Is Your Smoothie ACTUALLY Healthy & Balanced?
Smoothies are delicious, fast, and nutritious meals on the go – when made correctly. It’s important to remember that meals, whether served on a plate or in a glass, should be nutritionally balanced. So, while an all-fruit smoothie may make your taste buds happy, the lack of protein and fat will leave your stomach unsatisfied. They can also be detrimental to your weight loss goals.
Luckily, making a nutritionally balanced smoothie is simple – just follow this simple rule, and you’ll have a healthy and satisfying meal on the go:
Follow the ’60 – 20 – 15 – 5′ Rule
60% Greens – 20% Fruit – 15% Protein – 5% Liquid
The smoothie recipes I recommend in my 12 Week Plan, A-List Body Guide and on my Blog are balanced using the ’60 – 20 – 15 – 5′ rule. Using this rule is a great way to balance your smoothie, helping you lose weight, feel fuller for longer, eliminate bloating and give you a BALANCED meal. When choosing your own unique combination though, keep the ’60 – 20 – 15 – 5′ rule in mind:
Make sure that the bulk of your smoothie is green veggies. These ingredients are the alkalising, low sugar, high fibre, cleansing ingredients. Choose at least 3 options from my favourites such as a celery stick, a handful of spinach leaves, a handful of kale leaves or 1/3 lebanese cucumber. Other veggies you can also add that work well in smoothies are carrot and shredded raw beetroot.
The fruit component of your smoothie is what is going to make it taste a bit yummier, but this is the part where most people fall off track. Adding too much fruit turns your smoothie into a high calorie, high sugar, goal destroying mess. To keep your blood sugar levels balanced, the majority of your fruit should be low GI, or a smaller quantity of medium GI fruit. Low GI fruits include pears, apples, grapefruit, oranges, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries and plums, while medium GI fruits include bananas, pineapple, mangoes and papaya.
15% Protein and Superfoods
These days, it’s just not enough to trust our fruits and vegetables alone to provide us with adequate nutrition. Not because they’re not amazing for your health, but rather it has to do with the quality of the soil in which they were grown – their source of health. Having protein and good fats in your smoothie is also so important to balance out the carbohydrate of the vegetables and fruits.
Here are my top supplement suggestions, with the key benefit noted:
- Adding a good quality Organic Plant Protein Supplement (one with no whey, no sugar, no cancer-causing chemicals or colours) is such an easy way to turn your smoothie into a protein/carbohydrate balanced meal.
- Other Protein: nuts (almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts), spirulina, chlorella, seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, chia, flax, hemp) and carob.
- Fibre: chia seeds (soluble and insoluble), psyllium husks and flax seeds.
- Healthy fats: avocado, coconut (meat, oil, butter), nuts (almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts), seeds (chia, sunflower, seasame, pumpkin, flax, hemp)
- Vitamins and minerals: maca powder (B12, calcium, iron, libido boost), cacao (antioxidants, magnesium), carob (potassium, calcium), mesquite (calcium, magnesium, potassium).
- Herbs and Spices: cinnamon (blood sugar regulator), ginger (digestive healer), vanilla bean powder, turmeric (anti-inflammatory), cayenne (gut cleaner)
Lastly, make your smoothie a bit thinner by adding either 1 cup or 2 if you want it even more smoother, of either coconut water, filtered water, almond milk or oat milk.
My final tips and thoughts:
- Switch it up. This one holds true for most things in life. Mix up your ingredients each day, so one day add maca, the next chia or flax seeds. Keep rotating the goodness and variety for complete nutrition and wellness.
- If you’re hooked on blending, consider investing in the amazing Nutribullet or Vitamix. They will turn your smoothies into pure indulgence.
- Make smoothie prep easy by washing and chopping the ingredients when you first buy them. Storing them in the fridge already prepped will save time and you’ll see how quickly eating healthy smoothies becomes a part of your routine.
- Blend your greens first and then add the remaining ingredients and blend again. This creates more room for other goodies.