A Morning Smoothie That’s Quick, Nutritious and Doesn’t Taste Like Dog Food

Nutrition is such a big part of my method, but it’s also one of the most difficult parts to nail down.  There is so much misinformation, jargon, and ‘rules-lawyering’ that goes into the production of the nutrition information labels that it sometimes seems impossible to figure out what is actually entering your body.  Tyler and I have been working to establish a morning smoothie that can serve as a quick meal replacement for rushed days.  There are a few criteria:

  • Speed: It has to be easy to prepare.
  • Portability: It should be in liquid form so as to be transportable in a disposable cup.
  • Purity:  The ingredients list should be a short as possible.
  • Nutritionally Significant: It needs to meet predefined goals based on dietary needs.
  • Not Taste Like Dog Food:  I have to actually drink this thing.

The smoothie suits my speed and portability requirements.  I can throw a bunch of stuff in a blender and have my witch’s brew ready within minutes.  The nutritional significance depends on my specific eating plan, but right now I am not following any thing strictly.  Thus, carbs are OK and I’m not worried about calories.  About the only thing I care about is 30g of protein in the morning.  Purity is the real bitch, since it’s very difficult to get an honest answer about what is actually in the box for most items sold in stores.  I find that Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are among the best places to shop if you’re looking for simple food.  Using a combination of produce and specific extracts, I can get a very firm idea of what’s going into my body.  Finally, the “not tasting like dog food” part is crucial.

I have toyed with many iterations of this liquid breakfast and some have been unspeakable.  For example, I sometimes take Acetyl L-Carnatine and Alpha Lipolic Acid in capsule form with my shake.  This combo helps spark my brain in a  caffeine-like way.  I had the bright idea to pop the capsules and empty their contents into the smoothie, certain that the fruit would mask the taste.  Wrong.  It was among the worst tastes I’ve experienced.  These tiny capsules added such a powerful and miserable taste that I had to tilt my head back and pour the shake down my throat instead of enjoying it as I usually do.  Never again.

I make one of these almost every morning before I do my yoga and sip it throughout my practice.  I like to do my practice fasted since digestion draws energy and blood away from the rest of the body and fasted exercise is more likely to burn body fat rather than blood glucose.  Here’s the specific combination that works for me right now.  Measurements are approximate.

  • 1 cup Trader Joe’s mixed berries
  • 2 scoops Trader Joe’s vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 good ol’ banana
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 grams Glutamine powder
  • 5 grams Creatine powder
  • 1 gram Glycine powder
  • 1 tbsp powdered gelatin
  • 2-4 tablespoons coconut oil (to taste, and I like me some coconut oil)

I’ve been using the glutamine / creatine / glycine stack since my first foray into weight loss.  Most specifically,  glutamine has helped me recover from workouts and helps repair damaged muscles.  I’m noticeably less sore post-workout when I have included glutamine in my stack.   Macronutritionally, the milk and protein powder get me up to my 30g a day, gelatin is added to help with joint and soft tissue repair, and the coconut oil is there to maintain gastrointestinal health.  It also tastes awesome.  The berries and bananas are a good source of natural sugars and flavor, while adding antioxidants and potassium respectively.  They also help offset the strange, gravely texture of the assorted powders.

It may not be the perfect recipe, but it gets closer to ideal each time I make it.   Oh, and I take my ALC and ALA in capsule form.  I learned my lesson.

Approximating the nutrition facts very loosely below, the majority of the carbs come from the banana, most of the protein comes from the protein powder and the fat is almost entirely from the massive amount of coconut oil I use.  This is not ideal for a low-carb dieter since this shake alone will keep you out of ketosis. On the other hand, it is calorie-dense and very filling, ensuring that you have no excuse to miss breakfast again.

65g carbs

45g protein

80g fats

I’m always eager to improve my methods so feel free to suggest any additions or changes and air any disagreements.


Did I help you today? If so, you can return the favor by tossing something in the tip jar. Pay what you want! You can also buy something from the Sleek Store, like your supplements for example.

Comments are closed.

This entry was posted on July 8, 2012 and is filed under Food, Recipes, Supplements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.