Is a smoothie truly a good breakfast?

Many times when we ask “What did you have for breakfast?”, we get the response, “Oh, I’m so rushed in the mornings, so I just make a smoothie.”

Food media has put it into our minds that because they are often full of fruits, that smoothies are the ultimate health food.

But let’s dive deeper.

When we ask what is in the smoothie, we usually get two answers:

  1. Some fruit, like a banana, strawberries, raspberries, oats, chia seeds, flax seeds, MCT oil, and vanilla almond milk.
  2. A scoop of protein powder and unsweetened almond milk. 

Let’s talk about #1 first. On average, we’d estimate that that smoothie is about 500 calories, with about 50% of those calories coming from carbs, 40% from fats, and 10% from protein. 

That means that this shake is about the equivalent calorie-wise to a full meal, but has little protein, so we would not consider that balanced. We’d like to see about 30% of calories from protein in any well-balanced meal. Plus, there are ways to eat 500 calories that will keep you much fuller for longer, compared to drinking your calories in a smoothie.

In #2, we’d estimate that smoothie to be about 150 calories, with 10% of those calories coming from carbohydrates, 25% from fat, and 65% from protein.

Compared to a meal, that smoothie is very low-calorie. It has plenty of protein, but is missing many nutrients, and most likely will not be very filling.

If you absolutely do not have time to sit down and physically chew some food, here’s how we recommend building a balanced smoothie:

  1. Add 1 cup of frozen cauliflower to the blender (this makes it cold and creamy, plus adds vitamins!)
  2. Pick your protein. We recommend 0% fat plain Greek Yogurt, or a scoop of protein powder that’s approved by your coach.
  3. Add in 1 serving of fruit and 1 serving of vegetables. 
  4. Incorporate one source of healthy fats, i.e. avocado, flax seed, chia seed, nut butter.
  5. Choose an unsweetened liquid, blend and enjoy!

Using this recipe, you’re getting a well-rounded, sufficient calorie meal. 

While we’d still prefer you to sit down and enjoy a meal at a table, we know that sometimes you need something on the go!

Try this method next time you’re in a time crunch.