Pomegranate Beet Smoothie and Hill Country Half Marathon Win

Pomegranat - thefitfork.comFirst, let’s fruit chat, because food always comes first — even before winning races! Anyway, it’s that time of year – pomegranates are on parade at the grocery store now through early winter!  This big red fruit is a precious member of my produce bin, those little arils inside look like ruby-red jewels and razzle dazzle with sparkling flavor. In addition to big flavor, pomegranates are a superfood offering an abundant supply of antioxidants, potassium and vitamin C – and are also a good source of dietary fiber.

Pomegranate at Fresh Summit and TheFitForkThis past weekend at Fresh Summit (Produce Marketing Association) I got to see all the pomegranates in every imaginable way – from whole fruit and pre-packaged arils for convenience to a variety of juices and sweet snacks. The pomegranates I see in my market are about the size of a softball, but some of the beauties being shown off at this produce convention were almost the size of bowling balls.

Pomegranates are picked and delivered ripe, so pomegranates can be purchased and enjoyed right away.  A tip to take home the best in the bushel is to look for a pomegranate that feels heavier than it looks – a good indicator that the inside is loaded with juicy flesh. You can keep whole pomegranates on the counter for a week or so and in the product bin of your fridge for up to three months! However, once the arils are removed, it’s best to enjoy them within three days. In addition to the smoothie recipe I’m sharing below, pomegranate arils are also excellent sprinkled on salads, yogurt and mixed into sauces.

Pomegranate Beet Smoothie Pomegranates are juicy good news for everyone, and maybe even more so for individuals with an active lifestyle.   Some research suggests the polyphenols in the juice of pomegranates can help offset delayed-onset muscle fatigue in trained athletes. Beets (also in the featured smoothie recipe) are high in nitrates which can help reduce the oxygen cost of exercise and enhance efficiency. This is why I’ve always loved a beet juice smoothie — check out my Sweet Beet Smoothie.  Plus, with the quality protein found whatever protein powder you use (or the Core Power I like), perfect for pre-workout fueling and post-exercise recovery, this Pomegranate, Blueberry, Beet Protein Smoothie is a winner in every way!

Edit: I recently came across Beet Juice Powder — I love it! It’s more economical than buying pre-made juice and waaaaaaay less messing than juice beets at home.  

Pomegranate Beet Smoothie Pomegranate, Blueberry, Beet Protein Smoothie: In a blender, add 12 ounces vanilla almond milk, one scoop protein powder (or sub one bottle of Core Power Vanilla for milk and protein powder), ½ cup pomegranate juice, ¼ cup pomegranate arils, ½ frozen blueberries, and ½ cup shredded fresh beet. Blend until smooth, adding ice as needed to achieve desired consistency. 

Jennifer Fisher winner 2015 Hill Country Half MarathonI also want to give you the quick recap on the Hill Country Trivium on October 18, 2015 – there was a 10k, a half marathon and full marathon. I ran the half marathon and the recap — It. Was. Hilly. I am no stranger to hills, we have plenty in my neighborhood and I’ve been an ambassador for the hilly Zooma Women’s Race Series in the Texas “Hill Country.”  This race I would say was comparable in hills to Zooma, but with an extra bad boy that started at mile 4 and pretty much lasted through mile 5 – or so it seems. It was rough, it was tough, but I got up – I wish I would have looked back over my shoulder to see the challenge of the climb (which reduced me to walking more than once). I used the mantra from the Unbroken story more than once — “If you can take it, you can make it”!

Jennifer Fisher Hill Country Half Marathon Course REcord in AltraSo, I endured the hills and the suffering and the story ended well – I WON the half marathon as the first female finisher and also the FIRST finisher male or female. Yup, I chicked the guys – knowing I was probably going to pull it off was all that kept my lactic-acid, jello’d out legs going in the final two miles — that and my awesome The Ones from Altra Running (light for speed yet just enough cushion in the roomy toe box to keep feet happy coming down the steep hills).   Also a fun touch at the race – everyone got a slice of pie at the finish!

Check out my friend Jill Conner’s blog for great fitness and life inspiration —
like Tips for a Productive To-Do List! I so need that!


Do you like running in hills? What’s the hilliest race you’d finished? Pomegranates — do you buy the whole fruit or the pre-packaged arils? Please share in the comments, XOXO – Jennifer

Chocolate Maca Mint Chip Protein Smoothie – Hoping #FTW

Chocolate Maca Mint Chip Protein SmoothieIt is still smoothie time in the great ATX — it’s been in the high 90s this week! It’s so hot you can’t leave a bag of chocolate chips in the car for an hour — lesson learned. That being said, I’ll drink a smoothie (and eat deformed chocolate) pretty much anytime of the year . . . it’s such a quick and easy way to make a nourishing meal to take on the go.Chocolate Maca Mint Chip Protein Smoothie

Today, I’ve blended up a Chocolate Maca Mint Chip Smoothie for a slurpable, sweet and super healthy start to the day. Who doesn’t love a chocolate protein smoothie, it’s like drinking a milkshake for breakfast. I’ve added maca powder, ’cause that’s how I mix! Maca, a root vegetable indigenous to Peru, is a natural ingredient prized for thousands of years for its ability to boost stamina, endurance and hormonal balance. It includes vital nutrients such fatty acids, fiber, proteins, carbohydrates and minerals. Sign me up for all of this. Thank you maca powder!
maca, mint and chocolateTo add a flavor lift of mint, there are two options. You can use sprigs of fresh mint, which grows so abundantly for me in the summer. But, my fresh mint is looking pretty sad, so my tried-and-true swap in is Instantly Fresh Mint from Litehouse Foods — it’s dehydrated mint that is recipe ready any time of the year. One jar has the equivalent of three bunches of mint inside. Look for it in the produce section of your grocery store in little herb-sized jars — ask the produce manager.

Chocolate Maca Mint Smoothie

Chocolate Maca Mint Chip Smoothie

  • 8 ounce unsweetened almondmilk
  • 1/3 frozen large banana
  • 1 scoop protein powder of choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons maca powder
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Instantly Fresh Mint (or fresh leaves)
  • 2 teaspoons mini chocolate chips

Add all ingredients to blender, adding ice as needed. Blend until smooth. Makes 1 serving!


So yeah, I’m going to me needed all the energy, endurance and stamina I can get — I have a bunch of races and competitions coming up. I signed up last minute to run the Hill Country Half Marathon in Marble Falls, Texas thus weekend — it’s hill out there y’all. When they keep focusing on the words “scenic,” “beautiful” and “stunning views,” you know that those hills are going to be tough. Also, I’ve got the Spartan Beast in Dallas, it’s an approximate 14 mile run with 30-ish obstacles. I’ve been having so much fun training for obstacle course races, it’s a nice shake up from the traditional marathons and road races I do. Then, of course, San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon in early December.

Celebrating with friends at the end of Spartan Race.It’s not too late to join me! Dallas Beast, October 31 and November 1, 2015, Sign Up Now for this Reebok Spartan Race! Save 10% and use discount code FINISH at checkout!

What are YOU drinking this week? What are YOU racing this month? Please share in the comments below – XOXO Jennifer