food & drink

How a Smoothie Changed my Life: The Fab Four Smoothie

February 25, 2018

At the core of many health movements, you’ll find a smoothie. A lot of them are chock full of fruit, while some rely on sugary ‘protein’ powders. The smoothie that changed my life, also known as the Fab Four Smoothie, has neither of these, but is instead a complete meal created from REAL FOOD ingredients.

I have had somewhat of a complicated relationship with smoothies. At my first attempts at being ‘healthy’ when I was in college, I thought a ‘smoothie’ was a great way to work towards my health goals. The smoothies I made were heavy in dairy and fruit, and not much else. I would be hungry an hour later but, because of my really limited knowledge about nutrition, I didn’t understand why.  I had totally subscribed the idea that a calorie was a calorie, and paid no attention to the quality or type of food I was eating. I now know that, for me at least, a smoothie chock full of fruit and dairy is a recipe for spiked blood sugar and a pretty bad stomach ache. These fruity drinks aren’t necessarily bad, but they sure as heck shouldn’t be considered a meal.

I then went through a phase where I was overly hung up on eating ‘real food’, during my strict paleo days. I had completely removed dairy, grains, legumes, and processed foods from my diet. I also truly believed that since our caveman ancestors chewed all their food, I should also chew all my food and didn’t think smoothies played any part in a healthy diet (I’m sure my past experience with my sugar bombs clouded my judgement here). While I still think this is more true than not, through experimentation (and through finding the smoothie that changed my life) I now believe in a more balanced approach (surprise surprise, right?)

While I don’t drink a smoothie every day or for multiple meals, I have truly found such an improvement in mood, hunger levels, and workout recovery on days where I start with a smoothie. But what changed? I learned that it is possible to enjoy a smoothie that is a complete meal that is made of real food, that can keep me hungry until my next meal five to six hours later. I learned that not all protein powders are filled with sugar or whey, and that it’s possible to drink a smoothie with little-to-no fruit, lots of veggies, and a ton of fiber and fat.

Kelly LeVeque, celebrity nutritionist and creator of ‘Be Well By Kelly‘ calls this the Fab Four: all meals should be made up of protein, fat, fiber, and greens in order to regulate our blood sugar levels. In her book ‘Body Love’, LeVeque talks about how her clients lives have been changed by incorporating a ‘Fab Four Smoothie into their everyday lives. And I found when I started doing this, my life also changed. I had more energy, found no need to snack between meals, and lost cravings for sweet things (and salty things too). Being in a state where blood sugar is regulated just means we be at our best performance level, we’re in a state that is easier to burn fat in, and ensures we’re getting adequate nutrition.

Below, you’ll find a few of my favorite Fab Four smoothie recipes. They are incredibly adaptable, and really just need to have four things to be successful: protein, fat, fiber, and greens. So simple!

The Fab Four Fruitless Smoothie

1 cup coconut water or dairy-free milk (I use homemade cashew milk most of the time)
1 cup fresh or frozen spinach
1/2 cup steamed then frozen cauliflower or zucchini (or 1/4 cup of each)
1/4 inch ginger root
1/8 inch turmeric root
1-2 scoops your favorite protein powder (I like this one and this one)
1-2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
1/4 of an avocado or 1 tbsp cashew butter
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp hemp hearts

The Fab Four Berry Smoothie

1 cup dairy-free milk
1/2 cup frozen spinach
1 cup steamed then frozen cauliflower or zucchini (or 1/2 cup of each)
1/4 blueberries
1-2 scoops protein powder
1-2 scoops Vital Proteins Mixed Berry Collagen Peptides
1 tbsp almond or cashew butter
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp hemp hearts

The Fab Four Tropical Green Smoothie

1 cup coconut water
1 cup frozen spinach
1/2 cup steamed then frozen cauliflower or zucchini (or 1/4 cup of each)
1/4 cup of frozen pineapple (can also do 1/4 cup of mango, or 1/8 cup of each)
2 scoops protein powder
1-2 scoops Vital Proteins Vanilla Coconut Collagen Beauty Greens
1/4 avocado, or 1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp shredded coconut
1 tsp hemp hearts
1 tsp chia seeds

Optional add-ins for all – superfoods, superherbs, and adaptogens of your choice.

For all recipes, blend and serve. It’s that easy. To learn more about the Fab Four Smoothie (and for even more recipes), click here.

Let me know if you try any of these smoothie recipes – I’d love to hear about your successes!



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