Smoothies should be a supplement, not a meal replacement.
When babies are born we encourage their mothers to breastfeed. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, mothers cannot breastfeed. So, in supplement of breastmilk, we feed their babies a mix of high calorie formula to help them maintain their weight.
IMO, “Smoothies” should be used like formula. If you absolutely don’t have time or cannot manage to make a nourishing, whole food breakfast each morning, a smoothie will definitely do. Especially if you’re someone who struggles to get enough nutrients or calories in during the day.
Digestion is optimal when we eat whole foods.
Digestion starts in the mouth with chewing and when you’re drinking a smoothie back through a straw, your body doesn’t have as much time to create amylase in your saliva (a digestive enzyme) and prep your stomach juices for incoming food. Additionally, most people use high sugar fruits (mango, pineapple, banana, etc.) in their smoothie to cover up the taste of greens. With this, not only are you skipping proper digestion, you’re literally streamlining high sugar food right into your gut. When we eat a mango as it is whole, we chew down the fibres and then our stomach continues to break down the fibres, and the sugar content is absorbed into our blood stream at a slower rate. When you drink it down through a straw, the blender has already done half of your digestive process and the sugar hits you quicker, causing a larger insulin (hormone) spike that your body wasn’t prepared for.
…But I live off of smoothies!
With all this being said, there are times where I find the convenience of throwing a bunch of super foods into a blender and eating it as a meal really beneficial, so that’s why I’m a fan of the SMOOTHIE BOWL.
Next time, try your morning smoothie in a bowl and eat it with a spoon. Try it topped with a few pieces of low sugar fruit, seeds or nuts that require actual chewing. Eat and chew the entire smoothie as if it were a bowl of chilli. You’ll eat it slower and allow your body to properly absorb the sugars and digest it easier.
I want to share my personal happy-hormone smoothie bowl with you all that I make from time to time when I need a boost of multiple nutrients that I otherwise can’t obtain through whole foods at the time. I love this mix because the cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that helps to decrease estrogen levels, the spinach provides awesome whole food folate, the flax seed and avocado provide healthy fat and fibre, and the blueberries help sweeten the cocoa to make it chocolatey and delicious!
The Original ESTROBOWL
- 1 big bunched handful of raw spinach
- ¼ c steamed and frozen cauliflower
- ½ c frozen blueberries
- ½ an avocado
- 1 t flax seed
- 1 scoop of protein powder of your choice (Could be vanilla or chocolate, vegan, whey, etc. – doesn’t matter)
- 1 T raw cocoa
- 1/4 t of ceylon cinnamon
- Water to achieve desired consistency
And then instead of adding INTO the smoothie, I top it with any combination of the following:
- 1 T sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, or ground flax seed based on which part of my cycle i’m in.
- 1 T unsweetened coconut shavings
- Other lower sugar fruits: chopped green apple, strawberries, blackberries, strawberries.
- Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews (all so rich In hormone-benefitting nutrients!)
Try it and let me know what you think!