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Smoothies have been the biggest rage for the past few years. From dozens of Jamba Juice stores around the country, to local gyms blending smoothies for post workout recovery, you can find smoothies everywhere. However, not all smoothies are created equal. Most are full of sugar (Jamba Juice) and many use protein powders that have unhealthy additives, such as xanthan gum. It is always safest to make your own smoothie at home, which is what I do everyday. Many people ask me what I put in my smoothies, so I wanted to share the key ingredients I use in what I call my #simplybegoodsmoothie.

Plant-based milk

The first thing I always put in my smoothie is a planet-based milk. Considering my diet is mostly plant-based, meaning approximately 70% of my diet does not include meat, poultry, fish, dairy or eggs. So I never use cow’s milk as the base of my smoothie. Here are the different plant-based milks I use:

  • Coconut milk
  • Almond milk
  • Cashew milk
  • Hemp milk
  • Rice milk
    • I never use soy milk

Here are some of the brands I love:

Plant-based or grass-fed whey protein powder

The next thing I put in my smoothie is a protein powder. I always use a plant-based protein powder, but you can of course use whey protein or even a collagen protein. Make sure it’s of the highest quality, meaning it is grass-fed and organic. Here’s a list of protein powder brands I recommend:

Berries

The next thing I put in my smoothie are berries. All berries are high in phytonutrients and antioxidants, low in fructose and high in fiber. When you read about the benefits of berries, many sources talk about how they protect against Alzheimer’s disease and even some cancers. The most important things for me are the phytonutrients and the low glycemic level. And make sure you always buy organic. Here’s a list of the berries I use:

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries

Greens

Whether you use kale, spinach, or even romaine, adding green leafy vegetables to your smoothie is great for your health. From iron to calcium and even flavonoids, green leafy vegetables are packed with powerful nutrients. Here’s the list of greens I use:

  • Arugula
  • Kale
  • Spinach

You can also use swiss chard or even dandelion greens. Some leafy greens are more bitter than others, so you may want to include half of a banana. My favorite brand of greens is Organic Girl.

Plant-based fats

I think we’ve finally come to a clear understanding of good fats versus bad fats. If you still need help understanding the difference, check out this article by Dr. Mark Hyman in Chalkboard Magazine. Make note that he mentions yogurt and dairy as being bad fats. I would argue that kefir (fermented yogurt) and raw, organic, grass-fed dairy is fine, but only in moderation. The only exception I make is using ghee. It has a higher level of fat compared to regular butter and you don’t have to refrigerate it. Here’s a list of plant-based fats I use:

  • Coconut oil
  • MCT oil
  • Avocado
  • Almond butter
  • Sunflower butter
  • Pecan butter
  • Cashew butter

Power foods

Whether you call them superfoods or power foods, the one thing we can all agree on is they’re packed with nutrition, vitamins and minerals. Here’s a list of the different power foods I use in my smoothies everyday:

  • Maca
  • Coconut flakes
  • Tumeric
  • Cocoa nibs
  • Bee pollen
  • Spirulina
  • Collagen
  • Chia seeds
  • Sea salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Flax seeds

I usually stick to maca, coconut flakes, cocoa nibs and chia seeds. I don’t use all four of these power foods everyday, I usually choose two at a time. As for tumeric and cinnamon, I almost never use those in my smoothies, because I add them to my coffee, along with ghee and coconut oil and blend it altogether.

Do you already drink smoothies regularly? If so, what are some of your favorite ingredients?

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below.

Happy blending!

Additional reading:

What are the Benefits of Protein Shakes for Women – SF Gate

The 20 Best Superfoods You Need in Your Diet Now – Bestproducts.com

The 5 Cleanest Sources of Plant-Based Fats – One Green Planet

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