We get asked often about smoothies. Do we recommend them? Is protein powder ok? What brand or type is best? What else should go in a healthy smoothie? Does it HAVE to contain kale?
For this month’s newsletter, we thought it might be helpful to dig into the basics of building a BALANCED smoothie: one that will keep you full, keep your blood sugar from spiking and provide your amazing body with the nutrients it needs.
For starters, we all know smoothies can be a total sugar bomb. Try a smoothie from a popular smoothie or health food joint and you may end up with 2 cups of fruit mixed with sweetened yogurt and orange juice. While there is nothing inherently bad about fruit, this smoothie is lacking protein and healthy fat, and may or may not have a significant amount of fiber. While delicious, this smoothie will likely send blood sugars skyrocketing and leave you hungry and crashing again in an hour or two.
A helpful way to think of building a balanced smoothie is with the loose structure of including 4 main elements.
- Healthy fat (avocado, Greek yogurt, cashews, nut butter, etc.)
- Fiber (berries, chia seeds, kale, spinach, etc.)
- Protein (high quality protein powder, etc.)
- Fresh veggies and/or berries (spinach, kale, romaine, ½ banana, etc.)
If you have all 4 elements, chances are you are going to be fueling your body well!
A note on protein powder: Try to reach for the simplest ingredient list you can, with all ingredients you can pronounce and understand. Aim for 20-30g of protein in 1 serving unless directed differently by your healthcare provider. Some protein powders we like: Be Well By Kelly, vital proteins or Vega Protein.
A note on fresh fruit: Try to limit the fruit content in your smoothie to 1/3 cup or less, while veggies are limitless!
Blueberry Muffin Protein Smoothie
1 serving vanilla protein powder (see above for recommendations)
2 tbsp. any nut butter
2 tbsp. chia seeds
¼ cup frozen blueberries
1-2 cups almond milk (start with 1 and add more to get smoothie to desired consistency)
Add all ingredients to high-powered blender and blend well to combine! Enjoy!