Smoothies are a great healthy on-the-go breakfast, but when not made correctly these blended breakfasts are missing the nutrition mark. Below are the 5 most common mistakes people make when putting together their morning smoothie, and a simple formula to make sure you master your smoothie every time.
Common Smoothie Mistakes
Here are the 6 most common mistakes people make when preparing their morning smoothie and an easy-to-follow formula to ensure you are making the most well-balanced smoothie possible.
1. Adding Too Much Fruit
Adding too much fruit to your smoothie might make it sweet and delicious, but it is actually creating more of a milkshake than a healthy breakfast. The most common smoothie recipe looks something like this; banana + berries + orange juice + flavored yogurt. Although isolated these may be healthy options, together the formula ends up looking more like; sugar + sugar + sugar + sugar. Starting your day with too much fruit is a recipe for an energy crash about 1-hour post-breakfast.
2. Not Adding Protein
Your smoothie may be as green as can be, but without adding protein your smoothie is not setting you up for a day of success. Adding protein to your morning smoothie will help to balance your blood sugar and keep your cravings at bay. Protein is the most satiating and filling nutrient and skipping on protein will cause you to be hungry shortly after breakfast.
3. Not Adding Fat
Although this meal might not be served on a plate, it is essential that your smoothie remains macronutrient balanced. What does that mean? It should contain a serving of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fat! Fat is vital for our health and also helps slow down digestion to keep us fuller longer and stops our blood sugar from spiking from the fruit.
4. Forgetting it’s a Meal
Although smoothies are liquid, they can pack a real nutritional punch, and depending on what is in them, can contain up to 500 calories per serving. Having them for breakfast is a great way to start your day, but when fully loaded they don’t need to be eaten with a full serving of pancakes, bacon, and eggs. If you want to include a smoothie as a drink or side to breakfast, dial back the ingredients so you don’t overdo it.
5. Drinking it Too Fast
Smoothies may be a shot of health, but they are not meant to be drunk like one! Drinking your smoothie too fast can cause digestive upset, like gas and bloating, making it difficult for your body to absorb all of the nutrients in it. If you couldn’t eat the ingredients in your smoothie in the span of 3 minutes, you shouldn’t drink it that fast either.
Fortunately, with a simple formula, you can create a perfect smoothie every time, and forgo the kitchen blender mishaps.
THE SMOOTHIE FORMULA = Liquid + Fruit + Protein + Fat
- LIQUID: You’ll want to skip the fruit juice when you are making your smoothie. Alternately, opt for simple liquids like water, almond milk, coconut milk, or coconut water. Start with 3/4 of a cup and add then you can add more as needed. It’s better to underdo the liquid rather than overdo it.
- FRUIT ( and/or Veggies): Fruit provides a good base for your smoothie, a creamy texture, and a source of carbohydrates. Bananas are an easy option, as well as fresh or frozen berries or peaches. Try and limit your fruit to a 1 cup maximum, and adding a handful of leafy greens is always a great way to add more veggies.
- PROTEIN: Protein powders are a very simple way to add much-needed protein to your smoothie. Choose a protein powder that you can easily digest, as there are lots of options out there. Alternatively, nuts or seeds can also help provide a much-needed protein boost; hemp seeds are a personal favorite.
- FAT: A bit of healthy fat goes a very long way in your morning smoothie. Not only does it help to slow down the digestion and absorption of the sugars present in fruit to help balance your blood sugar, but appropriate sources can be used as a source of energy during the day.
Creating the perfect smoothie can be a bit of a science project if you are starting out, so don’t be afraid to experiment. The best thing to do is to start out simple and add more as you go. Here are three simple smoothie recipes I love.
BERRY BLASTER SMOOTHIE
- 1 cup almond milk
- ½ banana
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 banana
- 1 ½ tbsp. hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp. almond butter
- 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp. cocoa nibs
GREEN ENERGY SMOOTHIE
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 cup frozen peaches
- 1 handful spinach
- 1 ½ tbsp. hemp seeds
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- ½ inch fresh ginger