In our world of diet “tricks”, weight loss ads, and “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days” gimmicks, it’s no wonder we’re all left confused as to what exactly we can do to stay healthy. Of course, the best way to stay our healthiest is to eat clean and workout, but, it’s not as easy as it sounds. If it was easy, we’d all be at our perfect weight, all the time, am I right?
The truth is, feeling healthy and energized (and being able to fit into our favorite pair of jeans) is downright tough. With work tasks, personal commitments, family obligations and so much more, our health takes a backseat.
I was recently asked by a friend if I could give one tip for staying healthy. She was in a rut at work, stressed out, feeling sluggish and had no motivation to eat clean and workout. “I know what I should be doing.” She said, “But I don’t know where to start. If you could just give me one tip….one piece of advice….only one thing to focus on, I’ll do it. I just need one thing to help me feel more energized and vibrant, and once I conquer that one thing, I can get back on the healthy train.”
So I told her my one tip. “Start your day with a balanced breakfast smoothie.”
She seemed surprised. Like it was a suggestion that was too easy. I didn’t tell her to get up at 4:30am every morning to go run, I didn’t advise for her to cut out carbs, I didn’t even tell her to immediately stop eating junk food. Just one thing. A smoothie.
There are multiple benefits to substituting breakfast with a balanced breakfast smoothie. Here are five reasons why.
1. It’s so simple!
The morning is our most hectic time of day. Having a smoothie takes the guess work out of everything. You just throw everything together and can drink it on the go.
2. It’s healthy.
If you make it correctly (the key here is balance), your smoothie contains everything necessary to start your day off right: protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, fiber, nutrients and antioxidants.
3. It provides focus and steady energy (without the crash later).
With the perfect blend of macronutrients, your smoothie gives you sustained energy until lunch. No mid-morning vending machine cravings or blood sugar crashing at 11am.
4. It’s fast.
Grab ingredients. Put in blender. Blend. You’re done! Making a smoothie takes less time than even a bowl of cereal (and of course, less time than the drive-thru).
5. It’s inexpensive.
Compared to what you’re spending for a bagel and coffee at the local cafe, you are saving money with your smoothie creation AND you’re treating your health, too! Win-win.
So what exactly is in a perfectly balanced breakfast smoothie? To get a good balance of protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, fiber, nutrients and antioxidants, I recommend:
-1 cup nondairy milk (I like unsweetened almond milk)
-1 cup frozen fruit (antioxidant-rich berries are great here)
-large handful of greens
-1 serving plant-based protein powder (easy to digest and absorb)
-1 Tbsp ground flax or chia seeds
Throw ‘em all in the blender and blend, baby, blend!