Did you know that prime smoothie time is actually during the winter months? That’s because after the New Year, people are looking for more ways to add healthy foods into their diets, and smoothies are an easy and convenient solution to pack in a ton of nutrition.
But .. Could your smoothie be derailing your health and wellness goals?
Smoothies are great! They can be packed with nutritious fruits, vegetables, protein, plus more, but many fall into the same smoothie sabotage trap – portion sizes.
Don’t fall for one of these smoothie sabotages:
Too much fruit
Since fruits are carbohydrates and are full of natural sugars, your body will metabolize them more quickly, leaving you with a blood sugar crash only a couple hours later.
Also, keep in mind to use whole fruit vs. fruit juice. Whole fruit has fiber, which breaks down slower in our digestive system, whereas fruit juices are very quickly digested and can spike glucose levels.
The fix: Stick to about ½-1 cup of fruit per smoothie, plus incorporating enough balance of protein and fiber from other mix-ins.
Too much fat
Adding heart-healthy fats like avocado, nut butters, or seeds are a great addition to a smoothie because it will help with satiety hours after drinking. About all nut butter serving sizes are 2 tablespoons and around 180 calories per serving. Adding avocado to a smoothie adds a creamy consistency. A serving of an avocado is 1/3 of the avocado, clocking in with 80 calories per serving. I love avocados and nut butters just as much as the next person, but don’t scoop in too much of a good thing. The calories can add up quickly.
The fix: Measure your ingredients! (keep reading!)
You’re not measuring
Raise your hand if you tend to “eye-ball” your smoothie ingredients. The next smoothie you make, take out your measuring cups and spoons and measure. You’ll be surprised how heavy handed you may be.
The fix: Dust off your measuring cups and measuring spoons and start measuring. Take it one step further and meal prep pre-portioned smoothie bags and line them up in your freezer.
Your protein powder might be it’s own meal replacement
Double-check your protein powder. Some protein powders just need to be mixed with water to replace a full meal. Your protein powder might already stack up to a complete meal with the mix of carbs, fat, and protein already, then building a smoothie on top is that – it’s sipping on two full meals at once.
Protein powder is not the only way to add protein to your smoothie. Whole foods like, Greek yogurt, milk, nut butters, and chia seeds can add plenty of protein to your smoothie.
The fix: Check with a Registered Dietitian which protein powder is best for you to use or try one of these non-protein powder smoothie ideas.
Not enough greens!
Build a salad first, and then add your fix-ins, making sure the bulk of the ingredients are low-glycemic vegetables. This is a key opportunity to really boost your vegetable intake. If you are new to adding greens, try starting with baby spinach, then work your way up to incorporating kale, cucumber, romaine, or watercress.
The fix: Not convinced? Try our Not-Gross Fresh Green Smoothie.
Switch up the “extras”
Skip the extra addition of honey or maple syrup. Your smoothie is sweet enough with the fruit. Instead swap in some extra super food powders.
The fix: Learn more about these super food powders here.
Now that you have the rules, here’s a great recipe that incorporates them:
Not-So Sweet Green Smoothie (Serves 1)
- ½ cup frozen spinach or kale
- ½ a ripe avocado
- ¼ cup Mint (or just a small handful)
- ¼ cup Flat leaf parsley, woody stems removed
- 1 small nub of ginger ( around 1 inch long), peeled and grated
- Juice of ½ lime
- 1 ½ cups Soy milk, more or less to thin to desired consistency
- Combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender (starting with just 1 cup of the soy milk, adding more as needed).
- Blend until smooth. Using the blender wand is helpful in a smoothie like this with lots of greens to ensure it becomes nice and smooth. Serve immediately.
Share your add-ons and substitutions in the comments section below. Be sure to unlock a coupon to use on your next Luvo purchase and download Luvo’s 7-day meal and fitness plan for more nutrition tips and recipes.