By Fiona Workman (Head Nutritionist and food developer at Juiced Life)
As life seems to be getting heavier and harder, some light eating is one easy antidote. Smoothie bowls are appearing in every cafe and supermarket so let’s investigate the dos and don'ts.
Smoothie bases tend to be simple blends of fruit & veggies, and natural thickeners like banana, avocado, dairy/alternatives or nut butters topped with a visual feast of berries, coconut, crushed nuts, chia seeds or granola. They adhere to the Japanese concept of “eating with your eyes first” and can be a healthy alternative to heavier meals.
The protein component slows blood sugar release so you feel satiated for longer. Generally, the more protein the better as I find we are consuming more carbohydrates these days and it’s not ending well! Combine a variety of your favourites like nut or seed butters and mylks, chia seeds, the amazing hemp, oats, or any variety of yoghurts to thicken the consistency and really fill you up.
Since bowls are eaten with spoons rather than drunk, we can’t just down them in a hurry. Take your time and you’ll eat less before your hormones tell you you’re full. A great trick for weight loss! Relaxing over a meal means we step out of that familiar stressy state, into the state of digestion, relaxation and longevity. Nice.
We can’t make Omega 3 long chain fatty acids ourselves, so they are deemed “essential” in our diet. Chia seeds, flaxseeds and walnuts are all high in omega 3. Soak chia or flaxseeds in liquid overnight so they plump up for maximum mucilaginous benefit. They help soothe and calm inflammation which our bodies are begging for.
Choose your fruit and veggies wisely. According to ancient Ayurvedic medicine, a little sweetness encourages kindness and love but too much creates attachment and greed. Avoid citrus which doesn’t combine well with dairy. Berries are always a popular choice but don’t miss out on this opportunity to eat your greens. Blend baby spinach leaves with banana or avocado for a creamy smoothie base. Add some matcha powder to feel alert yet chilled. And don’t forget the herbs. Thyme goes beautifully with most fruits, as does basil leaves for another taste perspective. If you aim for greens twice a day, you’ll enjoy plenty of magnesium for muscular relaxation, deeper sleep and a healthier heart. Bliss.
Smoothie bowls are an easy way to pump up your nutrition by using ingredients which will work for you, rather than against you. Consider 80% of your ingredients for health, and the other 20% for taste. Sit back and enjoy a tasty, light, nutritious smoothie bowl and forget the world’s woes for a while.
About the Author
Fiona Workman is a Nutritionist with 20 years clinical experience and Head Nutritionist and food developer at Juiced Life. Juices, smoothie bowls, protein balls and meals are designed around particular goals like improved immunity or energy. They are completely natural, preservative and additive free, and encompass a range of vegetarian or vegan, gluten and dairy-free products. Find out more about living the clean juiced life here.