Anita Lopez is a former Denver newscaster whose passion and lifestyle have been about total body health and optimal performance. As a dedicated cyclist, she participated in the 1988 Olympic Trials in the 40k time trial. In addition she has been a runner, marathoner and triathlete – all while balancing her work and family responsibilities. Always, she has focused on practicing a healthy and strong relationship to food and nutrition in the pursuit of ideal fitness and performance.
After years of rehabilitating complex back issues, Lopez managed to beat doctors’ predictions and return to swimming , biking and running without surgery and virtually pain free. She says she did it through practicing yoga regularly and fueling her body with high quality foods. After her self cure, she has become, for want of a better word, a life and fitness coach to cyclists, triathletes and people recovering from injuries – with a focus on high quality nutrition to aid recovery and improve overall function.
So when Canadian pro triathlete Tenille Hoogland landed on Lopez’ doorstep in Boulder this summer trying to recover from various injuries and an overall feeling of tiredness, theirs was an immediate, happy collaboration. Soon, Hoogland was following Lopez’ regimen of cellular hydration and power packed nutrition with nutrient dense foods she whipped up from organic, holistic groceries easily found in Boulder. Soon, rather than shelling out money for over the counter energy bars, Anita engaged Tenille in a full day in the kitchen “chopping, grinding, rolling, smashing, laughing, learning and eating together” some complex concoctions she calls Bliss Powerballs, Mango-Gogi Energy and Superfood Protein squares that Hoogland considers the perfect food for long rides and runs.
While these bars are tasty and might seem to have some commercial promise, Lopez is content with leaving them as personal recipes to be hand-made by warm-hearted friends accompanied by laughter.
Anyone wanting to sample Anita’s recipes might try her daily morning smoothie. It includes easily absorbed plant-based protein, healthy fat, natural sweetness, and is packed with essential Omega 3 Fatty acids.
1-2 Bananas for sweet/flavoring
1 Tbsp Spirulina
¼ cup shredded (non sweetened) organic coconut flakes or 1 Tbsp of Organic cold pressed Coconut oil
1 Tbsp of chia, hemp or just ground flax seeds (or a combo of two of the seeds)
1-2 tsp Organic raw cacao powder
1tsp Vanilla for flavor
1 tsp of Agave nectar if you have a super sweet tooth
Alkaline, micro-clustered water for enhanced nutrient absorption
(Add: blueberries, mango, strawberries or other fruit if you like)
It should be yummy, but not incredibly sweet. Try to keep ingredients to 5 or 6. Vanilla doesn’t count.
Photos © Timothy Carlson
Anita points out the nutritional value of dates
The start of the Superfood recipe
The essentials of raw power – organic nuts and agave nectar.
The ground-up, power-packed value of sunflower seeds, coconut and gogi berries.
Dates also hold or help 'stick' ingredients together to form Superfood bars. Anita suggests using sugars naturally found in foods.
Everything was made using two appliances – a food processor and a Vitamix blender.
The Vitamix is a must. It can grind almonds into usable powder.
Tenille stirs up some finely ground almonds.
Sunflower seeds have essential minerals and B-vitamins. Seeds can be preferable to nuts for those allergic to nuts.
Anita watches Tenille to make sure she has the right technique.
Superfoods include Bliss Powerballs, and Mango Gogi Energy Balls and Superfood Protein Squares,
Anita and Tenille with the finished Superfood.