Happy, Happy Thursday blog readers.
Thank goodness it’s Friday tomorrow. This week has thankfully flown by. Evan and I are thrilled to be heading home for a whole week tomorrow. The perk of still being in school means holidays are a guaranteed break from work. We will be hitting the road shortly after class tomorrow…
Lately it’s been getting colder but my desire for breakfast smoothies has grown stronger. What’s easier than throwing a bunch of healthy stuff in a blender and then having a drinkable and nutritious breakfast? Answer: Nothing.
I have been sitting down with some students at work as well as family/friends to discuss how to make a good smoothie. It appears that many feel overwhelmed about how to make a “good” smoothie. Sure, you can purchase smoothies from convenience stores and even fast food restaurants. Unfortunately, those are typically packed with sugar. You know where sugar gets stored? …as belly fat. I personally will be consuming enough sugar in Christmas cookies. So, I’ll try and skip it in my breakfast.
You have also probably seen depictions on Pinterest or other sources that seem to complicate the issue….
….What? This is a result of googling “how to make a smoothie” This girl seems nice and all….but how is that helpful?
I hope to provide a quick and simple template to allow you to implement into your own lifestyle. Additionally, I will tag recipes that I have previously shared on my blog as a way to round up recipes.
Step 1: Start with a base
- Fat-Free, Plain Greek Yogurt
Don’t roll your eyes. I get it. This stuff tastes like sour cream by itself. The fruit you add will sweeten it up enough that you won’t even notice. Trust me, vanilla or flavored yogurt is just adding unnecessary calories and sugar. And we know where sugar gets stored… Additionally, greek yogurt is less processed and has more protein (which will keep you fuller longer!)
Step 2: Add your frozen fruit
- Frozen anything–berries, mangos, cherries, bananas, peach, kiwi, pineapple, pumpkin.
The great thing about the Midwest is that people are nice. The bad thing about the Midwest is the weather. Fresh Berries in November? I’d rather not pay $11 for a three inch carton, thanks. BUT frozen fruit? Lasts longer, just as tasty and equally as nutritious! Score!
Step 3: Add your veggies
- Throw in a handful of organic spinach or kale
For all you nutrition novices out there, spinach is tasteless in a smoothie. I swear, put it in there. If you can taste it, I’ll send you $5 for trying! If you’re feeling daring, add some kale. You can taste it a little bit, but it adds a nutrition kick that is unbeatable. (Hint: think smooth complexion and healthy eyes from the Vitamin A)
Step 4: Add your milk
- Throw in a few splashes of your favorite milk (any kind)
Step 5: Include some *healthy* fat
- Adding a tablespoon of a nut butter or some raw nuts can thicken the smoothie up as well as keep you fuller longer. Eating fat does not make you fat. Rather, eating too much of anything will make you fat.
Step 6: Nutritional booster (Anything on top of this is just overachieving. But, I believe in you! Do it!)
- Ground flax seed–easy to find in your grocer’s natural section. Cheap and super good for you. It contains omega-3’s which is difficult for most individuals to consume. I recently had a doctor tell me that omega-3’s have been known to fight the winter blues….cue the Mid westerns rejoicing.
- Protein powder– this gets tricky. I get nervous walking into supplement stores. I feel like I immediately am “outed” by my lack of huge biceps or knowledge of complex supplement terms. You can always use a little cottage cheese if you’re not into supplements. Or you can research non-scary protein powders. My favorite is from Trader Joe’s. It looks like this… (Image Source)
- A little stevia for sweetness. Stevia is one of the only artificial sweeteners that has been shown to not have sketchy effects on things such as our pancreas and hormone functioning.
Blend together above ingredients and voila! I hope you enjoy! You can mix and match with different combinations to find the best fit for you. These smoothies will typically run around a few hundred calories and keep you full until lunch (or at least mid-morning snack). Plus, they incorporate low-glycemic carbs, healthy fats, and protein so your whole body feels in balance.
Linked below are recipes I have featured in the past…take a look around and as always, let me know if you have questions.
- Key Lime & White Chocolate Protein Smoothie
- Summer Mango Smoothie
- Triple Berry Threat Smoothie
- Blueberry Mango Smoothie
Comment below and let me know what your favorite smoothie is!
Thanks for reading. 🙂