I see it over and over again. Whatever health goal or focus one of my clients has, drinking a smoothie for a meal or snack just works. Every time.
In our fast-paced society, we spend less and less time eating a meal. This pains me, because I believe meals are one of the most important tools for overall health of a person. Meals help you savor and enjoy food, and they promote the overall health of a community as they bring people into relationship through the enjoyment of this shared experience. The reality of many of my clients is that they are BUSY with little time to think about, prepare, and sit down for every meal. Whether you are the president of a thriving business, a full time mom of 4 boys or a high school athlete, I want to help you achieve your goals while still living your busy life!
When you are busy with little time to eat, you face several challenges. One, you skip a meal. You don’t have time for breakfast, so you don’t eat it. This leads to overeating at your next meal or binge on the chips and salsa after work. I always say a ravenous person is not a rational person. Two, you eat quick convenience food. You grab whatever you can eat on the run: chips, pack of crackers, fast food hamburger, or a latte. Three, you stop caring about your health. It may be a slow decline of desire. You first stop caring about what you eat for lunch, then months later you are carrying 10 extra pounds, and then a year later you have high cholesterol and need to be on medication.
How do you overcome those challenges? Develop 1 - 2 go to strategies that will help you eat healthfully while you are in this busy season of life.
One strategy that works for most of my clients (as well as for me) is drink a smoothie for a meal. It is a sure fire way to eat consistently, to avoid calorie- and sugar-heavy convenience foods, and to get essential nutrients that keep your body healthy. It requires SO LITTLE preparation time, you can easily fit it into a crazy busy day. Every day.
Let me show you how I have seen this strategy work for some specific health goals:
Health Goal 1: Lose Weight
Strategy: Drink a smoothie with added protein for your most challenging meal.
- Breakfast challenge: If your challenge is skipping breakfast, drink a smoothie while you are driving to work, to school, or to the carpool line.
- Lunch challenge: If your challenge is eating quick convenience foods for lunch, prepare a smoothie in the morning and put it in the fridge until lunchtime.
- Dinner challenge: If your challenge is eating too much at dinner, prepare a hearty and nutritious smoothie to drink in the evening.
Health Goal 2: Get an Energy Boost
Strategy: Drink a smoothie with essential nutrients for a snack. This smoothie needs the following:
- Good carbohydrates: A banana or 1 cup of almond milk will do the trick. Carbohydrates are your energy fuel.
- Good fat: Avocado or flaxseeds work here. Monounsaturated fat and Omega 3s supply your brain with the nutrients it needs to function well.
- A little protein: 1 cup almond milk, 1 tablespoon of nut butter, or ½ cup of Greek yogurt can give a smoothie a little protein which is needed to sustain that energy boost.
- B vitamins: Add yogurt or spinach to a smoothie for this group of 8 vitamins. They are an essential part of cell metabolism which is crucial for efficient energy. Plus they help with balancing your mood and relieving stress, two things that are natural energy boosters!
Health Goal 3: Improve Overall Health
Strategy: Add fruit or veggies to your smoothie
- Blueberries: Eating blueberries gives you antioxidants that you cannot get from any other food. I mean, what other food do you eat that is blue?!
- Strawberries: Their design gives a clue into their health benefits, the heart shaped silhouette tells us they are good for the heart. They lower blood pressure and increase the good cholesterol (that takes the bad cholesterol out of our system).
- Spinach: A golden superfood, it can help you maintain a healthy weight, build and maintain bone mass, improve the glow of your skin and hair, and build muscle all while protecting you from free radical damage that leads to all types of diseases.
Below are two of my favorite smoothie recipes that work as a meal or snack. Use one of these or build your own with the criteria above to help you achieve your health goal!
If you want more direction on how to achieve your health goals, I would love to help you. Contact me here so we can talk about what you want and how I can help.
What are ways you have used a smoothie to achieve your health goals? What is your favorite recipe? Share in the comment section below!
The Antioxidant Powerhouse Smoothie
1 cup frozen blueberries or strawberries
1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
½ cup of organic spinach leaves
1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
*To make this smoothie a meal, add protein powder to it
Pear Protein Smoothie
1 organic medium sized pear, cored and cut up into pieces (you could also use an apple)
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use Vega protein powder, but you can use your favorite. People will use whey protein isolate to help build muscle, while others use a plant-based protein powder to avoid dairy or maintain a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle)
1 tablespoon of almond butter
1 1/2 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
8 ice cubes
Blend all together in a high powered blender.