by Jesse Lane Schelew

Smoothies are a fantastic and easy way to get a big dose of nutrients in the morning. They can be made in less than five minutes and taken on the go making them super easy to fit into a busy morning routine. Recently smoothies have been making quite a comeback because of their reputation for helping people to lose weight and improve their health. The problem is many people are making mistakes when they make their smoothies, creating a drink that is not only unhealthy but contributing to weight gain!


Lack of Protein:

Many people find themselves feeling hungry minutes after drinking a big smoothie. This may be because they forgot to add protein which sustains energy and keeps hunger at bay. I recommend adding around 15g of protein to smoothies. This can be done by adding nuts, seeds, legumes or a high quality raw plant based protein powder. Overly processed protein powders contain chemicals, fillers, sweeteners and genetically modified ingredients can hinder health.

Not Enough Fibre:

Fibre keeps us full and sweeps clean the digestive tract removing toxins along the way. It will also slow the release of sugar into the blood stream so there isn’t a sugar buzz followed by an energy slump. I recommend adding about 10g of fibre to smoothies. This can come from ground flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, dark leafy greens (collard greens, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, spinach, kale), berries or legumes.

Too much Fruit and Sweeteners:

Fruit is an excellent way to add sweetness and antioxidants to smoothies but it is also high in sugar. Fruit metabolises into simple sugar very quickly which spikes sugar levels and leaves you tired and hungry 30 minutes later. I recommend adding only 1 cup of fruit to smoothies and using green powdered stevia instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners if you feel you need a little more sweetness.

Using Juice as a Base:

Speaking of additional sugar, many people use juice as the base for their smoothies. Store bought juices are pasteurised which means that they no longer contain the vitamins and nutrients they did in their whole form, making them simply another source of sugar. I recommend using 1.5 cups of water or unsweetened nut milk as the liquid base.

No Healthy Fat:

It is important to add a little healthy fat to smoothies; this will keep you feeling full and help the body absorb the fat soluble vitamins in the smoothie. Add half of an avocado for a silky smoothie or 1 tbsp coconut oil, flax oil or hemp oil.

Forgetting to Chew:

Chew a smoothie? Sounds weird but an important part of digestion happens in the mouth. Chewing mixes saliva with the smoothie and the digestive enzymes in saliva break down the food particles. To remember to chew smoothies, try adding some chunky superfoods like cacao nibs, goji berries, coconut, seeds or nuts.

Happy Sipping!