I recently gave a presentation about the importance of a solid morning routine and also wrote about that a bit in my last blog post. A green smoothie has been part of my morning routine since approximately 2010. My husband came home with a Vitamix from Costco and I was a bit upset that he had spent that amount of money on yet another kitchen appliance I didn’t want to clutter my counters.
I guess that was the universe’s way of telling me I don’t always know what’s best for me! I’ve been making green smoothies and teaching my clients and groups how to make them for years now. If you’ve followed me and done any of my programs you know I’ve tried almost every possible edible combination out there. Based on that experience, I created three simple graphics for you to “Build a Better Smoothie” at home. All you need is a high-speed blender. My go has always been a Vitamix and this is the current version I own.
I know not everyone craves a good green smoothie like I do every morning, but smoothies can also be great snacks or desserts! The most common question I get when I talk about my green smoothies is, “What protein powder do you use?” I have an old blog post that you can read here, but I would say my recommended brands have changed a bit since then. First of all, you don’t really even need a protein powder. You can use hemp seeds, chia, flax, nuts, seeds, legumes, and veggies (yes, veggies have some small amount of protein in them). For those looking to pump up the protein here are my current go-to brands. To be honest, it is very hard to find a 100% clean protein powder, there are always 1-2 ingredients/processes that I question, but these come close.
Plant-Based Protein Powders:
Animal-Based Protein Powders:
Collagen Protein Powders
Collagen Peptides vs Protein Powder
Now, the second question I often get is “Should I use both a protein powder and a collagen powder?” My answer is, that it depends. What are your goals and what you are hoping to achieve? The difference between protein powders and collagen powder is that collagen is an incomplete protein, meaning it doesn’t have all of the essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are not produced by the body and can only come from the food you eat. Protein powders are typically complete proteins, meaning they contain all essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. In comparison, collagen powders contain only specific amino acids like glycine, alanine, and proline. These amino acids are great for rebuilding and synthesizing collagen. The amino acids in collagen are great for healing joints, ligaments, hair, skin, and nails, as well as gut health. Protein powders on the market, whether they are made from vegan or animal sources, are blended to create a complete protein. They have all the essential amino acids. Personally, I often do a protein powder or hemp/chia/flax seeds in my morning smoothie and a collagen powder in my afternoon latte or mixed in some non-dairy yogurt.
So look at your goals and how you eat. I typically eat a green smoothie for breakfast and don’t eat large quantities of animal protein during the day, so that morning protein shake is where I’m getting my essential amino acids. On the other hand, if you eat grass-fed beef for lunch and chicken for dinner, you may not need that morning protein powder. If your goal is to build muscle mass and you are an avid weight lifter or doing heavy-duty training I would recommend a protein powder due to its branch chain amino acids (BCAAs). BCAAs have been shown to build and repair muscle.
If you’re a green smoothie fan let me know anything you feel I’ve missed or a favorite combo of yours!
Cheers to your health! DeeDee