Shannon Vistisen and Ana-Maria Janes
Guest Blog Post
By: Ana-Maria Janes R.H.N
The busy mom’s guide to making the perfect smoothie to avoid the afternoon crash and burn
Hi busy Mamas! I’m thrilled that Shannon is having me on her blog today. I’m Ana-Maria, but friends calls me Ana. I’m a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and a mama of 2 boys, under 2. I’m a recovering chocolaholic and I now love to help busy moms balance their hormone with simple strategies.
One foundation principle that I teach is to balance your blood sugar and that begins by having a nutritious breakfast. I know mornings can be wild, but one of the easiest ways to incorporate breakfast in your morning is with a smoothie.
Smoothies are all the rage these days and with good reason. They are nutrient dense, a quick breakfasts to make and they can be prepared in advance. You should definitely have them as part of your breakfast repertoire.
They are so versatile and pretty hard to mess up. The downside is that it also means it’s easy to fill your smoothie with too much sugar and not enough fiber, protein and healthy fats to sustain you until your next meal. But don’t worry, you now have me!
If you barely have 15 minute to squeeze in for breakfast for yourself and your family before rushing out the door to drop off the kids to school and still make it on time to work, then you absolutely need to consider my smoothie prep routine.
The quickest and easiest way I’ve found to have a fast smoothie is to prepare them in advance.
1) When ding your meal prop for the week, wash and cut the fruits and vegetables and divide them in individual portion by placing them in ziplock bags. May I add that this is a great task to delegate to your kids if they are old enough.
2) Add the dry ingredients to each bag and freeze them.
3)You can customize each bag for each family member and make individual smaller smoothies in the mornings or make one big smoothie for everyone (I hear you, you don’t always have time to make 4 different smoothies each morning).
4) For those busy mornings, all you have to do is take the ziplock bag out of the freezer, place the contents in your blender, add your liquid (water, nut milks, fresh juice) and give it a whirl.
So now, that you know how quick it can be to get your smoothie ready, let’s talk about what to add in your smoothie to make it as nutritious as possible. Here’s the formula I follow.
Choose the Recipe
This one is kinda of obvious, but pick a recipe that has your favorite ingredients. There are no lack of smoothie recipes to choose from and Pinterest is a great source of inspiration. Create a board and add the recipes you would like to try. When you find ones you really like, save the recipe somewhere you can easily reference it when you need to. For me, I like to use Pinterest to gather ideas of recipes to try, but once I want to have those meals as part of my rotation, I find it easiest to save the recipes in my Evernote account.
Next, choose your liquid. I prefer to stick to water, or nut milks, but you could use teas and fresh juices as well. Add1-1 ½ cups of your liquid of choice to your blender to make 1 big portion.
Then the Base
This is known as the body of the smoothie which gives it it’s thick consistency and creaminess. A lot of recipes use Greek yogurt for this purpose, but my favourite dairy-free options are bananas and avocados. I especially like using bananas because they also act as a natural sweetener so no need to add any other sugars. And let’s face it, we all buy bananas with the intention of eating them and there’s always one or two left to go soft. Instead of throwing them out, peel them, cut them half and freeze them in a ziplock bag. When you need them for your smoothie they are available right in your freezer. But to really uplevel your smoothie in terms of nutrition, avocado is the real winner! You just can’t beat the benefits of the healthy fat it provides.
Fruits and Vegetables
After the base, add in the fruits and the vegetables. Make sure you add fiber rich greens like spinach, collard greens, kale, swiss chard, and beet greens. Your body will get the nutrients it needs to remove toxins, boost weight loss, and help to strengthen your immune system, minus the blood sugar spike that comes alongside most smoothie recipes.
Your smoothie will be healthy and delicious if you just use fruits and vegetables, but also consider adding a few other superfoods. For some healthy fats consider adding hemp hearts, flax seeds, chia seeds or a spoonful of coconut oil. For some added protein add a few raw nuts/seeds or nut butters or your favourite protein powder. For some antioxidant power you can also add raw cacao powder or goji berries.
The Final Blend
Go ahead, and give it a whirl! The last step would be to blend it all up, pour an enjoy!
Two ingredients I caution you to stay away from are store bought fruit juices. They are filled, and I mean filled with sugar, and will only contribute to your blood sugar swinging up and down causing those hard-to-control cravings. Yogurt is another ingredient that you must exercise caution when using. Ideally, yogurt will have only 2 ingredients, milk and bacteria cultures, but we all know that’s not always the case. Read the label and pick the brand that has the least amount of ingredients and the least amount of sugar. Greek yogurt is an excellent choice if you can tolerate dairy otherwise I find coconut yogurt tastes the closest to dairy-based yogurts and is just as yummy.
I wouldn’t leave you without a few smoothie recipes to add to your to do list! So I have four recipes for you. Two are a slightly sweeter and two are green smoothies for some extra power punch nutrition.
The Green Magic Smoothie (see below) is my favorite energy booster and the additional cacao is high in magnesium which helps keep stress levels in check.
Green Magic Smoothie
1 ½ cups dairy free milk or water
2 cups spinach
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon raw cacao powder
Wellness 101 Smoothie
1 ½ cups dairy-free milk or water
2 cups spinach
½ orange, peeled
1 tablespoon flax seeds
Dash of cinnamon
Banana Spinach Smoothie
2 cups spinach
1/2 raw sweet potato with
1 ½ cups dairy free milk
a pinch of cinnamon.
2 cups of spinach
1 handful of berries
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 ½ cups water or dairy free milk.
For all smoothies, simply add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Try to drink them right away as these fresh and natural smoothies don’t last too long in the fridge.
I know what it means to be a busy mama. Wake up after your 5th snooze, squeeze in a super fast shower, pray you have a few extra minutes to put make up on, make breakfast while yelling at your kids to get ready, help your kids get dressed because they are taking forever, pack lunches, get out the door on time, make sure you didn’t forget anything, and make sure no one else forgot anything too. And I’m sure the list goes on.
To help you create a breakfast routine that can keep up with your busy mama morning routine, I leave you with the “Makeover your Breakfast” guide where I show you 5 base breakfast recipes that are quick to make, that you can prepare ahead, and that you can spruce up with various flavours in a pinch. My smoothie routine is also included in this guide so that you can quickly reference it.
Click here to get your instant downloadable copy of “Makeover your Breakfast”
Where you can find Ana-Maria and more amazing healthy tips!//
Website: Ana-Maria Janes
Facebook: Ana-Maria RHN
Facebook Community: Simple self care, happy hormones and digestive bliss for busy moms
Twitter: Ana-Maria Janes
Instagram: Ana-Maria Janes
Pinterest: Ana-Maria RHN
Sneak peak about Ana-Maria//
After battling with her own health issues and terrible eating habits, Ana-Maria Janes became a Registered Holistic Nutritionist through the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. She now helps busy moms break free of their sugar cravings and balance their hormones by teaching a habit-based approach to health so that they can save time, loose weight, feel energized, and love their bodies again. You can find her over at www.anamariajanes.com