Monday, July 30, 2012

My love of Smoothies

I love breakfast food, but never ever have the time to make myself breakfast in the morning.  It has always been a challenge to get that first meal of the day in, which has obviously been super helpful to my metabolism.  Lately I have been so much better because I have been combining my morning protein shakes with some yumminess in order to create what I like to call Super Protein Shakes!  I have always loved drinking smoothies for breakfast, but it can be hard to make a combination that tastes good while keeping the calories in check.

In thinking about how I need to lay out my calories throughout the day in order to eat frequently while staying within my calorie range of 1100-1200 calories, I realized that I should aim for 200 calorie meals four times a day, with dinner being 300 calories OR 300 calorie main meals with two 100 calorie snacks.  Keeping those numbers in mind have been more of a guideline, because I also don't want to fall into the rut of eating pizza, and thinking my day is "ruined".

The Super Smoothies have been a perfect way to obtain that 200-300 calorie breakfast while also giving me more than half the protein I am aiming for in a day.  I have been experimenting with spices, sugar free/fat free puddings, and extracts.  As I get better at this, I will have to post more recipes, but for now... here is what I have been doing.

I always use my protein shakes as my base.  The ones I have been using have been from Costco and have 30 grams of protein and 160 calories per serving.  The brand is Premier Nutrition High Protein, in Vanilla.  When I use powder protein, I usually mix with unsweetened almond milk due to the low calorie content.  Then to add some thickness, I have been using cottage cheese (thanks to the idea I saw in a Cake Batter Shake on Dashing Dish) which is about 70 calories and another 12 grams of protein. I realize this sounds disgusting interesting, but when it is well mixed you cannot tell AT ALL that there is cottage cheese in there.  At times I also use Greek yogurt depending on the type of smoothie I am making.  This makes up my base to which I add ingredients for the smoothie I am craving.

My recent favorite:
Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
Protein Shake (or 1 scoop powdered protein with 1/2 cup** of almond milk)
1/2 cup cottage cheese*
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (no sugar added)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
12 ice cubes (use less for a thinner smoothie)

Cals: 270* Fat: 3.5g Carbs: 18 Fiber: 7 Protein: 43
*depends on protein brand

*I tried making this with 1/2 cup Greek yogurt. Yuck! It added a sourness that I did not enjoy!  I find that Greek yogurt tastes best in fruit based smoothies
** I adjust this from 1/4-1 cup of almond milk depending on how much liquid I need to add in order to get to my desired thickness


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