For me, lunch and dinner meals are easy. Breakfast, not so much. While I could always whip up some pancakes, eggs, sausage or other morning staples, I’d rather not. I’m more of a super simple, super quick breakfast girl. Enter smoothies. They’re fast and convenient. Just throw the ingredients in the blender, push the button and voila! A yummy and fulfilling meal.
I thought I was on my stuff when it comes to smoothies. However, a few weeks ago I read a book that made me realize I needed to up my game.
The Whole Body Reset: Your Weight-Loss Plan for a Flat Belly, Optimum Health, and a Body You’ll Love at Midlife and Beyond provides simple habits that can help people, especially those in their 50s and older, avoid or reverse weight gain. The authors, Stephen Perrine and Heidi Skolnik, break down why the weight loss strategies that worked when we were younger may no longer be effective — and what we should be doing instead.
Now, this isn’t one of those books. You know, don’t eat this, don’t eat that, low-carb, low-fat, count calories, stop consuming foods at this time. The Whole Body Reset gives six simple secrets and tons of recipes for real people who like to eat real food. Yes, even if the grub sometimes come from a fast-food restaurant.
One of the secrets in the book is protein timing — eating the proper amounts of quality protein throughout the day, rather than piling it on at dinnertime, as so many of us do. While reading about it, I realized my breakfast go-to seriously needed a protein upgrade.
Fortunately, The Whole Body Reset had me covered. The authors call protein breakfast smoothies a secret weapon. It’s clear to see why:
- Protein smoothies are an easy way to get in some of the recommended servings of fruit and veggies.
- Protein in the morning, especially with fiber, helps you feel full. And it helps reduce hunger, which means you may be less likely to grab junk food later in the day.
- Your body must use more energy to digest protein than it does for carbs or fat, meaning you’ll be burning more calories.
- Protein at breakfast gives you an early jumpstart to helping your body better maintain or build lean muscle.
- Protein in the a.m. may also help boost your mood and lower anxiety, setting you up for a less stressful day.
The book has many recipes for protein smoothies. They have super fun names like Pom Pom Smoothie, The Right Side of the Bed Smoothie and “Dessert for Breakfast” Smoothie.
My family and I tried several of the smoothies. All got the thumbs up. However, the Green Like Money Smoothie was the one that did it for me. Not only was it delicious, but it was also filling. It has a whopping 33 grams of protein and only 377 calories, perfect for breakfast (or a meal replacement or post-workout snack, for that matter). I was full but not in the way you feel overstuffed or sluggish. And my energy was on 100. The smoothie gave my get up and go some get up and go! I now have it several times a week.
If you’re looking to have a muscle-building and fat-burning day, this protein smoothie is a good way to get it started.
Green Like Money Smoothie
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup frozen spinach
1⁄3 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup fresh kiwi (about 1 kiwi)
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Drink up!
Find AARP’s The Whole Body Reset -- with this and dozens of other recipes -- at AARP.org/WholeBodyReset, or wherever books are sold.