We often don't take time out of our busy lives to actually nurture our bodies. As a physician, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to start off the day correctly by eating a nutritious breakfast. After a period of rest, the body needs fuel to recharge and energize. Skipping meals may negatively impact your sugar levels, can lead to weight gain, and could cause problems with your metabolism.
In order to jump-start the day, I suggest drinking nutritious smoothies that are high in protein as well as good fats. Carbs always seem to get a bad rap, but in reality, we cannot survive only on fats and protein. If you avoid carbs entirely, your glucose can eventually be depleted from your muscle and lean tissue, and your body can go into "starvation mode," leading to a drop in metabolism. The key to better health isn’t avoiding all carbs, it’s avoiding high-glycemic carbs, which include products made with refined flour like cakes, cookies, and bagels, as well as white rice and potatoes. Instead, choose low- or medium-glycemic carbs that won't spike blood sugar, but will provide nutrition. These options include certain fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, legumes, and brown rice.
I also recommend eating several small meals throughout the day, and enjoying healthy snacks between the three major meals in order to maintain a healthy weight and stable glucose levels. One of the best ways to stay full, boost your energy, balance your nutrition, and perpetually cleanse the body is to consume filling, healthful smoothies.
Ditch the dairy and substitute almond, soy, coconut, or hemp milk. Talk to your physician about what milk may be best suited for you — always consult your physician when making a larger change in diet, especially if you have certain medical conditions.
Keep in mind that a clean diet will help detoxify the body and create an alkaline environment, and a great clean diet centers around plant-based protein. Below, I’d like to share a series of smoothies I’ve developed that may be higher in calories and carbs than you think is desirable, but that will keep you feeling sated and energized all morning long. Not only do these smoothies provide long-lasting energy, they are nutritious: loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein, good fats, and carbs that the body can easily assimilate, process, and digest, thereby reducing the risks of many types of medical conditions.
Most of the following smoothies have suggestions, not exact measurements, because you should find the blend that works best for you; some people like a thicker shake-type smoothie, whereas others prefer thinner blends. Keep experimenting with these great ingredients until you find the texture you love.
I go a bit tropical with this smoothie, and use coconut milk with some coconut cream and add blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, and throw in a little silken tofu for texture.
Another fun smoothie with a little decadence involves using chocolate almond milk, bananas, and creamy peanut or almond butter. This one I like to call Cocoa Nut.
Dr. Deepa Verma of Synergistiq Integrative Health believes that healthy and holistic living is the key to happiness and aging gracefully. Follow her on Twitter @DrDeepaVerma and subscribe to her Youtube Channel.