It’s no secret I’m a HUGE smoothie fan! It may be just me.. but there is something very satisfying about sending your child to school knowing that they have at least had their 5 a day for breakfast, they will have no blood sugar crash mid-morning and enough protein and healthy fats to stop them being hungry till lunch.
The conversion to eating smoothies for breakfast didn’t happen overnight but changing my diet helped me realise very quickly what whole-food nutrition could do for me and then slowly I adapted my way of thinking about what I was eating. If you want to know more about what brought me to this place with food then read about it here. Why am I telling you this? Like most people, I started the day with cereal or 2 pieces of toast and marmite until I learnt differently.
Starting with a smoothie bowl now helps keep me on track, it enables me to start the day with the best of intentions to exercise and eat well for the rest of the day. I am literally flooding my body with nutrients – vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and it’s also just as quick as pouring cereal and milk in a bowl, you just have to get prepared with the right ingredients but organic delivery companies can do that for you!
I started with a Nutri Ninja and it worked out great but after a few years of abuse, I finally invested in a Vitamix, these are expensive but as I do a lot of food preparation using this blender, it has been worth the investment.
There are some important tips to a smoothie that I’ve learnt along the way..
- I use half an avocado every day, it gives a smoothie an amazing creamy texture as well as providing a really delicious healthy monounsaturated fats and lots of healthy fibre
- You need to add a protein to help keep you satiated (study) and build your immune system (study) (most protein powders are full of junk), I mostly use pea or hemp protein or sometimes a big spoonful of almond butter!
- Linseeds (or flax seeds as they are called in America) are a powerhouse of nutrition but they need to be freshly ground. They are a rich source of Omega3 EFA and high in soluble and insoluble fibre so they support colon detoxification. They do however lose their nutritional value very quickly when exposed to air so buying milled is not the same and trying to eat them whole, well, they’ll travel straight through your body undisturbed so put them in your blender and the best bit is they’ll help to thicken your smoothie and make it even creamier.
- Focus on smoothies rather than juices as a daily regime, they provide a great tool to detox your body but with all the fibre to help stabilise your blood sugar too.
- Start with the basics of whole-food nutrition before you take it to the next level with green powders, they have added nutritional influence but if you make it too complicated it wont fit into a morning routine.
- Unless you’re giving the smoothie to a child and you’re trying to convert them, make sure your smoothie is abundant in vegetables with a little fruit to flavour, lots of fruit can be an added burden on the liver because of the high fructose levels. I really like adding lots of berries which are generally low glycemic index (conversion to blood sugar rates) and apples because like berries they are very high antioxidants.
If I have time, I make it look fancy but most of the time I chuck some cacao nibs on top because a) I love cacao b) it’s an amazing prebiotic that feeds your gut microbiome of healthy bacteria c) it has caffeine so it helps me kick start my day with an energy lift.
- 2 Sticks of celery
- 1 apple
- ½ an avocado
- ¼ of a cucumber
- 1 cup of salad leaves
- 1 inch of fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon of pea protein
- 1 tablespoon of linseeds / flax seeds
- 1 cup of water
- Roughly chop the larger vegetables and add to your blender - nutri ninja or a bullet will do. Add more water if required and for a thicker smoothie add almond or coconut milk instead.
- Pour into 2 bowls and spoon in for a nutritious breakfast.
- Decorate to your fancy, if you have time! Here i have added goji berries, cacao nibs, bee pollen and pumpkin seeds..