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Adding Protein to Your Green Smoothie

12.18.2013


Most people are aware of the benefits of eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables… yet not everyone knows just how important protein is for your body. Protein is one of the four macronutrients that your body needs on a day-to-day basis (the other three are fats, carbs, and water). Protein is essential for our bodies to work properly.

Why is protein so important?

Because your body burns protein slower than carbs, protein is important to prevent blood sugar spikes that can not only make you feel weak and dizzy, but can also lead to serious health issues down the road.

Also, when your body has enough protein it doesn’t have to resort to burning muscle for the energy it needs, so your muscles stay strong and toned. That’s why drinking a protein-rich smoothie after a workout is an excellent way of replenishing your body!

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Here’s our favorite forms of protein:

Nuts and Seeds: You may be surprised to know that tiny seeds—like chia seeds and flaxseed—pack an amazing protein punch. For instance, one ounce of chia seeds contains an impressive 4.4 grams of protein, and they boast a wonderfully nutty taste! Speaking of nutty, nuts are also a great source of protein. Just 1/4 cup of almonds or 2 tablespoons of almond butter will give you 8 grams of protein. Flaxseed is another great alternative, with 8 grams of protein per 1/4 cup. When you choose to add nuts to your green smoothie don’t forget that they’re also higher in fat, so don’t be overly generous!

Protein Powders: If you are looking for a plant-based protein that is free of animal products, your best option is hemp protein or raw vegan protein powder. Feel free to add 2-4 tablespoons to your morning green smoothies! You can buy hemp protein at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or even online at Sunwarrior.com.

Spirulina (blue-green algae): This plant-based ingredient is an excellent source of protein that can be added to your green smoothies. Be careful, though! The taste is strong, so start off light (by using about a teaspoon) to get used to the flavor, then add more as you can.

Additional protein options include chocolate and vanilla protein powders, whey protein powder, silken tofu, soymilk, non-fat Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and natural, no- sugar added peanut butter. We prefer to avoid soy and animal products, but that’s just our personal preference; if you enjoy these foods, feel free to use them in your green smoothie creations.

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Drinking green smoothies as a meal replacement?

If you decide to drink a green smoothie as a meal replacement, it’s recommended that you add a protein source to your blender, or have a high-protein snack—such as a hardboiled egg or a handful of nuts on the side. If you work out regularly, your protein requirement will be higher, so we recommend that you adjust accordingly.

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  1. Allison says:

    Would 2 Tablespoons of ground flaxseed be an adequate amount of healthy fat plus protein for a meal replacement?

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Hey Allison,

      That sounds like a great swap for adding some healthy fats to your diet. You could also add chia seeds too if you prefer.

      Cheers!

  2. Jennifer says:

    I”m having jaw surgery and will be on a liquid diet for about 9 months. I think the green smoothies are a great option for me, but want to make sure I’m consuming enough calories. Do you have calorie counts for each of your smoothies?

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      How are you doing after your surgery! I’m sending plenty of healing vibes your way + wishing you a speedy recovery. We try not to focus on the numbers, and instead focus on the ingredients we’re fueling our bodies with. When you’re restricted to a liquid diet, I can definitely see how calorie count can be important. Two great options are the app My Fitness Pal and LoseIt.com

      Hope those help!

  3. Richard says:

    Mona, look at the Keto diet, my wife was diabetic, for years and no longer on meds for it. Don’t look at it as a diet look at it as a way of eating. My wife loves to cook and we are eating more deserts now than we ever did, they are just made to be healthy for us and they taste really good too. We went on the Keto diet and her blood sugars and A1C are back to a normal range after about six months and the doctor took her off all her diabetes meds about four months ago. She still checks her blood daily, on a normal morning blood test now her sugar level is about 95-105, before even on the meds it was 115+. My wife has been able to drop about 25 pounds and I dropped 35, it was easy for me and harder for her. It wasn’t a fast drop it was a slow and steady drop. An interesting note, the doctors husband was a severe diabetic after following this type of diet for a while he to is off his meds. This happed before we talked to the doctor about it so she was all for us trying it. Not all doctors will have an open mind about this type of diet, some will look at it as a alternative treatment that is not taught in med school so they won’t even think about trying something different. They just keep pushing the meds. I am not a doctor this is not to be taken as medical advise

  4. Mona says:

    Hi i weigh 220 lbs and miserable. How can smoothies help me lose weight without being hungry. I forgot to mention pre diabetic. Mona…

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Hi Mona,

      Thanks for reaching out. I don’t want you to feel miserable, I want you to feel inspired you to reach your health + wellness goals. And cheers to you for taking the first step! That’s half the battle, so let’s talk about the next step…

