Smoothies to Fuel Your Next Walk

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While I can’t tell you which meal is the most important one of the day, I’ve always believed that it’s important to grab some breakfast before starting the day.  Through the years, I’ve gone through a number of different weekday breakfast food favorites.  Cereal and oatmeal have been regular go-to breakfasts—or, if I’m in a rush, I might grab a protein bar.  Lately, though, I’ve been playing with smoothie recipes.  Smoothies are a great way to get things like fruits and protein and maybe even veggies or a caffeine boost in the morning—all in a cup that you can take on the go. 

Now, I’m not a recipe blogger, but I do know the importance of fueling up before a walk, so I wanted to share just a few of my go-to smoothie recipes.  So if you’re looking for a quick and tasty way to kick off the day and load up on some nutrients before hitting your favorite trail, I’ve got you covered with some smoothie tips and recipes.


Something about tossing some ingredients in a blender and creating something delicious makes me feel like such a culinary artist.  But, just between you and me, it’s not that complicated.  All you need are a few basics.

A Blender

Back when I started experimenting with smoothies, I picked up a rechargeable personal blender.  It was great in theory—but not so much in practice.  Not only was the single-serving cup too small to keep my stomach from growling by mid-morning, but the motor really didn’t like things like…ice.  And it wasn’t long before the battery would die mid-blend, and I’d have to take a break to charge it before finishing up.  So I tossed out the mini blender and switched over to my beloved Ninja blender.  It’s bigger and stronger, and I can just plug it in and go without worrying about it dying on me before my smoothie is ready.

Of course, mixing up a smoothie every morning means washing a smoothie pitcher (and blades) every day—which, I’d admit, is why I sometimes end up heating up some oatmeal in the morning instead of mixing up a smoothie.  I can be lazy like that—and washing blender blades on a daily basis can be maddening.  But it really is worth a little effort.

The Basic Ingredients

When you’re mixing up a smoothie, you just need a few basic ingredients.  You can mix and match and change it up to fit your tastes and your mood.

Base: You need to start with some kind of base.  Typically, that means some kind of fruit (or even veggies).  Bananas are pretty common smoothie bases.  They’re readily available, they’re affordable, they’re good for you, and they taste great, too (unless you’re like my dad and can’t stand the thought of bananas—then you’ll want to find something else…like strawberries or pineapples).  I cut mine up ahead of time and put them in serving-size bags in the freezer.  Then, not only are they ready to go in the morning, but I won’t have to add ice for extra thickness.

Liquid: Fruits and veggies are great, but on their own, they’re pretty heavy.  So you’ll want to blend in some liquid to thin out the mixture.  Some people use a fruit juice (like orange or apple).  I tend to use milk, but I often add in some plain Greek yogurt, too.  You might even want to blend in some brewed coffee.

Sweetener: Fruits are generally nice and sweet, but I’ll sometimes add in a little extra, as needed.  Instead of sugar, I often drizzle in some honey or maple syrup.

Add-ins: Once you’ve got your basics, you can have fun with the extras—things like vanilla or cinnamon or cocoa to add extra flavor.  Or maybe some protein powder or peanut butter for extra protein.  The sky’s the limit!  Just try whatever sounds good, and play with it until it tastes just right.

In my playing, I’ve definitely tried some not-so-great mixes.  But I’ve also come up with a few of my own favorites.  There’s quite a bit of variety here, so I’ve got something tasty for every mood.


If you love starting your day off with some fruit and yogurt, this is a great tropical blend.  You might even want to add some coconut milk to make you feel like you’re lounging on a tropical beach somewhere instead of trying to motivate yourself to get up and get moving on just another dreary Monday morning. 

This super-fruity smoothie makes a whole lot of smoothie goodness.  I start with a standard size Tervis and just keep refilling.

1 ½ bananas (frozen)
½ cup mango (frozen)
½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
½ t vanilla
¾ cup milk (whichever kind is handy) – add more as needed for desired thickness


Elvis Presley was known for his fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches—which is why I always think of him when I mix this one up.  I can just imagine him in the Graceland kitchen, dressed in his favorite sequined robe, humming “Hound Dog” or “Blue Suede Shoes” while blending up his favorite concoction—with coffee for an extra morning boost.  Because…coffee.

Peanut butter and bananas always seemed like such an odd mix to me—until I tried it in a smoothie.  As it turns out, it tastes great, so I don’t question it. 

This one makes just a little more than the standard size Tervis.

1 ½ bananas (frozen)
¾ cup cold brewed coffee
2 T peanut butter powder (or your favorite nut butter)
¼ cup milk (whichever kind is handy) – or more as needed for desired thickness


I wasn’t sure how to feel about adding spinach to my morning smoothie.  I mean, I’m all in favor of greens…in salads.  But smoothies?  I was skeptical.  Surprisingly, though, adding baby spinach to this smoothie made no real difference in the taste and only a slight difference to the texture—but I have some serious texture issues, and this didn’t bother me much at all.  Instead, it added a whole bunch of vitamins to my regular smoothie.  It’s got fruits and leafy greens and protein—plus the added antioxidants found in cinnamon.  And I think that’s a pretty great way to start the day!

This recipe almost makes a little bit more than a standard Tervis cup.

1 ½ banana (frozen)
¼ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
¾ cup milk
2 T peanut butter powder (or your favorite nut butter)
2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach leaves
1 T honey (or to taste)
1 t cinnamon (or to taste)

Peanut Butter Cup Variation

Add an additional 2 T of cocoa powder, and swap out the cinnamon for 1 t of vanilla for an extra chocolatey boost that will make you forget that you’re actually kicking off your day with fruit and veggies.

No matter what your morning routine looks like—whether it’s getting the kids out the door before heading to the office or preparing for a morning workout—smoothies are relatively quick to mix up, and they’re sweet and satisfying and delicious.  It’s a quick and easy way to fill up on a bunch of nutrients to feel your morning workout—or just another hectic morning.

Where are my fellow smoothie mixologists?  Let’s hear your favorite recipes!


Kristin has been hitting the trail (or the treadmill) for a walk almost every day for the past several years, and she recently completed her first half marathon. She loves sunny fall days, cushy walking shoes, and coconut caramel iced coffee from Dunkin.

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