As lazy as I consider myself in general (which is really, really horribly lazy), it is 10xs worse in the morning. Getting out of bed, finding pants, and getting coffee is basically my daily trek up Mount Everest. Especially now that my schedule is so erratic with my different jobs, it makes it really hard to just hop out of bed in the morning like I was used to.
In college, when my schedule was super consistent, my favorite part of the day would be Breakfast. Even when I had to wake up at 4:30am several days a week to work the opening shift at the gym, I would still cook myself amazing breakfasts. It was just such an essential part of my day that I didn’t mind waking up an extra 20 minutes early to get it done. Eggs, hash browns, bacon, coffee and scrolling through Buzzfeed before the birds even started to sing? Uh, yes, please!
Now, however, it takes a crowbar, and the dog jumping up on my face to finally convince me to get out of bed. And I’d gladly skip breakfast if it meant not having to leave my bed.
Which presents a problem: breakfast sets the tone for your day, so it’s never wise to skip it. Especially if you are a person who battles with their weight.
To fix this problem, I started adopting breakfast smoothies. Nothing is easier than spending 5 minutes tossing things into a blender. And they’re so variable, you can make something delicious with what you have in the kitchen.
It’s important to have a good ratio of macronutrients: Fat, protein and carbohydrates.
Fat being bad for you is a taboo that we need to get away with. We need fat in our diet to keep our bodies healthy, and most people aren’t getting the right kinds of fats. Plus, fat can help keep you full, so why not start out the day with a little healthy fat to tide you over until lunch time?
It’s not just all about muscles. Amino Acids break down to do important things in the body. They keep our brain firing as neurotransmitters, either directly, or helping to create other neurotransmitters, which help keep us awake and alert.
Especially, what we call “complex” carbohydrates. Whole grains, fruits, and veggies take longer to digest and don’t spike your blood sugar like refined grains do– which will make you sleepy after the spike goes down. Pairing the protein with a complex carb will keep you full longer as well!
Then add in some other important goodies:
Again, stay fuller longer. And help that digestive system!
Vitamins and Minerals
It’s hard to absorb vitamins and minerals on an empty stomach. Eating them in their natural form, in fruits, veggies, etc, can help them be digested easier. It’s like taking a morning vitamin, except better!
Fruits smoothies, sweet smoothies, chocolately smoothies, coffee smoothies, savory smoothies! Mix and match ingredients to get what you like, but to start you off, here is my go-to recipe:
Green Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
2-3 generous handfuls of spinach
1 medium banana
2 tablespoons of nut butter of choice
1 tablespoon of soaked chia seeds
To make, add all ingredients to a blender. Fill at least 1/2 way with water, as the chia seeds tend to make it a little thick. Add a few ice cubes and blend. Add more water to achieve desired texture.
You got the greens in the morning, if, like me, you have a problem getting them during the day, the banana for sweetness, the nut butter for those healthy fats, and the chia seeds for a little more healthy fats (omega-3), complex carbohydrates, and fiber.
Don’t have any bananas? Toss in what you do have: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries? Just as sweet, but be careful of the seeds in the strawberries. You can keep the nut butter if you want a play on a PB&J.
Prefer kale, or another green? Swap that out for spinach, but be sure to adjust for sweetness, as not all greens have as mild of a flavor as spinach. Toss in some extra berries, or some unpitted dates for sweetness to help with the bitter flavors.
Want a chocolatey smoothie? Add your favorite chocolate protein powder, or some cacao.
Fruity smoothie? Skip the nut butter, toss in whatever you have. Swap out the water for your juice of choice, being careful of the sugar content. Frozen mango or pineapple with some orange juice could make a tangy tropical creation.
As you can see, the sky is the limit. The more variety in your smoothie, the more benefits you’ll get from it. Mix and match with different things until you find your favorite! And hopefully this is more helpful than just offering you one simple smoothie recipe.
What is your go-to breakfast? Let me know in the comments!