Do You Need a Daily Morning Smoothie to Be Healthy?

 
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If you truly enjoy having a morning smoothie, great—continue what you are doing.

If you don’t, do not fret—it’s not necessary for good health.  

And, I’ll let you in on a little secret, I don’t drink juices and smoothies.  For starters, no matter how many calories or “right” combination of nutrients are in them, they just don’t keep me full. But mostly, I just don’t enjoy them. And one of my mantras you’ll become very familiar with is…I never put anything in my mouth that I don’t enjoy, even if it’s supposed to be healthy.  Lack of enjoyment equates to lack of satisfaction, which means eating that food you don’t enjoy and wanting for more.

What I do like about the idea of a morning smoothie is getting at least a couple of servings of veggies at breakfast.  This is a good habit to develop.  Veggies are loaded with the nutrients we need to keep our bodies functioning all day long and their high fiber content provides the morning meal with staying power.

Here are 5 ideas for quick and easy morning breakfasts that contain the nutrient-rich foods you’ll often find in a morning smoothie.  I tried to hit the variety of breakfast foods we tend to enjoy.

1. Eggs with a green salad

This sounds like a lot of work, but with the right planning it can take just a few minutes.  For the eggs, you can hard boil a week’s worth over the weekend and pull them out of the fridge as needed.  Fried or scrambled eggs take just a few minutes.  For the greens, buy pre-cut/pre-washed greens of your choice so there is no prep.  Season with your favorite dressing. I like to massage a vinaigrette or olive oil and lemon juice into the leaves. Massaging coats all the leaves and you actually wind up using less dressing. Making your own vinaigrette is a cinch and contains no additives like most bottled dressings.

2. Avocado Toast

Toast your favorite whole grain bread.  You can prepare a batch of smashed avocado or your favorite guac to last for a few days, but sliced is just as good.  I like to top with something crunchy, like sliced radishes and sunflower seeds.  I then top with a sprinkle of salt and cumin.  Hint, hint: cumin and avocado go great together.  

3. Egg or tofu scramble with last night’s leftovers

Roasted broccoli or cauliflower, sautéed peppers, onions and mushrooms, roasted potatoes or turnips.  Whatever vegetable you have from last night's leftovers can pretty much be chopped smaller and thrown into an egg or tofu scramble.  You can even prepare the night before and reheat in the morning.  What I like most about this idea is that it reaffirms one of my other mantras you’ll come to love—whenever you are meal planning, think about how you can cook once and use twice (or three times).  

4. Oatmeal with mashed root veggies

If you are an oatmeal lover and doubting this idea, trust me.  I’m assuming one of the reasons you love your oatmeal is because it’s thick and creamy comfort food.  Mashed roasted sweet potato, pumpkin and butternut squash make your oatmeal even thicker and creamier while also adding a new flavor that drives a new way of seasoning and prevents you from getting sick and tired of your same ole oatmeal.  I like mine with sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon and a touch of maple syrup.  You can save yourself some time by making a week’s worth of oatmeal in your slow cooker and reheating with your favorite add-ins each morning.

5. Savory Greek yogurt

I know, you’ve been ingrained to eat yogurt with fruit and granola.  The reason I like to change up the fruit, granola and yogurt thing is because they are all sweet ingredients and if there is one thing I learned in culinary school it’s that we are more satisfied from meals that have a balance of different flavors (and textures).  My personal favorite way to eat savory greek yogurt is with chopped cucumber, a little olive oil and pistachios.