Eating on-the-go doesn’t have to mean eating at a fast food restaurant and it doesn’t need to be complicated. One of the best ways that you can make a quick meal in minutes without the consequences of a fast food stop is to make a smoothie. Smoothies can serve as a meal replacement or a powerful snack to get you to dinner. This cool, thick, drink is also a healthy and refreshing way to beat the summer heat!
The biggest benefit of blending up a smoothie is that it becomes an easy way to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables that you eat everyday. Many people do not get enough in their diet. We know that the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society want us to get at LEAST 5 servings of whole fruits and vegetables every day and mixing up a smoothie can be a great way to bump up your intake of both fruits and vegetables without too much prep time.
Getting 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
Unlike juices, smoothies include whole fruits and vegetables which have fiber. Eating at least 5 servings per day provides you with natural fiber to help you to lose weight, improve gut health and digestion, and prevent constipation.
Besides taking almost no time to prepare and easy to blend up in minutes, a smoothie is a great meal replacement when you are out of time and on the road. Smoothies pack powerful nutrients that help with weight loss, cut cravings and power your body up for workouts and natural energy.
All you need is a blender, some fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables and a few other nutrient packed ingredients.
A basic smoothie has 5 ingredients:
1. Liquid: This forms the base of your smoothie. You can use water, a plant based milk like soy, oat or almond. Coconut water can be a base too. Go easy with fruit juice which is just sugar without the fiber.
2. Fruit: The complex carbohydrates in whole fruit provide vitamins and minerals along with a good dose of fiber. Use fresh or frozen banana, strawberry, mango or whatever you have on hand.
3. Nut or nut butter: Raw nuts and natural nut butters provide healthy fat, fiber and protein along with vitamins and minerals. Try peanut or almond butter, walnuts, almonds or sunflower seeds. Make sure to use nuts and nut butters that are packaged without added fats or excess sodium. Read the labels before purchasing.
4. Greens: Talk about adding power! Leafy greens add fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Add spinach, kale, chard, or whatever you have on hand. You may not even taste the greens! You will love the green color.
5. Extras: Once you master the basic smoothie, experiment by throwing in healthy add-ons like yogurt, avocado, ginger, cinnamon, flax meal, hemp hearts, oats, dried dates and whatever else!
What kind of blender is best?
The small, single serving blenders are easy to take on the road. Check out the Magic Bullet or the NutriBullet. These powerful little blenders can deal with frozen fruit, allow for storage of leftovers, and cleanup easily.
How to make a basic smoothie:
For this basic smoothie, add the liquid first, banana, frozen fruit, nut butter, spinach and date. Go slow with the frozen fruit so as not to overwhelm your blender. You may need to add a bit more liquid.
Coach Christy’s Basic Smoothie
- ½ cup soy milk (or any unsweetened milk of your choice such as unsweetened vanilla almond or coconut)
- ½ ripe banana
- ½ cup frozen strawberry (slightly defrosted)
- 1 small handful of spinach
- 1 tbsp peanut butter (or nut of your choice)
- 1 dried and pitted date (or your choice of an extra)
Smoothies are nutrient and energy dense, so stick with one, 8 oz serving. Save the leftover for tomorrow’s breakfast or snack. The fiber, fat and protein make smoothies satiating, so it will fill you up and keep you full for hours.
Experiment with different ingredients. The possibilities are endless. Add a sugar-free whey protein or vegan protein for extra protein.
Enhance your health with a cool, powerful smoothie.
Enjoy and Roll Strong!