I love smoothies! They are the perfect nourishing meal, especially if you are on the go and are a wonderful way to start on your journey to healthy eating. The problem with smoothies, is that it is easy to get carried away with ingredients that can make a smoothie needlessly unhealthy. Below are 5 common smoothie making mistakes, and a simple formula you can follow to ensure its perfect every time!
5 Most Common Smoothie Mistakes:
- Adding Too Much Fruit: Fruit is good for you but having too much of it is actually turning a healthy breakfast into a glass of sugar. Even though it’s natural sugar, it is a recipe for a serious energy crash about 1 hour post breakfast.
- Not Adding Protein: Your smoothie might be full of greens but without adding protein your smoothie is not setting you up for a day of success. Adding protein to your morning smoothie will help to balance your blood sugar and reduce your mid-morning cravings. Protein is the most satiating and filling nutrient, skipping on protein will cause you to be hungry shortly after breakfast.
- Not Adding Fat: Fat is vital for our health and also helps slow down digestion to keep us fuller longer and stops our blood sugar from spiking from the fruit. Having it in your smoothie will also make sure that your smoothie is macronutrient balanced.
- Forgetting it’s a Meal: Although smoothies are drinkable, they are a still a meal and can contain a lot of calories. Having them for breakfast is a great way to start your day and if they are loaded with a balance of macronutrients they don't need to be eaten with a full breakfast. If you want a smoothie with your breakfast, dial back the ingredients in both your smoothie and your plate of food so you do not overdo it.
- Drinking it Too Fast: Drinking your smoothie too fast can cause digestive upset, like gas and bloating, making it difficult for your body to absorb all of the nutrients in it. If you can't eat the ingredients in your smoothie in the span of 3 minutes, you shouldn't drink it that fast either - it will shock your digestive system!
Fortunately, with a simple formula you can create a perfect smoothie every time!
THE PERFECT SMOOTHIE FORMULA = Liquid + Fruit + Veggies + Protein + Fat
- LIQUID: You'll want to skip the fruit juice when you are making your smoothie as it is just adding extra sugar and calories. Opt for simple liquids like water, almond milk, coconut milk or coconut water.
- FRUIT: Fruit provides a good base for your smoothie, lots of vitamins and minerals and a source of carbohydrates. My favourites are bananas, fresh or frozen berries or mango. Try and limit your fruit to a 1 cup maximum so you don’t overdo it on the sugar.
- VEGGIES: Smoothies are an easy way to sneak in a serving of veggies without even noticing. Add a couple handfuls of leafy greens like spinach or kale to maximize your nutrition from your smoothie.
- PROTEIN: Protein powders are a very simple way to add much needed protein to your smoothie. Find a powder that you can easily digest and does not contain added sugars or fillers. You can also add nuts or seeds to provide a protein boost.
- FAT: Add in a tablespoon of nut butter, coconut oil, avocado or your favourite healthy fat source to balance your blood sugar and keep you full longer. Fat sources also add an amazing creamy texture to your smoothie!
Creating the perfect smoothie can be a bit of a science project if you are starting out, so don't be afraid to experiment. The best thing to do is to start out simple and add more as you go.
Here are three simple smoothie recipes I love!
Very Berry Smoothie
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- ½ banana
- ¼ cup blueberries
- ¼ cup raspberries
- 1 tbsp. almond butter
- 1 handful spinach
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
Black Forest Smoothie
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup frozen cherries
- 1 handful kale
- ¼ avocado
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
- Optional: 1 tbsp. cacao nibs
Green Tropical Dream Smoothie
- 1 cup coconut water
- ½ cup frozen mango
- ½ cup frozen pineapple
- 1 handful Swiss chard
- 3 tbsp. hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil