruit, you don’t need your protein powder to be sweet, too. A plain Whey protein is perfect.
The rest of the recipe is really complicated so get out your pen and paper, and get ready to jot some notes down.
Let me know if you have any question on that last bit.
Shake a little bit of cinnamon over the top after you pour it into your shaker cup. Do you feel fancy now? You should.
The next 8-week challenge is coming in January. Allow me to assist you in sticking to those new year resolutions: