Is Your Smoothie a Balanced Meal or Total Calorie Bomb?
Whether it's in a bowl, on a plate or in a glass - doesn't matter, your meal should be balanced the same way. Blend it, sauté it, bake it or grill it, again - doesn't matter, portions don’t change.
When it comes to smoothies, this isn’t a new trend, but creations have gotten a little out of control. You see on Instagram, snapchat and all over the blogs – people just adding EVERYTHING to these blenders and making them meals, or worse, snacks. Now, don’t get me wrong, some things and some combos are great. And some could be great with a little tweaking, but some are just not. Or just not for everyone.
Here is the bottom line. When you make a meal you consider the food groups and you consider the portions of each. When making a meal out of a smoothie or a shake, these portions and food groups should still be considered to ensure balance.
In general – let’s say specific for women – your serving of fruit is ½ cup, your protein serving is about 3-4 oz. (aiming for about 20-25g protein per meal), your grains are about ½ cup. You can have unlimited veggies, when choosing dairy go with low fat and about 1 cup for a serving, and finally when adding healthy fats, we measure. To build a balanced meal we choose at a minimum, 3 food groups in the correct portions - and always make sure lean protein, fiber and veggies are represented!
So again, building a smoothie should not be any different. The only thing I would alter to fit the smoothie bucket, would be that you could have a max of 1 cup of fruit in the blender! The rest, stays the same.
Now, at many popular restaurants and smoothie-esque places, we are seeing 5 types of fruits + honey + nut butters + avocado + chia/flax seeds, then even chocolate chips, yogurts, coconut “creams,” sometimes frozen yogurts, juices omg I could keep going.
All of this together may sound like the perfect, “healthy” meal – but in reality they are total calorie bombs! Then, when you watch people make them – they don’t measure! So your servings of all these “superfoods” can just be crazy.
I love a good smoothie. I literally have one every day for breakfast, so I am not hating on smoothies at all. But, to save the smoothie we need to make them at home. Invest in a good blender (nutribullet and vitamix are my 2 faves!) and use this “skeleton” to build the BEST smoothie you possibly can. Keep it balanced, keep your portions in check and enjoy a delicious way to take in your greens, fruits and other healthy ingredients on the go!
4 oz. Milk or Milk Substitute
4 oz. Water
1 cup of fruit (recommend to split into 2 types of fruit, ½ cup of each)
1 serving of protein: 1 scoop of protein powder* or 4 oz. plain Greek yogurt or no salt added cottage cheese
Choose from: 2 tbsp plain rolled oats or ¼ cup high fiber cereal (ex: smart bran)
1 tbsp. Nut butter OR ¼ avocado
1 cup (or more) greens
1 tbsp. chia or flax seeds (booster)
Balanced, tasty, portions in check and will keep you full for HOURS!
Now, sometimes I even add in my powdered probiotic or a tsp. of maca powder or sub peanut powder for peanut butter, or high fiber GG crackers for the oats/cereal, but in general this outline is always honored!
Try this post workout or pre-workday and see how satisfied you feel! Show me your creations on Instagram and tag me @happyslimhealthy ;)
*Top protein powder choices of the moment:
-Vital Proteins (whey and collagen)