When you are doing extensive exercise, like the workouts on my F.I.T. programs, it’s important you are eating adequate amounts of protein. Protein is an essential component to any healthy nutrition plan. Our bodies thrive on protein and our muscles are created from it. Protein also helps to fill you up and give you sustained energy throughout the day. Because our bodies do not have the ability to produce all proteins by themselves, it’s essential we obtain it from healthy whole food sources. Whilst I do prefer to get most of my protein from food if I need to supplement it with a protein powder, I always opt for an organic, non-dairy powder, so it doesn't upset my tummy. If you are someone who just reaches for the protein powder to get your dose of required protein, there are some ways you can pimp your protein shake and turn it into a super healthy, delicious and nutrient dense meal. See some ideas below:
1. Add superfoods
There are so many great superfoods that are readily available and will give your body a high dose of nutrients in the one hit. Chia seeds are great for omega fats and also help fill you up. You can add raw cacao, or maca if you are wanting an antioxidant and energy boost, or why not try adding some spirulina and chlorella for the detoxing qualities.
2. Add frozen fruit
Take your protein powder and blend it up with some of your favourite frozen fruit. By using frozen fruit, it will make your protein powder turn into a delicious healthy alternative to ice cream, as it goes thick and creamy. Some of my favourite frozen fruits to add are a banana, pineapple, berries or mango.
3. Add healthy fat
Good fats have a multitude of benefits to the body. They provide essential fatty acids, keep your skin smooth, deliver fat-soluble vitamins, are a great source of energy, and keep hunger pains at bay. My favourite healthy fats to add to a protein shake are avocados or coconut oil. Both make your smoothie super creamy. Coconut oil is a fantastic fat because it contains medium-chain fatty acid, which is a healthier form of saturated fats. Our body metabolises these fatty acids differently, and immediately converts it to energy for our brain and muscles to function. It’s also great for boosting your immunity, metabolism and helps to improve digestion.
4. Add vegetables
Green smoothies are very trendy these days and there is a good reason for it. Adding in green vegetables to your smoothie is a good way to ensure you are reaching your required daily vegetable intake. By blending them, you are also making all the vitamins and minerals readily available and easy for your body to absorb. If this is a strange concept for you, try with some baby spinach first as the taste is very mild, and then as your taste buds adapt you can start adding more. Some of my favourite green vegetables to add are cucumber, spinach, kale, chard, zucchini or broccoli.
Superfood Protein Smoothie Recipe:
1 scoop of all natural, organic protein powder
½ cup of non-dairy, unsweetened milk (almond, coconut or rice milk are good options)
½ cup of water
½ cup of frozen mango
½ cup of frozen strawberries
1 cup of dark leafy greens (spinach, kale or chard)
4 broccoli florets
½ an avocado
Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.