Green Protein shakes are my go-to in the mornings. They are an excellent breakfast for busy people like us. They are also a portable breakfast that won't make a mess if you "eat” it on the run, or at your desk. If you make them the night before, you have a "grab and go" breakfast.
Protein is essential in the morning as it kick starts your metabolism, and who has time to cook a high protein breakfast? The Canadian Food guide recommends that you get most of your protein from plant-based sources. Which means that a plant-based smoothie, with a scoop of protein helps you to meet this recommendation. Protein is a macro-nutrient whose role is to build and repair muscle so you need it, especially if you are active. You probably don't need as much as the sensationalists say you do, keep in mind they are trying to sell you something.
You can add anything to your shake. I start with protein powder and then add L-Glutamine, some frozen greens and sometimes more protein, by way of hemp seeds. I also add half a frozen banana to make it creamy and cold. And a handful of whatever other frozen fruit I have on hand.
My shake meets a ton of my nutritional needs, as its protein and carbohydrate-rich. The added greens give my body much-needed micro-nutrients. I sometimes use plant-based unsweetened milk such as almond or cashew milk, but on other occasions, I use about an eighth of a cup of pre-soaked frozen cashews. Cashews when pre-soaked are super soft, and if you have a high-speed blender, they will break up completely in your shake.
Protein-rich green smoothies digest easy, so your body doesn't have to use a ton of energy to digest it, ensuring you won't crash and burn, mid-morning. This crash and burn is one of the reason most people reach for high sugar junk foods. They are looking for a quick sugar fix to help them feel up again.
Protein powders are not created equally. Some are full of sugar and stabilizers; others taste awful and a bit chalky. Try to find the best quality you can, which is why I recommend Niyama. After meeting the Jilllian, the founder, and connecting with her story about trying to bring a better product to market. I tried the product and love it.
If you prefer working from a recipe, the following green smoothie recipe has a milder taste and is super easy to make. As is, it has 15.7 grams of protein in it. If you add a scoop of protein powder, you will probably double its protein content. This recipe is from the blog Ilovevegan.com, I have modified it slightly.
Green Smoothie Recipe
1 cup unsweetened almond or any unsweetened nut milk
1–2 handfuls of spinach (frozen breaks down the best)
2 frozen bananas
2–4 soft pitted dates (pre-soak these the night before if you have time).
2 tbsp hemp hearts
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
2 ice cubes
Optional Add-in - 1 scoop protein powder
Combine all ingredients, blend on high until smooth and frothy.
Sheree's Hack – Pit, pre-soak overnight, and then freeze Medjool dates for use as a sweetener in smoothies.
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Sheree Nicholson is the owner of Live With Spirit Yoga & Fitness studio in Whitby, Ontario. She has a certificate in plant-based nutrition from eCorne