I have slowly been making the transition to vegetarianism.  Right now, I consider myself a flexitarian (what?!? – it’s basically a casual (or lazy) vegetarian, where you have 4-6 meatless days a week).  In most cases, it’s very easy for me.  I have little trouble giving up chicken and beef.  I have more trouble giving up seafood and bacon.  So, basically, I don’t give it up completely – I just eat less.

Working out and vegetarianism isn’t particularly easy.  Especially, when I really begin training for my Olympic triathlons and half marathons.  In order to prepare, I have been reading a great deal from Matt at No Meat Athlete.  Matt says, “you only need to eat healthy twice during the day.  While you’ll certainly eat more than twice a day, just two healthy meals make it pretty hard to screw up the rest of them.”  Those two times are a smoothie in the morning and a salad in the afternoon.

I have been taking to his advice and starting my day with a smoothie, and boy o’ boy, is it delicious…

For 1 16oz or so smoothie:

– 1/2 banana

– small handful frozen mango

– 1 tablespoon ground flax seed

– 1-2 tablespoons protein powder – mine is vanilla hemp.

– 1 table spoon hemp oil

– enough water ’till it reaches the desired thickness

So far, it fills me up well into the morning, when I sometimes have a small snack.  But more over, the snack I choose is usually healthier: yogurt, fruit, raw carrots, or a little trail mix.  I definitely have more energy throughout the day than when I had an egg sandwich and coffee for breakfast.  I don’t even miss my latte – Sorry, Starbucks!

Furthermore, I find myself taking the stairs at work and finding time to take the dog for a longer walk.  I have yet to lose any pounds, but I certainly am not gaining any.  I have also been trying the salads for lunch or in the afternoon.  I don’t have the same cravings for unhealthy snacks or meals filled with meat.  These smoothies are easing my transition and I don’t feel like I am missing anything.

I can’t be sure it’s the smoothie, but with the holidays here, I need all the help I can get….