How do you do your smoothies in the morning? Here are 5 ways to build a more filling, well-balanced meal.
We’ve already reached the middle of summer, but this hot weather isn’t going anywhere. And what better way to start your day and stay cool than with a smoothie that’s cool, refreshing, and incredibly easy to take on the go!
Smoothies often get a health halo, but just like any food, there’s nothing that is ‘perfectly’ healthy. A few of the most common missteps or assumptions in smoothie-making are:
- Only including fruit
- Unnecessarily adding sugar
- Skipping fat
- Assuming smoothies lead to weight loss
If you find yourself with gnawing hunger soon after you drink up, these tips are for you smoothies lovers who are looking for a few ways to make it more filling, nutrient dense, and delicious.
1. Mix up the fruit.
Add a mix of berries, which are low in sugar and high in antioxidants, and half a banana for some texture. Adding a mixture of colorful fruit will help maximize the nutrient density without a potential blood sugar crash.
2. Add a date.
Instead of adding honey or syrup, add a medjool date! They add natural sweetness, plus plenty of fiber and healthy goodness.
3. Add veggies.
Spinach or a power greens blend make a simple addition to any smoothie. Add a handful for a hidden veggie boost to your breakfast, or try adding frozen cauliflower for more veggies and a great texture.
4. Fill up on fat.
Upping fat in your smoothie will help prevent a quick blood sugar rise and fall. Fats add the fullness and satisfaction factor, as well as anti-inflammatory benefits. Try chia seeds, almond or peanut butter, avocado, coconut oil, full fat yogurt or cottage cheese.
5. Include protein.
Protein with your breakfast can help you stay fuller and satisfied as you’re getting your day going. Consider a plant-based vanilla protein powder, a whey powder if your stomach tolerates it, or try collagen peptides. Nut butters and hemp seeds can also be a great natural source of protein, as well as dairy products.
Remember, smoothies are a liquid so it is normal when they move through your stomach faster, and won’t keep you as full as a solid breakfast. This reason alone, plus the potential for a fairly swift blood sugar response, can still leave you feeling hungry faster even with these tips. Try having your smoothie alongside a hard-boiled egg, or top it with granola.
Slurp, and enjoy!
Adapted from the original post.
Courtney Ferreira, MS, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietitian based in Baltimore, MD with a passion for helping individuals reach their health and wellness through flavorful whole foods and freedom from counting calories, fat, and minutes on a treadmill. For more insightful tips on living your healthiest life, visit Courtney at the RealFoodCourt.