Summer, glorious summer! We’re in the thick of smoothie season right now and, whether we’re starting the day off with something cool or whipping up a frothy mid-afternoon snack, we love sipping something fruity and juicy when the weather gets hot.
Our favorite smoothies are those that not only show-off all of our peak-of-season produce, but also fill us up with something nutritious. Here, we take our cues from celebrity healthy coach and author Kelly LeVeque. Kelly has lead the way for us before, sharing her tips for adding healthful (but doable and delicious!) options to every meal, all the while espousing inclusion (not exclusion) in the process.
When it comes to smoothies, we head straight to the pages of Kelly’s book, Body Love Every Day: Choose Your Life-Changing 21-Day Path to Food Freedom. Kelly is a self-described “choose-your-own-adventure type of nutritionist.” She gives people the science-based tools they need to understand good nutrition, then guides them in delicious and simple ways to achieve it with methods and recipes that work within their own lifestyle. Kelly’s smoothie recipes are key to her approach, augmenting regular whole food meals without replacing them.
1. Think Fab Four
Kelly espouses reaching for protein, fat, fiber, and leafy greens or veggies deep in color at every meal. She calls these nutrients the Fab Four® and they guide her in an ingredient mix that is sure to satisfy whether she’s making a sippable snack or a full-fledged meal. “If you’re anything like me, you want to stay hydrated and need ALL the fuel,” says Kelly. With that in mind, she creates healthful smoothies that “taste like treats, are perfect for summer, and the whole family can enjoy!”
2. Add Protein
Kelly is a big believer in the power of protein—especially when it comes to satisfying hunger while staying fit. “Protein is the most satiating macronutrient and helps slow digestion as a whole,” she says. “It takes time and energy to break down and helps you feel full for a longer period of time.” You’ll find a healthy dose of protein powder in each one of her smoothie recipes, along with a range of plant-based protein-rich ingredients such as nut butters, seeds, nuts and leafy greens. “The goal is to get 20 to 30 grams of protein in a Fab Four Smoothie,” advises Kelly.
3. Don’t Forget the Fiber
A scattering of nuts or seeds, a spoonful of chia, fibrous fruits and leafy greens can all add fiber to smoothies that will help aid in digestion and keep you feeling full for longer. Body Love Every Day offers pages of high-fiber whole food options that are good choices for any healthful recipe, but ultimately the choice of ingredients to include comes down to you. “When it comes to fiber and greens, I really want you to feel empowered to choose the foods that are the right fit for you.”
4. Spice it Up
Kelly’s protein- and fiber-rich Carrot Cake Smoothie (above) is liberally scented with cinnamon, giving it a sweet, dessert-like flavor. It is the perfect canvas for additional spices, such as the blend of turmeric, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom in Kelly’s Be Well Sweet Seasoning mix. A rich banana-peanut butter smoothie, coconut cream smoothie, or pumpkin pie smoothie would benefit from the same type of full-flavor infusion. For a nutritionist that espouses diversity as much as Kelly does, adding spices to a smoothie can deliver the sweet flavor that can make any blended beverage seem more like a special treat than an ordinary snack.
5. Be Present
“Take a minute to slow and down and be present while you eat,” says Kelly. “Support your digestion and slow down your sip by topping your smoothie in a bowl with hemp hearts, coconut, and almonds that will slow you down so you can really enjoy your meal.” So, let’s take Kelly’s words to heart and approach our smoothies just as we do our summer days—nice and slow so we can appreciate every last drop.