By Tami Broderick
Up at 5:00 am … out the door at 5:30 am … a 1 hour commute … grab a cup of coffee … maybe a piece of fruit as you rush out the door … sound familiar? Many of us just don’t have the time, or even the desire to spend more than a couple of minutes in the kitchen before heading off to work. When it comes down to sleep or breakfast, sleep will usually win hands down.
We have all been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and numerous research studies have proven this to be true. Eating breakfast jump-starts your metabolism, setting the tone for the entire day. For those of you grab and go individuals, this post is dedicated to you. My goal here is to get you a healthy, complete meal that can be made in less than 5 minutes.
Now, some people assume a smoothie and a protein shake are the same thing, but that is not really true. A smoothie is typically a combination of juice and fruit, and sometimes yogurt, which for some people will cause a too fast rise in blood sugar, followed by a subsequent blood sugar crash. The perfect protein shake, on the other hand, contains everything you would find on your plate, should you be cooking and eating actual food, i.e., a protein, carbohydrate and fat.
In order to build the perfect protein shake, it must contain 4 components, which I’ve listed below:
LIQUID (0-90 calories)
1 cup of any of the following; Water, Skim Milk, Unsweetened Almond, Soy, Coconut, Rice or Hemp Milk, etc. For those die-hard coffee fans, you can even make your liquid a cup of coffee, and turn your shake into a much healthier mocha.
CARBOHYDRATES (~15 grams, 80 calories)
Choose one from any of the following; 3/4 cup fresh or frozen berries, 1/2 banana, 1 small fresh fruit, 1/4 cup uncooked oats, 1/2 cup canned peaches or pears.
PROTEIN (~15-25g, 100-150 calories)
Choose one from any of the following; 20-25 grams of whey, soy, egg or plant protein of choice, 6 oz plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt, or 6 oz soft tofu.
FAT (~5 g, 50 calories)
Choose one from any of the following; 2 tsp peanut, almond or cashew butter, 1 Tbsp ground flax or hemp seeds, 1 tsp flax or fish oil, 1/8 small avocado or 6 whole almonds.
Add a handful of spinach or kale for some extra Vitamin A and Calcium, or even some instant coffee for a caffeine boost. Flavorings such as vanilla or almond extract, cinnamon and cocoa powder are just a few examples of how to add flavor and variety. The possible flavor combinations are endless. Don’t try to cut calories by leaving out any of the components, for they all work together and are equally important.
So the next time you wake up late, there can be no excuses as to why you didn’t eat breakfast. In the time it takes you to wash your face and brush your teeth, you can make a complete meal that will wake up both your body and your mind.