How to Build the Ideal Smoothie

It's easy to toss a few ingredients in your blender and blend away, but if you give the mix of ingredients a little extra thought, you'll have a more balanced and satisfying smoothie that keeps you going. And when I say "satisfying," I am referring to how your taste buds interpret the smoothie, and for appetite control. The ingredients matter when it comes to how full you feel when you're finished drinking the smoothie. 

A Liquid Base

Any liquid will do, but I prefer non-dairy milk like almond or macadamia nut milk. If you use cow's milk, you'll get some calcium and vitamin D, which can help your body break down fat. Other unique liquid options include green tea, coffee, and water.

Lean Protein

Getting protein at every meal helps you maintain lean muscle mass, which means you burn more calories throughout the day. Protein also triggers hormones in your stomach that help you start feeling full and satisfied. This is crucial for weight management.

Your best bets: plain Greek yogurt, hemp hearts, silken tofu, or protein powder. I recommend adding enough protein to get 20-25 grams.

Healthy Fats

Fats give you energy, make your smoothie satisfying, and help your body absorb all the fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients in the smoothie ingredients. Nutrients that need fat in order for the body to absorb and transport them include Vitamin A, D, E, and K and carotenoids (ie: from orange and yellow foods).

Use up to two tablespoons of an ingredient that contains the good kind of fat, like in avocado, seeds, nuts, and coconut. Nut butter is also a great addition, such as almond butter, cashew butter, or coconut butter. 

High-Fiber, Vitamin-Rich Carbs

Any fruit will do, but raspberries and blueberries deliver the most fiber and the least amount of sugar. I aim for about a ½ cup of fruit. As for veggies, spinach, carrots, and cucumber have the mildest, easiest-to-mask flavors.  

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