A: They are as long as they contain the right ingredients in the right amounts. Ideally, your breakfast should have a balance of fiber rich carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fat in order to keep you satisfied and energized throughout the morning. Without all of these components, especially protein and fiber, your breakfast won’t have much staying power in terms of keeping you satiated throughout the morning. Many of the pre-bottled smoothies are high in sugar and low in protein and fiber, a combination that could leave you feeling a sugar buzz followed by an energy crash. Plus, without any fat in your meal, you won’t be able to absorb all of the important nutrients.
Nutritionally, we recommend that you aim for a breakfast that provides 300-350 calories for an active woman trying to lose weight (400 calories for an active woman who wants to maintain her weight) with around 25-30% calories from fat, 20% from protein, and 50-55% from carbohydrate. Choosing carbohydrate sources such as whole grains, fruit, or starchy veggies will ensure a good dose of fiber as well. For a 350 calorie breakfast, this breaks down to 12 grams fat, 18 grams protein, 44 grams carbohydrate, 18 grams of sugar or less (ideally mostly from fruit and/or milk), and at least 6 grams fiber.
If you’re tight on time in the morning, try these speedy breakfast ideas:
Pair half a bottled smoothie (usually they’re in 12-16 ounce bottles) with 1/4 cup nuts, a hard-boiled egg, a piece of string cheese, or a 6 ounce container of low-fat yogurt.
Make a homemade smoothie the night before and store it in a reusable to-go cup. Here’s our go-to morning smoothie http://cjnutrition.com/breakfast/152-peanut-butter-chocolate-banana-mango-veggie-smoothie.
Opt for one of these 4 make-ahead breakfasts http://www.bumblebee.com/four-fast-make-ahead-breakfast-ideas/.
Slather 2 tablespoons of peanut butter onto a slice of whole grain toast and top with 1/2 a piece of fruit, thinly sliced, and some cinnamon.
What are your favorite fast, balanced breakfasts? Anyone find any bottled smoothies that meet our breakfast criteria?