I feel weak-kneed. Pale-faced. Clammy-palmed.
I feel the need to designate a lucky pair of underwear. Maybe I’ll choose the green and white striped ones. Or maybe plain black, to reflect the seriousness of the occasion.
I feel it, deep inside the pit of my stomach. The feeling one gets while being pulled over by a police car. The feeling one gets when, upon arriving at an exotic vacation destination, they can’t remember if they closed the garage door. The feeling one gets when lost, driving on an obscure, crude road named “Last Chance Lane.”
It’s the bad kind of warm fuzzy: anxiety.
It hovers over your head, like a deranged Tinkerbell taunting you from just-beyond-reaching distance. Oh, how I wish I could smack this Tinkerbell. But it just won’t go away.
I’m very anxious about a race I’m running tomorrow. You’d think, having raced many times before, the feeling would cease and give way to desensitization. Unfortunately, pre-race nerves have always haunted me. The doubt and fear builds up inside like carbon dioxide in a shaken can of pop.
Once the gun goes off to start the race, there’s a millisecond of solace followed by a millisecond of panic. Finally the anxiety culminates and bursts like a bubble. But my survival instinct also realizes, Holy crap, I’m actually doing this. All of the thinking, the twisting myself in knots, will have been for naught. In the end, the race will be run, and I’ll do the best I can given the circumstances.
Funny how that works, isn’t it?
Nevertheless, I’ve found a temporary treatment for pre-race nerves. It’s hardly scientific and doesn’t involve an ounce of medication (unless you consider banana chocolate smoothies to be medicine, in which case they sure beat liquid grape Tylenol).
Perhaps the secret lies in the therapeutic pulsing of the blender, or the smoothie’s tasty resemblance to Starbuck’s banana chocolate Vivannos. Or maybe I’m just a sucker to the placebo effect.
Regardless, I’m calm. For now.
Banana Chocolate Smoothie
- 1 cup crushed ice (~120 g)
- 3/4 cup light chocolate soymilk
- 1 ripe banana, frozen in small chunks
- 1 scoop good-quality chocolate whey protein powder
- 1 – 2 Tablespoons Stevia
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 – 3/8 teaspoon xanthan gum* (such as this)
- Add protein powder, Stevia, cocoa powder, and xanthan gum to blender first. Then add ice, banana, and chocolate soymilk.
- Blend, pulsing and/or scraping down sides of blender if needed, until smooth.
- Serve immediately.
* Note: For a less thick consistency, use 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum. For a very thick consistency, use 3/8 teaspoon.
** Variations: Alternatively, try adding chocolate coffee creamer, instant coffee granules, and/or chocolate syrup.