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 protein 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. The fruits we added to our smoothies were essentially sugar bombs. We had bananas, strawberries, orange juice, sweetened yogurt, and some milk, all mixed into a delicious meal. Little did we know, our breakfast was probably throwing our blood sugar out of whack. It's likely not keeping us full for very long.
If you're drinking a protein smoothie as a meal replacement, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Nutritionist Kelly Leveque breaks it down into what she calls her "Fab Four" protein smoothie recipes. Here, she combines protein, fat, fibre, and greens to create a blood sugar balancing, satiating meal replacement.
Add more nutrients into your protein smoothie
Most nutritionists recommend incorporating these four things into all our meals. The beauty of a smoothie is that you can just grab a bunch of ingredients, toss them in a blender, and you're out the door. Blender Bites, which is based in Vancouver, 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. You can blend it with nut mylk, protein powder, yogurt, banana, or avocado to make a simple superfood protein smoothie. We've included below a recipe idea to include in your morning smoothie to make it a complete meal.
One thing about fat is that it's responsible for keeping you full until your next meal. In fact, fat stabilizes one's blood sugar levels. It slows sugar absorption into the bloodstream and decreases insulin spikes. Apart from this, fat helps you cut bad cholesterol as well as grow healthier nails and shinier hair.
Sources: Coconut oil, MCT oil, coconut or nut mylk, nut and seed butter, nuts, avocado.
There are many reasons why fibre is important for your diet. Like fat, fibre helps to slow the release of sugar and helps us feel full for a longer period of time. By adding fibre to your protein smoothie, you can improve your digestion and relieve constipation.
Sources: Chia seeds, ground flax, hemp hearts, leafy greens, fibrous fruit.
Aside from water, our bodies are majorly made of protein from head to toe. That's why you should always include a source of protein in every meal. Like fat and fibre, protein helps to balance blood sugar levels. Plus, eating protein-rich foods also keeps us feeling full for a long time.
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 bodies 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.
TROPICAL GREEN SMOOTHIE
Prep Time: 3 mins
This quick & easy smoothie has all of the fab 4 ingredients, turning this blended wonder into a complete meal in just a few minutes.
Course: Breakfast, On-the-go, Snack
Cuisine: Dairy Free, Gluten free, Refined Sugar Free
Servings: 1 serving
- 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.