A couple weeks ago, Tamara of FitKnitChick did a really interesting post on why she’s cutting back on the number of smoothies she eats and recommends to her fitness clients. Her post made many valid points and I think it’s a good one for anyone who is a regular at the homemade smoothie bar. One point was that her post-workout smoothies don’t really fill her enough to stave off the hungries for long. This one was interesting to me, because mine do fill me up, and I’m going to help you all make sure that yours do, too, especially if you use them as a meal.
I have a smoothie for breakfast probably about three times per week. And as you know, I don’t snack between meals, so it’s important that my smoothies have some substance if they’re going to bridge a four- to five-hour gap between meals. One thing I must be upfront about is that I typically don’t have breakfast much before 8 a.m. I’ll get up to workout around 5, do my workout in a fasted state, and then get caught up on getting kids out the door, etc. before I get around to eating. I AM hungry by the time I eat, trust me!
So how do I make sure my smoothie is going to keep me satisfied all morning? I think one of the keys is the good fats that I use in it. I always start with a base of coconut milk–the light canned version from Trader Joe’s is my go-to. I also usually throw in some nuts–walnuts or almonds–for an additional dose of fats and protein. Then I usually use two types of vegetables. I vary the greens I use, from kale to chard to mustard greens. Sometimes I’ll add beets and other times broccoli.
As to fruit, I do use it in my smoothies as well, but try to keep the ratio higher on the vegetable side. I usually throw in some chia seeds (I’m a fitness blogger, right?), too, for all their health benefits, and finally, I add protein powder at the very end. My protein powder of choice is Whey Cool, which is not heat processed and therefore devoid of the MSG that is in most commercial protein powders (even when the label doesn’t read MSG).
So that’s the scoop. My smoothies aren’t polite little numbers. They’re pretty good sized, which I think also helps me stay full all morning. Like I said, I don’t do smoothies every day, for a variety of reasons, but when I do, I make sure they’re going to serve as a full breakfast.
How about you–does your smoothie keep you filled up all morning? Do you drink smoothies at other times of the day?