For the last several years, I’ve been having a shake for breakfast nearly every day.
For the longest time a shake simply was not satisfying for me. I felt hungry shortly after.
After some testing, I figured out a combination of ingredients that fills me up and tastes great.
The shake has evolved to become bigger and bigger. I rarely eat snacks, which is part of the explanation for this evolution.
The shake is so big now that I use a 45 ounce cup and eat out of it with a spoon as I really enjoy the thickness.
Why Have A Shake For Breakfast Every Day?
I think there are a few reasons to consider having a shake for breakfast. Some guys have it instead as a go-to lunch:
- It’s light yet filling
- It’s very nutrient dense
- It takes a few minutes to make
- You can take it with you if you need
- Clean up takes seconds
If you eat breakfast most days, it’s well worth the time to nail this down and make it nutritious and repeatable. You can play around with the ingredients as you like, but the foundation for this shake are berries, nut butter (or nuts), and protein powder.
While ready to drink protein shakes are very appealing from a convenience perspective, I have not found one that comes even close to a shake that’s made on the spot in terms of taste and nutrient quality.
- Frozen strawberries (1-2 cups)
- Frozen blueberries (1 cup)
- Frozen banana (1 half)
- Almond butter (2 tablespoons)
- Whey protein unflavored (2 scoops) (affiliate link)
- Water (1 cup for thick, 2-3 cups for thinner)
Strawberries and blueberries are very nutrient dense particularly in manganese and vitamin k respectively. A banana adds some sweetness to the shake along with nutrients like vitamin B.
For years I used peanut butter, but I shifted to almond butter primarily because it’s more hypoallergenic and sports a more robust nutrient profile with double the fiber, three times as much vitamin E, twice as much iron, and seven times more calcium. If you prefer peanut butter, that can work well. The most important thing is that you really enjoy it and look forward to it. Nuts can also work well and may even be more filling than nut butter.
Whey protein is the only supplement I have left in my diet. I’m not big on supplements as I believe on average they are an expensive distraction. The only reason I use whey protein, which is Promix Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate Powder (affiliate link) is that it makes the shake much more filling and slightly improves the taste (at least for me). I think it’s possible – if not probable – that I replace it with something else.
I use water, but almond milk is also an option, or another liquid. You can play around with the ingredients because if you use almond milk, you may find you don’t need the banana for example. It’s really up to you.
The calories will vary depending mostly on how much nut butter you put into the shake. Strawberries are the least calorically dense ingredient other than water. The shake will be around 500 to 600 calories. It’s hard to believe such a large and filling shake can be so few calories.
I used to use the Nutribullet Pro (affiliate link), but it did not hold up well for me. The cup broke a couple times and the battery stopped working.
The Nutribullet Rx (affiliate link) is a beast. It has more than double the power versus the other models and clean up is very simple and easy, which is a big reason I use it as much as I do.
The Nutribullet Rx (affiliate link) sustained nearly daily use before the motor stopped working, but I pushed it to the limit by adding a ton of frozen fruits.
Here are a few stats comparing the Rx to the Pro model:
- 1700 watt motor vs. 900
- 45 ounce cup vs. 32
- 15.16 x 15.16 x 13.11 inches vs. 12.01 x 7.72 x 15.94 inches
Put all the ingredients into the Nutribullet Rx (affiliate link) cup. Consider the following order to make the shake mix well and avoid getting whey protein powder all over the place as I’ve done many times:
- Add strawberries
- Add blueberries
- Add frozen banana
- Add nut butter
- Add water
- Add protein powder
- Tighten the lid
- Mix on nutribullet for 10 to 20 seconds
You’re done. Now you can eat it (or drink it) directly out of the RX Nutribullet cup.
1. Should You Really Eat Breakfast?
I know a lot of guys don’t like eating breakfast. Eating breakfast has worked very well for me. It may change at some point, but it’s helped me eat more nutrient dense and water rich foods.
In general, what I’ve found for myself – and many guys we’ve worked with – is that a nutritious protein-packed meal in the morning leads to better eating decisions throughout the day.
There is no perfect diet or meal frequency, so take charge and start testing and iterating. That way you will figure out what works well for you and continue to evolve it.
Even if you don’t eat breakfast, this shake can work well for lunch or dinner.
2. More Water = Thinner Shake
The less water I add, the better the shake tastes and the thicker it is. The one caveat is that it’s so large that it can make you feel cold after eating it. Adding more water makes the shake thinner so that you can simply drink it instead of needing a spoon.
If you give this a try, leave a comment. I’d love to hear how it works for you. If you already have a shake you like, how do you make it?
