How to make a smoothie that packs a punch

smoothies 1024x512 How to make a smoothie that packs a punchA 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?

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  1. I never have smoothies, but on the weekends I might just have a protein shake for breakfast just before my run, and then after 2-3 hours on the trails I don’t really feel like eating…
    Coach Dion recently posted..TTT (TIME TO TRAIN)My Profile

  2. I do have green smoothies often and they do keep me full but not my husband. He’s ravishing half an hour later. I use coconut water, greens, fruit and protein powder. Sometimes I add a little coconut flour to make it a little heartier and that definitely helps keep me full. I do think that there’s a big difference between making your own and controlling the ingredients and portions vs going to a juice/smoothie bar every day.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Yoga Teacher Training: Weekend 1My Profile

  3. When I have a smoothie, I make it a full meal deal too. Most of them are everything but the kitchen sink varieties. Having enough protein and fat in the mix always keeps me full longer too.
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Eats LatelyMy Profile

  4. I’m a smoothie fan and a veggie fan, yet I’ve yet to combine the two. Must get over the green and try!
    Jennifer F recently posted..Chocolate Chip Cranberry Pumpkin Bread Recipe { #Paleo & #GlutenFree }My Profile

  5. I LOOOOVE my frozen smooothie.
    at night.
    while I watch bravo tv
    on the couch.
    after dinner.

    Miz recently posted..MizFit EXPOSED! (the immediate aftermath…)My Profile

  6. I’ve only done a few smoothies, need to start doing them as nutrient-dense, calorie-heavy portable snacks. Thanks for the good tips, and a possible new whey protein (have to check it out, needs to be isolate only for me – I’ve got some Klean Athlete to try too). Did you see the protein powder article in Consumer Reports? Scary.

    Wondering if I should get a refurb’d Vitamix – my regular blender can’t even handle frozen chopped kale when I try to make smoothies now.

  7. you know we are smoothie lovers! packed with punch for sure! love adding avocado or coconut oil for good fats. or barleans omega swirl, so so good
    lindsay recently posted..Gluten Free Stuffin Muffins and Three Bakers GiveawayMy Profile

  8. I love a good smoothie but rarely drink them. I think mostly because I’m always cold!
    I never out broccoli or beets in mine- can you taste them?
    I used to use OJ then realized how much sugar that added and now use soy milk instead.
    Abby @ Change of Pace recently posted..Wednesday web links – Kona crazy, listening to your body & don’t forget the sunscreen!My Profile

  9. I’ve been on a big pumpkin smoothie kick lately– pumpkin, almond milk, bananas, cinnamon and some protein powder. Really tasty and it’s been keeping me fuller than my smoothies usually do.
    Colorado Gal recently posted..Alaska: The Details & The QuestionsMy Profile

  10. I think your addition of all those healthy fats is probably why you find smoothies to satiating! And I agree that keeping fruit down, as compared to veggies is probably key.
    Your smoothie sounds so good I just might have to make one today! :)
    Tamara recently posted..How to prepare for a fitness photo shootMy Profile

  11. I have smoothies about 3x/week as well and mine DO fill me up! I too have become much more aware that all protein powders are not created equal. I think greens are key. I also throw a scoop of steel cut oats in mine, and spirulina. The Caveman likes almond butter in his.
    Marcia recently posted..One Small Change Link UpMy Profile

  12. I must admit I don’t do many smoothies and one of the reasons for that is that I get too hungry. I think I need better discipline with this but I do know when I am in peak training smoothies are never enough for me.
    Johann recently posted..Trail Running and Road RunningMy Profile

  13. Hmm, I must be misreading here, but where’s the bourbon? Nothing punches up a smoothie better than bourbon. Cheers!
    Viper recently posted..Revenge of the BastardMy Profile

  14. Big smoothie fan here – still working on finding the right mix of greens. Mine tend to be heavier on fruit and always include almond butter or of late, pumpkin puree.
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Small Changes are ComingMy Profile

  15. I don’t remember the last time I had a smoothie or a protein shake!
    Kierston @candyfit recently posted..Truth be told…My Profile

  16. I love the addition of the Chia Seeds as these definitely do fill you up. Plus thanks for the tip about the use of MSG in most protein powders. I had no idea and I get terrible migraines from MSG. Thankfully I typically use Tera’s Whey Organic Protein powders so this hasn’t been a problem.

