by Guest Blogger Ann Tirrell
Lose Fat With Healthy Fast Food Breakfast
I started drinking green smoothies as a fast, healthy food for breakfast as a working mom to help lose fat. You know, dump spinach, berries, almond milk and a scoop of protein powder into a blender and drink your breakfast in the car on the way to work. I knew it was a healthier option to a danish or bacon and eggs. A very different breakfast that, at the time would help me lose fat. But now that I am older, working every day, without all the distractions of raising kids I’ve noticed something about myself and others due to my morning “fast food” habit. I’m more awake, and have a calm, pleasant attitude all day. When my colleague tells me the tech department is shutting down the network all afternoon I’m dealing with it calmly while others are freaking out. I don’t have spikes or depression in mood that affect my performance or relationships. Being the science nerd I am I did some research to understand more about my “fast food breakfast.”
Science of Smoothies
Turns out there’s nutrition science research that supports why I feel healthier with my fast food smoothies along with losing fat. Michael Greger M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition and health, and he explains that just chewing spinach or apples isn’t enough. I’m going to get a bit science nerdy here but it’s for your own good. You see important things we need to get from foods like beta-carotene and lycopene, exist as microscopic crystals trapped inside the cell walls of fruits and vegetables. Our body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A (retinol) which we need for healthy skin, and mucous membranes, our immune system, and good eye health and vision. These two nutrients are only released for our body to use when the cells are broken, which is why we have to chew really well. We either have to chew better or choose plants that are easier to chew. For example, while tomatoes have more beta-carotene than watermelon does, watermelon’s beta-carotene is more more accessible for our body to use because its cell walls are wimpy compared with the smaller and tougher cell walls of tomatoes. Dr. Greger’s research shows breaking down food particle size by blending maximizes nutrient absorption. He goes on to share that blending your fruits and vegetables doubles nutrient availability. You get more for your money!
All Proteins Are Not Equal
The other important part of my morning fast food smoothie is the protein powder. Protein is a super food that:
- Fuels Fat Burning by providing the amino acids to your cellular fat burning furnaces to turn fat into energy to help you lose fat.
- Reduces Appetite and Cravings by increasing production of brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine that help you be relaxed and in a good mood.
- Stabilizes Blood Sugar to keep your appetite in check to help you lose fat.
I wasn’t sure what protein powder was the best, so again I researched and discovered only certain kinds of protein powders provide the full range of BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) necessary to fuel your fat-burning mitochondria (those fat burning furnaces in our cells) for maximum fat loss and support quick recovery and maintain lean muscle. These are my goals-lose fat and maintaining lean muscle. Plant-based proteins don’t deliver the full spectrum of fat-burning amino acids or cause problems such as soy can inhibit your thyroid — your body’s fat-burning regulator! Not my goal.
Protein from Good Cows
I’ve learned that whey protein provides the full spectrum of amino acids needed to trigger maximum fat loss. I also have learned people commonly use whey as supplementation, alongside resistance exercise, to help improve muscle protein synthesis and promote the growth of lean muscle mass. So whey protein helps me reach both my goal as a complete protein that contains all 9 essential amino acids, plus it is low in lactose content which I have found as I get older lactose isn’t my friend.
So now to find a high-quality whey protein powder, to help me lose fat and tone my muscles. I was surprised to learn there is whey that comes from grass fed cows that haven’t been injected with synthetic hormones and antibiotics. Another important feature of this high-quality whey is not having it highly processed which damages the delicate amino acids which robs the whey of its most potent fat-burning, appetite-controlling properties (remember my goals-a leaner stronger Ann). I am happy to report I found such a superfood! This whey protein powder includes micellar casein protein which is slower to digest, which I’ve found helps satisfy my hunger for longer helping me lose fat. Plus it is free of soy, artificial colors, artificial flavors and artificial sweeteners and one scoop is 70 calories so I can dump in more yummy blueberries and banana! If you want to get this protein powder you can find it here.
So, my morning fast food smoothie habit of blending vegetables and fruits with a high quality whey protein is a COOL super food which fires me up after my workout and keeps me going all day!