How to Make the Perfect Smoothie
Smoothies are so great because they can be nutritious, delicious, and easy-t0-make.
I love having a smoothie for breakfast because I can usually make it and get out the door in under 5 minutes. I like to stay in my bed as long as I can, ignoring the cries of my iPhone alarm clock until the last possible moment before hopping out of bed to fly around the house like a whirling dervish.
My 2 cats (Molly & Grumpicus) scatter out of the way so they can avoid getting trampled underfoot by the unpredictable human in their midst.
It's how I do morning time, and it works for me.
As a long-time smoothie veteran (20+ years in the game), here are my recommendations for
How to Make The Perfect Smoothie.
What is The "Perfect" Smoothie?
The perfect smoothie needs to be 3 things:
1. Healthy (duh)
2. Tasty (double duh)
3. Easy-to-make (thank you!)
Let's take a look at how to accomplish each of these 3 steps...
Part 1: The Healthy Smoothie
Most people make the mistake of putting too many carbs in their smoothie. They go fruit-heavy, because they think the smoothie needs tons of fruit to taste good (it doesn't), and up with a high-carb drink that crashes their blood sugar and their metabolism right along with it.
Don't do this to yourself.
When finding smoothie recipes online, if the recipe calls for more than 1 fruit, cut the amount of fruit in half. It will still taste good, and keep your carb count lower.
For a more in-depth discussion of why you need to keep your carbs low, click here to read The Top 3 Mistakes People Make in Their Smoothies.
Stick to the "Golden Ratio"
If you want your body figure to match the "golden ratio" of Da Vinci's "perfect" human (i.e. the Vetruvian man), then your smoothie will need to match the Golden Calorie Ratio.
The Golden Calorie Ratio is the proportion of protein, fat, and carbohydrates in your smoothie that you need to maximize your metabolism for greater energy, focus, and mood. Too much or too little of any of these essential macronutrients will slow down your metabolism, leaving you feeling sluggish, foggy, and depressed or irritable.
Ain't nobody got time for that.
In nearly a decade of private practice in chiropractic and nutrition, I've discovered that the Golden Calorie Ratio varies slightly depending on the weakest link in your metabolism. For a complete discussion of Metabolic Typing, and how to discover the weakest link in your metabolism, refer to my Ebook The Metabolic Blueprint.
It's the only diet that's fully-customized for you based on your metabolic "weakest link".
If you're ready for a quick answer, however, here is the Golden Calorie Ratio you should strive for in your Perfect Smoothie:
Percentage of Total Calories
Your Perfect Smoothie gets 50% of it's calories from fat, 25% of its calories from protein, and 25% of its calories from carbohydrates.
Calculating Your Smoothie's Golden Ratio
Thankfully you don't need a degree in higher mathematics to figure out the calorie ratio in your smoothie. In my office I recommend that all of my patients use the MyFitnessPal app to track their diet. It's a fantastic (and free) diet-tracking tool that is absolutely essential for success on any diet.
All you have to do is type in the foods you ate, and the quantity, and the MyFitnessPal will automatically calculate the calorie ratio of your smoothie, complete with a pie chart like the one shown above.
Did your smoothie end up with too much carbohydrate, or not enough protein? MyFitnessPal will tell you, and you can adjust your quantities appropriately the next time you make your smoothie.
Part 2: The Tasty Smoothie
So you want your smoothie to taste good too, I suppose. You're such a needy little human, aren't you? So demanding...;)
The Perfect Smoothie needs to taste good. A well-constructed smoothie is like a cliff-hanger at the end of your favorite TV show--it keeps you coming back for more.
When it comes to flavor everyone has their own taste preferences. But there are 3 quick rules to follow that will help you create the smoothie taste you want:
1. Choose Your Dominant Flavor
2. Choose The Right Liquid
3. Get Your Liquid/Solid Ratio Right
Your Dominant Flavor
Certain foods pack a huge flavor punch, and you will want to choose your favorites to get the taste you want. Some of the most powerful flavor-packed foods are: pineapples, bananas, raspberries, beets, and peanut butter.
