How do you make a great smoothie?

The past couple of years have brought about a big change in how we exercise. With the pandemic closing most of our favorite work-out facilities, many of us have opted to start training at home. 


I think this is an awesome adaptation to trying times. Keeping your body moving and maintaining a way to de-stress, get out of your head and ground your energy is of massive importance for your mental health, not to mention the host of health benefits from regular physical activity. As much as it pains a supplement junkie like me to admit - there is no vitamin that can replace the incredible benefits of regular movement on your health and longevity. 


The only downside I can see of transitioning our movement out of fitness facilities and into the living room, is the loss of coaching fitness professionals provide in many of these facilities. 


If you have ever been in a gym, dojo or arena, you likely had regular contact with a coach or trainer who was able to give you insight on how to eat, hydrate and recover for your activity or sport. 


If that connection has been lost as we have transitioned to working out with a virtual instructor, then you may be missing some key nutritional pieces to help you maximize your efforts and recover well. 


As a nutritionist who started my career in a body-building gym, I have years of experience working with folks chasing a fitness goal. Whether it is to just lean out, tone, build your cardiovascular endurance or enhance performance for a competition, I can tell you with certainty, that getting your protein intake right is crucial. 


Most folks are underestimating and undereating their protein requirements, especially if they are just starting a new fitness regime. If you have recently amped up your fitness routine, you need to ensure you are consuming sufficient protein to meet your needs. 


For most folks, getting adequate protein (25-35 grams) at breakfast is the most difficult because most of our traditional breakfast food are heavy in carbs and low in protein, like cereal, toast, bagels and muffins. Even if you think you are rocking it by adding nut butter or an egg, you are likely only adding 4-6 grams of protein to your meal. 


A well constructed smoothie with a scoop of protein powder can be an easy, delicious and fast way to ensure you are getting your protein needs met at the first meal of the day. 


Step 1: Choose your liquid. This can be water, milk, or non-dairy milk alternative. Just make sure your liquid isn't sneaking in refined sugar from flavoring. 


Step 2: Choose your greens. A handful of any leafy green you choose can amp up the fibre and nutritional content of your smoothie. Spinach is a fan-fave but, you can free-style as you get more comfortable, with any leafy green that strikes your fancy.


Step 3: Choose your fruit. Your fruit can be fresh or frozen and change with the seasons. Berries, mango, banana or cherries are popular choices but this is your smoothie, so go where your taste-buds take you. 


Step 4: Choose a protein powder. There are many different options when it comes to protein powder and if you need a refresher, check out my previous blog post here. The bottom line is check the ingredients and ensure you are not adding sugar, artificial colours or sweeteners into your smoothie unknowingly!


Step 5: Optional - Add ice. If I am using frozen fruit, I find this doubles as ice for me and gives me a smoothie at the texture I like, without adding extra cubes, but this is totally subjective and if you want to play with adding ice, this is the time to do it!


Blend and enjoy! Play with the ratios above until you find the texture and flavour you love and switch up your fruit & greens to your heart's content. Variety is the spice of life and your body loves variety in your diet. Just keep your protein consistent and you'll be setting yourself up for great success & longevity with your fitness.

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