The Breakfast Smoothie

A totally different topic:

People always ask me about my breakfast smoothie, mostly out of curiosity rather than from any intention to adopt my peculiar dietary habits.

It’s strictly a no animal products (Whole Food Plant Based) for I’ve been that way for over fifteen years now (2016), and vegetarian for fifteen years before that. This smoothie, and variations of it, has been my main daily meal for about 12 years. It combines the nutritional essentials of protein, fats, carbohydrates and fibre. There is plenty of fibre in the fruit, greenery and nuts to maintain good gut health. I figure that the smoothie gives me all the nutrients I need, including essential minerals, vitamins and amino acids.

Except for Vitamin B12, which I take as a daily supplement.

The smoothie keeps me going all day without ever feeling hungry. Without ever feeling the effects of low blood sugar. I have two meals a day; this smoothie and dinner. I rarely snack between meals. And it powers me through my daily exercise late in the day – about 10k daily walking plus occasional weight training.

It’s made in a standard 600ml smoothie maker (Kambrook, George Foreman, Nutribullet, etc) and is one third fruit, one third greenery and one third nuts, with a few other ingredients, in plain water.

Fruit

Whatever fruit is in season, but my staples are:

  • Pineapple,
  • Orange or grapefruit, or sometimes a lemon or lime, just for a change.
  • Blueberries and
  • Banana.
  • My son adds avocado which gives the smoothie a creamy texture, and avocado is rich in health promoting nutrients.

Greenery

Kale is the hipster fad of the moment but I use:

  • Celery, or
  • Spinach, or
  • Silver beet, and
  • Herbs (usually mint, basil or parsley). Usually the dominant taste in the smoothie, and
  • sometimes I use Kale because there’s some in the garden, not because I’m into the hipster fad.

A Combination of Raw Nuts (protein, fat and fibre)

  • Walnuts, and
  • Cashews, and
  • Almonds, and
  • Brazil nuts.
  • Peanuts make it taste like peanut butter, if that’s what you like, and they’re a legume rather than a nut, but still very healthy.

According to this scientific meta analysis higher nut intake is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality, and mortality from respiratory disease, diabetes, and infections.

And there is some scientific evidence that a daily nut intake will help prevent erectile dysfunction. Who needs to support the billion dollar Viagra business.

Supplements (essential ingredients)

  • Turmeric¬†root or powder (about half a teaspoon); and
  • Spirulina (about one teaspoon).

Non-essential supplements, but I add them anyway

  • Seeds (whole or ground), i.e. flax, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin.
  • Coconut yoghurt, just because coconut is an ancient tipuna kai (ancestral food) I suppose.
  • Ginger root, because its good for you.
  • Garlic is good for you too but I can’t stand the taste of garlic in my smoothie. I tried it once and it was overpowering.
  • I’ve been known to add miso paste because it’s a complete protein, is said to aid digestion, and as a fermented food helps maintain a healthy gut biota. But it does become the dominant flavour (omnivores can use an ordinary yoghurt for the same purpose).

Experiment

I experiment, trying new healthy ingredients from time to time, always maintaining the 1/3 fruit, 1/3 greenery, 1/3 nuts formula, with the essential ingredients.

Preparation

I prepare it the night before, nuts first, then the fruit and the greenery, with the supplements last, top with water, and leave it in the fridge overnight. I will usually make about three days’ at a time. In the morning I add an ice cube for an extra chill, whizz and drink.

Some people think that they need to drink a bit of the smoothie at a time throughout the day, to power them through the day. I find that taking it all at breakfast is more convenient, and still powers me through the whole day, without ever feeling hungry.