Smoothies are game changers. It’s no wonder that a green or purple smoothie has now become the most ubiquitous (to the point of tiresome,) image that you see on Pinterest or Instagram within the healthy living space. But the reason why it’s become almost mandatory for every household to own a high-speed blender, is because slurping a daily smoothie gets all your important nutrients down in one giant wallop. A good smoothie can be way better than taking a handful of supplements because you are drinking real food as opposed isolated nutrients. The great thing about smoothies is that you can get really creative and tailor it to your particular needs and desires. The most often asked question is: Is a smoothie or a juice better? There is no better. Each has its own advantages, but by and large, I prefer smoothies because you can stuff them full of the fiber that helps to cleanse your body on a daily basis. Remember, your body loves REAL food! So, let’s take a look at your daily must-drink smoothie
For those of you who are avoiding fruits on account of their sugar content, there is a get around (see “Go Green” below), but remember that the huge amount of fiber in your smoothie will slow-release the sugar into your blood. This is way better than drinking a glass of pure fruit juice, which spikes your blood sugar instantaneously, and should be avoided by anyone with any blood sugar issues.
So here are my rules of your daily must-drink smoothie. Once you follow these 8 simple rules, you can then customize with other ingredients to suit your taste and/or nutritional needs.
- Non dairy milk: I recommend not drinking dairy in your smoothie, with the exception of a little plain yogurt (if you love it), or a little Kefir (fermented dairy drink). Keep in mind that you can also add non-dairy yogurt or kefir. There are now so many choices of non-dairy milks including: hemp, rice, coconut, almond, pea protein, soy, etc. Just make sure your milk is unsweetened.
- Red or purple: I like to to include some kind of red or purple frozen berry in my daily smoothie. Dark colored berries contain the exact anti-oxidants we need to combat the free-radicals that age our body and our skin. They also help to boost your immune system.
- Banana: Although not imperative, I do like to toss 1/2 banana into my daily smoothie because it contains a bunch of healthy minerals, and gives a creaminess to my smoothie.
- Fiber: Add an extra boost of fiber to your smoothie by tossing in 1 – 2 tbsp of ground flax seed.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: By adding 1 tbsp of ground flax or 1 tbsp of chia seeds (soaked overnight), your are giving your smoothie a huge Omega boost. You can also add 1/2 avocado for extra omegas and added creaminess.
- Go Green: Add greens such as a handful of spinach, baby kale/chard. But switch up your greens from day-to-day. You can always use a good quality greens powder instead. I like. If you are watching your sugar, you can make green the larger part of your smoothie. You might wish to replace the banana with an extra handful of greens, or a chopped up cucumber, romaine lettuce, kiwi, or a tart apple.
- Protein: If you are very active, or if you don’t eat meat, you might want to protein-boost your smoothie. My favorite protein powders are either pea protein (great for your gut), or hemp powder (full of nutrients). You could also add a tbsp of nut butter, but if you are already using a nut milk as the base for your smoothie, I would prefer you use pea or hemp protein.
- Spice it up: Spices not only contain anti-oxidants, but certain spices such as turmeric and cinnamon contain anti-inflammatory and/or blood sugar-lowering compounds. While I recommend that almost everyone gets their daily dose of turmeric, there are contraindications with cinnamon (if you are on Meds, do check with your doctor first). If you want to get your daily dose of turmeric in your smoothie, add 1/4 tsp and a tiny pinch of black pepper, which helps your body to absorb it.
Check out my Instagram for great smoothie ideas this week, and a mega Vitamix giveaway!