You can also choose several foods with similar flavor characteristics to pair together. By themselves they won't drastically alter the flavor of a smoothie, but together they are more powerful. Pick foods with similar flavor profiles, like the cool & crisp profile: romaine, cantaloupe, melon, ginger, and cucumber.
Choose the Right Liquid
Water and almond milk are pretty non-reactive. Even a large amount of almond milk in a smoothie won't make it too nutty. Other liquids, like coconut milk, coconut water, or fruit juices, will drastically alter the taste of a smoothie. Use them sparingly.
Fruit juices simply bring too much carbohydrate into the smoothie, and the whole point of the smoothie is to grind up your fruits so you can get the fiber!
Coconut is an "avoid" food for all blood types according to Eat Right For Your Blood Type. I personally get a stuffy nose and brain fog if I put too much coconut water into my smoothie.
Get Your Liquid/Solid Ratio Right
You don't want your smoothie turning into a sludge-y, do you? Make sure you get enough liquid into your smoothie to balance out the solids you're using. Smoothies with a high amount of greens like spinach, kale, or romaine, for example, will require more water to help break down the greens fully and give you a smooth consistency.
Part 3: The Easy-t0-Make Smoothie
Smoothies are, by their nature, easy-t0-make compared to solid food meals. But there are a few tricks of the trade you can use to your advantage to cut your smoothie-making time in half. These three time-saving tips can get you out of your house in the morning faster than you can say "fanny packs are so 1986":
1. choose your recipes ahead of time
2. prep your foods ahead of time
3. pre-make your smoothies ahead of time
Are you sensing a common theme here?
I love the expression "ahead of time". I never got it until just now as I was literally writing this article. It's like time is chasing us or something, and we're trying to stay ahead of it. Like a great rift opening in the earth's crust that we're trying to avoid falling into, or a massive tidal wave we're trying desperately not to get swept away in.
I was recently listening to a 4th-generation herbalist Kerry Bone, founder of MediHerb, lecture to doctors about Anti-Aging. I have his 6-hour Anti-Agingseminar on a set of CDs, and was listening to it during my 50-minute commute to my office. I was inspired when he stated that there is a growing body of scientific research proving that we should live to be 125 years old.
This may depress you, or it may inspire you. It personally inspires me, and lifts a lot of regret about what I've done with the first 33 years of my life. When you realize that 33 years is only about 1/4 of your lifespan, a lot of your regrets are lifted. Your entire sense of time shifts and becomes less stressful.
I know I'm a bit off-topic here, but this idea popped into my head while I was writing this article for a reason, so I think it was meant for you to hear.
What would you do differently if you knew you could live to be 125 years old?
Ok, so getting back on-track now, let's take a look at how to make your smoothie prep as easy as possible.
So you can stay "ahead" of time...
Choose Your Recipes
Buy an awesome smoothie recipe book like The Best Green Drinks Ever, or find a super-duper smoothie recipe website, or design your own! Decide which recipes you want to make, and construct your grocery shopping list so you can get everything at once. I usually choose 3 different recipes, and make sure I buy enough ingredients to make enough of each.
Prep Your Food
I make all 3 smoothie recipes in one session--a triple batch of each recipe will give me enough for a 3-day cleanse. It takes about an hour or so, especially once you get some practice. Pre-cut & peel (if necessary) all of your fruits & veggies, and lay out all the ingredients you'll need and get to it!
Pre-Make Your Smoothies
Wanna get out of your kitchen in under 2 minutes? You'll need to have your smoothies pre-made. Get a box quantity of mason jars, enough to store a triple batch of 3 different smoothie recipes, and store your smoothies after you make them. They should hold for 3 days, especially if they contain a dash of lemon juice. Pour your smoothie of choice back into your blender in the morning and give it a quick 10-second whipping and you're good to go!
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