Hello, everyone! I hope you are enjoying your week!
My life runs on consistency. I love having a routine that keeps me accountable and productive. I am absolutely a type A personality; planning and scheduling are my favorite things to do! Seriously though, without my routine I get lazy- lazy with my diet, my workout routine, household chores, etc. One of the most consistent parts of my routine is my morning smoothie. I love that I can carry it around with me as I’m getting ready, I can bring it with me if I’m short on time, and I get lots of delicious nutrients from it that power me throughout the day.
I used to be a carb heavy breakfast person. I loved bagels with cream cheese and cereals. I still do! Even though I was eating what I thought to be a healthy and filling breakfast, I would find myself getting hungry mid-morning. Despite having a decent sized breakfast within the last few hours, hunger pangs crept up on me around 10 AM. Then I discovered Kelly LeVeque and my life was changed!
In her book, Body Love: Live in Balance, Weigh What You Want, and Free Yourself From Food Drama Forever, Kelly outlines the perfect combination of protein, fat, fiber, and greens to keep you full (or satiated) throughout the morning, control blood sugar, and ultimately feel better physically and mentally. These building block ingredients create the perfect combination to prevent blood sugar, and eventually insulin, levels to spike, preventing those feelings of hunger. She goes on to say that some trial and error will help to find the perfect portions of each ingredient to stay full until lunch. As you may have noticed, fruit is not one of the ingredients in this list! Kelly recommends no more than ¼ cup fruit in each smoothie as it can be a culprit in shifting blood sugar/insulin levels. Yes, fruit is good for you in moderation! But it’s sugary makeup can cause our blood sugar to increase. Instead of a pattern of extreme highs and lows in blood sugar levels (que hunger!), the recommended combo keeps blood sugar levels at an even rate throughout the day. I won’t go into significant scientific details here, but definitely encourage you to pick up her book where you will find much more detail about the inner workings of the combination of these four ingredients, fondly referred to as the “Fab 4”.
What I absolutely love about this approach to eating is that it is very much rooted in science. Kelly isn’t a self proclaimed food specialist or wellness expert. She has been educated at a very high level with a significant background in health, down to the molecular level. Before becoming active working as a nutritionist in the health and wellness industry, she worked in the medical field specializing in tumor gene mapping. Her knowledge evident in her book as she describes the inner workings of the “Fab 4” on this same molecular level, specifically with hormone regulation. At the end of Body Love, she provides a plethora of “Fab 4” recipes to integrate in your life. From smoothies to dinner entrees, she provides a solid basis to help eliminate those feelings of hunger mid-morning and mid-afternoon, reducing the necessity for mindless eating and snacking. I think what I love the MOST about this approach is that it isn’t restrictive. It leaves room to enjoy a glass of wine, desserts, and pizza!
Through trial and error, I’ve developed a smoothie recipe inspired by Kelly’s suggestions that I drink almost every single morning! It is filling, nourishing, and most of all, delicious. If I plan to add fruit to my smoothie I enjoy my Blueberry Muffin Smoothie. See below for my Morning Smoothie and Blueberry Muffin Smoothie Recipes!
PS- These smoothies are also delicious for a snack or lunch!
Morning Smoothie Recipe
½ medium sized avocado (FAT)
1 scoop Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel, Vanilla Coconut (PROTEIN). I like the vanilla/coconut flavor combo better than the chocolate. I feel like you can build more flavors into the vanilla/coconut profile!
Heaping handful of baby spinach (GREENS)
1-2 Tablespoons black chia seeds (FIBER)
Squeeze of lemon juice (if adding fruit)
1 date (if adding fruit). Especially if I use unsweetened or unflavored almond milk, adding a date adds a little extra sweetness to the smoothie. Dates are also high in fiber! Remember to remove the pit before adding to your smoothie.
1 cup Califia Farms Unsweetened Almond Milk. This brand is ALWAYS on sale. Look at your local Whole Foods, Hy-Vee, or Target. If you love Target’s Cartwheel app (if you haven’t tried it yet, you must! Tons of awesome deals every week), look for Califia. There’s commonly sales for all Califia products! I love it because it doesn’t have carrageenan in it. Carrageenan is a thickening additive that has commonly been linked to multiple GI issues. No thanks!
3-4 ice cubes
Blend well. Drink immediately. The if you like your smoothie to have a thicker consistency, add more avocado!
*Optional: top with Cacao Nibs for a sweet treat
Blueberry Muffin Smoothie Recipe
1 TB Trader Joe’s Creamy Almond Butter
1 scoop Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel, Vanilla Coconut
Heaping handful of baby spinach
1-2 TB black chia seeds
¼ cup frozen wild blueberries
1 cup Califia Farms Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Blend well. Drink immediately.