Smoothies are nothing novel in today’s wellness world, but while they can be a great way to pack in nutrients, they can just as easily be a sneaky vehicle for gut and hormone-disrupting added sugars, chemicals, and processed ingredients.
As a nutrition + hormone health practitioner, I take my smoothies seriously. Meaning they have to follow the criteria below in order to be something I’d consume, make for my family, or advise to my clients and community:
So, how do you get your smoothie to deliver on all of the above, every time?
You simply follow my Foolproof Hormone Balancing Smoothie Formula below. This formula allows you to get flexible (i.e. you’re encouraged to switch it up and not eat the same thing all of the time) while still upholding the basic principles that make a hormone-balancing smoothie work for your body, instead of against it.
Use the steps below and select any of the recipes to get started (or if you’re feeling confident and creative use the principles to make your own custom version).
One of the first hormone-disrupting smoothie mishaps that happens is selecting a liquid that you THINK is healthy, only to learn it’s filled with inflammatory oils (plant or cotton oils like sunflower, soybean, rapeseed as well as canola, etc.). SPOILER ALERT — most big, name-brand non-dairy milks labeled as healthy contain these oils, as well as other emulsifiers like soy lecithin that keep the milks texture and longevity in tact.
Instead, I recommend opting for a super clean non-dairy option (I love this brand) and reading the ingredient label before purchasing. If you notice added sugars or weird ingredients you don’t recognize/know how to pronounce, chances are it could do more harm than good.
When in doubt, try making your own non-dairy milk (you can use this easy recipe/formula) or opt for water and add in nuts or seeds to make it creamy.
There’s absolutely no way around it, if you want your smoothie to balance your hormones and optimize your health, you’ve got to make sure it contains a high quality source of protein, fat and fiber.
This combination supplies your hormones with the macronutrients they need to carry out their jobs effectively, as well as keeps blood sugar stable, a critical component of hormone balance. It also initiates your gut to release your satiety signal/hormone CCK, meaning your body will recognize that you’re full and keep hunger at bay for several hours.
For a high quality protein I opt for bone-broth, collagen or hemp-based protein powders with minimal ingredients (and no added sweeteners), while I love using avocado, nuts/seeds and nut/seed butters (this brand is my fave, use code SOFRESH15 to get 15% off) for a quality source of fat, and reach for flax, chia or prebiotic powders for additional fiber. I also always add veggies/plants, which are my preferred source of fiber, but see more on that below.
I’m all about focusing on the basics first, which are less-expensive, more accessible and the true foundation to hormone health. But that being said, a little superfood boost here and there can really up the ante when it comes to hormone healing. I specifically love adding this for a fertility boost, this powder for stress/adrenal support, this option for an immunity boost, this for blood sugar balance and this for lowering inflammation.
This is my smoothie secret weapon. Adding just a pinch of sea salt helps truly bring out all the flavors in your smoothie (making it taste extra delicious) as well as provides your body with trace minerals that optimize adrenal function and thus your stress response. I love this brand.
Our hormones LOVE vegetables, which are loaded with powerful antioxidants and phytochemicals that work to prevent inflammation and lower levels of stress in our bodies. They’re also rich in micronutrients are hormones need to thrive and necessary for optimal gut health, which is directly linked to hormone function.
I like to keep a variety of options in my freezer, which makes my smoothies cold and adds texture without using ice (which tends to water them down/make them taste bland). A few of my faves include leafy greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard), microgreens (especially broccoli when I’m ovulating), cauliflower (sounds weird but doesn’t affect taste) and sweet potato or butternut squash.
If you’re ordering from a smoothie shop, chances are it’s filled with fruit and added sweeteners to entice your tastebuds, but too much sugar does a number on your hormones and gut health, leading to increased inflammation and insulin resistance, while driving up the production of cortisol and estrogen (aka painful periods, PMS, etc).
Instead, opt for small amounts of frozen fruit (just 1/2 a banana or a cup of berries goes a long way) and use natural, unprocessed sweeteners like dates and maple syrup sparingly.
While this part definitely isn’t required, I find it makes the smoothie making/eating process a lot more enjoyable, and the more enjoyable something is, the more you’re likely to be consistent with it (and consistency with healthy habits is key to life-long health).
Plus, your smoothie toppings can sneak in some serious nutritional benefits to boot! I love topping mine with coconut yogurt (contains live cultures that help feed the good bacteria in your gut) bee pollen (contains amino acids that support metabolism and thyroid function), seed cycle granola (supports a healthy menstrual cycle) and gut-friendly cookie dough.
Okay friends, now that you’ve got all the steps to make your hormone-balancing smoothies at home, below are a few recipes to help get you started.
I’m honored to support you on your journey to optimal hormone health + happiness. Thanks for being here babe.