Spring Breakfast: My Favorite On-the-Go Smoothie

Hello my beauty!

It's no surprise that I loooove me some GPF eating

If you're new here, you can read this blog post or listen to this podcast to find more about GPF. In a nutshell, it's a way of eating that incorporates greens/veggies, protein, and healthy fats — which helps keep you fuller for longer, satisfies cravings, elongates your blood sugar curve, and helps you ditch the drama of always having to worry about how much/when to eat. 

One of the most common objections I hear from people all the time is:

"I don't have time to make healthy food!" 

... Which is why I created this smoothie and use it in my everyday life. It legit takes 5 minutes to prepare (even less if you pre-package the ingredients in Ziplock baggies and store in your fridge/freezer the night before)

And, as someone with a HUGE appetite, this smoothie actually helps me stay FULL until lunch time which is *shocking*. It's low sugar, paleo, healthy, yummy, yada yada.

Watch the video or read about the low-sugar smoothie formula I use every day, and let me know what you think if you try the smoothie!

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3 Simple Steps to Make Every Meal Healthy and Satisfying Using #GPF

*Click here if you'd rather listen to this blog post on my podcast!

There's a misconception that nutrition has to be complicated

And rightfully so! There's so much mixed information floating around out there on the Interwebs.

Should we be counting calories or macros, or intuitively eating? Are carbs the enemy? Will fat make you fat? How much protein should I be eating every day?

It's enough to make ANYONE confused and ultimately discouraged from making any healthy lifestyle changes at all.  

Through years of coaching people about nutrition (and in my own personal experience), I realized most people have an all-or-nothing mindset. They're either following a meal plan and eating only broccoli, brown rice and boiled chicken, or they're going balls-to-the-wall and eating a whole pizza, 10 Twinkies and a tub of ice cream.

I knew I needed to create a simple 'formula' for my clients to understand how to eat for hunger and health, which is how I came up with "GPF."

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Image courtesy of Downshiftology

WHAT IS GPF? 

GPF stands for greens, protein and fat -- and these are what lay the foundation for creating a healthy meal every time you sit down to eat (yes, even at a restaurant). 

The combination of the fiber in the greens, the protein, and healthy sources of fat help to turn off hunger hormones, signal to your body that it's full, increase satiety, and help you actually stay full between meals so that you're not needing to eat mini meals or snack every 2-3 hours! (Because let's be real, the busier we are, the less time we have to spend eating all. day. long.)

I notice that when I eat GPF-style, I'm able to eat three larger meals throughout the day: breakfast, lunch and dinner -- sometimes with a snack between lunch and dinner, depending on how late dinner is. 

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THE BENEFITS OF GPF

Our bodies are incredible.

When we sit down to eat a meal, there are many hormones and systems working together without us even having to think about it.

Your body has 8 hunger-related hormones, including insulin, leptin, ghrelin, peptide yy, neuropeptide y, cortisol, dopamine (the reward hormone), and cholecystokinin. #science

In an ideal climate, these hormones work together harmoniously and balance each other out, so that we never feel starving and eat more than is necessary for proper functioning. 

However, many of our bodies are not in an 'ideal climate': we're stressed at work or home, lacking sleep, produce too much insulin from overconsumption of carbohydrates, consume too much caffeine, or we're over-exercising.

ALL of these things can affect these hormones, making it harder for our body to work FOR us (especially if our goal is weight loss or maintenance) - even if we think we're doing everything 'right' and eating 'healthy.' 

When we understand these hunger hormones and how to shut them off, you don't have to fight your body NOT to eat. You can simply eat until you're satisfied, and go about your day without having to obsess about food.  

You don't have to spend all day wondering when you're going to eat again because you're starving from eating chicken and broccoli an hour ago. You don't have to waste time tracking every single morsel of food in an app (that has no idea about your unique body chemistry, btw. Also, if you're a busy person, this can be a huge waste of time and add tons of unnecessary stress and guilt when you don't 'hit your numbers'. not a fan.)

That, to me, is true food freedom. 

Eating #GPF makes it easier to eat for hunger and health, versus out of stress or emotion. 

