Hello there, summer health snacks!
Without wanting to jeopardise the situation, it’s actually starting to get vaguely warm in Scotland. Hot drinks are making way for their iced and syrup counterparts. In town I actually saw someone with an ice cream who didn’t look hypothermic. Scottish summer is attempting to break through with a muggy, slightly overcast, unexpectedly sweaty beginning of May. Runners are peeling off that final waterproof layer. Shorts are venturing suspiciously into the street.
Summertime is great because you can exercise outside. In my case this is no change, other than it is significantly more enjoyable than pre-April conditions. However, with hot weather and enjoyable, lengthier sessions, comes complacency in recovery. When I was younger, during summer I would be more at risk of injury because of neglecting food, recovery, warm downs and generally looking after myself. It’s so easy to paddle for three hours in the sun, absolutely exhaust myself, and jump straight back in the river afterwards to play in the whitewater.
Unless you're a competitive athlete though, there’s nothing stopping you from exercising and playing for hours on end. Still, one crucial thing that is extremely easy to neglect in warm weather is nutritional recovery. Hot weather makes me less hungry, and as a result I tend only to eat when I suddenly realise I’m famished. Maintaining a structure of meals before and after sessions is a massive help when it comes to keeping fit and healthy in warm weather.
Here's one of my absolute favourite summer health snacks. A completely guilt free protein ice cream recipe:
- 2 x Frozen bananas
- 1 scoop Protein Powder
- 1/2 scoop Organic Pre-Workout Energiser
- Handful of frozen berries
- Squeeze of honey
- Almond/oat/hazelnut/normal milk
Frozen bananas can be annoying when they cement themselves to the bottom of their container. I’d suggest getting a tupperware box, greasing it slightly with butter, and breaking the bananas into small chunks so they freeze quicker.
Put the frozen banana chunks into a blender. Add a scoop of Organic Coconut Whey Protein, and if it’s a pre-session ice cream, half a scoop of Pre-Workout Energiser. Top this up with frozen berries and a squeeze of honey.
Now, how much milk to add is crucial to how thick you want the consistency to be. I start off by pouring in enough milk to cover the bananas, then giving it a whiz. If it’s still too dry to blend properly, add a splash more at a time until the mix is thick and smooth. It should scoop in a way similar to normal ice cream! I like to chop up pistachios or add a few berries to sprinkle on top. Enjoy!
Amber Maslen is an elite canoe slalom athlete selected to represent Great Britain at the Under 23 World & European Championship Team 2016. Follow her progress on her blog where you can find more of her favourite summer health snacks.