One of the most common questions I get asked is about what should go in a smoothie?  All too often smoothies are loaded with sugar and not a lot of substance, leaving you feeling hungry quickly after!  With a few simple tweaks, you can build a healthy smoothie with more staying power!

There are three keys to building a filling smoothie that can tie you over for a significant amount of time, they are a good dose of protein, a healthy fat, and fiber!  Start by making sure all three pieces are there and you are sure to have a smoothie that will keep you full!


  • Protein Powder: Pea-based, Hemp seeds, Brown Rice,
  • Tofu or Greek Style Yogurt or Lentils


  • Fat keeps you full. Important to have at meal times.
  • Nut Butter: 1-2 T
  • Chia/Hemp Seeds: 1-2 T
  • Ground Flax Seeds: 1-2 T
  • Coconut Flakes: 1-2 T
  • Raw Nuts: ¼ cup
  • Avocado: 1/4 piece


  • Almond, Cashew, Coconut, Hemp, Walnut, Pea, or Soy Milk, Macadamia, Coconut Water or plain water


  • Vegetables: Fresh or Frozen Kale, spinach, beets, or carrots
  • Fruit: Fresh or Frozen—Blueberries, strawberries, cherries, bananas, peaches, dates


  • Try adding: Cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, turmeric, or Stevia, and ice—for a little extra something

The Three Key Ingredients

Protein: You want to make sure you have healthy protein in your smoothie.  Protein helps initiate satiety hormones which tell you are full, meaning when you add protein to your smoothie it automatically will keep you fuller longer.  Protein also takes more energy to break down, increase the calories you expend digesting that meal.

Add Healthy Fat: The biggest mistake people make when trying to replace a meal with a smoothie is forgetting the healthy fat.  Healthy fat is also responsible for keeping you fuller for longer.  Plus, healthy fats make the smoothie creamier and taste better.

Get a Punch of Fiber: Most people load their smoothies with fruit and forget all about the protein, healthy fat, and fiber.  Fiber is important to keep our digestive systems running smooth and to keep us full.  Try limiting fruit to 1/2 to 1 cup and getting extra fiber by doubling the number of veggies you use.  You can get adventurous, but I think the easiest to add veggies with minimal effect on flavor is spinach and carrots!

Carol Aguirre MS, RD/LDN