Heading into fall, it can be tempting to think about heavier foods since you’ll soon be wearing heavier clothing. But if you’re interested in keeping your summer body throughout winter, this protein concoction is for you.
Light and bright but loaded with fiber to keep you satisfied for hours, it showcases high-nutrient, low-calorie, big, fat, juicy berries. (Berries don’t have to be a seasonal treat since frozen berries are readily available yearlong. You should always have a stash of berries in your freezer.) A fridge stocked with berries is an absolute must, not just for smoothies but oatmeal, salads, or just to quell a craving for something sweet.
Loaded with antioxidants and packing more grams of protein than net carbs (which come solely from the berries’ natural sugars), this makes a great snack or meal replacement.
8 ounces unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
1 scoop low-carb vanilla protein powder
½ cup raspberries
½ cup blueberries
½ cup sliced strawberries
1 cup loose-leaf arugula
1 stalk celery
1-inch chunk of ginger
1 tablespoon chia seeds
5 ice cubes
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender—start with the almond milk to avoid clumping. Blend until smooth.
Nutrition Info: 312 calories, 38 g carbs, 26 g protein, 11 g fat, 17 g fiber.
Berries: These berries are loaded with antioxidants to help your body fight off the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. A study published in the Journal Of The International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that subjects who drank a blueberry-containing smoothie experienced accelerated recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage and returned to full strength more quickly after a workout than those who did not consume blueberries.
Arugula: This less-recognized cruciferous vegetable provides many of the same benefits as its more notorious family members broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Arugula’s flavor is mild and just slightly bitter, so chances are you won’t even taste it. The green vegetable packs vitamin A, vitamin K, and folate. High dietary nitrate levels, which arugula certainly has, have been shown to lower blood pressure and enhance athletic performance.
Ginger: Not only does ginger have a nice exotic and spicy flavor, it’s great for your gut. Ginger stimulates gastric enzyme secretion, which improves the absorption of nutrients in the body. Improved digestion leads to less inflammation and a healthier digestive tract.
Chia Seeds: By weight, these seeds are about 15 percent quality protein—a very high percentage compared to most plants. Protein helps to reduce appetite and keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day. Last but not least, chia seeds are a good source of trace minerals magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.
By Amanda Burrill, MS
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