(This article does contain affiliate links to a couple of my favorite products :)
One thing about working hard to get fit is that I also am focused on my eating. I've found smoothies to be a great way to start my day. They are so versatile! You can make them in so many different ways. I also like the fact that I can add extra things to them to boost their nutritional value.
One of my favorite things to add to my smoothies is chia seeds. Those little seeds really pack a huge amount of nutrition in each teaspoon. They are basically tasteless so they don't change the flavor of the smoothie. They also add a little bit of thickening as well. When added to liquids chia seeds expand in size and become somewhat gelatinous.
Here is what I've found out about chia seeds...
They are rich in antioxidants, fiber, magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium (gram for gram they have more calcium in them than diary products)
They are high in Omega 3 fatty acids
They are high in B vitamins
They are high in protein
They have anti inflammatory properties and also help in lowering blood pressure and stabilizing blood sugar levels
Plus more.. there is a lot of information on the internet on them for further reading.
Due to the high fiber content in them it is important to incorporate them slowly into your diet so you don't get bloated. I started with 1t a day and now use 2T a day.
My basic breakfast smoothie is simple..
1 cup almond milk
1T chia seeds
½ cup frozen strawberries
¼ cup cottage cheese (adds creaminess and increases protein)
Puree it all in a blender and enjoy!
You can vary this smoothie in many ways...
Use regular milk or coconut milk or kefir
Add different fruits such as bananas or frozen berries
Add grains. My daughter likes to add oats to her smoothies
Add peanut butter or almond butter
Add your favorite yogurt
Add spinach or kale
Play around with different ingredients to produce a nutritious way to begin your day.
I like to also find ways to increase the protein in my smoothies. More protein means I stay satisfied longer. I know some people like to add protein powders to their smoothies but I've not been a big fan of that. Most of them seem to have flavorings and sugars or artificial sugars added as well. I have however found a natural protein supplement that I love...
This is a beef gelatin made from grass fed cows. The gelatin does not thicken up when added to liquids. It is good for the joints and skin and it adds 12 grams of protein in 2T. It does not have any taste to it. I add this to all my breakfast smoothies.
If you are looking to start your day off in a healthy way, try a nutrition packed smoothie! :)