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Is drinking a shake a good breakfast?

by (387) Updated October 09, 2012 at 5:46 PM Created October 09, 2012 at 2:31 PM

My mother-in-law just got a new Vitamix blender. She and my wife make shakes for breakfast. Both of them are trying to eat healthier. I'd like to know if their shakes are indeed healthy, if they should be doing this everyday, and what could make the smoothies even better.

They aren't always the same, but here's an example of one shake:

  • Half can of coconut milk
  • Handfuls of kale or spinach
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 banana
  • a few strawberries
  • 1 raw egg
  • some parsley
  • coconut flakes
  • ground flax seed

Lately, we've experimented with adding a scoop of some whey protein. Sometimes my wife adds a scoop of some acai powder, wheatgrass, and chia seeds in small amounts. Are these ok to add? Is there too much stuff in there? Should we put less of anything or more of something else?

A couple times I've gotten a slightly upset stomach, so I wonder if it's just too many different foods, and my stomach has to work at figuring out how to digest the complex combination of nutrients.

Should a shake like this be an everyday breakfast, or not at all? Would this food be better as a lunch, or as a dinner even?

I read that ingesting liquid carbs is not as good for you, because it is absorbed more quickly and is less satiating. So, the thicker the smoothie, the better?

Is the best breakfast just eggs, veggies and bacon?

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4 Replies

549 · October 09, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Drinking a shake for any meal is not significantly different in any way from eating the ingredients whole. They are fine to have everyday, all day, all the time, never, or periodically, as long as you desire if you put the necessary ingredients in to fulfill your goals. If food is the means to an end then every ingredient should in someway further your progress towards said end or goal (weight loss, optimal health, muscle building, etc). This means that every ingredient should have a purpose, either in a vacuum or complimentary to others. Since there aren't any hard fast rules such as " to meet goal A specifically eat 1,2 and 3" you must sift through the available information and make an educated 'guess' as to what, when, and how much to eat.

for a short answer:

Is drinking a shake for breakfast healthy?

Is drinking that specific shake for breakfast best for your goal(s)? That is up to you based on a delicate balance of raw data and interpretation

77338 · October 09, 2012 at 5:46 PM

I made a shake with 70grams of Whey, and entire can of coconut milk and an entire carton of berries. I was hungry 3hrs later.

Eggs and bacon even with fat drained I'm not hungry till 4-5pm.

I know what I prefer.

18437 · October 09, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Needs more protein. Add some liver.

I make smoothies for the kids out of homemade yogurt, berry mix, a couple raw egg yolks, and sometimes some raw liver.

My wife makes her morning shake with coffee, whey protein and berries.

I personally don't drink em, but hey they are quick and can be quite tasty. I'd just mix it up a bit.

48 · October 09, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Seems a little too light on protein to me, and too heavy on the sugary carbs. The whey protein would help balance things a bit, but in my opinion, making a shake that features whey protein should only be used when you're in a hurry and it's either make a shake or not eat. The coconut milk, kale, spinach, egg, and coconut flakes are pretty good, but an entire carrot, entire banana, and strawberries is probably too much sugar for one meal, especially for the morning. Insulin response is more sensitive in the morning, and that much sugar pretty much guarantees a spike and crash. I'd just go for a savory green smoothie with some avocado and tomato, and just have the carrot, or I'd stick with a couple of strawberries, and only use a couple of slices of banana for flavor. Good eating is just as much about a balance with the foods you eat as it is about the foods themselves. Personally I'd say the eggs, veggies, and bacon is better, though you have to watch out to keep a good balance of omega-6:omega-3 fatty acids (eggs tend to be heavy on the omega-6). If your stomach gets upset, it could just be an overload of carbs, even if they are good veggies and fruits. Some people have trouble with too much fiber/plant matter at once.

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