How to turn a simple smoothie into a complete meal
If you’re starting your day with a homemade breakfast, you’re a step ahead of a lot of people. And if that breakfast is a smoothie, even better — they’re the easiest way to pack in nutrients and start the day off on the right foot. That being said, not all smoothies are created equal. When we first got into smoothies, they were essentially sugar bombs (banana, strawberries, orange juice, sweetened yogurt and some milk). Little did we know, our breakfast was probably throwing our blood sugar out of whack and likely wasn’t keeping us full for very long. If you’re drinking smoothies as a meal replacement, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Nutritionist Kelly Leveque breaks it down well in what she calls her “Fab Four” smoothie recipes, where she combines protein, fat, fibre and greens to create a blood sugar balancing, satiating meal replacement.
Most nutritionists recommend incorporating these four things into all our meals; the beauty of a smoothie is you can just grab a bunch of ingredients, toss them in a blender and you’re out the door. We recently discovered a Vancouver-based company called Blender Bites that makes smoothies even that much easier (and if you know us, making healthy simple is always our goal). Blender Bites are frozen pucks that contain organic fruit, kale and seven superfood powders like chlorella, spirulina and wheatgrass, that you can blend with nut mylk, protein powder, yogurt, banana or an avocado to make a simple superfood smoothie. Below we’ve included a recipe idea, and are breaking down what to include in your morning smoothie to make it a complete meal.
Fat is what’s going to keep you full until your next meal. It’s also great for helping to maintain blood sugar levels when consuming sugar (aka the fruit in your smoothie), as it slows down the absorption of the sugar into your bloodstream and reduces insulin spikes. Healthy fats can also help with weight loss, lowering bad cholesterol and can give us healthier nails and shinier hair.
Sources: Coconut oil, MCT oil, coconut or nut mylk, nut and seed butters, nuts, avocado.
We all know that fibre is important for so many reasons. Like fat, fibre helps to slow the release of sugar and helps us feel full and satiated for a longer period of time. Adding fibre to your smoothie on a regular basis will also help with digestion by keeping you well, regular!
Sources: Chia seeds, ground flax, hemp hearts, leafy greens, fibrous fruit.
A complete meal should always include a source of protein. As you know, our bodies are made up of protein, so it’s important that we get enough clean sources of it in our diet. And like fat and fibre, you guessed it, protein also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and keeps us full until our next meal.
Sources: Protein powder (pea, hemp, whey, etc.), chia seeds, hemp hearts.
There are countless reasons why we should eat (or drink) our greens. They’re high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and help our body naturally detox, to name a few. The best part about smoothies is that you can throw in a bunch of greens and usually don’t even taste them.
Sources: Kale, spinach, cucumber, spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, etc.
This quick & easy smoothie has all of the fab 4 ingredients, turning this blended wonder into a complete meal in just a few minutes.
- 1 serving coconut water about 2-3 cups
- 1 puck Greens & Tropicals Blender Bites Smoothie Puck
- 1 medium banana
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1 chunk peeled ginger (size to taste)
- 1 tbsp ground flax
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
Place all ingredients in a blender, mix until smooth and enjoy! It's that easy.
Blender Bites come in two flavours, Greens & Berries and Greens & Tropical. Here‘s where you can find them and try them yourself!