  17. Oddly enough, I rarely have smoothies in the morning. It’s typically an after work snack or pre-bedtime snack. I think I’m so zombie in the morning that it just doesn’t happen.
    Laura @losingrace recently posted..Wineglass Marathon RecapMy Profile

  18. I too drink smoothies a few times a week. Sometimes I just do almond milk, a banana and peanut butter for a recovery drink. If I’m eating it as a meal I use almond milk, banana, chia seeds, flax seeds, oats and either blueberries or spinach. The chia seeds always full me up nicely! Good to know about the msg! :(
    Joni @ Rocks on a Fencepost recently posted..Last Week’s Running RecapMy Profile

  19. I love hearing what other people throw in their smoothies! I tend to enjoy eating and chewing over a liquid meal, so I don’t do smoothies that often, but love your tips!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Divas Half Race RecapMy Profile

  20. Green smoothies are my go-to breakfast during the week — I drink them during my long commute! Mine are usually pretty heavy on the fruit, though — greens and banana (always), and often another fruit or two. (Today was strawberry & pineapple.) I don’t use protein, instead relying on hemp seeds to bump up the protein. They only really fill me up when I use avocado and peanut/almond butter, though. I tend to snack on some nuts mid-morning otherwise.
    Lauren @ mostly i run recently and giveaway: energybitsMy Profile

  21. I love smoothies as a post-run meal, especially in the summer. I throw in lots and lots of fruit, yogurt, and milk. Right now we’ve got gallons of frozen blueberries from u-pick this summer, and they’re great in smoothies. I always have frozen bananas in my freezer too. That makes them so creamy. Yum!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Fear of Heights: A Metaphor for MotherhoodMy Profile

  22. Not a smoothie drinker…and I’m a little hesitant to throw in greens if I did. I know I ought to try it before I knock it. One of these days…
    Kate recently posted..MO’ Cowbell Half MarathonMy Profile

  23. I am not a huge smoothie fan because they never fill me up. I usually only use fruit though. Might help if I branched out and added some veggies and nuts.
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..Colbert Half Marathon {Race Recap}My Profile

  24. Fats and protein are definitely the key. I’m not a big smoothie person and it’s only because I hate washing the blender. Yep, I’m lazy.
    Char recently posted..Why I Nearly Didn’t Get to Run Melbourne MarathonMy Profile

  25. I have a smoothie every single morning for breakfast after my workout. It is the ONLY breakfast that keeps me full until lunch. Nothing else – not eggs, or oatmeal, and certainly not pancakes or the like – can do that. I think it’s a combination of the high-protein powder I use and all the vegetables that keep me full. I love them and they’re certainly not going away from my diet!!

  26. I loooove an ice cold smoothie in the summer after a hot sweaty run! I do usually find myself hungry again in 2 hours, but sometimes it’s worth it. ;)
    Ari @ Ari’s Menu recently posted..Apple Cider Donuts with Molasses Dulce de Leche GlazeMy Profile

  27. If I can get a good dose of protein and fat in it, a smoothie can last me for a while. But fruit and veggies alone – notsomuch.
    Sheila recently posted..ready…SET…go?My Profile

  28. I hope your smoothie didn’t punch you too hard! LOL!!!!
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted..This One Takes The CakeMy Profile

  29. I have a power packed nutrient dense smoothie 5/week 99% of the time for breakfast. It almost always gets me through until lunch.
    Jill @ Fitness, Health and Happiness recently posted..Mid-Week Motivation: Don’t Quit!My Profile

  30. i love love love smoothie – especially in the summertime!! One of my most recent favs is this smoothie
    healthy smoothie recipes recently posted..Gooseberry Smoothie RecipeMy Profile

  31. Good heavens, thank you very much for posting this! It is going to help when I get Hemp Seed at the market! Awesome!


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