Smoothie bowls- an easy healthy way to start your morning
I have been asked by couple of people to share some recipes I am using in my weekly meals. I am one of those who want to and need to eat breakfast as I need that morning good steady energy from food to last me till late lunch. I tend to try and do intermittent fasting couple of times a week, where I either skip dinner because I have had late lunch or I eat something light early in the evening to make sure I have 4+ hours before bed where my body gets a rest from digestion. I will cover intermittent fasting in my future blog in more detail. What I cover below, you can either put it in a bowl and enjoy with a spoon or pour it in a glass and enjoy as a drink.
How I prepare my smoothies or smoothie bowls is very simple. I follow the basic guidelines from one of my favourite wellness experts, Kelly LeVeque, where when you assemble your smoothie, make sure you include the following: protein, fat, fibre and greens. This will insure, smoothie keeps you satiated, keeps your blood sugar nice and stable and that you get what you need from a meal.
Why is eating protein important:
it's a source for amino acids, which are building blocks for cells in your body and is also a source for collagen to repair damaged cells.
it's gives a signal to your brain, that you are full. Protein also releases dopamine.
it contains minerals and B-vitamins that aid with overall food absorption in your body.
You can also read my other blog on foods highest in protein and the importance of picking a good quality source of protein.
Why is eating fat important:
it increased satiety
it hydrates your cells
slows digestion down
makes you feel more relaxed and calmer
reduces your fasting insulin levels
increases loss of stored body fat
Why is eating fibre important:
it's a food for your gut bacteria
it helps to remove toxins from the body
it slows down the absorption of glucose
it helps you keep regular in the toilet
it has anti-inflammatory properties
Why is eating greens important:
to get minerals and vitamins
they produce antioxidants that repair cells
they feed gut microbiota (containing resistant starch)
they detoxify and serve as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents
they provide phytonutrients and phytochemicals
Assembling smoothie or/and smoothie bowls
Here is a short guideline to get an understanding about the quantities (for 1 person):
A cup of liquid- filtered water, almond milk (make sure if you buy from the shop, that the ingredients list states just water, almonds, sea salt), coconut milk (use half a cup or less and rest water), unsweetened coconut water (skip fruit if you use this)
100-170g (4-6oz) of protein (I use 1 scoop of protein powder)
1-2 tablespoons of fat
1-2tbs of fibre
Handful of greens
Fruit or berries- half a cup
Below I list of different options to pick from in different categories (protein, fat, fibre, greens) so you can enjoy different smoothie bowls and really create a smoothie that tickles your tastebuds.
Choices for protein (make sure it's a good quality and not with added sugars, artificial sweeteners etc- single or two-three ingredient list is good depending on the protein):
Pea protein powder (I have used from the following brands: iConfit, Sunwarrior)
Collagen protein powder (I have used from the following brands: Sunwarrior, iConfit, Ancient nutrition)
Hemp protein powder
Bone broth protein (I have used from the following brand: Ancient Nutrition)
Choices for fat
MCT (Medium-Chain Triglycerides) oil
Nuts (make sure you buy raw and not toasted or salted)- almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, Brazil nuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts. I soak and sprout my nuts for easier digestion.
Nut butters (make sure you keep the nut butters in the fridge, once opened as they go quicker rancid in room temperature). You can make your own or buy from store. Best options for nuts: almonds, walnuts, cashew, hazelnuts
Seeds- hemp seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
Choices for fibre
Green banana flour
Choices for greens
Fresh dandelion leaves in spring and summer
Matcha tea powder
Greens powder (I have used Sunwarrior Ormus Supergreens)
Choices for berries and fruits
This is where we tend to overdo with smoothies, putting in too much fruit. We need to remember that though berries and fruits are very healthy in terms of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre- they do contain fructose and too much of fructose has a negative affect on your blood sugar levels and it taxes your liver. So quarter to half a cup of berries, fruits, vegetables is all you need per serving.
Bananas- rather greenish as then the resistance starch content is higher
For smoothie bowls you can sprinkle at the top:
homemade muesli (I will share a recipe I use in the future)
You can also upgrade your smoothies with following superfoods, herbs and spices (by adding them in the blender with other smoothie ingredients), but definitely not limited to only these:
L-glutamine (to support the healing of your gut lining)
Raw cacao powder
Basil leaves (add to try with strawberry smoothie)
Astralagus root powder
seeds from vanilla pod
nutmeg (add to try with apple smoothie- consider also adding cinnamon)
If you do want to sweeten your smoothie further, consider the following options (but good to keep it as a treat now and again rather than a daily habit if you tend to have a sweet tooth):
one date (remember to take the pit out as I have ruined one of my NutriBullet blender by accidentally leaving one in)
stevia (from fresh leaf)
half a teaspoon of raw honey
I hope you find ideas and inspiration from above to start your day with the perfect balancing food for your body.