Breakfast Smoothie

Now that porridge season is officially over , it’s time to investigate more summery breakfast options. One of my favourite summer breakfasts is the smoothie and several people have asked me about my breakfast smoothie. My cooking style is very much a cross between Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson with a pinch here and a lick of the spoon there however 2 weeks ago I wrote down quantities so I could work out the nutritional information as well as provide a recipe. So here goes.

Amount Ingredient Calories Protein Carb Sugar Fat Fibre
200ml Almond milk 48 1g 6g 6g 2.2g 3.2
12g Sunflower seeds 75 2.9g 2.1g 5.1g .75g
100G Total 0% Fat greek yogurt 57 10.3 g 4g 4g 0g 0g
150g Waitrose Frozen Berries 40 1.5g 7.8g 7.8g 0.15g 6g
40g Organic Jumbo Oats 150 4.4g 26.8g .5g 2.2g 2.5g
370 cal 20.1g 46.7g 11.3g 9.65g 12.45g

Basically put all of the above in a blender (I actually use a cheap hand blender) and blend until smooth. It’s going to be a little rough with the oats/sunflower seeds but I am able to drink it using a straw. Gives me 3/4 pint of delicious breakfast (as long as my son doesn’t see it first). It is quite thick however so feel free to add liquid to get it to a consistency you like.

A disclaimer – my maths is rubbish but I think the above is right(ish).

Seeing as breakfast is the first meal your body has in approx 10 hours I don’t feel 370 calories is a high calorie count. The yogurt gives it a great dose of protein which helps with satiety. The oats are low GI and provide a slow release of energy and not a quick spike like most breakfast cereals. If you are really calorie counting you could leave out the sunflower seeds but first look at the link for all the great health benefits There are a lot of good fats packed into those seeds. I use almond milk but you can use water,skimmed milk, goats milk, soya milk (again it’s an individual taste issue).

What i need to emphasise here however is that this is MY smoothie, it’s tailored to my taste and what I think are my requirements. The absolute beauty of the smoothie is you can tailor it to your taste. If for example this was a post workout drink for me I would leave out the jumbo oats and include a scoopful of protein powder and maybe add a banana, if you don’t like the texture of the oats then you could try this substitution as well (the banana rather than the protein powder!). My next experiment with smoothies is to find a recipe I like that includes spinich! That’s the beauty of smoothies, there is no limit to what you can put in them ­čÖé

Hope you enjoy.

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National Diabetes Week 2012

This week has been National Diabetes Week. There are two forms of diabetes, type I is when the body is not able to produce insulin. Type II is where the body does not produce enough insulin to maintain a normal blood glucose level, or when the body is unable to effectively use the insulin that is being produced. The body needs insulin to move the glucose (a form of sugar) into the cells of your body to be used as energy. If there is no/not enough insulin available then the glucose builds up in your blood which is dangerous.

Type I usually starts in childhood and can not be prevented or cured, however type II can often be ┬ámanaged and/or prevented from occuring with a healthy diet and exercise*. ┬áThere are some risk factors that you can’t control such as being

  • white and over 40 years old

or

  • black, Asian or from a minority ethnic group and over 25 years old
However there are risk factors you can prevent, such as
  • You’re overweight or if your waist is 31.5 inches or over for women; 35 inches or over for Asian men and 37 inches or over for white and black men.

It is estimated that 80% of Type II diabetics are overweight or obese i.e. they have a BMI of over 25. Whilst it is a myth that sugar and sweets cause diabetes they can lead to being overweight.

There is no reason for people with diabetes not to exercise. An exercise programme may have to be adapted around medical requirements/ and or meal times but as long as precautions are taken (proper footwear worn, glucose monitoring and appropriate food and fluid intake) then the following benefits could occur

  • improvements in blood glucose levels (in Type II)
  • maintenance of ideal body weight and reductions in body fat
  • improved insulin sensitivity, which may lead to lower medication requirements
  • prevention of type II diabetes
For more detailed information about both Type I and Type II diabetes please visit Diabetes UK or

*Some people may need medications and/or insulin injections to achieve normal blood glucose levels.
**Association of British Clinical Diabetologists

Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

Helen Witcomb runs Whole Life Fitness which is a personal training company which caters exclusively for the over 50s. For more information please visit http://www.wholelifefitness.co.uk or call 01252313578.

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