We know that undereating at breakfast time is common in the lives of people who have busy lifestyles. We hear about it from our clients and we also experience this too. For working parents, the pandemic hasn’t just been stressful, it has felt impossible at times. The mornings can feel like a mad rush to get the children fed and set up for their remote-learning. And before you know it, it’s mid-day and you’ve skipped breakfast. This situation can lead to overeating when you eventually get around to eating because of the drop in your blood sugar levels. We’re here to say that breakfast doesn’t have to be a big ordeal, nor take a lot of time.
One way to make sure that you have the first and most important meal of the day, and that you include the right balance of ingredients that keeps you full 1-2 hours later, is to make the perfect breakfast smoothies that even your children will enjoy! Rather than giving you a specific recipe we thought that some guidelines around ingredients for the perfect smoothie could be helpful. Start fueling up again before you take on the day!
The more fiber content the better. Veggies help to slow digestion of sugars and make you feel fuller longer. The recommended daily serving of veggies is unlimited. If you were to have 3 servings of veggies in your breakfast smoothie that would be 3-6 cups, again the serving amount depends on your nutrition goals. To make sure that we get a high content of fiber in our smoothies and that it tastes good, we use 1-2 veggies. If we don’t have time to steam our veggies we stick to spinach and grab 3 cups/3 handfuls. 2 cups of spinach and 1 cup of cucumber are good combos. Also, 2 cups of spinach and 1/2 cup of green peas. Or try adding a few steamed okras to any of these combos – for the nutrition benefits without the slimy texture and taste. Kale, celery, beets or beetroot powder from Rootalive.com and sprouts are also good options for veggies that are high in fiber.
Although fruit is good for you, it’s a natural source of sugar. Our bodies store sugar that it doesn’t break down, and this includes sugar from natural sources. The recommended daily serving of fruit is 3 servings (3 medium fruits or 3 cups of fruit). Adding too much fruit to your breakfast smoothie will take you over this recommended serving. Depending on your nutrition goals, 1 serving of fruit (1 medium fruit or 1 cup of fruits like berries or 1/2 of a ripe banana) is the ideal amount of fruit per smoothie. Our go-to fruit in our smoothie is 1/2 of a ripe frozen banana because it sweetens just right! 1 or 1/2 cup of frozen ripe mango or pineapple are other tasty options. Fruits such as strawberries and blueberries vary in sweetness, therefore adding 1/2 of a ripe banana, a few pitted dates in addition to some berries can ensure that your smoothie is sweet while staying within a healthy range.
Juices add sugar so as a first step if you’re not doing this already, try making your smoothies without orange juice or apple juice or any other juice. Water, unsweetened nut milks (almond, cashew, coconut), or coconut water are healthier options. My go-to is 3/4 cups of soya milk because it’s a good source of plant protein and I love the taste! Anthony uses almond milk – which is why we make our own breakfast smoothies.
Because I’m not a fan of the taste of protein powders, I also have two boil eggs in the morning to ensure that I get the protein I need based on my nutrition goals. Anthony on the other hand includes 1-2 scoops of protein powder in his, again, the amount of protein powder you include depends on your nutrition goals and activity level.
Boosters are optional and you can choose as many as you like to kick up your energy. We tend to use at least two. A few choices can include Roasted Milled hemp seeds or flaxseed or flaxseed oil from CanMarFoods.com, collagen, chlorella powder, Vitamin C powder, spirulina powder, chia seeds, ginger, dark cocoa powder, cacao nibs, maca root powder, bee pollen.
We love adding Greek yogurt to our smoothies as it’s a good source of probiotics which helps to support the good bacteria that already lives in our digestive system. Prebiotics is types of fiber that promote the increase of friendly bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics are naturally found in: chicory root, dandelion greens, bananas, oats, apples, konjac root, coca, flaxseeds, and jicama roots. Including probiotics and prebiotics into your smoothie can help make your gut happy!
And we can’t forget about adding crushed ice cubes to the blender for a thick and frosty smoothie!
What about you? Do you eat breakfast most mornings? If not, what gets in the way? Would you be willing to try a smoothie recipe for breakfast? Or, each week incorporate one new change to the way you make your smoothies to make them healthier?
Photography by Jeremie Dupont and My BLH Wellness Inc.