You can eat intuitively, but with light structure that helps you look and feel your best. (Because let's be real - if I've been eating tons of bagels and donuts, yo girl will 'intuitively' just want more bagels and donuts). 

#GPF helps break the all-or-nothing mindset surrounding food by focusing on ADDING more of the good stuff, instead of subscribing to the 'do not eat' or 'can never have' lists that we're all so accustomed to if we've ever dieted before. 

And understanding the science behind WHY you're choosing to use the #GPF formula for your meal makes it a lot easier to make healthy choices. 

 Photo courtesy of the National Institute on Aging 

Photo courtesy of the National Institute on Aging 

HOW TO STRUCTURE A GPF MEAL
(+ Grocery List Must-Haves!)

Step 1: GREENS. Select a base of leafy greens and veggies.

More volume = more fiber, which means that the more veggies you load onto your plate, the fuller you will feel. As a rule of thumb, about 75% of my plate is usually comprised of veggies. (Pro tip: an easy way to bulk up any meal is to add a bunch of romaine lettuce and/or spinach to the bottom).

Add any of the following in a variety and abundance:

• Leafy greens (spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, collard greens)
• Celery
• Cucumber
• Broccoli
• Onions
• Cauliflower
• Bell peppers
• Hot peppers
• Zucchini
• Brussels sprouts
• Seaweed
• Artichoke

*P.S. As you’ve noticed, ‘greens’ is just an easy way to remember veggies. Leafy vegetables and those deep in colour are your best options.

Step 2: PROTEIN.

Add 4-5 oz. of one of the following proteins for women, and 6-8 oz. for men.

Selecting a protein from the following list will help you feel fuller longer, and help you build lean, solid muscle. Try to buy organic as much as possible, focusing on grass fed, wild caught and free range products.

• Lean cuts of meat (ground turkey, ground beef, chicken, etc.)
• Fattier cuts of meat (steak, beef, etc.)
• Chicken breast
• Tuna
• Shrimp
• Salmon (rich in Omega 3 fats - one of my favorites!)
• Tilapia
• Oysters
• Trout
• Fish
• Eggs
• Egg whites
• Lean tofu (in moderation, because of soy)

Step 3: FAT.

Add one serving of healthy fats to your meal. For example, use a portion size of 15-30 g of fat = 1-2 tbsp nut butter, ½-1 whole avocado, handful of nuts – roughly 1 oz.)  

• Nuts and seeds – almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamia, walnuts, pumpkin seeds
• Nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower, etc.)
• Avocado
• Coconut oil
• Coconut milk
• Coconut fat
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Flaxseed

Step 4: (OPTIONAL, think of this as a 'plus one' on your existing plate of greens, protein and fats.)

If you’re creating a meal after your workout, this is the best time to add a serving of starchy carbohydrates.

Since these are higher on the glycemic index, they’re best used before and after a workout. Pre- and post-workout are when your body uses the sugar (insulin) created by carbs most efficiently. If you're not really active and work at a desk the majority of the day, it's best to stick to the lower-glycemic veggies (found in the 'greens' section above) because they won't spike your insulin as much, and your body doesn't need these carbohydrates listed below to 'refuel'.

Keep the portions to about a closed-fist size: 

• Sweet potatoes
• Red or white potatoes
• Yams
• Carrots
• Apples
• Berries
• Bananas
• Cherries
• Grapefruit
• Beets
• Tomatoes
• Watermelon
• Squash
• Any and all fruit
• Brown or white rice
• Black beans
• Quinoa
• Barley
• Air-popped popcorn
• Gluten-free oatmeal

Step 5: (OPTIONAL) Variety is the spice of life, right? Feel free to add any of these extras to flavor your meals or as substitute for your current faves!

