Well, I certainly like my eggs in the morning. And even the occasional bowl of oats with lots of peanut butter. And bacon. Always bacon. Smoothies though? It’s complicated. I’ve had a weird relationship with breakfast smoothies for as long as I can remember. I know they’re supposed to be this poster child for an uber healthy breakfast, I know they taste like heaven [hello Peaches n’ Cream Smoothie] and they seem like the perfect on the go solution to breakfast. But I’m starving by 10 AM. General rule of thumb: if you’re starving by 10 AM, your breakfast sucked.So here’s my super scientific analysis of the situation -smoothies are generally fruit based. Fruit consists of quick burning carbs. Quick burning carbs burn quickly and make you hungry. Science. Let’s review the anatomy of a balanced meal: carbs for energy + protein for satiety and metabolism support + fat for satiety, brain power, and blood sugar balance + fiber to slow down carbohydrate absorption and keep us full til the next meal.
I’m conscious all day about my meal choices, cuz I prefer to feel awesome. I’m always checking with myself to be sure I’m incorporating all 4 components of a balanced meal every time I eat. But I’m especially careful in the morning to be sure my breakfast is extra balanced to keep my blood sugar steady all morning. I usually have no time for midmorning snacks and I need serious energy to get to lunch because like most of my readers, I’m go go go all morning.
Anyways, back to smoothie makin’. I recently experimented with a *perfectly* balanced smoothie [I even entered the ingredients into My Fitness Pal to be sure I was hittin’ them macros] and ya know what? I wasn’t hungry until lunch. Imagine that. I followed my own advice and found success. Let this be a lesson to all those who surround me and take orders advice from me.So here you go! The anatomy of a perfect breakfast smoothie!
2 servings of fat [20 grams] like a handful of nuts, a couple tablespoons of nut butter, 1/2 cup full fat coconut cream or a small avocado
1 serving of carbohydrate like 1/2 banana, 1 apple, 3/4 cup berries, 1 c kale
1 serving of protein like a scoop of grass fed whey or plant based protein powder. Not into protein powders? Use 1 c full fat, plain Greek yogurt and cut out one serving of fat.
At 10 least grams of fiber. This is more tricky, but chia seeds, avocados and flax seeds are the way to go to add lots of fiber to your smoothie.
Greens. I know, I gotta sneak ’em in. The phytonutrients in spinach give so much energy and life, you just can’t afford to skip it!
This is my favorite version because it’s only 5 ingredients and to be honest, you really can’t beat the taste. It’s so simple and perfect.
The Breakfast Smoothie
Author: Megan Kober, RDN, LD
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
Just the perfect little breakfast smoothie. Stay energized, focused and full all morning.
1 c unsweetened almond milk
1/2 frozen banana
2 c spinach
1 scoop high quality protein powder – vanilla or chocolate [grass fed whey or plant based]
2 Tbsp almond butter
1 Tbsp chia seeds
handful of ice
Combine everything into a high speed blender, in order. Or at least put the almond milk in first to prevent clumps – trust me!
This is a great mix n’ match recipe!
Use peanut butter or cashew butter.
Try different flavors of protein powder.
Keep bananas in the freezer at all times. Must. Use. Frozen. Bananas. Trust me!
Add a pinch of stevia or a date or two to sweeten. Resist adding too much fruit, though. Simple carbs won’t give you the energy you need to power through the morning.