Like Santa, minus the beard

After four years of seeing posts about Lindsay’s annual vegan care package swap floating around the web, my curiosity got the best of me and I signed up.

I have no idea what took me so long, but I’m glad I finally participated! The idea behind the swap is to be paired up with someone in a different part of the country, get to know one another, and then send each other care packages.  Sort of like a Secret Santa, except you receive a gift you like. It happened to land within the Vegan Month of Food, which was a very nice touch. My care package swap partner was Tanya, and the box of goodies she sent was so good that Nina took off with half of it.

A mug, an owl, and a box of maple sugar candies are now the personal effects of my daughter. A box of maple sugar candies, you ask? Why yes, of course, they’re tucked under the owl’s wing. They’re the Tootsie Pop of the new millennium.

Everything else in the box seems to be perfectly timed with my upcoming race. The coffee will be cold brewed for my race day breakfast smoothie; the granola and multigrain hot cereal are breakfast staples; the wasabi nori has brought my bowls of miso-sesame sticky rice to new heights; the raw vegan protein powder worked so well in a recovery smoothie that I’ve picked up more packets to take with me on the road; and best of all, the chocolate almond butter packets are the perfect size for adding to the aforementioned race day breakfast smoothie.

Thank you, Tanya!

Marathon smoothie

For any runners out there who are wondering the how’s and when’s of this smoothie, here goes: if I’m running less than six miles, I drink only this smoothie, about 40 minutes before my run; if I’m running six or more miles, I pair it with a small pot of yogurt and fruit, two slices of this French toast, and two tablespoons of preserves, about 120 minutes before my run.

2 small bananas, cut into chunks and frozen
2 ounces cold brewed coffee concentrate
8 ounces almond milk
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 packet (1.15 oz) Justin’s Chocolate Amond Butter Spread

Blend everything until smooth, adding additional almond milk if needed. Drink immediately.

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