Staying in shape can be an arduous task whether you are just beginning or maintaining. It requires discipline, commitment, and focus. I mean, let’s be honest - what’s more difficult than having to drag yourself out of bed from a particularly feel-good sleep?! Waking up, getting dressed, and actually going to the gym - three things that I have proven most difficult to do (at first!).
Or, let’s talk about diet. One minute, you can be all about healthy eating; but after an intense workout, when you’re all zapped, oh, what would you give for that ultimate comfort food, am I right? Staying faithful to my diet is one thing I find most challenging in my weight loss journey. Being the certified foodie that I am, having to quash my cravings is a perpetual battle. But because of what I’m about to share with you today, I have found a way to make things more bearable.
All we need is a little motivation... among other things.
I’ve been working with my trainer for a little over a year now. There had been days when I would be totally in the zone, but then there were also days when my punches were borderline personal, too. Lol! Being a veteran trainer, he knew whenever I’m in my workout element or not. There was one particularly difficult day in my life when I pushed myself to just exercise the sadness out. But he noticed that I (the foodie) needed a little more pick-me-upper. At the end of our workout, he brandished a tumbler and made me drink it. I reluctantly did and it was the best smoothie I have ever had in my life. It took me two weeks worth of workout before he completely gave me the complete recipe of this magic potion! (See what he did there? Getting me motivated to come exercise for two weeks straight!)
Well, if we’re being honest, basically anything could go into a smoothie. What made this concoction so much better and different is the way it made me feel after I drank it. It was as if I could do another round of work...well, maybe another half a round - fine, maybe another go at the treadmill. It made me feel good. He began his recipe by telling me the obvious ingredients in his recipe.
1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries
1 cup of almond milk (If you’re on a strict diet, water is just fine too)
1 cup spinach, kale, or any leafy greens of your choice
A dash of salt
1 tablespoon cacao powder or nibs (Because no smoothie is ever complete without that chocolate-y taste)
At this point, I was convinced that the recipe was complete. I was ready to try making it. However, my trainer kept saying otherwise. He said I was still missing a key ingredient. By the end of our workout, he said what gave me that boost of strength was none other than a shot or a tablespoon of L-Carnitine. Back then, it was my first time to experience what L-Carnitine could truly do for me.
So, let’s break down the reasons my coach chose these chief ingredients.
- Strawberries - Did you know that strawberries contain more vitamin C than oranges? They are low in calorie, high in vitamin B6, K, fiber, folic acid, potassium and amino acids. Thus, they also aid in reducing inflammations.
- Banana - Just like strawberries, bananas are also rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6 - all of which support heart health. As you know, when we work out, we sweat. That is why we lose electrolytes, such as potassium. Bananas quickly replenish this and helps us avoid injuries and cramps.
- Almond milk - This dairy-free (Hooray for the lactose-intolerant!) milk has significantly lower calories than cow’s milk. Although it may not be as nutritious as cow’s milk, it also rich in several vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin E. it helps reduce and maintain optimal blood pressure, reduces risk of osteoporosis, and boosts immune system.
- Kale - For my version of this smoothie, I decided to go with kale. A cup of kale contains only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. This key ingredient is so important for those who are working out to lose weight because it helps optimize digestion with its high fiber content. Apart from fiber, kale is also filled with sulfur, making it a good element for detoxing. Another interesting fact about kale is that it has more iron per calorie than beef. Iron is responsible for the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.
and the star of the smoothie…
I’m sure most of you who have been trying to lose weight have heard about L-Carnitine one way or another.
What is L-Carnitine?
L- Carnitine is an amino acid dubbed as the body’s ferry that transports long-chain fatty acids from the blood into the mitochondria or the powerhouse. The mitochondria is where nutrients are transformed into energy. Now, why do we need L- Carnitine? Can’t the body do the energy transformation on its own? Actually, no. If the body has inadequate L- Carnitine, most fats do not gain entry into the mitochondria. L- Carnitine works it magic whether you are exercising or resting, but of course, it is most effective when you are working out. Hence, its instant and one-of-a-kind effect on me during my session.
L-Carnitine benefits those who are ready to work hard. For those who work out on a regular basis, it induces fatigue resistance. In conjunction to this, it also increases oxygen supply to the muscles which helps prevent injuries and even post-workout pains and tenderness.
My go-to L-Carnitine has always been from Nutra Botanics. For each tablespoon of L-Carnitine, you get 5000 mg of the purest and highest grade of L- Carnitine for that much needed boost you want for every workout session.
So, for those days when you need extra motivation or pick-me-upper, try this very simple recipe. It’s simple, quick to make and the ingredients are very easy to find!