• Spices (spices are your best friend! Add them liberally to every meal, but be sure to look for the natural spices, not the ones that have added MSG or a bunch of salt.)
• Cinnamon (great fat burning properties and reduces insulin spike)
• Turmeric (also amazing for hormones and inflammation)
• Pink Himalayan sea salt (great for thyroid production)
• Pepper
• Salsa
• Mustard
• Organic ketchup (low sugar, or find one made with dates if you're trying to get real fancy)
• Unsweetened cocoa powder
• Stevia or Truvia (use this as your sweetener versus sugar or Splenda. They have flavored Stevia now -- toffee, hazelnut, etc. BOMB.)
• Bragg’s liquid aminos (a healthier alternative to soy sauce)
• Srircha or hot sauce (look for low sodium, anything less than 200g)

Drinks

• Almond milk (unsweetened)
• Kombucha (great for digestion and gut health. Look for the ones with less than 5g sugar / serving.)
• Any kind of tea (especially green tea – drink a cup with lemon upon waking)

Herbs/Supplements

• Chia seeds (healthy fats + fiber)
• Hemp seeds (healthy fats + fiber)
• Greens supplement (powdered is great to add to smoothies)
• Cacao/cacao nibs
• Flaxseed
^ All these things are great to add to smoothies!

Recommended Vitamins

• Mutlivitamin
• Fish oil
• Probiotics
• Greens supplement (powdered – as stated above, I add this to my smoothies!)

What a Sample Day of GPF-Style Eating Could Look Like

This is just an example of a typical day in my life. It takes practice to find the foods you love and how much it will take to satisfy you, but it's worth the effort to find a way of eating that makes you feel so energetic, alive and happy -- plus it's fun to try new things!

  1. Wake up and drink a large cup of warm lemon water + coffee with a splash of unsweetened almond milk.
  2. 30 minutes of movement (minimum): a walk, a workout, anything that gets my blood flowing
  3. Breakfast: my low-sugar smoothie formula
  4. Lunch: huge bed of spinach and romaine + whatever chopped veggies I prepped over the weekend, 6 oz organic canned salmon, 1/2 avocado, balsamic vinegar + a dash of olive oil
  5. Snack (optional, depending on what time dinner is): 2 hardboiled eggs
  6. Dinner: 6 oz. rotisserie chicken, roasted butternut squash, roasted broccoli and cauliflower with olive oil

And sometimes if I'm craving something sweet after dinner, I'll make my healthy hot cocoa, which is just: 1 cup unsweetened almond milk boiled, 1 packet of stevia, a dash of cinnamon + unsweetened cocoa powder (1-2 tbsp., depending on how dark the cocoa is. The darker, the richer, the better ;).) Just warm up the almond milk on the stove and blend all the ingredients in the blender!

Some GPF Meal Ideas from Myself & My Clients


DISCLAIMER:

I've worked with many clients over the years who have thoroughly enjoyed the GPF style of eating, more than anything else they've tried. It's a low stress, low drama way of eating that allows them not to obsess about food constantly. You can use this style of eating whether you're paleo, vegan, vegetarian, or don't subscribe to any labels at all. 

This is based on my personal experience and that of my clients. Eating most of my meals GPF has truly changed the game for me in terms of my performance in the gym, my hunger, my hormones (helped me get my period back and has cleared up my skin x9482), and most importantly: has helped me become less obsessed with food over the years. Of course I will still enjoy pizza and ice cream on occasion, but I always try to remind myself that too much indulgence doesn't make me feel good, just like too much deprivation doesn't make me feel good, either.

It's all about finding balance: enjoying yourself, and having a GPF meal to autocorrect and get you back on track to living your happiest, healthiest life.

Sending you lots of love!

IN HEALTH AND HAPPINESS,

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The Low-Sugar Smoothie Formula I Use Every Day!

Smoothies make up a huge part of my diet.

In fact, I enjoy a smoothie bowl (just a thicker version of a smoothie, made thicker by adding more ice or frozen ingredients/less liquid) for breakfast nearly every day! 

They're easy to make and take on the go when you're rushed for time. And, you can fill them with a bunch of healthy, nutritious ingredients that can keep you full for a LONG time if you add the right ingredients, like protein, healthy fats and green veggies. 

Why I Opt for Protein/Fat in My Smoothies Instead of Sugar

I don't add a lot of sugar (in fruit or otherwise) to my smoothies.

Why? Because when I do, I find that it skyrockets my blood sugar and then causes it to drop an hour or two later and I'm already hungry again.

That's the problem with most smoothies you'll find at Planet Smoothie or Smoothie King: they're FILLED with tons of fruit. And while fruit isn't bad for you by any means, some of those smoothies are packed with 60+ grams of sugar (which is more than a freakin' Coke!)

