We all know that eating 5 small, balanced meals a day is the best way to stay fueled through our #fitnadbusy lives. Well, HOPEFULLY we all know that, and, if not, stay tuned for upcoming blog posts on why this is so important!! In the meantime, let’s talk about a quick and easy “meal” solution that can be consumed on the run, and can be loaded with all sorts of nutritional “extras.” Smoothies, or protein shakes, are an AWESOME way to get a quick, balanced meal into your busy day. I usually like to have a smoothie as my mid-morning meal, at around 10ish, or after I teach my morning class. I love to experiment with different combinations of ingredients, and I ALWAYS try to sneak extra healthy ingredients in there, especially if I plan to share with the little people in my house.
Beware of the smoothie trap! Not all smoothies are created equal. Smoothies, such as the ones at the big chain smoothie stores, can be LOADED with unwanted sugar and calories. Even “all fruit” smoothies can be sneaky little devils with WAY more calories than you expect, and who will take your blood sugar on a crazy ride! When I am talking about smoothies, I am really talking about blended protein shakes. It is important to make sure that your smoothies have all of the macros (protein, carbs and fat, in the appropriate ratios) represented in order for it to be a blood sugar friendly meal option that isn’t going to sabotage all your hard work.
Basic customizable smoothie recipe:
Protein powder of your choice (I prefer a whey option, but there are some great vegan choices as well. You can also opt for Greek yogurt or cottage cheese as an added protein source)
Liquid (water, coconut water, almond milk, coconut milk, regular milk)
Healthy fat source (nuts, nut butter, coconut butter, avocado)
Fruit (½ banana, acai, berries, mango, etc.)
Veggie (spinach, kale, cucumber, etc.)
Healthy “extras” (chia seeds, flax, cacao nibs, shredded lite coconut, etc.)
Here was my smoothie today:
2 scoops chocolate Power Crunch protein
8 oz. coconut water (or to desired consistency)
1 Tbsp. Coconut Butter
1 large handful baby spinach
4 drops liquid stevia
1 Tbsp. organic cacao powder
1 Tbsp. shredded reduced fat coconut (plus extra for sprinkling on top)
1 Tsp. cacao nibs (plus extra for sprinkling on top)
Throw it all in the blender, and you are good to go! Have fun mixing and matching!