Life is busy, and sometimes it’s difficult to find the time to eat as well as we know we should. It’s recommended that we consume 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables each day. Most people consume far less. Fruits and vegetables are low in salt, high in vitamins and minerals, an excellent source of fiber, as well as being rich in nutrients, phytonutrients and antioxidants.
It’s recommended that we consume between 20 and 30 grams of fiber each day. The average person consumes less than 10 grams. Fibers are known to lower cholesterol, help prevent diverticulis, IBS and constipation, keep you full longer on fewer calories and slow down the absorption of sugar in the blood.
What if you could get almost a whole day’s worth of nutrients from breakfast alone, without cooking, at a reasonable price and in only 5 minutes? This is possible, by changing your breakfast from whatever it currently is, to a Smoothie.
There are tons of good combos to be made, but make sure your smoothies have:
- At least 20 to 30 grams of protein (quality protein powder (ideally without sugar or fructose but can be flavored ie vanilla can be a nice touch), some plain Greek yogurt, silken tofu or liquid pasteurized egg whites are good options. There are a lot of recipes online but most lack proteins, just add a neutral tasting protein to their suggested recipe)
- A couple of handfuls of Greens (If you are new to this, start with spinach for the first couple of days/weeks. It is the less bitter of the greens. When you find an enjoyable basic recipe you can try to mix in kale, which is super healthy. I like putting a spring of parsley too.)
- Some fats to increase the absorption of fat soluble vitamins and nutrients, like A, E and K (I like to put some avocado, coconut oil, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and / or nuts.
- Fruits to increase palatability (we want to keep the total sugar low. A banana is good for texture and sugar, plus 1 or 2 other fruits like a green apple, ½ cup of pineapple or mango or a cup of berries should be enough. I also add ½ peeled lemon or lime for the extra vitamin C and to prevent oxidation of my drink. If you have sugar in your protein powder and / or in your almond / soy /coconut milk, be careful, it adds up)
- Liquid to blend (Water, chilled green tea, milk (any type), pasteurized liquid egg whites, coconut water, silken tofu are all good options. Look for unsweetened types)
- Enough sweetness to make it taste good and feel like a treat. If the basic drink isn’t sweet enough for your taste buds, you can put a bit of raw honey, stevia, xylitol, erythriol, a splash of orange or pineapple juice or a sweetener of your choice.
- Enough calories to keep hunger at bay until lunch. 400 to 500 calories is a good target.
A basic recipe could be:
- 1 banana (can be frozen)
- 1-1 ½ cup of fruits (can be frozen)
- 1 cup of spinach/kale
- ½ peeled lemon
- 12 almonds
- 1 Tbsp of flaxseed meal
- A pinch of cinnamon
- Protein power (pea, rice or whey)
- 1 ½ cup of liquid
Throw everything in a blender, blend. Add some liquid to adjust consistency. Sweeten to taste, if needed.
450 calories, 15-18g of fibers, 35g of protein.
A good routine could be: get up make a nice cup of green tea, sip while getting ready. Before leaving for work: throw everything in the blender, blend for 30-60 seconds, transfer in a big smoothie cup with a straw and slowly sip on your way to work!