Instead, I opt for greens, healthy fats and protein so that my blood sugar levels stay stable, and I'm able to actually fill up on a smoothie and stay fuller for longer. 

Today I wanted to share with you my go-to smoothie recipe. While the actual ingredients of the smoothie change based on what's available in my kitchen, I always follow four simple steps to achieve my delicious, green, filling smoothie.

My Go-To Smoothie Formula

It's pretty similar to the #GPF formula I have all my clients use when creating meals (greens, protein, fat).

1. PROTEIN: I opt for vegan protein powders since whey protein hurts my stomach, and I try to avoid as much dairy as possible because it causes me to break out. 

Add: 1 scoop of protein powder (find my list of best-tasting vegan protein powders here.)

2. HEALTHY FATS: Don't fear the fat! Adding a healthy source of fat is what's going to keep you fuller for longer and stabilize your blood sugar levels.  

Add: Choose one or two of the following: 1/2 avocado, 2 tbsp. chia seeds, 2 tbsp. hemp seeds, 2 tbsp. ground flax seeds or 1 tsp. flax seed oil, 1 tablespoon of nut butter (almond is my favorite), 1 tbsp. coconut oil 

3. GREENS: This is where it gets fun! Hiding greens in my smoothies is one of my favorite things to do, simply because it packs your smoothie full of nutrients without even being able to taste it. 

Add: Choose from an abundance of the following. The more, the merrier: spinach, kale (kale makes your smoothie a bit grainier than spinach, just FYI), mixed greens, arugula, etc. 

4. LIQUIDS: I always use unsweetened almond milk. Any unsweetened nut milk will work, really!

5. SPICES: I also love to sneak in some nutrient-dense spices with anti-inflammatory properties. My favorites are turmeric and cinnamon -- 1 to 2 tsp. of each. 

6. OPTIONAL 1/4-1/2 CUP FROZEN FRUIT: If it's after or before my workout, I'll add in 1/2 a frozen banana or 1/2 cup strawberries or blueberries. The smoothie will taste great without the fruit, but if you're looking for a little somethin' extra, go ahead and add it in.

Putting it All Together

For this particular smoothie, here's how it went down: 

I use a Vitamix which I'm completely obsessed with, and start by adding the liquids first. I added 1ish cups of unsweetend vanilla almond milk (you can always add more later. If you want it to be thick so you can make a smoothie bowl, I recommend adding about 1 cup and adding more as needed.)

Then, I'll add in powders/solid ingredients: protein powder, 1 tbsp. chia seeds, 1/4 avocado, 1 tbsp. almond butter, turmeric, cinnamon. 

Add in greens + frozen ingredients (I've been using frozen spinach because it's much cheaper and actually life changing), plus frozen fruit (I did 1/2 cup strawberries), and 1 cup of ice. 

Wallah!

You're done.

Let me know if you try out my smoothie - and definitely let me know if you feel fuller for longer by incorporating the healthy fats in there :)

xo

Julie

The Best-Tasting Non-Dairy Protein Powders

Goooood morning, my loves!

Today I'm sharing my absolute FAVORITE (or should I say "favourite" now that I'm living in Canada?) protein smoothie.

One question I get asked by clients a lot is, "Do I NEED to have a protein shake immediately post-workout to get results?"

Making protein shakes is definitely not necessary to reach your goals. I used to think I HAD to have a protein shake after every workout in order to see results, but you can just as easily get all the protein you need from eating REAL food. (Plus, let's be real, mixing a scoop of protein with water is just straight up gross.)

That being said, I do luuuurve me some protein smoothies! 

This one is rich, creamy, cold and delicious. Sometimes I'll have it immediately post workout when I want something cool and refreshing, or right before bed when I want ice cream but *sadly* don't have any and have to improvise. ;) 

My Favorite Protein Smoothie

 Follow me on  Instagram ! I share a lot of my recipes/workouts on Instagram stories. 

Follow me on Instagram! I share a lot of my recipes/workouts on Instagram stories. 

