Liquid meals are healthy! They are an easy, and convenient way to pack a nutrient punch. Smoothies are easy on the digestive system. By blending foods, we are fast-tracking the digestive process, enabling our bodies to have a little break.
Here are the keys to making a smoothie that’s better for your body, energy and mood.
Balancing your liquid meals will help you improve mood, energy and put you on the track of weight loss if that is your goal.
Ditch the sugar
Do you often have a fruit-filled smoothie for breakfast only to keep reaching for carbs or more sugar a few hours after?
Consuming sugar elevates our body's blood sugar and this creates an insulin spike.
This insulin spike puts us on a high only to come down craving another insulin spike. An imbalance in blood sugar makes it very difficult to stabilise energy and mood.
Replace your sweetened liquids with water or unsweetened dairy-free milk.
Reduce, or lose the fruit and try to swap to low sugar options such as fresh/frozen berries or a green apple. If weight loss is your goal, keep the fruit to 1/4 cup or less. Stay right away from dried fruits such as dates and raisins.
If you still want a sweet hit, test some natural sugar alternatives such as Stevia, xylitol or monk fruit. These can all be purchased at your local supermarket or health food store. I LOVE the vanilla and chocolate flavour stevia drops.
Focus on meeting all the macros when building a smoothie. Macros are proteins fats and carbs.
If your smoothie is going to be a meal replacement, it is imperative for you to maximise protein fibre and healthy fat.
Protein keeps you full for longer and helps to build lean muscle mass.
Fat is not evil and has been given a bad rap. Healthy fats are essential to a healthy body. They nourish your skin and hair and help with healthy bowel movements. Both protein and fat are insulin-sparing and appetite quenching. Helping you to reach those weight loss goals! You need to eat fat to burn fat.
Here is a guide on how to build a balanced smoothie
1 cup of greens (spinach, kale, zucchini) or low sugar fruit
1 cup of liquid (unsweetened milk like coconut, almond or cashew)
1 tablespoon of fibre ( chia seeds, flax seeds or natural fibre supplement)
1 tablespoon of liquid fat OR 1/4 - 1/2 avocado
1 scoop of protein powder or a small handful of nuts
*ice to thicken
*stevia or xylitol sweetener if needed
Greens- spinach, kale, zucchini, cucumber .. whichever you prefer.
Dairy-free milk- I always have almond and coconut milks on hand as they are my favourites. Any kind is great just make sure it doesn't contain added sugar.
Fibre - Chia seeds, flax seeds, or other natural fibre supplements are great.
Protein- I love flavoured plant protein. Vanilla is my personal choice as it’s most versatile. You can also use a natural whey protein if that’s all you have.
Remember the wisdom is always inside you. It is important to listen to your body and adjust ratios depending on your personal needs. Everyone is different!!
If you are interested in determining your personal needs there are many macro calculators online.