I almost always have some sort of smoothie for breakfast. Daily smoothies have played a key role in helping me maintain a healthy weight, strengthen my immune system, keep my energy up throughout the day, and literally flood my body with nutrients.
Smoothies: The Perfect Breakfast
In short, smoothies make a perfect breakfast. They're nutritious, tasty, easy to digest, and quickly prepared — and they don't leave you with a sugar-caffeine crash like my former breakfast of choice: a berry scone and double Americano.
I also love how smoothies can help you start out the day right, and provide the foundation for making healthier food choices throughout the day.
Because sometimes when you splurge or backslide in the morning, you throw in the towel on the rest of the day: okay, I blew it on that donut so the day is screwed. Might as well have that break-room pizza for lunch, and take-out for dinner.
Right? Do you do that? It's okay. We all do. But I tend to do it less when I'm having a healthy smoothie for breakfast.
Love Smoothies — But Not So Sure About Protein Powder?
As much as I love smoothies, I'm conflicted about protein powders. I use them sometimes, but I'm never fully satisfied with them. They often make the smoothie taste chalky, bitter or just plain weird.
More importantly, I don't like how most protein powders on the market are highly processed. I'm a huge advocate of eating whole, unrefined foods, and my nutrition practice is built around helping people incorporate more of these foods into their daily diet.
So, it would be weird for me to be talk about the importance of whole, natural foods and then turn around and recommend a product that's comprised of isolates, preservatives, gums, flavorings and other ingredients fabricated in a lab.
When in Doubt, DIY
That's why I came up with my own DIY smoothie blend. It's not really a powder, and I didn't want it to be.
I like the fact that you can see whole seeds and berries in the mix — it resembles the exact opposite of the highly processed protein powders out there.
Making your own smoothie blend is awesome not only because it's made up of “real” food, but also because it can save you precious time in the morning. Instead of running around your kitchen and measuring out tablespoons and teaspoons from numerous jars and containers, you simply add one or two scoops to the rest of the ingredients in the blender: liquid, greens, frozen fruit, etc. Blend and serve!
This smoothie blend isn't even really a recipe more than it is a list of options. As I say when I teach yoga, everything is optional — do what feels right.
Or in this case, what tastes right.
This particular concoction includes:
- Hemp seed: high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium (the anti-stress mineral) and zinc (supports immune system, eye health and clear skin).
- Chia seed: high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Maca: the root of this Andean herb is an adaptogen that helps lower anxiety, increase energy and… even improve libido (!)
- Chlorella: Admittedly, this algae has to be processed to make the nutrients accessible to our bodies. I'm okay with that, considering the benefits: it strengthens the immune system and is a powerful detoxifying agent that removes toxins and heavy metals.
- Matcha (green tea powder): cancer-fighting, fat-burning antioxidant powerhouse.
- Cacao: another antioxidant superhero, plus it's high in magnesium and is a natural anti-depressant.
- Goji berry: I've blogged about this superfood before. Goji berries are high in antioxidants, protein and fiber. And, most importantly: yumminess.
DIY Smoothie “Powder” — the recipe
- Hemp seed (hulled): just under 2 cups (1 7/8 c. if you need that level of detail)
- Chia seed (whole): 1/2 cup
- Maca powder: 3 tablespoons
- Chlorella: 3 tablespoons
- Matcha powder: 2 tablespoons
- Cacao powder: 5 tablespoons
- Goji berries: 1 1/4 cup
Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and give a stir. Scoop into a mason jar and store in the refrigerator.
When it comes time to make a smoothie, start small and see how you like the taste — add the following to your blender:
- 1/4 cup of DIY smoothie powder (feel free to add more if you like)
- 16 ounces of liquid (nut milk, water, or a combination of the two)
- A couple handfuls of fresh greens (spinach or de-stemmed kale)
- 2 cups frozen fruit of choice
- 1 cup of ice
Process in a high speed blender until smooth. Serve (this makes enough for two).
I hope you found today's post helpful.
If you make your own concoction, please tag me on Instagram. I'd love to know how it turned out!