Just Keep Swimming Smoothy

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. Dory, Finding Nemo

For a very long time, I have loved swimming, despite not being an especially good or graceful swimmer. I just like it, plain and simple. I like how I feel weightless, almost like flying. I like how my body feels afterwords, both tired and relaxed at the same time. I like how it’s the only place where my million-thoughts-a-minute brain is not thinking or worrying about anything other than staying afloat and not hitting the person next to me. It’s as close to meditation as I’ll probably ever come.

The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.  John “The Penguin” Bingham, runner and writer

Swimming, for me at this age, comes with lots of barriers. When it comes to excuses, I am an Olympic athlete. I could write a whole post dedicated to my excuses, but instead I’ll just say this: ugly and unflattering Speedo bathing suit, expensive hair + chlorine = green hair, extra large head stuffed in a swim cap, painful goggles, looking like a fat, clumsy fool in public, and, uh, personal grooming. You want more? Oh, I’ve got more.

Recently I cast all my excuses aside and jumped back in the pool after a twenty year hiatus. All of those silly things that mattered so much to me mean nothing once I’m in the pool. It has truly been one of the best things I have done for myself, and my only regret is that I didn’t start sooner.

True nobility isn’t about being better than someone else. It’s about being better than you used to be. Dr. Wayne Dyer

I can never eat too much before a workout, but watch out after! Today I made a very unwise food choice for my post-swimming meal, so I decided to concoct something healthy and filling for tomorrow’s breakfast: a green smoothie! I have been on and off the smoothie train over the years, and I feel like the time is right to introduce them back into my world. Who knows what other good things will follow? In the meantime, I will just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.

Just Keep Swimming Smoothy

Serves 2

2 cups plain Greek Yogurt

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 cup uncooked spinach

1 pitted peach

1 teaspoon real vanilla

1 Tablespoon real maple syrup

Milk (optional)

Combine all in blender until smooth. Add milk to thin it out if desired.

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Review: Siggi’s Non-Fat Yogurt, Icelandic Style Skyr

Before I submit my first review for Siggi’s non-fat Icelandic style yogurt called skyr, there are a few things you should know about me. I am generally not a fan of non-fat yogurt. I believe that fat is a good and important part of the yogurt experience, so my general philosophy is “the more the better.” I am also not a fan of high sugar contents, both for health reasons and for taste reasons. And of course corn syrup has no place in anything other than pecan pie, so don’t get me started on that topic. Finally, I am a sucker for tasteful packaging. Truth be told, it was the packaging that led me to this yogurt.

Skyr is not just a turtleneck from the preppy glory days of the 1980s (loved those, by the way). Skyr is the traditional yogurt of Iceland, and it contains 3 to 4 times the amount of milk as a traditional cup of yogurt, but without the whey (milk-water), so it has the texture of a high fat yogurt without the fat. This yogurt is incredibly high in protein and low in fat and calories: 14 g protein, 0 g fat, 9 g sugar, 100 calories. If you are a person who likes high protein drinks after working out, two of these yogurts would give you more protein for less calories than Muscle Milk, plus the added bonus of containing ingredients your average second grader could pronounce: Skim Milk, Agave Nectar, Candied Ginger Orange Extract, Live Active Cultures, Vegetable Rennet. Okay, they might pronounce Agave like A-gave and not A-gah-vay, but we’ll cut them a break. Unless your second grader is in Mensa, I’m pretty sure they couldn’t pronounce most of the Muscle Milk ingredients.

But what about the taste? I’m not going to lie. If you like sweet yogurts (fake or otherwise), this probably won’t appeal to you. I don’t like sweet yogurts, and it was still a bit of an acquired taste. But by the end, I was pleasantly satisfied. Maybe next time I may add just a smidge of maple syrup to it, just the tiniest drop, or even pair it with some fresh fruit. I will definitely buy this again, and feel good about myself for doing so.