Marc I have something similar and add 10gms of chia seeds (no banana or almond butter but almond milk instead of water)
The chia seeds add to the nutrient density for sure
I do a VERY similar shake (smoothie) …
I use either Peanut butter or Almond Butter …
Except I use Collegen instead of Whey protein …
And I add either one scoop of frozen kale or spinach …
I too use both Frozen Blueberries & Frozen Strawberries …
But I use a fresh banana, not frozen …
And I add Chia Seeds …
I only have a small nutrition-bullet so I have to do two cups !!!
And since this and working out does help lose/or keep the weight off …
A large one of these DOES make you cold …
A lot of folks like these drinks …
Nice, Greg. Sounds like a good shake!
Interesting!!! And here I am with a girlfriend who is astonished that I prefer a breakfast shake rather than one’s typical breakfast! I use egg whites/strawberries/blueberries/banana and add in a scoop of Athletic Greens; the taste is amazing! I also just invested in the Nutribullet combo blender, and it’s working extremely well!
I hear you and that’s great to hear the blender is working well for you! It took me years before I started giving my digestion a break with a shake in the morning.
Hi Marc – your recipe looks good! I’ll definitely give it a try.
I am curious – why did you stop taking Athletic Greens? I thought that was the only supplement you took.
Recipe for my daily shake:
1 cup oat milk
2 scoops chocolate whey protein (Tera’s Whey Organic)
1 Tbsp cacao nibs (unsweetened)
1 Tpsb chia seeds
2 Tbps peanut butter
A little bit of Ice
Occasionally i’ll swap out half of the banana for 1/4 of an avocado to make the texture thicker and make it a bit more filling.
Looks good, Joe! I stopped taking Athletic Greens because I used to have it mid-morning kind of as a snack. Now, I rarely eat snacks. I reasoned I have a lot of fruits and veggies and unprocessed foods in general in my diet, so the nutritional insurance concept is sensible for many, but it didn’t seem necessary for me. Some of the top minds in health do recommend nutritional insurance, so AG is the best option I’ve come across.
Looks good! Don’t forget the 1/2 banana in the nutritional profile!
Just added it. Thanks for the heads up!
I have been using a protein drink for years two or more days a week. I used to make it myself but lately my wife makes it. I noticed hers tasted better. I used bannas (1) ice, and rice milk and 2 scoops whey. If no banannas I used frozen strawberries and water no ice. She added a dash of Madagascar Vanilla..
Nice, sounds great. Thanks for sharing!
I have a similar but simpler shake and my volume is much less than yours as I use a single serve 400 ml. cup. on a “Magic Bullet” blender.
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries – blackberry,loganberry,raspberry, blueberry ( Costco)
1 fresh ripe banana
1 cup of 1% milk (cow)
1/2 cup 3.5% plain yogurt (milk ingredients and bacteria culture only)
for variety I sometimes substitute -kiwi, mandarin orange, frozen orange juice or even cocoa for the berries.
Thanks for sharing, Rod. If a smaller volume works for you and fills you up, that’s great!
This is a great post. I appreciate not just the recipe but your thinking behind it.
Thanks, Mitchell. It has been an evolution.
Almost exactly my favourite recipe, except I use chocolate flavour isolate for flavour and skim milk instead of water for texture and a more ‘meal’ type feeling.
That makes sense, Steve. Milk definitely makes the shake more filling
Banana isn’t in the nutrition facts
Thanks for letting me know, Scott. I just added it in.
I’ve recently read about how protein powders are not such a great thing, health wise due to how it has to be processed, so when I’m finished with what I have, I’m going to try hemp hearts instead in my smoothies. They don’t have as much protein as a scoop of powder, but still have a good amount overall (about 9.5 g per ~3 Tblsp), plus a lot of other health benefits. I love your posts btw. Here’s a link for more info…. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323037
I’m going to look into hemp hearts. In general, more unprocessed is the way to go. As this post came out I’ve been testing different types of nuts instead of nut butter, but both can certainly work well.
you are better to add rolled/cut oats to Mark’s water by using oat milk you are losing all of the fibre and half of the nutrients of oats.
Thanks for the tip!! I add a handful of spinach and a few prunes.
Nice, that makes the shake even more nutrient dense
Nice smoothie! Looks delicious!
I’ve been drinking my protein smoothie for a couple of years now. Tastes great, gives me energy and I don’t feel hungry for quite a while after drinking it. Here’s the recipe:
250ml Unsweetened Almond Milk
110g Frozen Banana
50g unsweetened peanut Butter
30g Protein Powder
45g Rolled Oats
10g Cocoa Powder
Very cool, that’s looks like a filling and tasty breakfast. Thanks for sharing!
In the past used a Vitamix. This Nutribullet is just as good if not better. Seems more powerful with better design and more compact. The shake can be a meal that keeps you full for hours. Avocados, chia seeds, pomegranate, green and acai powder are good additions. Try almond and coconut flour to make it super thick and filling. You’re only limited by imagination. Thanks for the post!
Well said, Darin. “You’re only limited by imagination”. There’s some combination of ingredients that can work really well for just about anyone