Put down that donut!
Release the bagel!
Toss the cereal!
The smoothie is the next big breakfast item that you are going to WANT to have every morning.
Once I tell you how to make the perfect smoothie, your carb-filled breakfast will not even tempt you.
I know because that’s what happened to me.
Cereal and Donuts and Bagels Oh My!
I used to be a serious cereal eater. I ate cereal for breakfast almost every morning, and sometimes I would eat cereal again for dinner. The only time I didn’t eat cereal was when my office was providing breakfast, which meant donuts and bagels!!
As I got older, I tried to stay away from some of my favorites, like Fruity Pebbles or Frosted Flakes, and choose a more sensible cereal, like Special K or multi-grain Cheerios. But, no matter which cereal I tried (and I loved almost all of them), I would be hungry again about 2 hours later.
This became a problem at work because I would get so hungry, but couldn’t get a second in to grab a mid-morning snack. By the time I got a lunch-break, I would scarf down pretty much anything and everything I could. Binge eating at its finest…almost every work-day.
This repeated trend was very bad for my diet and is what I think contributed in large part to my weight gain when I started working full-time.
The Benefits of a Smoothie
I started reading a lot of information about how great smoothies are. At first, the thought of drinking my breakfast did not sound appealing. Especially a drink with vegetables…gross!
Eating cereal had been my routine for years.
That is when I discovered the power of the perfect smoothie!
I started making a smoothie a few times a week for breakfast. On the days that I would have a smoothie for breakfast, I started noticing several benefits.
- My sugar cravings went way down
- I stayed satisfied all the way until lunch
- My digestion improved
- I wasn’t late for work 🙂
I then started making a smoothie every morning and taking it with me to work. This small change in my breakfast routine not only made me feel better, but I had more time in the morning for other things since I could now take my breakfast with me on the go!
I started off very simple, with a few fruits I knew I liked and some ice or milk. I would add in some protein powder or Shakeology.
The best thing about having a smoothie is that you can pack in a lot of quality nutrition without even realizing it. It’s still delicious! Fruits, vegetables, dairy, and protein can all be tastefully hidden into a smoothie.
How to Make The Perfect Smoothie
Making a smoothie does not take much preparation. Just a few ingredients and a good blender and you’ve got a healthy breakfast on the go.
There are endless possibilities for ingredients, depending on the flavors you like. But, the secret to making the perfect smoothie is by creating a delicious drink with great texture and nutrients that won’t rack up the calories in your diet.
Add half a banana or avocado
This is not necessarily for taste sake. The consistency of the banana and/or avocado will add a creamy texture to your smoothie, not to mention they are both good for you!
Use frozen fruit in place of ice
A lot of people put ice in their smoothie to thicken it. But, ice will water it down and ruin the flavor and make the texture less appealing. Instead of ice, use frozen (or slightly thawed) fruit instead. Any fruit can be frozen as long as it is peeled or destemmed first.
Sneak in the vegetables
Vegetables can be put into any smoothie without even realizing they are there. A leafy vegetable such as kale or spinach works best to “hide” into a smoothie. Make sure to blend well and you won’t know they are there.
Use low-calorie liquids
Don’t waste your calories on a liquid to try to make the smoothie taste better. If you are using the tips here, you won’t need a liquid to pick up the slack. The ingredients themselves will make the smoothie delicious. Go for an unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk or even water. If using fruit juice, make sure it’s natural. The liquid should be there to make the thickness right, not necessarily the taste.
Mix in a good source of protein
Protein comes in a variety of forms. You can get a protein-packed smoothie without sacrificing taste. Try using Greek yogurt (I recommend plain or low-sugar vanilla) or even tofu in your smoothie. The consistency of both will make your smoothie even creamier and protein rich. You can also add in a protein powder or Shakeology to get even more protein in your smoothie! Don’t be afraid of it.
Use spices/extras to create sweetness, not sugar
If you need some extra sweetness or taste to your smoothie, don’t add sugar. There are plenty of ways to add extra flavoring without needing to use sugar or artificial sweeteners. Try dates for sweetness, cinnamon, vanilla extract, or even raw honey. You will get the taste you want without sacrificing nutritional value.
Freeze your vegetables
If you are like me, you hate running to the grocery store multiple times a week because your needed item has gone bad in the fridge or you ran out. This happens often with vegetables because they can be purchased in large quantities but they don’t last long. To make sure you always have some vegetables on hand for your smoothie…freeze them! I recommend separating them into 1 or 2 cup servings and putting them in separate freezer bags.
Use a good blender
The power of a good blender should not be overlooked. It can be the difference between a frustrating morning and a smooth one. The blender should be able to completely blend your ingredients in less than 1 minute. If it can’t, it’s time for a new one. I recommend the Nutribullet for single-serve smoothies, or the Ninja professional blender for larger quantities.
List of Possible Ingredients
There are tons of options when making a smoothie. I recommend choosing 1-2 vegetables, 1-2 fruits, 1 liquid, 1 healthy fat, 1 protein, and 1 extra from the lists below. This combination will make a delicious, nutritious, superfood smoothie!
- Romaine lettuce
- Soy/almond/rice/dairy milk
- Fruit juice
- Greek yogurt
- Coconut water
- Coconut milk
- Iced coffee
- Green tea
- Nut butter
- Flax seed oil
- Coconut oil
- Silken tofu
- Nut butters
- Protein powder
- Greek yogurt
- Vanilla extract
- Peppermint extract
- Chia Seeds
- Maple syrup
- Goji berry
- Cocoa/maca/acai powder
My Favorite Smoothie Recipe
This is my most favorite smoothie recipe to date. I drink it almost every morning unless I am being adventurous and trying a different recipe. This is the one I always tend to come back to.
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/2 a banana, frozen or thawed
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop strawberry shakeology
- 1 cup kale, frozen or thawed
Add all ingredients together and blend! Makes 1 serving. It’s like a mix between a strawberry milkshake and a strawberry-banana smoothie! Refreshing and delicious!
Share your favorite smoothie recipe with me in the comments!