Fall is a great time to start a new healthy habit. Here’s how to get your day started with smoothies

This year, back-to-school will demand even more energy and composure than usual. What better way to prepare than pledging to treat yourself a little bit better? Smoothies as self-care: it makes perfect sense.

It’s time to get your blender ready to transition from the play-hard frozen drinks of summer to the work-hard, energizing concoctions this season demands. Your breakfast smoothies will help get you ready to face every morning.

Smoothie Science 101

There are no hard and fast rules that govern smoothie making, and how nutritious you choose to make them is up to your conscience and dietary preferences. The healthiest smoothies include:

  • a generous amount of fruits and/or vegetables
  • milk or a milk alternative
  • healthy protein such as Greek yogurt or nut butters
  • little or no added sweeteners

The key is to blend up ingredients that will give you a proper balance of fats, fiber, and protein to kick-start your day. And it should definitely taste good. 

If you still need some convincing, these five-ingredient smoothie recipes could get you to hop on the smoothie bandwagon.

Here’s a tasty recipe for a 5-ingredient orange “shake” smoothie to get you started:

  • 1 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • Juice of 1 orange 
  • 1 banana
  • 1 date

If you’re feeling ambitious, try out some more fruit combinations:

The pros will tell you to add lots of greens such as kale and spinach to your morning smoothies; some throw in carrots and even beets. That may be something you need to work up to. Adding pineapple will provide a sweet flavor that will overpower the greens or veggies (that’s a good thing).

Enjoy smoothies guilt-free

When you consider the multitude of available breakfast options, smoothies rank pretty high in nutrition, comparatively. Blending fruit does not destroy its benefits, and a blended serving of vegetables is still a serving of vegetables.

To make sure your smoothies are delivering health benefits with a minimum of extra calories, opt for:

  • non- or low-fat milk or alt-milk products
  • non-fat yogurt
  • no additional juice
  • healthy add-ons, such as oatmeal, chia seeds, flaxseed, and low-fat nut butters

Packing your smoothie with protein can give you energy and keep you feeling full until lunch.

The best thing about smoothies is their ability to be poured into a travel cup and consumed on the run. Assuming that once again we will all have places to run to in the morning, that is a benefit that can’t be overstated.

Speaking of things that blend…

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