How To Make The Healthiest Smoothie
Smoothies are seriously the PERFECT on-the-go meal substitute when you are in a rush. A lot of the time, I find myself getting shifts for work that are super early in the morning and I like to press the snooze button quite a few times. This leaves me with no time to make a full breakfast that I can eat quick or pack in a to go container – I would prefer not to do this, freshly made taste soooo much better! Which is why I find myself often throwing a few ingredients in a blender too take with me.
What most don’t realize, is they are missing the proper nutrients that should be added into a meal replacement smoothie (or snack too!). These are very common mistakes and can easily and quickly be adjusted to make the perfect smoothie for your daily requirements!
COMMON SMOOTHIE MISTAKES
- Too Much Fruit
I see people throw multiple bananas into a blender with additional berries, and mangos, and THEN finish it off with fruit juice. Your pretty much drinking sugar, and will end up crashing soon after!
- Lack of Fats & Protein
A proper smoothie should replicate a meal that you can eat from a plate, thus meaning it must contain a good macronutrient balance. Protein and fats help to balance your blood sugar, especially in the morning, keep you feeling full and cause your cravings to stay at a minimum until your next chance to eat a meal.
- Having an ENTIRE Additional Meal on the Side
When you have a fully packed smoothie, with proper nutrients, the caloric value can be in the 400-500. Eating things like eggs and toast on the side is not necessary, unless you cut out a few things from the smoothie and keep it simple.
- Quickly Chugging Your Smoothie
Your just asking for slow digestion and bloating.
Keeping these four mistakes in mind, I have provided what I believe is the best way to make the perfect smoothie for any time of day. This outline should help to keep you feeling your best if you find yourself rushing out the door – or even struggling to get calories in.
CREATING YOUR BEST SMOOTHIE
- Add Greens & Vegetables!
Kale, spinach and avocado (creates a creamy texture) are great options. Don’t worry though about thinking it will taste like grass, you won’t even know it’s there – besides the beautiful light green colour it adds to your smoothie! They also blend much easier than sticking a carrot or cucumber in the blender – which normally would be of better use when making juices!
Some other options are frozen steamed cauliflower and frozen butternut squash.
- Choose One to Two Fruits
Fruit is important to provide a good source of carbohydrates. Bananas are perfect to create a creamy texture. But, berries and peaches are a preferable option because they are lower in sugar compared to most fruits. Aim for 3/4 cup – 1 cup serving.
- Choose the Right Fats and Protein
Nuts and seeds combine both of these macronutrients into one – even tryout adding a serving of your favourite (unsalted, no sugar added) nut butter! They add a kick of flavour and energy for your day.
A simple substitute for protein can also be plain Greek yogurt or a scoop of your favourite protein powder. I prefer to use vegan protein powders, some of my personal favourites are Vega Proteins & Greens, LeanFit, Bob’s Red Mills Vanilla Protein and Genuine Health Fermented Vegan Protein.
- Pick Better Liquids
Instead of using regular cows milk, try unsweetened vanilla almond milk, cashew or coconut milk. Sometimes even adding water is a good option if your smoothie is already packed with lots of other nutrients! Aim for 1/2 cup to keep it thick, and then add more as needed.
Now that you understand how a smoothie should be prepared to replicate a perfect well-balanced meal, I am going to quickly touch on how smoothies are perfect for those in recovery from an eating disorder.
HOW SMOOTHIES HELP IN EATING DISORDER RECOVERY
When someone begins recovery, they normally are told to eat more, A LOT more than they were normally accustomed too. This would likely mean going from eating as little as 500 calories (or not even) a day too just over 1,300-1,700. Obviously this creates an emotional and stressful experience for someone who has become so comfortable with their eating habits, especially when they had the strong belief that what they were doing was ‘okay’.
During the deepest points of my eating disorder and anorexia, I had only been eating a yogurt, apple slices and a box of vegetables, then eating whatever my mom had prepared for dinner each day. When I began recovery, I was then eating a bowl of oatmeal with toast on the side for JUST breakfast. I constantly was eating and I was not use too it, nor did I like it because of how it made me feel. Things like larger servings of pasta, butter on my bread, extra mayonnaise in my tuna, grilled cheese, hamburgers and fries were forced in front of me until I had finished every last bite. Most of the time, since my stomach was not used to this much food, I was left feeling uncomfortable.
This is why smoothies are the perfect option to pack in those calories, and give yourself a little mental break in the beginning of recovery. As you progress deeper into recovery, smoothies are not necessary because you begin to understand the importance of your health and will choose to eat more food, rather than drink it. As well, you do need to get comfortable seeing the proper amount of food that you should be eating on the daily to maintain your recovery and your health into the future… Which will also make you a stronger individual, keep you glowing and allow you to defeat your eating disorder thoughts and habits for good!