One of the services that I provide my clients are meal planning ideas and recipes – only a few of which end up on this web page. One of the meals that people find the most challenging is breakfast, for several reasons. First of all, many have been used to eating cereal or toast in the morning and now that they’re following a low carb / keto lifestyle they are at a little bit of a loss for what to eat.
The other challenge that many have in the morning is a lack of time. They’re busy and sometimes don’t have the time to cook, but still need to eat!
While it may be tempting to grab a box of commercially available low-carb ‘specialty products’ available at a pharmacy or health-food store, these cost ~$4.50-$5.00 each packet and contain a variety of flavour (natural and artificial), colour, preservatives and thickening agents such as xanthan gum. Some of these types of products are not only ‘low carb’, but ‘low fat’ and/or calorie-restricted, as well. Typical nutrition information for these types of meal replacement shakes or bars are as follows;
Nutrition Facts - per 1 Fat 0 gm Carbohydrate 1-2 gm Protein 18 - 20 gm Energy 80 - 82 calories
These are essentially protein powder with flavouring and thickening agents.
For those following a low carb high fat ketogenic style of eating, this smoothie is very easy, healthy, and that can be used “as is” or as the basis for a whole host of other low-carb shakes as limitless as your imagination. It contains no flavour, colour, preservatives or thickeners and costs almost half ($2.50 per serving) of what a commercially available packet would cost.
What makes this shake “ideal” as a meal replacement for whose lifestyle is low carb high fat is that it (1) has the equivalent protein found in an average meal on either a moderately low carb or low carb high fat diet. The ingredients are (2) available at most large chain supermarkets and the shake (3) requires no special equipment to make. It has ingredients that are (4) documented to help promote weight and abdominal fat loss* and that will (5) keep you from feeling hungry for a long time due to the type of protein and amount of fat it contains, and is (6) high in antioxidants. Best of all, (7) it can be made in minutes!
What’s not to love?
The ingredients are available at most large supermarkets and it really doesn’t matter which brand of matcha, ‘daily greens’ mixture or whey protein you buy, but I’ve mentioned a few things that I look for when purchasing these ingredients, to help guide you.
There are many different brands of matcha available (the best ones come from Japan and Taiwan) and almost all large food chains produce their own brand and/or sell a variety brands of ‘daily green’ mixtures and whey protein isolate. I recommend that you read the labels to be sure they don’t contain any added sugar or sugar alcohols (erythritol, xylitol, etc.) as these will add needless carbs. These products are usually stocked with either ‘natural foods’ or in the pharmacy section of the store.
I always buy whatever brand of boxed coconut milk is available as it does not require preservatives (canned ones do). Any brand from Thailand, Indonesia or Malaysia that is pure coconut milk and not thickened with carrageenan, guar gum or xanthan gum is good. I usually have 10 boxes of 250 ml and 500 ml pure coconut milk on hand so I can make these shakes or my ‘matcha smoothie recipe‘ (which is great on intermittent fast days as an alternative to ‘bone broth”as there is almost no protein or carbs in it).
If you’re in a rush, this shake can be made quickly in a bowl and poured over ice and enjoyed…
…or if you have a few extra minutes and a blender, it can be whirred with a little extra ice to make a wonderful meal replacement smoothie.
Here’s the recipe:
Low Carb HIGH FAT Ideal Meal Replacement Shake
1 tsp (2.5 ml / 2 gm) powdered green tea (matcha) powder
1/2 scoop (5 g) ‘daily greens’ mixture, mixed berry
1 scoop (30 g) whey protein isolate, unflavoured
1 cup* (250 ml) boxed coconut milk (without preservatives or added gums)
1 cup (250 ml) iced-cold water
4-8 ice cubes
[*NOTE: for those in the weight loss phase of a Phinney and Volek style LCHF eating plan, it will be necessary to limit the amount of coconut milk in this drink.]
- Place the green tea (matcha) powder and ‘daily greens’ mixture in a small stainless steel sieve and gently rub through the sieve into a small ceramic bowl, using the back of a spoon. Discard any residue from the sieve.
Add the unflavoured whey protein isolate to the ceramic bowl.
- Using a whisk (or if you have one, a bamboo whisk available at Japanese and Korean grocery stores) add 3 Tbsp boiled water, while stirring with the whisk. Keep stirring briskly until all the lumps are gone and the mixture is smooth.
- Stir in the coconut milk, blending well.
- Pour mixture into a tall, insulated 2-3 cup (500-750 ml) travel tumbler, add ice cold water and ice cubes and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts - per 2 cup (500 ml) serving Fat 34 gm Carbohydrate 8 gm Protein 27 gm Energy 446 kcal