If you asked me the one thing I swear by to reset after an indulgent weekend or what I do to stay on track each day, I'd definitely say it's my morning smoothies. I start almost every day with a smoothie - it's a great way to get a big dose of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants in first thing in the morning, and I love that it keeps me full for hours (seriously!). There's also tons of different flavor combinations you can try out that will keep things interesting, delicious, and satisfying. Even my clients who originally weren't sold on morning smoothies tried out a few different combinations, and now they're totally hooked and loving how they feel on their new smoothie routine.
If you're just jumping on the smoothie bandwagon, it can be a little overwhelming figuring out where to start. So here's a list of ingredients to keep stocked in your kitchen so you're ready to make an delicious, nutrient-rich smoothie at any time!
1. High-quality protein: I like organic plant-based proteins (like pea protein, pumpkin seed, or hemp seed proteins) that have very clean, simple ingredients, and as little sugar as possible. Another option is organic grass-fed whey protein if you don't have any dairy issues or a collagen protein. I recommend Perfect Fit Protein, Beaming Superfood Protein, Primal Kitchen, and ALOHA. Why? Having enough protein in your diet will boost your metabolism, stabilize blood sugar, keep you fuller longer, and support your muscles. A must in any smoothie!
2. Seeds: chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds. Every time I make a smoothie, it will always have 1-2 tbsp of chia seeds, no matter what flavors I'm combining!
Why? Theses seeds are great sources of fiber, protein, vitamins / minerals, essential fatty acids, omega-3s.
3. Nuts & spreads, oils, & avocado. Almonds, walnuts, almond butter, extra virgin coconut oil, MCT oil, and coconut butter are my go-to's. Avocados in smoothies add so much creaminess!
Why? You have to eat fat to lose fat my friends! Healthy fats keep you satiated, provide an energy source for the body, balance blood sugar, and help with absorption of vitamins and antioxidants.
4. Fresh or frozen veggies: I rarely make a smoothie without a handful of spinach. I always buy fresh, organic spinach and use some for salads throughout the week and the rest goes straight into the freezer for my smoothies. Other veggies to try adding into smoothies: a pinch microgreens (small but mighty, these little sprouts contain even more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than the mature version of these veggies), any other greens, frozen riced cauliflower (makes smoothie extra thick and you can't even taste it!), cucumbers, mint, etc.
Why? Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients... all the goods!
5. Fruit: If I'm adding fruit to a smoothie, it's only 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup max. That's really all you need to add extra flavor or sweetness! Most smoothie shops really overdo it on the amount of fruit they're putting in their smoothies. My trick is to slice up bananas into 1/2 inch pieces and freeze them, and then add 3-4 slices in each smoothie. A few slices of an apple, 1/4 cup frozen organic berries, and a quarter of an avocado are other great additions!
6. Smoothie superstars: all of these boosters are just the cherry on top, adding extra health benefits to your smoothies!
- Kefir: I love adding this lactose-free kefir into my smoothies for a boost of probiotics to help balance gut bacteria.
- Organic spirulina powder: an algae superfood full of phytonutrients and protein to help reduce inflammation, boost energy, immunity, and liver detox. 1 tsp per smoothie is all you need!
- Collagen Peptide Powder: amazing for joints, bones, hair, skin, immune and digestive systems, plus a great protein source (my fave brand)
- Herbs & spices: ginger (for digestion), turmeric (potent anti-inflammatory), cinnamon (reduces blood sugar), mint (aids digestion & reduces inflammation)
7. Unsweetened nut milk or water: I use 1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk in my smoothies but you could always go for cashew milk, hemp milk, or coconut milk, or good old fashioned water! Check your nut milk ingredients for added sugars and confirm they are carrageenan free.
There you have it! This may seem like a long list at first, but it will be so worth it once you're all stocked up, and I promise these essentials will last you a long time. You'll also be ready to go for tons of different types of smoothies to satisfy whatever you're craving.
And here's my go-to green smoothie that helps me get right back on track!
My go-to green smoothie
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop plant-based vanilla protein
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 1/2 tbsp almond butter
1 handful spinach
1 tsp spirulina
2-3 frozen banana slices (about 1/3 of a banana)
July 28th, 2016
December 6, 2016
Lindsay is a Holistic Nutritionist who lives for a great meal, a beautiful farmers market, daily matcha lattes, and homemade chocolate chip cookies. Weeknight Bite is Lindsay's happy place where her nutrition practice, simple recipes, and wellness tips come together to inspire you to live a healthy, balanced life.