Elements of the Smoothie
One way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake with minimal effort and clean up is making smoothies. But there are a few things to keep in mind to make your smoothie a balanced meal.
Pick your protein: Having protein in your smoothie with keep you full longer, help stabilize your blood sugar, and feed your neurotransmitters (keeping you in a good mood). Yogurt (look for unsweetened options, you can add fruit for sweetness), grass-fed whey protein, and collagen are great options. These last two come in a scoop-able powder form, making portioning simple. I'm less a fan of pea proteins unless you are looking for something with no animal products. Having all of the essential amino acids is ideal, and with pea protein you don't get adequate amounts of methionine and cysteine, important sulfur containing amino acids beneficial for growth and to support glutathione production for detoxification.
Add fruit: to sweeten your smoothie, you don't need a lot, even half a banana or a cup of frozen berries is enough to sweeten your smoothie. Other great options are mango, pineapple, or oranges.
Vegetables: Green vegetables go great in smoothies, and usually don't even make it taste 'green', which can be helpful if you struggle eating leafy greens (not me! but I know this is a thing for some people, if this is you, consider trying less bitter greens such as spinach).
Fat: Having a little bit of nuts, seeds, or avocado can add fiber, healthy fat, some protein, and micronutrients to you smoothie.