I'm not on any special diet other than a weight loss diet (ahem. What can I say? I love food and don't so much love sweat...).
Have started to drink protein smoothies for breakfast, and found it quite a helpful habit to have. Not really missing out on good stuff, because breakfast is my least interesting meal of the day anyway. And I can pack in a LOT of good stuff: besides my protein powder, typically a couple of cups of spinach or kale or other leafy green, and a banana or some frozen fruit.
I am quite happy to stick with this, but if any of you have green smoothie ideas that you really like, I'd love to hear about them!
Note that because I am rather weight-reduction focused right now, I will tend (only tend - not so strict) to prefer the smoothies that are full of water and ice cubes, rather than, for example, peach nectar or mango puree.
smiles and thanks!
We've been making green smoothies for breakfast for yrs now and they are amazing for weight loss/maintenance, energy and appetite suppression. Here's our recipe, lost over 50 lbs and have kept it off for years... Convinced the green shake is the reason for success.
Blend all the following:
1 1/2 C cold water
1 scoop Optimum Nutrition brand natural chocolate whey protein powder
1 tsp powdered green tea/aka macha (no sugar added)
1 scoop Amazing Grass brand chocolate greens powder
1 or 2 Handfuls of fresh kale
1/4C - 1/2 C blueberries
Pinch of stevia powder for added sweetness w
1/2 scoop msm powder (optional) research this ingred first
2 tblsp freshly ground flax seeds
Dash of cinnamon
Blend all until kale is broken down and everything is mixed well, enjoy. The green tea/macha powder takes some getting used to as it adds a hint of bitterness, but does wonders for weight loss! The msm powder is for maintaining skin tone/elasticity ( so crucial during weight loss). The amazing grass (chocolate) powder is the best tasting wheatgrass powder we've found to date. It's much easier to use the powdered form than juicing fresh wheatgrass every day. Good luck :0)
If you would like to limit your sugar intake (which for me packs on the pounds, though I myself am not diabetic), here are a couple of options.
2 Cups Spinach
Celery Hearts (3)
Cucumber (one small)
1 whole lemon, peeled
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Or for something sweeter:
2 cups water
2 cups spinach
1 cup kale
1/2 cup casaba melon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tbsp chia seeds (soak in 2 cups water for a while)
Have you used peanut butter powder? Whole Foods carries PB2 in regular peanut butter or chocolate peanut butter. It's finely ground peanuts w/ the oil extracted so it's lower in calories by 85%. You simply add water to it (and a little sugar & salt if you like) to make it spreadable. But it's great in smoothies. Trader Joe's sells peanut flour which is similiar.
unfortunately Trader Joe's discontinued their peanut flour last year.
you should do some comparison shopping before buying PB2 from Whole Foods - there are plenty of options for buying it online, most of which, i would assume, are less expensive. plus, other companies like Byrd Mill offer different roasts & fat levels, and larger packages.
the darker roasts have a richer, more robust peanut flavor. if you want a real peanut punch with a teeny bit of that earthy bitterness from roasting, get the dark. if you prefer your peanut flavor mellow and slightly sweet, get the light.
you can get either the dark or light in 12% or 28% fat. the 12% is obviously a bit drier since it contains less oil, and its actually slightly lower in fat than the TJ's was. but it works beautifully in smoothies, or stirred into cottage cheese or yogurt (i personally eat no-salt-added cottage cheese, but if you use the regular salty stuff it's a perfect pairing with peanut flour). and when i used to bake with it, i combined the light & dark roasts and the flavor balance was perfect.
does that help?
Adding citrus fruits for the acids really helps you to digest your greens. Often times I find I pack so much green goodness into a cup that it comes out the same as it goes in, and I want to make sure I am not just consuming the stuff and that my body is actually taking up the nutrients.
Other than that, savor every sip. I always swish mine around a bit before I send it down, just to make sure that I get my saliva in there. I'm not sure how well we digest things that have already been broken down for us by the blender, and I know at the beginning I used to slurp them down so fast I'd get a little sick. I would, over time, try and see if you can ditch the protein powder unless you are working out.
This is what I drank this morning;
1/2 bunch spinach (i put this in because it has a hormone that stimulates muscle growth/repair!)
4-5 stalks of kale
2 oranges (should probably use more)
frozen peaches, strawberries, mangoes (probably more than 1cup each, I just put almost a whole bag of them in or a half depending on what flavors I want to come out stronger)
and then purified or distilled water til it's nice and full
always organic if you can afford it!
(i put this in because it has a hormone that stimulates muscle growth/repair!)
FYI if you're talking about phytoedysteroids, the research is really sparse, and the studies that indicated increased protein synthesis and muscle strength used highly concentrated/powerful extracts (isolated from more than 2 lbs of spinach). they also showed a reduction in plasma testosterone levels. so while it's certainly a healthful and tasty addition to your smoothie, i wouldn't set your expectations too high for the muscle growth/repair benefits of 1/2 cup of spinach ;)
i personally always add a dollop of nut or coconut butter or avocado to mine. the fat keeps you satisfied longer.
Since your profile says you're from NYC, thought I'd offer up suggestions for a couple of local store-bought options. My personal favorite is Organic Avenue's Green Monkey Smoothie- kale, banana, and coconut water are the 3 main ingredients. Really delicious (slightly sweet) and low in calories. I also recently had a kale-centric "shake" at Miss Lily's in the West Village that was more hearty than OA's, but a nice healthy meal if you happen to be in the neighborhood.
Here's a link to my recent blog post about the 2 with a bit more info in case you're interested: http://healthypantz.com/2012/05/11/a-...