I will always strive to achieve the goal of leisurely mornings before work. I would love nothing more than to wake up early enough to get a full workout in and read the newspaper. I truly believe that someday it will happen! But until then I will just have to do the best with what I can. Maybe I should start with not hitting snooze! :-P It has also been helpful to use a breakfast smoothie to help me speed up my morning routine. I found dozens of great recipes online, but what works best for me is a simple formula to mix things up.

Liquid Base + Protein + Fruit/Vegetable + Spices/Extras + Ice

My breakfast smoothie is a complete meal. It’s the ultimate “fast food” because it can be whipped up in an instant. I love a green veggie boost in my smoothie to add fiber and nutrients without a lot of additional calories. Frozen fruits are the easiest, as they are usually pre-cut and you can have a variety of them in your freezer ready to use. I always make sure to have a source of protein in my smoothies to keep me full throughout the morning. Protein powders are available everywhere these days in a variety of flavors. I use the Whole Foods 365 Everyday brand vanilla whey protein or Vega One French Vanilla. It’s fun to experiment with the extra spices and add-ins to the smoothie to really create a unique flavor. A dash of cinnamon or ginger goes a long way, and flax meal or chia seeds add healthy fats, fiber and make for a thicker textured smoothie.

When making a smoothie it’s important to remember that it is very easy for calories to add up when adding in multiple servings of fruit, nuts, seeds and sweeteners, and also from the liquid you choose to start with. If you are interested in controlling your weight consider omitting sweeteners, limit the amount of extras you use and stick with one ½ cup serving of fruit to blend in. A good protein powder will become handy if trying to control hunger and calories, as they usually are found in a variety of flavors, not just vanilla and chocolate, that can make a tasty shake without all the added ingredients. And remember fruit juice has a lot of natural sugars, so diluting juice with water will cut the calories while preserving the flavor of the juice. But feel free to use all the spices, herbs and greens your heart desires to make a deliciously filling and lower calorie breakfast smoothie!

Here are some of my favorite ingredients to use in the healthy smoothie formula: 

Liquid base (1 cup):
Skim milk
Unsweetened dairy-free milks (soy, almond, coconut, rice)
Fruit juice
Coconut water
Green tea (room temperature or iced)

Protein options:
Whey protein powder (1 or 2 scoops)
Plain Greek yogurt or kefir (1 cup)
Nut butter, peanut butter or PB2 (2 tbsp)

Fruits (½-1 cup):  
Frozen or fresh berries

Vegetables (generous handful):
Baby spinach

Chia seeds
Flax meal
Cocoa powder
Maple syrup
Matcha green tea powder

This month I will be mixing up different smoothies every week, so check back for the latest recipe every Sunday!