      New to green smoothies? A great place to start is our Simple 7 Challenge! It’s 7 days of green smoothies, and all it is, is adding one green smoothie to your regular diet. You’ll find that you’re more energized, feel better overall and may even start craving those leafy greens. We also have a Simple 7 Facebook page, which is packed with people going through the same challenge + supporting each other! Lots of green smoothie love! Join us here…

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/simple7

      One of the best ways to use your green smoothie to reach your weight loss goals is to use your green smoothie as a meal replacement. We simply suggest adding protein + healthy fats to ensure you’re fueling your body with a complete meal. Our co-founder Jadah actually reached her weight loss goals that way! Learn more about our favorite meal replacement booster combos here…

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/green-smoothie-meal-replacement

      Looking to make a real change in your diet? Then check out Fresh Start. It’s our 21 day cleanse and really reshapes the way you fuel your body, and is a great place for life-long changes…

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/shop/fresh-start-21-day-cleanse

      Can’t commit to 21 days, we also have a 7 day reset here! https://simplegreensmoothies.com/shop/thrive-7-day-reset

      I hope that helps in explaining the different ways we can help you reach your goals. Still not sure the right choice, reach out anytime! I’m happy to chat cleansing, green smoothies or any concerns you have about making these changes. You can reach me through our contact page here…

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/contact

      Lastly, pre-diabetic. Before making any changes to your diet, it’s always best to run them past your physician. They know you + your body best and are the right person to determine if our smoothies are the right choice for you!

  5. Baxter says:

    I had no idea that your body burns protein slower than carbs, it makes sense then that eating a lot of pasta and carbs can lead to blood sugar spikes! I’ll be sure to balance the carbs in my diet with a healthy amount of protein now. My mom used hemp protein in her green smoothies all the time, and she loved it! I wonder how hemp protein compares to soy protein? Thanks for the tips!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Baxter,

      We’re all about hemp protein! Personally, we try to avoid soy. Small amounts of organic, non-GMO soy are fine (like tamari and tempeh) but we recommend staying away from highly-processed unfermented soy products which can interfere with nutrient absorption and leach nutrients from your body. Soy milk, soy burgers, and soy ice cream are all in this category.

      Hope this helps!

  6. Helen says:

    I do a protein smoothie w Vega One chocolate protein and greens powder/ unsweetened almond milk and water combo/ spinach/ fresh mint and one frozen banana. Yummy! It’s totally vegan too!

  7. Sandra Simpson says:

    I love love love this website!!! New to smoothies and need to use them as meal replacements for weight loss…thanks for making these delicious recipes easy peasy!!!
    #YouRock

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Sandra!

      Thanks for your kind words! If you’re using your green smoothie as a meal replacement, be sure to add some healthy fat + protein to help your body thrive :). Here are some of our favorite combos!

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/green-smoothie-meal-replacement

      • wendy yedwab says:

        Just did the 7 day thrive! Loved it. Would those smoothies be considered balanced for Healthy fat+protien? I would like to continue the thrive for another 7 days but want to make sure that would be a healthy decision.

      • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

        Hi Wendy,

        Interested in using our Thrive green smoothie’s as a meal replacement for another 7 days along with your regular diet? Go for it! Just know that Thrive is not a long-term meal plan…so we don’t suggest continuing the entire cleanse for an extended period of time.

        Hope this helps!

  8. Lauren says:

    Hey!

    I just started green smoothies in order to aid weight loss and generally feel better. I’m replacing lunch with a smoothie so I want to add some protein but I’m on a budget and some protein rich ingredients are pretty expensive. Could you recommend some of the cheaper ways to add protein to a smoothie? I’m in the UK, incase that makes a difference. Thanks!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Lauren,

      Thank you so much for reaching out! Great question, as we’re all about making health living easy + affordable! Looking for a protein source that’s easy on the wallet, look no further than oats! These rawkstars will boost your green smoothie with protein, and they’re slow to digest + help keep your blood-sugar stable – meaning you’ll be full + satisfied in-between meals (great for weight loss)!

      We suggest adding 1/4 of a cup to any recipe!

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/green-smoothie-meal-replacement

  9. Anni says:

    I love your website, it’s just so positive and upbeat! I didn’t think I’d be able to have green smoothies (couldn’t stand greens) but this has really spurred me on to do what’s right for my body,,,,,Thanks!
    Anyway I was wondering are the measurements used above for a smoothie recipe for two? I’m trying to put on weight so if I made a smoothie for 1 how much nut butter or nuts would would I add??

    Thanks again!
    Anni

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Anni,

      Thanks for reaching out! You’re right, the above suggestions are for two servings! Looking to help with weight gain? Adding coconut oil is a great option as well!

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