Smoothies - only for the awesome

Quick, low carb breakfasts are hard to come by without a decent amount of meal prep. The next best choice to eggs, avocado and veggies is going to be a thick, nutrient dense smoothie that is easy, delicious and fast to prepare. My thoughts on smoothies are that they are great but can definitely be abused and become more of a dessert if you are not careful.

As you choose your ingredients for your smoothie, it is best to keep in mind what "purpose" it has in your diet and what your goals are, of course. For example, if your goals are fat loss I would suggest keeping the sugar and carbs relatively low because your insulin is highest in the morning. Any further of a spike will generally lead to fat storage unless you are extremely active or have just worked out (anabolically). If your goals are muscle gain or strength oriented then it would be approriate to add a bit more carbohydrate or sugar to increase that insulin spike for protein synthesis in the muscle. Lastly, if your goals have nothing to do with body composition and you just want to feel awesome, you can be as liberal as you like with the most natural ingredients. 

For those 3 goals in mind, here are some recipes to guide you in making the perfect smoothie tailored for you.

Fat Loss:  Key is keeping carbohydrate and sugar low except the 1-2 hour window post workout 

 - 1- 1.5 cup unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, iced coffee or green tea  

- I cup of frozen berries (fruits higher in sugar can be used closer to post workout window like bananas, mango, pineapple etc) 

- 1 handful of kale or spinach

- 2 tbsp of cocoa powder (the kind you bake with) 

- 1-2 tbsp cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, whatever spice you like

- 1-2 tbsp of almond butter, natural peanut butter, coconut oil, coconut butter or 1/2 an avocado

- 1 scoop of Grassfed, whey protein powder depending on your satiety level


Muscle gain: More protein and fat added to the recipe above with additional options if in post workout window

 - 1- 1.5 cup unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, iced coffee or green tea, grassfed whole milk

- I cup of frozen fruit (any and all are welcome)

- 1 handful of kale or spinach

- 2 tbsp of cocoa powder (the kind you bake with) 

- 1-2 tbsp cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, whatever spice you like

- 1-2 tbsp of almond butter, natural peanut butter, coconut oil, coconut butter or 1/2 an avocado

- 1-2 scoops of Grassfed, whey protein powder

- 1 tbsp BCAA and creatine 

 

 Just being awesome: Play with all the ingredients and keep it as natural as possible.

 - 1- 1.5 cup unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, iced coffee or green tea  

- I cup of frozen fruit 

- 1 handful of kale or spinach

- 2 tbsp of cocoa powder (the kind you bake with) 

- 1-2 tbsp cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, whatever spice you like

- 1-2 tbsp of almond butter, natural peanut butter, coconut oil, coconut butter or 1/2 an avocado

- 1 tbsp Maca powder, spiralina, or green powder blend

As with all diet changes, there are no absolutes or blacks and whites as to what is correct for you. We are all unique, our metabolisms are shifting ever so slightly depending on our day; activity level, stress, workouts, sleep, etc. Based on those factors, our bodies' will metabolize our foods differently.

Let's release some of the "rules" we have learned in the past and try to listen to what our bodies' need. Forget Men's Health or Oxygen Magazine for a second. 

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