smoothie
Fitness & Nutrition

Build a Balanced Smoothie

By on 08/21/2017
Caitlyn Crosby image

Einstein Registered Dietitian Caitlyn Crosby

To make a balanced breakfast smoothie or a smoothie for any meal of the day, you want to make sure that you include all of your macronutrients, plus some fiber—just like you would normally eat at a meal!  Your macronutrients are better known as: carbohydrates, fat and protein.

First here are some tips to help you find balance in your smoothies:

  • Try to aim for about 10-20 grams of protein per serving (about ½ cup of Greek yogurt or 1 scoop of protein powder will get you into this range)
  • Be mindful of your portion sizes. Look at the amount of food you are putting in the blender to make your smoothie. If it looks like a LOT and makes a BIG smoothie that can be hard to finish, that may be too much! I suggest aiming for something more like 12 ounces to 16 ounces.
  • If you notice that the smoothie doesn’t leave you feeling full, that’s totally normal. (After all, it’s already blenderized for you, which means less digestion time!)! Try pairing it with a little solid food, like a piece of whole grain toast with some peanut butter to help keep you feeling fuller longer!

To make your smoothie, pick one food from each category (carbs, fat, protein, fiber) to ensure you are making a balanced smoothie:

  • Carbs – Fruit, yogurt, whole grains (like oats)
  • Healthy Fats – Avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds, nut butter (like peanut butter)
  • Protein – Greek yogurt, protein powder (for example, whey, plant-based or soy protein powder)
  • Fiber – Veggies, fruit, whole grains (Oats)

You’ll need a liquid to get your blender blades moving. Use water or your milk of choice (regular, almond, soy, cashew, etc, it all works!)

Using this method, my favorite smoothie to make is:

  • Carbs: ½ small frozen banana, 5 frozen strawberries, 1 tbsp oats
  • Healthy fat: ¼ Avocado, small handful walnuts
  • Protein: ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • Fiber: A handful of baby spinach

Extras:

Pinch of cinnamon (I love a little cinnamon flavor!)

½ Cup milk of choice

Pro Tip: When I feel like I need a little extra kick in my morning I add 2-4 ounces of cold brew coffee and it gives me that little boost I’m looking for!

Then voila, your smoothie is complete! These are the tips I give my patients. I hope you are able to find them useful in your kitchen at home!
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