This morning, whilst I am at home getting ready for my busy day I am loving a smoothie for breakfast. A gorgeous alternative meal (and I do mean alternative, don’t have a meal as well!), that took less than 5 minutes to blend and, even though I am always prepared in advance with a healthy meal and snack in the fridge, sometimes I just feel like something different, maybe a little more indulgent that I can sip away at on the way to my next client or at home in front of the computer whilst I work.
And this is where smoothies become king. A healthy smoothie can provide you with essential vitamins, fibre, healthy fats, protein and minerals and are an easy way to nourish your body as well as being a fantastic aid to weight loss.
Quick and unstressful to make, there is no need for the shop bought variety which are expensive and can have very high sugar content. The best way to know the exact ingredients in your smoothie is to make them yourself. All you need is a blender, leafy veg, a small amount of fruit and a base, such as water, milk or yogurt. Smoothies don’t need much planning in advance. These are the basics and from this start point, anything you like goes, literally.
The healthiest smoothies are packed with fibre, protein and healthy fats – think avocado, nuts and seeds. Delicious to taste they are a godsend on a busy day, or after an indulgent night before or weekend. They are a great way to re-balance our bodies and pump in the nutrients we may have missed out on and to keep your calories down.
Beware though of the not so healthy smoothies, even homemade ones. These are the ones packed mainly with fruit and although fruit is fantastic in terms of antioxidants and vitamins, it does need to be eaten in moderation due to the high sugar content. I want your smoothie to keep you full so that you don’t need to snack between meals, and don’t create a massive sugar spike then slump which will leave you craving more sugar.
The best proportion for any smoothie to keep you full and satisfied is 3/4 veg and the last quarter made up of fruit, healthy fats and water – if I do add avocado or nuts, I use water instead of yogurt to keep the fat and calorie content lower.
So here is my smoothie recipe for this morning, and as I said before, I didn’t plan it, I just had the ingredients to hand, and literally anything you like goes. Be brave, mix it up. Like any new recipe, taste it and then add a little more sweetness in the form of an extra strawberry, a little more banana, or ramp up the intensity by adding a pinch of chilli or small amount of ginger.
1 x handful spinach.
2 x tbsp oats.
¼ x beetroot.
½ x small banana.
1 x strawberry.
½ cup water.
Serves 1, Cals 200.
Blended all together and its done. If you like a little looser add water to achieve the consistency you like. Just look at the nutrients involved here, the vitamins, fibre, protein and healthy fats. This is a total powerhouse of a meal in one delicious drink.