Ingredients: 

1 cup of ice
1 cup of frozen blueberries or strawberries
1 big handful of spinach
1-2 cups of unsweetened almond milk (less makes it creamier, which I like)
1 heaping scoop of Protein Powder *see next section
2 tbsp of PB2 (powdered peanut butter) or 1 tbsp. real peanut/almond butter
2 tbsp chia seeds *optional
2 tbsp hemp seeds *optional
1/2-1 whole banana, based on preference

Directions:

  • Add all dry ingredients in blender.
  • Add in ice and frozen ingredients.
  • Add almond milk almost to the point where it covers the ingredients (I always start with less than necessary - you can always add more, but adding too much too soon may cause it to turn out watery.)
  • BLEND.
  • Pour into a large glass or a bowl* and enjoy!

    *If I'm making a smoothie BOWL, I tend to like it a bit thicker. Therefore, I'll use regular almond butter instead of PB2, I'll add a bit more ice and little less liquid. Play around with it until you find a texture you like best! Then, top it with a rice cake, nuts, chopped strawbs or bluebs, sliced bananas, whatever your heart desires!

Best-Tasting Non-Dairy Protein Powders

I'm a bit sensitive to lactose, especially when it comes to normal protein powders like whey. Therefore, I HAVE to have vegan protein that's free of any kind of dairy. Here are a few of my favorite vegan protein powders that won't upset your tummy and don't taste like chalk, haha:

- Garden of Life, Raw Organic Protein Powder (Chocolate) *What I currently use.
- Bone Broth Protein (Chocolate) *MY ABSOLUTE FAV out of any protein I've had, even including whey. Bone broth is also amazing for gut health. I get that bone broth isn't 100% "vegan", but this brand is free from all the stuff that will potentially hurt your belly. 
- SunWarrior is OK, but a bit on the chalky side. 

There ya have it, folks!

I hope you enjoy this refreshing vegan smoothie today after you've worked your buns off in the gym, or any time of the day when you just want a sweet little treat. 

Sending you all my love,

xo

Julie

Let's Chat! Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe? Share it below in the comment section!

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What I Eat In a Day

Full Day of Intuitive Eating

Hey, gorgeous!

When I first started trying to eat healthy, I was kind of dazed and confused. I read so much conflicting information out there. But when it comes down to it, all you need to know (as I mention in my Free E-Book: 5 Ways to Start Living a Life You're Obsessed With) is this:

Focus your diet around whole, natural foods and the small details will take care of themselves.

Here's what a very typical day of intuitive eating looks like for me.

*Side note: intuitive eating just means I listen to my body and eat when I'm hungry, stop when I'm full. I'm not currently tracking macros or calories or anything like that, but rather - focusing that energy on things that are higher on my priority list (i.e. making videos like this to share with you <3)

Go watch the video and subscribe to my channel while you're there!

And if you're at work or prefer to read what I ate, here's a quick synopsis. Again, I recommend watching the vid because it goes into detail about how I make every meal healthy, WHY I make the food choices I do, and HOW I make each meal.

  • 2 full glasses of water (I drink a gallon + per day), coffee with almond milk & stevia
  • Breakfast: Power slaw with two overeasy eggs cooked in coconut oil
  • Snack: Smoothie (1 scoop bone broth chocolate protein, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 tbsp. cocoa, 1-2 tbsp. chia seeds, 2 tbsp PB2, spinach, ice, unsweetened almond milk)
  • Lunch: Butternut squash and zucchini sauteed in coconut oil with leftover turkey breast + SF BBQ sauce
  • Snacks: #1 - handful of mixed nuts, apple; #2 - 1/2 banana with 1 tbsp. PB
  • Dinner: Crockpot salsa chicken (easiest recipe ever, I show how to make it in the vid) with sauteed peppers and onions, over a bed of spinach
  • Pre-bed snack: healthy 'muddy buddies' - frozen berries, PB2, stevia in unsweetened almond milk

    I will say I don't usually snack as much as I did this day, but I was hungry AF for some reason so I listened to my body and ate. Also, you'll notice a theme which I always preach (and you can also learn about in my free e-book) about how to make any meal healthy: 1. base of veggies 2. protein 3. healthy fat.

See ya in the next one!

xo

Julie

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