With the never ending trend of smoothie bars and cafes it’s easy to get swept away in the craze, thinking that the strawberry-chocolate-peanut butter protein smoothie you had after your workout is wholesome, healthy and right on track with your diet and training plans.
Well it is, but to an extent. Smoothies are extremely convenient, but just because you added two leaves of spinach doesn’t make you a health warrior. It’s all too easy to make the no-no mistake of packing in sugar loaded fruits and liquids that add unwanted calories and negate the healthy stuff you put in there.
Nutritionist Lisa Corbett Jones’ top 3 tips for making the ultimate healthy smoothie:
- Portion size: Balance and portion size is the definitive key to the perfect smoothie, depending on the meal type. Your afternoon smoothie should be roughly half the size of a breakfast smoothie. As a guide, limit your snack to one serving of fruit and your breakfast or main meal to two servings of fruit.
- Quality protein & nutrients: The ideal smoothie is moderately low in sugar, high in protein and packed full of as many nutrients as possible, like fibre, good fats, antioxidants and minerals. I add a tablespoon of cacao protein powder, making my smoothie delicious, keeping me full for longer and providing me with extra minerals.
- Watch your sugar: Try to avoid adding syrups like honey (extremely high in fructose, known to burden the liver) and be mindful of the quality and quantity of your fruit choices. Bananas are a great way to both sweeten your smoothie and to give it that deliciously creamy texture. Try adding ½ of a large or one small frozen banana for added thickness.
Lisa’s favourite smoothie ingredients:
- Sneaky veggies: With the right combination of delicious and nourishing ingredients, smoothies can be a great way to sneak in essential nutrients and minerals. Add baby spinach for fibre and iron, or supergreens with liver nourishing antioxidants.
- Superfoods, superfoods, and more superfoods: Maca is an energizing, hormone-balancing, mood-boosting superfood that improves energy and wellbeing. Cacao is the ultimate magnesium feel-good superfood your nervous system (and taste buds) will thank you for. Both chia and flaxseeds are a great source of omega 3’s. Mix it all in with a complex carbohydrate like oats for some gut loving fibre.
- Hydration: Coconut water is a great way to both sweeten up your smoothie and increase hydration, especially during summer and exercise when our water requirements are at their highest.
Try Lisa’s go-to breakfast smoothie recipe:
You will need:
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 handful of baby spinach
- 4-5 ice cubes
- 1 tbsp. cacao
- 1 tbsp. rolled oats
- 1 tbsp. flax/almond meal
- 1 chia seeds
- 1 tbsp. almond butter
- 1 serve cacao protein powder
- 1 tsp. maca powder
- 1 cup coconut water/almond milk
Simply blend ingredients together and enjoy!
If you’re short on time, as you would be in the morning, just grab a super green smoothie with added protein powder from The Bondi Juice Co.: “This smoothie has a perfect balance of complex carbohydrates, EFAs (essential fatty acids), protein and fibre. With added antioxidant rich supergreens, it’s the ideal way to start the day,” said Lisa.