I am often asked: What’s the ONE THING that will fix my hormones as fast as possible? My answer is to drink a green protein shake every day until your hormones are back on track, which usually takes 30 days, or longer depending on severity. Since you’re reading this article, I will assume your hormones are out of whack, and I want to challenge you to replace one meal with a nutrient-dense green shake for the next 30 days. It will help your mood, mindset, blood sugar, and weight loss. Your green shake will double your energy. It will make you feel lighter and less burdened, especially if you substitute your problem meal with your green shake.
Here are details – the WHY and the HOW – on how to create a shake for maximal nutrition and hormone-resetting powers.
Why swapping in a green shake for one meal a day might improve energy and weight loss
Green smoothies contain vegetables that are packed full of vitamins, minerals and omega 3’s, making them nutrient-dense – increasing energy, promoting healthy digestion, stabilizing blood sugar and reducing antigenic load. Providing your body with a clean source of nutrients can curb junk food cravings or binge eating, and trigger weight loss.
Why this nutrient-dense meal replacement helps hunger and food choices all day long
Eating a nutrient-dense breakfast can play a huge role in terms of hunger and food choices for the rest of the day. A nutrient-dense breakfast satisfies your hunger after a night of sleeping, and keeps you feeling full for the whole morning. It also boosts your metabolism and stabilizes your blood sugar. It can also set the stage for making healthy food choices for the rest of the day – if you are not so hungry, there is less chance you’ll binge eat later in the day.
What impact might a green-smoothie breakfast have on activity levels all day long?
Because a green smoothie is packed with nutrients as well as extra protein and healthy fats, it will help regulate your blood sugar levels and keep them stable, and you should feel active for longer. Skipping breakfast, or eating sugary or fattening foods, can cause your blood sugar levels to spike and then drop, causing energy and activity levels to slump.
The key nutrients in the smoothie that aid in weight loss
● Vitamin C is an important aid to effective weight loss. Research has shown that people deficient in vitamin C are more resistant to losing fat mass. Those with adequate levels of vitamin C oxidize 30% more fat during exercise than those deficient in the vitamin. The recommended daily dose of vitamin C is 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women.
● Adding fiber to your diet provides a host of health benefits – it removes toxins, keeps things moving, gives you a sense of satiety and protects your gut from injury and disease. Increasing fiber intake has been associated with weight loss. This could be because fiber fills you up, as it takes longer to digest than other foods and absorbs water as it moves through your gut. Additionally, foods that are high in fiber, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, are typically low in calories. The recommended daily fiber intake for men is up to 38 grams and for women is up to 25 grams.
● Healthy fats, like those found in vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish, are essential for overall health, and they can aid in weight loss as well. Eating healthy fats in moderation fulfills your dietary requirements without increasing your risk of chronic disease – as would be the case with unhealthy fats (e.g. trans fat). Nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fats, as well as fiber and protein, and can make you feel full faster than carbs or unhealthy fats. In one study of 101 men and women, half were put on a low fat diet, and the other half were put on a moderate fat diet that included healthy fats. After 18 months, the moderate fat diet group lost an average of 4.1 kg, compared with the low fat diet group, who only lost an average of 2.9 kg.
What are prebiotics and what role do they or might they play in weight loss?
Prebiotics are carbohydrates that cannot be digested by the human body and are essential food for gut flora, or probiotics. Prebiotics play an important role in maintaining a healthy digestive system by encouraging the growth of good bacteria. Prebiotics have been shown to reduce cortisol levels – one of the leading causes of belly fat.
As breakfast choices go, how would rate the prebiotic content of the smoothie described?
Inulin is a type of plant carbohydrate and is an excellent source of prebiotics. Smoothie ingredients that have high levels of inulin include bananas and oatmeal. In order to further increase prebiotic content, you can add an inulin powder to your smoothie, for example one made from chicory root.
Does a smoothie drink allow for great nutrient absorption compared to food that is chewed?
It seems that smoothies do allow for greater nutrient absorption because blending the fruit and vegetables helps to release more nutrients than just chewing them. If you don’t like eating greens (kale, broccoli etc.), adding them to smoothies are a great way of incorporating them into your diet.
On the other hand, one of the advantages of chewing your food is that it takes longer to eat, especially if you chew completely, giving your brain enough time to receive the message that you are full.
HOW TO MAKE THE GREEN SHAKE
I want to challenge you to make one change in the next 30 days: substitute a green shake each day for one meal. Here are the details on how to make it.
• Aim for 12-16 ounces
• The base is greens: spinach, kale, chard, watercress, collards, purslane
• The protein must be clean (< 5 grams sugar/serving, no gluten or dairy or whey): such as my hormone-resetting protein powder in vanilla or chocolate.
• Add fat: 1 tablespoon presoaked chia seeds, 1 tablespoon freshly ground flax, 1 tablespoon hemp seeds, or 2 ounces avocado.
• Add extra fiber, but increase slowly (no more than 5 grams per day as your gut microbes adjust)
• Bonus: add a prebiotic like potato starch. Begin with just ½ teaspoon and build up slowly to 1 tablespoon. (Potato starch is a type of carbohydrate that is not digested in the stomach or small intestine, so it resists digestion and is known as a “resistant starch.” It is very helpful in stabilizing blood sugar, feeding good bacteria, and promoting weight loss.)