The Daily Telegraphs article ‘Is your Nutribullet making you fat’ (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/healthy-eating/is-your-nutribullet-making-you-fat/) really resonated with me as this is a conversation I have had time and time again when working with clients. The Nutribullet hit the nation by storm and everyone seemed to be buying, blending and Instagraming their latest concoctions of rainbow coloured drinks and raving about how wonderful they made them feel! It has become a health trend that promises to boost your immunity, increase your energy levels and makes achieving your ‘5 a day’ all the more fun, tasty and easy!
Now, I am very much in favour of anything that helps promote healthy behaviour change and if you love your Nutribullet and it helps you and your family get more nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants into your diet, then fantastic; however as the Telegraph rightly points out, too much of anything doesn’t always benefit us and whilst blitzing your favourite fruits, nut butters and avocados in all sort of weird and wonderful combinations can make for a great breakfast, smoothies need to be approached with the same formula as any other meal – they need to be balanced (contain protein, essential fat and carbohydrates – see below) and they need to be portion controlled. With only 10% of our daily calories coming from sugar, it would be easy to hit and exceed this recommendation with a fruit based smoothie, so make sure you try and follow a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of veggies to fruit. With this in mind, I thought I’d share todays breakfast smoothie as these are a regular feature in our household as I like to adapt them and freeze into lolly’s for my daughter too!
Serves 1 for Breakfast
1-2 florets of broccoli
½ celery stalk
1 large handful of spinach
1 tbsp Cottage cheese
1 tsp Ground Flaxseed
½ tsp of frozen ginger (or fresh)
1 slice of lemon (including the rind)
50ml coconut milk + water to the top.
Carbohydrates – As I said before, aim for a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of veggies to fruit and try and opt for low sugar fruits such as apples, pears and berries, rather than high sugar tropical fruits. Be creative with your veggies too, some may not seem very appealing, but once they are blended in with all the others you may not notice the taste. Kale, courgette, cucumber, beetroots and carrots can all work really well.
Protein – to help stabilise your energy levels and slow the release of sugar into the body, it’s important to include protein with your meals as well as your smoothies. Good options can be full fat natural yogurt, or protein powders (choose good quality powders that don’t contain added sweeteners and for more natural options look for pea or hemp protein)
Essential fats – including some omega 3 rich foods into your smoothie will boost the health benefits, but be mindful of your portions, a tsp of flaxseed or nut butter is plenty. Av0cados are also a good source of fat (and fibre) but choose 1 or the other as 1 tsp of nut butter will add an extra 100+ calories to your smoothie.
I like to add lemon and ginger to mine as they add an extra zing to the flavour, but also pack some amazing health benefits, such as supporting the liver and the digestive system and reducing inflammation. I’ve also started slicing my lemons and freezing them as I find storing them in the fridge tends to dry them out.
At the moment, coconut milk is the milk of choice in our household, but other great alternatives such as almond, rice or oat milk can be some good dairy free alternatives that will add an extra creamy texture to your smoothie or alternatively just add more water.
If you’d like to share your favourite smoothie recipes, please do so in the comments below 🙂