When is the best time to have a smoothie?
Anytime you want!
As long as it’s balanced, nutritious, leaves you full & is void of junk. Have a smoothie in the morning to jump start your day, midday when you can’t quite make it to dinner with out a snack or if you’re not in the mood to make dinner – yep, make a smoothie!
First let me tell you how not to make a perfect smoothie. Smoothies need to have very little sugar. Yes, fruit is okay but it’s easy to go overboard. Whether it’s “healthy” sugar or not…it’s still sugar which will slow your metabolism, dampen your energy & make your body crave more sugar. Stick with no more than 1/2c or 1 serving of fruit per serving of smoothie.
If you’re making a smoothie as a meal replacement it must have all 3 macronutrients: Protein, Carbs & Fat. This will make you feel like you’ve actually eaten something and will keep you satisfied longer.
The Protein: Choose a protein (whey, pea protein or other of preference) that is concentrated or not from isolate. According to a 2010 study from Consumer Reports, protein isolates consumed over time can lead to serious health problems as many of the tested protein supplements contained low levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. With arsenic already being at approximately 81% in our water system (according to EWG) I highly recommend someone not consume them knowingly as many heavy metals are
found in foods, cosmetics, lotions, etc which can add up and cause issues over time. Plus the majority of people (American’s at least) don’t have trouble eating enough protein. Too much protein consumption over time can lead to kidney stones, kidney disease, osteoporosis, dehydration & more. Shoot for .8g protein / kg current body weight.
The Carbs: #1 recommendations – baby kale or baby spinach (Wait, kale and spinach are carbs? Yep, that is correct!) A handful at least of spinach and/or baby kale. You can’t taste them I promise! This will add folate, fiber, magnesium, iron, loads of B vitamins, antioxidants
all to help you be a cancer fighting machine! Other carb choices can be 2-3 TBS black beans (also adds protein too!). As for a bit of sweetness: berries such as blueberries, blackberries or strawberries. And very little, if any, higher sugar fruits such as bananas, mangos or sweet cherries as too much sugar will defeat any health goal you’re aiming for.
The Fat: Add creaminess with 1/2 a ripe avocado or whole fat coconut milk. Or add 1/4c walnuts or almonds and blend well. Fat is essential(!) and vital for staying mentally sharp, energy, bone & joint health, weight management, proper nutrient absorption & so on!
The Liquid: If your ingredients make it sweet enough (with the fruit and possibly stevia in the protein powder) water may be your best choice for liquid. Other great options are unsweetened nut milks (my fave: unsweetened vanilla cashew milk), whole milk or whole fat coconut milk. (Avoid using fruit juice & low fat milk varieties as these increase sugar content & pretty much makes it a “non” healthy smoothie depending on how much sugar it adds.) Plain whole yogurt or kefir are also great options to add immune boosting probiotics!
The Anatomy of a Perfect Smoothie:
Putting it all together
when throwing it in your blender, Nutribullet or whatever you use, the quickest way to blend everything is to put the heaviest foods and/or ice farthest away from the blades. This way the weight will push the contents closer to the blade and it will blend quickly & nicely.
I’m off to make a midnight smoothie!