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.
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 :)