I love starting my day off with a good smoothie to get me kickin'! I use my smoothies as a meal replacement, usually for breakfast or as a post workout meal. As such, I treat them like I would any other meal. What do I mean by this? I make sure that my smoothies have all of the important ingredients to keep my blood sugar balanced, deliver essential nutrients to my body, and satisfy me until my next meal.
What are these nutrients?! Fat + Fiber + Protein. Without this perfect threesome, you can end up with excess calories, spiked blood sugar and cravings. You'll find yourself back in the kitchen in no time, in-need of more nutrients to pick you back up again.
Most of us are pretty good about getting our fiber and protein in smoothies from fruit and powders. But what about fat? Not so much. You might be thinking, fat in a smoothie? Sounds like a weird combo... But yes, healthy fat is an important component of a balanced smoothie to slow down the digestion of nutrients and keep you satiated for longer. Fats are also straight up good for you and play an essential role in regulating your metabolism, which is critical for maintaining your ideal body weight.
So fuel your body with a restorative smoothie that will provide you with long-term energy. Here is a delicious recipe that contains fat, fiber and protein to get you on your way.
Detox + Restore Vanilla Smoothie
- 1 serving size of Vega French Vanilla Pea Protein powder
- 1/3 cup of chopped cucumber
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon of L-Glutamine powder
- 4 ice cubes or 1/4 cup water - this depends on how thick you like your smoothies. You can start with less water or ice and add more to reach your desired consistency. (I use water instead of ice cubes because I like my smoothies at room temperature since I tend to get cold easily!)
Put all ingredients into a blender (I use this mini blender or a Vitamix) and blend until smooth. Enjoy : )
More on these ingredients
Vega Protein powder
This protein powder is my favorite, and one of the only brands that I trust not to use any soy, weird chemicals or sugar additives. Vega uses pea protein and loads up their powders with concentrated greens, probioitics and superfoods like maca, spirulina and flax. I use these powders as the flavor base to most of my smoothies since they taste delicious. My favorites are chocolate, french vanilla and vanilla chai.
L Glutamine Powder
L Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in your body. When you are stressed, wounded, work out at the gym too hard or eating poorly, L Glutamine production decreases. This is when it can be helpful to incorporate an L Glutamine supplement. It is hugely important for building overall immunity and has even been used during surgical procedures to prevent infection. Many athletes also incorporate L Glutamine into their regimen, as it repairs overworked muscles, allowing joints and tissues to recover more quickly and build lean muscle. It is also used to mitigate digestive issues, as it repairs the intestinal wall, helping you to absorb nutrients more efficiently. If you struggle from IBS, I recommend taking L-Glutamine to restore healthy bowel movements.
Chia seeds win the fat, fiber and protein award since they contain all three nutrients. They are one of the few plant-based foods that qualify as a complete protein. Sounds like a superfood to me! They are also high in fiber, promoting proper digestion-- one serving contains 11 grams of fiber. Furthermore, chia seeds maintain bone mass and strength as they contain contains calcium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus. For more chia seed accolades see my previous post, which also contains a delicious Chia Seed Porridge recipe.
Cucumbers are loaded with antioxidants, helping to quell inflammation in the body. They contain many B vitamins, which increase your energy levels and help the body manage stress more efficiently. Despite being low in calories, cucumbers are quite filling and high in fiber, keeping you satiated for longer and encouraging movement in your digestive tract.
High in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, blueberries promote heart health, boost immunity and help the body prevent degenerative diseases. Blueberries are naturally sweet and contain a healthy amount of dietary fiber, making them a perfect addition to sweeten and bulk up your smoothie. Identified as brain food, studies have shown that blueberries help with memory loss as you age.
Parsley, part of the leafy green family, has a wide range of health benefits. While parsley is often utilized as a garnish, it is so much more than just a pretty leaf. Parsley promotes a healthy functioning nervous system, eye health and overall immunity. Like other leafy greens, parsley improves skin elasticity, keeping your looks youthful and fresh!