Strawberries and cream summer time smoothie... try saying that five times fast!
With the summer months comes less desire to turn on the stove or oven and more time spent enjoying the sunshine... cue a refreshing smoothie! Smoothies make a great option on hot summer days as they offer nutritious ingredients and hydration. BUT, smoothies often leave you feeling unsatisfied due to missing key components that aid in satiety, sustained energy, and blood sugar management.
Have you ever thought about swinging by a smoothie place such as Booster Juice on a hot day for a quick "pick me up" to get you through until dinner, but suffered an energy crash and were more hungry and tired after it? This is because most smoothies often only contain a carbohydrate source (fruit), liquid (often juice) and sometimes protein powder. This is a recipe for a low blood sugar (ie. energy crash) as the smoothie lacks in a majority of the components that will digest slowly to sustain energy.
At Vitality Nutrition, we refer to these components as the The Fundamental Four! The Fundamental Four is a simple formula we use to design satisfying meals and snacks. The Four include:
- Healthy Fats
- Volume Foods (Fruit, Veggies, Liquids)
This graphic highlights what to consider when designing a smoothie and easy ways to customize it. A smoothie balanced in The Fundamental Four should include a source of:
- PROTEIN: such as plain Greek or Skyr yogurt, whey protein, collagen protein
- FIBRE such as chia seeds, flax seed, or hemp hearts
- HEALTHY FATS such as avocado or nut butter
- VOLUME FOODS such as unsweetened milks (almond milk, cashew milk, plain kefir, cow's milk), green (spinach or kale!), and fruit. (BONUS: Choosing berries is a great way to add extra fibre!).
Customize your smoothie based on your individual calorie or macronutrient needs and flavour preferences. Try a smoothie as a meal or snack to refuel after a bout of intense activity or as a breakfast that powers you through the morning.
As a specific example, after a recent HOT run, my body was craving something COLD, energizing, hydrating, but also QUICK. A smoothie was the perfect option. As this smoothie was consumed post-workout, it prioritized carbohydrate (banana and strawberries) and protein (Skyr yogurt and protein powder) to replenish lost energy stores and to repair muscle. I kept the fats lower for quick digestion but added chia for a small amount of fat and a big punch of fibre. If you are making this smoothie for a meal (like breakfast!) definitely add an additional source of fat from frozen avocado (surprisingly tasty!) or almond butter. This recipe made TWO servings to share with my pal. The smoothie included:
- Protein: Skyr yogurt and protein powder
- Fibre: chia seeds
- Healthy Fats: minimal (*explanation below)
- Volume: frozen strawberries, banana, and unsweetened cashew milk. Try a handful of spinach for greens!
STRAWBERRIES & CREAM SMOOTHIE
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