I’m a big fan of having a smoothie in place of a breakfast (or more importantly in place of a skipped breakfast), lunch or dinner if you are trying to find a healthy sustainable way to lose weight. They can even be consumed as a healthy snack or dessert option.
The key to weight loss smoothies or ‘nutriblasts’ as I like to call then is all in the recipe – as a general rule of thumb they should involve a combination of leafy greens and fruit or fruit and nuts or fruit and a healthy plant based protein powder to make sure that the Glyceamic Load (GL) is reduced. New research has also shown that having a diet higher in plant-based protein than in animal protein could boost your life expectancy. When prepared correctly these smoothies really can keep you feeling fuller for longer and decrease cravings. The right recipes will provide nutrient density together with hydration.
When prepared correctly these smoothies really can keep you feeling fuller for longer and decrease cravings.
Don’t go for a straight fruit smoothie (unless it’s berries) and avoid milk and any dairy alternative that may be packed full hidden sugars. If you are adding yogurt make – try to go for an unsweetened organic variety or an unsweetened non dairy one. Don’t go low fat either as we want to keep things as natural as possible and not confuse or harm our body. Also don’t gulp them down they should be consumed over a five minute period – and preferably whilst sitting. A little mindful eating (or drinking) goes a long way.
1. Breakfast Replacement- Morning Energy Blast
Half an Avocado
2 cups of English Spinach
5 or 6 Cashews
1 Teaspoon of Chia or Linseeds
Unsweetened Almond Milk or Coconut Water 200 – 250mls
This creamy smoothie will really fill you up as it is packed full of protein from the nuts and avocado. An added bonus is that the linseeds or chia seeds will promote further satiety and supply you with a good dose of healthy omegas. A satisfying smart way to start the day with a kick of energy from the magnesium and chloropyll contained within.
2. Mid-Morning Snack Replacement- Berry Burst
1 cup of Frozen or Fresh Berries
1 cup of Leafy Greens
1 tablespoon of Pumpkin or Sunflower Seeds
7 or 8 Almonds
A pinch of Cayenne or Turmeric if desired
Unsweetened Rice Milk – 200 to 250ml
This immune boosting super snack is rich in phytonutients and high in vitamin C. The deep red pigments in the berries are antioxidant powerhouses. Berries are your friend if you are on a weight management campaign with lots of research indicating that they also help with cognition and memory. Perfect mid morning.
The leafy greens help regulate blood sugar levels and the protein rich nuts help with feelings of fullness and increase the fibre content of this nutritional blast. The pumpkin or sunflower seeds boost zinc levels and provide nourishment for the skin. You have the option of adding the thermogenic spices to help increase fat metabolism if desired.
3. Lunch Replacement- Sweet Green Kale Dream
1 or 2 cups of Kale
Half a Banana
Half an Avocado
1 or 2 Figs
200 – 250mls of filtered water or coconut water
This blast is full of fibre to help promote healthy digestive function and regularity. The high fibre content also helps to reduce cravings and will keep you feeling satisfied. The banana is high in potassium and tryptophan to assist with mood and provides some natural energy. The avocado increases the protein content whilst the fig provides a hint of sweetness and increased fibre levels.
4. Mid Afternoon- Slump Buster
This one is one of my favourites taken from the book Nutritional Blast that I contributed to – available from ideal world.tv.
1 cup of Blackberries
1 cup of Blueberries
1 teaspon of Linseeds
1 teaspon of Cinnamon
2 tablespoons of coconut or unsweetened organic greek style yogurt
Rice Milk 200- 250mls
This delicious berry based afternoon slump buster contains cinnamon to help reduce cravings. The blue and black pigments in the berries help to boost immunity whilst providing natural energy. Filling protein levels are increased by adding the linseeds and yogurt. The dates add vitamins and minerals and provide extra fibre.
5. Dinner Replacement- Green Cleanser
1 kiwi fruit
2 cups of spinach or lettuce
Filtered Water 200 – 250mls
A green dream to improve and calm digestive function. The pectin and fibre in the pear and apple won’t leave you hungry. This nutrient thick shake helps to soothe the gut and promote regularity. High magnesium levels help to support the nervous system too.
6. Dessert Replacement- Raspbery Cacao Booster
Another one from the Nutritional Blast book that makes a perfect chocolatey healthy dessert.
2 cups of Raspberries – Frozen or Fresh
1 cup of Baby Spinach
2 teaspoons Cacao
2 teaspoons Chia Seeds
Quarter of a small Beetroot
Filtered Water 200- 250mls
The cacao gives this a healthy chocolate kick with an antioxidant bonus. The Chia seeds will expand in the liquid a little helping with satiety whilst the combination of the berries and the spinach keeps blood sugar levels steady. The beetroot ups the vegetable content – increasing fibre and helping improve circulation and immune function. A dessert that looks and tastes decadent.
You can turbo increase the satiety levels of any of the smoothies above by adding a tablespoon or two of a healthy plant based protein if desired. I like Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Raw Vegan Protein available from xynergy.co.uk or Ellement’s Vegan Nourish Blend available from ellement.com.
The addition of a plant based protein is also recommended if you are working out or exercising strenuously throughout the day.