The V R Shake

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Most of my recipes go straight onto my blog page, yet a few make it here so they can be easily seen and found because they're ones I feel are the most important, the sort of combinations I use every day.


This recipe will get a little wordy at times as I feel it's important to understand why the ingredients are there in order to impress upon you their benefits.


Before I start, here's two pieces of vague but, I think, essential advice which apply for all recipes, whoever gives them to you.


Firstly, leave yourself open for new discoveries as nothing is set in stone, certainly no recipe. A few years ago science told us that if we didn't eat our meat we wouldn't get our protein and if we didn't drink our milk we wouldn't get our calcium. We think now that neither of these things are true. Who's to say that in the coming years tumeric or bananas won't be proven to be bad for us or new combinations of foods or superfoods will be proved to be beneficial? Keep your ears open; we are humans and as a species we are still learning what's good or bad for us.


Secondly, eat organic. Yes it's sometimes expensive and you might not be able to afford as much of it as you're used to but you're paying for your food to be free of chemicals and poison. For instance, regular potatos are grown using up to twenty pesticides, six of which are proven to be potentially cancer causing. How and why this is allowed to happen is a subject for another debate about a lust for profit and population pressures but you'd do well to accept that if you want to do your best to avoid food that is bad for you, you need to buy organic (or grow your own food if you can!). Unless science pops up with excellent reasons why organic isn't good any more, of course, or we're sold another line by the marketing men...


As this is a recovery shake it's full of anti-inflamatories, good fats and a zingyness that's just what I need after a hard running-based workout.



A couple of cups of water or almond/rice milk.

I use this as I don't do dairy and even if I wasn't vegan, I still wouldn't do dairy. Dairy gives me a lot of phlegm and causes me to cough and spit a lot when I'm running. Now I've stopped consuming it I perform a lot better. Rice milk is easy to make. You just put one cup of cooked rice in the blender, then add 4 cups of water, a quarter teaspoon of sea salt and some olive oil if you like it thicker and agave syrup if you like it sweet. Then blend until smooth - a couple of minutes maximum - and it'll keep in the fridge for a week. Far cheaper than shop milk and just as good and tasty in it's own way.

3 or 4 lumps of frozen - or a quarter of a fresh - pineapple

Several strawberries and/or blueberries (optional)

A half inch chunk of ginger chopped up

Basically pineapple, ginger and all berries have excellent anti inflamatory properties, which you'll need to keep your joints in good shape. You can add more berries - up to a cupfull in total - if you can afford it. It's a great idea to use organic berries (read more about what fruit and veg to buy organic here. I've heard that it doesn't matter so much to use organic pineapple or bananas due to the way they're grown) and organic is not cheap, so I limit my usage to make a small pack lasts four or five days.

One frozen banana

Include this for loads of reasons, google it or see this research published in Science Daily. The older the better as the darker the spots, the more powerful the banana at killing cancer cells. Also, a ripe banana is eight times more effective in boosting the body’s immune system than a fresh banana is. A frozen banana will add a nice chill to the drink so try to freeze a batch of peeled bananas so you always have one ready for when you want to make your shake.

A few walnuts and almonds

These add a little protein and good fat. If you want to add a scoop of protein powder as well as/instead of these nuts then go ahead, although that could be prohibitively expensive if you get the good stuff (and I really don't advise getting anything but the good, organic stuff as the cheaper powder can be ridden with chemicals, and you're not making a healthy shake in order to fill yourself with poison).

A teaspoon of tumeric powder

A quarter teaspoon of black pepper

A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

The vinegar has good anti inflamatory properties and, like the lime, is something that's rather a cure all for colds. If you're feeling clogged up at all, this will help, as well as easing your joints. Tumeric has been known for years as the number one anti inflamatory in the world, it's also regularly touted as the best thing you can take if you've got various types of cancer and want to cure it the natural way.

Juice of a quarter wedge of lemon or lime

For Vitamin C and to combat the taste of the tumeric.

A tablespoon, or two, of Salba Chia seeds

Salba gives me all my omega oils, a host of vitamins and minerals and more of the protein and good fats that are vital to recovery. Learn more about Salba Chia here.

A teaspoon and a half of miso paste

This will help replace electrolytes lost during sweating. You can find miso paste in a shop's Asian/Japanese section.

A small pinch of black cumin seeds

Black cumin are also known as nigella seeds or kalonji seeds and are a powerful anti inflamatory and also a well known ancient cure for many other problems. Take care only to add a small amount. Many web pages advise taking tablespoons each day but my wife's family have been using them in their home cooking for generations and it's well known among people of eastern origin that you need to treat these seeds with respect. A little are very good for you, too many can have bad consequences.


And if you'd like a sweeter drink then add some maple/agave syrup or stevia sweetener. I try to steer clear from sweetening everything though so I often leave that out of mine. It's just there for taste, not nutritional value.


Now whizz the mixture up (except for the black cumin seeds, you add those after you pour into your glass) for a minute or so until smooth - add an extra cup of water halfway through the blending process to thin the mixture if you like it that way. You can leave the extra cup of water out to give you less fluid if you like a thicker shake. But I run hard and sweat a lot so I need to replace liquids, hence I add it.



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