Smoothies are definitely one of my favourite ways to kick off the day especially if you're a busy working mom. We can load these babies up with fruits, veggies, fibre, protein and fats to help keep you feeling fuller longer. They are also meant to be fast and efficient so that you can get the nutrition and energy you need without a lot of fuss.
One common issue I always hear about when people start dabbling in the smoothie pool, is that they are hungry one or two hours later. Unfortunately, this is usually because we haven't properly balanced our smoothie ingredients. If you've been using OJ or other juices in your smoothies and not adding any protein source, this could be one reason for the hunger and energy crash.
So I'm going to share with you my 5 Secrets to making your smoothies not only yummy and delicious, but also packed with healthy ingredients.
5 Secrets to Making Healthy Smoothies
1. Get Your Protein : This is always the first thing I talk about with patients. If you're going to make smoothies, you need to add a protein source. Protein helps to stabilize sugar balance in the body and helps to boost energy, mood and keeps you feeling satisfied. There are lots of different options out there such as Whey, Hemp, Rice, Pea, Soy and Beef. Ideally you want to look for a protein powder that offers you at least 15g of protein per serving. The source you choose depends on your goals and individual needs. Don't want to use a protein powder? You can add 3 tbsp of hemp hearts to give you 10g of protein.
Vegetarians- you'll want to look for a whey, hemp, soy, pea or rice blend.
Dairy free- look for beef, hemp, soy, pea or rice blend.
Paleo- look for a Beef Protein source (from ethically sourced cows )
2. Add Some Fibre: Fibre is another essential when it comes to building the perfect smoothing. Again, fibre helps to keep sugar levels balanced and avoid that mid morning crash. Great options are ground flax, hemp or chia seeds. You'll also get fibre from adding in any greens or fruits/veggies with skins.
Add 2 tbsp of ground flax to balance blood sugar as well as support balanced hormone levels.
3. Careful with the Fruit: This is an area where we can get carried away. Ideally you want to add some fruit but no more than a cup total of fruit. It's common for people to add in a cup of berries and then a whole banana. This is too much fruit and too big a load of carbohydrates. We want a balanced smoothie, so rule of thumb is to keep the fruit on the lower side.
Try 1/2 a cup of berries and 1/2 a banana
Make sure to pull out your measuring cups. We can get carried away with a free pour of fruit.
4. Load Up The Veggies: Veggies are a great addition to any smoothie because they add fibre and lots of healthy vitamins, nutrients, and phytonutrients to support energy and mood.
Try adding in a handful of spinach to your next smoothie. It's doesn't add much of a taste but packs a great health boost.
Cauliflower can be another awesome addition. It's got I3C (Indole-3-Carbinol), found in our cruciferous veggies, which is a hormone balancing compound and also aids in proper liver detoxification.
5. Spice It Up: A great addition to smoothies can be the use of herbs and spices to ramp up the flavour or add in some great health benefits.
Try adding ginger to your smoothie. Ginger helps improve digestion and is great at reducing inflammation. A thumb sized piece is all you need to warm up a smoothie even in the winter.
Cinnamon is another awesome addition. Cinnamon can help to stabilize blood sugar and adds a warming component on cool day.
Turmeric is another perfect herb to add to your smoothies. It can help reduce inflammation, pain and support balanced mood.
Those are my big 5 Secretes to building healthy smoothies. If you need some inspiration or ideas of how to incorporate these secrets into your daily routine, Join the 5 Day Smoothie Challenge. It details 5 simple recipes to get you started making healthy smoothies that focus on protein, fibre, fruit, veggies and spices.
Definetly try the Raspberry Zinger or Post Workout Green smoothies! Those are 2 of my personal favourites.