My Fast Diet Smoothie has been so popular that I’ve created another low calorie smoothie to swap it out with…just to keep life interesting! This time, it’s fruit based, a Strawberry Lemon Custard Smoothie, that not only tastes great, but is low in sugar, carbohydrates and sports only 300 calories.
Let’s talk about why I chose the ingredients that I did. You see, smoothies can just be another form of milkshakes, full of sugar, only often devoid of fat. Many people would say “Great, fat-free will help me lose weight faster. Fat equals calories!” This is the bill of goods we’ve been sold by our very own USDA. The truth is that fat keeps you full, helps stabilize the blood sugar, and satiates the palate. Fat also helps us to absorb the minerals and vitamins from our food. Vitamins, such as Vitamin A, are actually rapidly DEPLETED when too much protein is consumed without the presence of fat. (Read more about fat in my post Protein+Fat= Where It’s At!)
Got thunder thighs? Thank insulin
Sugar, on the other hand, when eaten in excess, causes the body to produce insulin. Insulin comes in and cleans up all of the excess sugar in the blood stream. But it doesn’t just call it garbage and pass it on through. Oh no, the body is smarter than that! Instead, the body says “Hey, there could be a famine any day now, so I’d better store this extra energy for later.” Got thunder thighs? Thank insulin. Your body has decided that your thighs are the storage closet for all those stored calories. Same goes with a belly tire, or junk in the trunk. We’ve all got closets, they’re just in different areas of the house.
So when you ask me “Why can’t I just put a whole banana in my smoothie?” The answer is not because I’m trying to keep the calories low, but because I am trying to keep the sugar content low. In fact, I often skip the banana altogether and add avocado instead. Because of it’s stellar fat and fiber content, one quarter to a half of an avocado keeps me full for a long time, contains almost no sugar, and makes a super creamy smoothie. Even if you’re doing the Fast Diet, or just want to keep calories low (read about calorie myths, here), you’ll still lose weight if you up the calories and fat, and keep the sugar as low as you possibly can.
You may be wondering “Why shouldn’t I just blend the protein powder with water and call it a meal?” Whey protein powder(s) are made to be highly digestible and absorb-able. They’re not designed to replace a meal, they’re meant to help build lean muscle mass, reduce fatigue, and recover after a heavy workout. Plus, as I stated above, eating too much protein without fat, is not a good idea as a general rule. If you’re drinking it as a recovery shake, that’s fine, as a meal will generally follow. However, when using it as a meal replacement, it is best to make it filling and well rounded.
Here’s the list of ingredients, why they were chosen, and their nutritional values in relation to the smoothie: (Hint: Just want the highlights? Keep scrolling down to view my quick video)
Good source of protein and fat. Most Greek yogurts on the market are completely NON-FAT. Look for at least 2%, if not full fat. Trader Joe’s brand of Greek yogurt offers a full fat version, and tastes great!
1/4 cup= 65 calories, 2.25 grams protein, 3.5 grams carbs, and 4.5 grams fat
Egg yolks are an excellent source of the vitamins A,D,E, and K. Yolks are best consumed raw (nutritionally speaking) and emulsify beautifully with the other ingredients to create a smooth and creamy texture. Reserve the whites for an omelet, as egg whites, when eaten raw, contain a property called albumin, that actually restricts the bodies ability to absorb the nutrients from the yolk. Albumin’s magical powers of interference are disengaged when cooked (can you tell I watched Star Trek last night?).
1 egg yolk= 55 calories
Slightly green banana:
Any banana will do, but I typically buy a Costco sized bag of organic bananas, wait until they are still slightly green around the tips, and then cut them in half and freeze them. Not only do frozen bananas make for a great texture, but they’re easier to keep on hand. As stated above, I choose slightly green bananas because they have a lower sugar content than really ripe bananas. Obviously, you don’t want to use a really green banana, as it will likely cause a stomach ache.
1/2 medium banana= 50 calories
Unless it’s summer, I typically use frozen strawberries. If they’re organic, and the green stems look fresh, throw those in too. They won’t affect the flavor and you’ll get a little extra boost of vitamins. Why organic? Strawberries are on the “Dirty Dozen” list, meaning they’re one of the fruits that have the highest pesticide residue when compared with other fruits and veggies. Meaning, the extra $ is worth it!
4 medium strawberries=15 calories, 2.2 grams sugar, .3 grams protein, 3.7 grams carb, 1 gram fiber
Lemon juice helps to metabolize sugar, keep the blood sugar stable, and helps detox the liver (which accumulates toxins as fat is lost). Add the peel and pith (white part) and you’ve essentially just taken a Vitamin C pill and upped the flavor considerably!
juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)= 4 calories, 1.3 grams carbs
I used Jay Robb Whey Protein Isolate Powder in this smoothie because I consider it to be one of the better protein powder brands on the market. It’s ingredients are not genetically modified, the whey is derived from rbst hormone free cows milk, there are no fillers, and it is sweetened with stevia. Additionally, it is a brand that I know most of you have access to, whether online, or in a store near you. If you’re wondering what the difference is between isolate and concentrate protein powders, click here.
1 scoop protein powder= 110 calories, 1 gram carb, 25 grams protein
Scanned the article and just want the highlights? Watch my 2:48 minute video!
5 from 1 reviews
Strawberry Lemon Custard Smoothie
You'll love this low-cal strawberry lemon custard smoothie any time of day. Smooth, creamy and just the right balance of flavors. Appropriate for diabetics and hypoglycemics.
Recipe type: Breakfast
1 scoop strawberry or vanilla protein powder (here's the brand I used in the video)
¼ cup full fat, plain, Greek yogurt
1 egg yolk, raw*
3-4" (about 3 oz) slightly green banana
4 medium organic strawberries (frozen is great)
juice of ½ lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
zest of half the lemon (this boosts the lemon flavor, and is optional)
½ cup ice
6 oz water (if you're not counting calories, use milk or dairy alternative of your choice)
Add more ice and water if desired.
*Unless you have farm fresh eggs from a source you trust, I recommend buying pasteurized eggs from your grocery store. You may also simply omit the egg yolk, and replace it with a slice of avocado.
Serving size: 24 oz Calories: 300 Fat: 9 grams Carbohydrates: 20 grams Sugar: 13 grams Fiber: 2.4 grams Protein: 31 grams