When I begin a nutrition consultation, I normally ask what a typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner consist of. When the client says “I make a smoothie for breakfast”, my first thought is SUGAR BOMB!!! With any healthy food, too much of a good thing really is too much. Smoothies consisting of multiple fruits, sweetened dairy, and natural sweeteners can be the equivalent of dessert for breakfast. Most people think they are doing something healthy by filling their blender full of seemingly healthy things. When in reality they are filling those fat cells full of extra sugar. Follow my tips below for creating a healthy and nutritious smoothie while keeping the extra pounds away.
Secret Sugar Bomb
What you put in your smoothie is obviously important, but how much you put in your smoothie is equally important. Most people think that fruit should be the first ingredient to any smoothie, and I agree that SOME fruit is needed to make it palatable. Fruit should never be the first or most prevalent ingredient in a healthy smoothie. In my opinion, protein content should either be equal or greater than the carbohydrate content. Protein helps rebuild your muscles, fills you up, helps burn body fat, and most importantly gives you sustainable energy. Think about sugar and carbs as the 20 second roller coaster, fast and furious but over in a blink of an eye. Proteins on the other hand is like the amusement park tram, slow and a little boring but gets you from point A to point B. Whenever I eat a carb heavy breakfast, I am hungry within an hour even if my meal was hundreds of calories. Fruit packed smoothies will give you that quick burst of energy because they are laden with simple sugars. A smoothie with 1 cup of vanilla yogurt, 1 banana, 1 cup of strawberries, and 1 cup vanilla almond milk has over 400 calories, only 12 grams of protein, and a whopping 65 grams of sugar!!!! Did you know that your favorite glazed doughnut (you know which ones) has only 15 grams of sugar? So you could eat 4, yes 4 of these doughnuts for the same amount of sugar as your breakfast smoothie. I vote for the doughnuts any day.
Slim your smoothie
So now that we know about our sugar bombed breakfast smoothie, how do we make this shake healthier? Whenever I am creating a blender beverage I make sure I have something from one of the following categories: protein source, green thing, healthy fat, fruit, and a low calorie liquid. Your protein source could be a scoop of protein powder, plain Greek yogurt, or even cottage cheese. I personally like chocolate protein powder because why not make your smoothie taste like a decadent milkshake. When it comes to green things, I think baby spinach is the best choice. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals and is virtually tasteless when blended into smoothies. Healthy fats can consist of coconut oil, flax seeds, nut butters, and the most delicious of all avocados. Avocados may seem ridiculous but the velvety and luscious texture they provide cannot be matched. Fruit can consist of anything you find delicious, but it must fit into a one cup measuring scoop. Try a combination of banana, berries, or melon as long as it is a single cup. Lastly, try a variety of low calorie liquids including milk, coffee, or green tea. Notice that fruit juice is not included in the liquid list. When it comes to creating your own unique smoothie always err on the side of more protein and less fruit.