I love Melissa Joulwan’s solution for late night eating, disclosed in her book Well Fed. She shares that she walks around the house at 8 PM yelling, “kitchen closed!!” She says even if she is home alone, she proclaims this as a signal to her body and her mind that eating is done for the day. It is a good practice.
NOTE: I have always been an advocate of limiting intake right before bed, but after recently doing some research my take has changed. Late night eating has always been touted as a poor idea because it often results in crossing the line into calorie overload for the day. Calorie overload is, I agree, a less than stellar idea. But the researcher I was reading had an interesting theory. He said if you distribute your healthy calorie allotment out throughout the day and you are in a deficit before bed then go for it! Yes, eat something before bed! (Just be sure that the night fuel is not putting you into excess calories.)
(Also, remember, if you are into Intermittent Fasting this all goes out the window.)
Power Sleep Smoothie: A Chocolate Vanilla Sedation
I will readily admit, late night eating is a huge weak spot for me, and I often reach for the wrong things. “Nighttime Heather” has loose boundaries and a cavalier attitude when selecting late night snacks. Throw a cocktail into the mix then the cocktail and “Nighttime Heather” are like a couple of eighth graders convincing you that skipping school is a fantastic idea. “Morning Heather” has her crap together – All green smoothie and bone brothy, “Morning Heather” is an excellent example of conscious and responsible eating.
“Morning Heather” decided to create a fix for this nighttime eating dilemma. I decided to come up with a late night snack that would both satiate that hankering for crap and also add some serious “before bed” food value. After some tasty trial and error, “The Sleep Smoothie” was born.
This smoothie could have easily been named “The Protein and Awesome Fat Smoothie” or the “Brain Power Smoothie,” but I settled on “The Sleep Smoothie” because of the culmination of ingredients that help sleep inducement.
This quick recipe only takes about five minutes. I fed it to my sister the other day, and she could not believe the flavor. She claimed it tasted like a delicious chocolate shake! That was definitely the plan. So, next time you are finding yourself bent over staring in the fridge at 10 pm, about to make a grievous food choice, why not try this Sleep Smoothie instead?
- 1 Ripe small banana
- 2 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder, unsweetened
- 1 Cup of ice
- 2 Scoops Vital Proteins Vanilla Collagen Peptides.
- 1 Tsp. Bulletproof Brain Octane (can substitute unrefined coconut oil)
- ½-1 Cup coconut water/ or regular water
- 1 Tbsp. nut butter
- ¼ Avocado
- ¼ Tsp. vanilla
- 1-2 Tbsp. of pure organic maple Syrup
- Put all ingredients into a blender and blend really well until smooth and creamy. Add more water, ice or coconut water depending on desired consistency. Enjoy!
Where is the sleep power in this smoothie?
So, let me answer this one simply. FAT and PROTEIN. Fats have a natural sleep inducing trait that works wonderfully in the evening. And it is not just the Tryptophan found in animal meats. Fat, in general, is just a good old sleep inducer. Protein has similar effects to fat in sleep induction. But, more specifically in the studies listed below, nut butter, dark chocolate, and banana have all been to aid in sleep. Guess what the main ingredients in your smoothie are???
But guess what? This smoothie has serious brain power too. How can that be?
COLLAGEN PEPTIDES: I recently wrote an article for FIX.com entitled “Six Surprising Reasons You Should Be Taking Collagen.” on the benefits of collagen. In that article, it notes that collagen has a big role in energy production in cells. Brain cells with energy. This is a good thing.
BULLETPROOF BRAIN OCTANE/ COCONUT OIL: Our brain loves good fats. It needs carbohydrates, but it craves healthy fats. Bulletproof Brain Octane is like a scoop of unrefined coconut oil on steroids. This highly concentrated source of coconut oil packs way more punch for your brain than regular coconut oil. But, don’t get me wrong, there are lots of studies to tout the brain benefit of coconut oil.
AVOCADO: By now you have heard avocado is an excellent source of fat. So as one of the best sources of fat it is the perfect food for those tiny brain connections. This ARTICLE references Avocados as equally as good as blueberries for brain food!
MAPLE SYRUP: While there was recent RESEARCH talking about the potential benefit of maple syrup in Alzheimer’s patients, Dr. Perlmutter disagrees, and I pretty much agree with that dude all the time. But what I do know is that maple syrup has a positive influence on inflammation with the antioxidant benefits that have been demonstrated. A decrease in inflammation in the body is always good for cognitive function.
NUT BUTTER: I don’t want to sound like a broken record but hello good fat. Remember that peanut butter is NOT nut butter. It is a “legume butter,” and who wants to eat the butter from a legume. Ick. Stick to almond, cashew or hazelnut butter from an organic source to make sure you are getting all the fantastic essential fatty acids. (Cashew? Legume? READ THIS)
Although this smoothie packs serious benefit for your brain, it is not over-stimulating. Combined with the fats in the avocado and coconut oil, it is a great combination to get a good nights sleep and wake with your brain firing and ready to greet the day.
This week I challenge you to try this delicious nighttime Brain Smoothie option. The first few times you make it you can tailor it to your preference by adding or deleting ingredient amounts. My sweet tooth tends to pour a little extra maple syrup, and if I have had a heavy workout day, I will add more Vital proteins Vanilla Collagen Peptides. I would love to know how you like it!
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I don’t make recommendations to my followers without great consideration. I know I have your trust, and I do not take that gift lightly. You need to know that sometimes like this time, for instance, a brand might offer me a free product so I can give an authentic opinion or they may reimburse me for the time it takes to write and develop a post about their product. Know that I would never recommend a brand because of compensation and that the views expressed here are my own. I will tell you if something is crap whether they pay me or not.