Not all protein shakes and smoothies are created equal. Here are 5 liquid meal myths disproved!
1. They are lower in calories than ‘real’ food
Really? Would you use an entire avocado on your toast or eat six bananas in one sitting? Probably not, but once you get blending, super-sizing quantities can be pretty easy to do. Try measuring your ingredients as you add them to your blender. Think of what you would actually eat if you were sitting down to a meal and keep your portion sizes under control.
Tip: mix your choice of milk 50:50 with some chilled water – you won’t taste the difference but it will help with your calorie intake.
2. They are better for you
Not always! By the time you throw in all of your health foods, the taste may not be as you expected. In goes some honey or chocolate sauce to sweeten things up, then an extra scoop of nut butter…pretty soon you’ve got a chocolate thickshake disguised as a health drink.
Tip: try using baby spinach as the base of your liquid meal. Add one to two cups of spinach as the first ingredient and watch your portion control of each extra ingredient. Remember, liquid meals can be savoury as well as sweet!
3. They will keep you fuller for longer
Sure they can – if they have the right ingredients. Whizzing some fruit, water and a teaspoon of maca probably won’t do the trick. Make sure you add a protein source to your fibre and water to keep you going until your next meal. Try nut butter, an egg or some good-quality protein powder. If you are going savoury, some steamed and cooled shredded chicken or beef can work too.
Tip: add some steamed (and cooled) sweet potato or pumpkin to bulk up your liquid lunch.
4. You can’t add vegies to a smoothie
Vegies go with everything – sweet or savoury! Adding vegies to a blender or NutriBullet will ensure the nutrients and fibre of your vegies are kept intact so you are still getting all the benefits (as opposed to juicing). Good vegies to add, thanks to their nutrient density and disguise quotient, are spinach, kale, cos lettuce and watercress. Or try a superfood addition in powder form – spirulina, maca powder or a greens powder such as Passion Projects. Why not go one step further and make it savoury? Add some spices and enjoy a soup.
Tip: add last night’s vegies to the blender with some stock or water to whizz them into an easy vegie soup. Zucchini, pumpkin, capsicum, peas and carrots all work well. Alternatively, place them in a bowl and use a stick mixer to make a soup.
5. You’ll need something to eat as well
Poppycock. If you don’t have time to sit down for breakfast, grab your go-to bowl ingredients and throw them in the blender together. That includes your usual oats (raw), milk, berries and cinnamon. If you tend to add yoghurt or protein powder, throw that in too. Decant it into a shaker and take it in the car or on the bus or train.
Tip: whizz up breakfast the night before, place in a jar or bottle with a secured lid and leave it in the fridge. In the morning, shake it up and drink while ironing your shirt or waiting for the train. You can even add a teaspoon of coffee and make it a real all-in-one!
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