From cold-pressed juices to chia seed pudding to gluten-free almond butter toast, I’ve tried every breakfast under the sun. An hour after eating, I would find myself hungry again and counting the minutes until lunch or the meal wasn’t delicious enough to feel satisfying. That all changed when I discovered holistic nutritionist Kelly LeVeque while scrolling through Jennifer Garner’s Instagram account, and my morning routine never tasted or felt better.
Kelly works with celebrities like Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner, and Emmy Rossum. She’s also the author of the best-selling book Body Love Every Day and the creator of the hunger-crushing Fab 4 Smoothie. In a 2018 Instagram post, Jennifer Garner swore by this morning concoction, writing that she’d had it every day since working with Kelly. Watching Jennifer’s superhuman athleticism in her recent TikTok video was enough to make me think, “I’ll have what she’s having.” So I decided to swap out my typical breakfast for the Fab 4 Smoothie. Read on to learn about how to make the nourishing drink and why it’s a healthier breakfast than a typical juice bar beverage.
What is the Fab 4 Smoothie, and why is it so good for you?
The Fab 4 Smoothie is as simple as it sounds. It’s made up of a formula of four key ingredients: fat, fiber, protein, and greens. What started as a breakfast experiment quickly became my go-to morning meal. On the days I had a Fab 4 Smoothie, I stayed full for hours and didn’t feel my stomach grumble until afternoon—a huge accomplishment for a girl who had a snack every day at 10 a.m. and lunch at 11 a.m. But what is the secret to the smoothie that keeps me full and gives Jennifer Garner the energy to crush a box jump workout?
It turns out, the Fab 4 ingredients that create the base of the smoothie help keep you satiated and stabilize blood sugar. Unlike extreme and calorie-restricted diets, Kelly LeVeque wants women to feel full and energized. Let’s dive into each of the four ingredients to explore why they are key to a balanced meal.
People have been demonizing fats since the ‘90s, but over the past couple of years, the health community has recognized this macronutrient as one of the essential components to a healthy diet. Research shows that healthy fats (think: olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, fatty fish) may help reduce insulin resistance, making you less hungry. Fats also take longer to digest than protein or carbs, keeping you fuller for longer. A few fat sources Kelly suggested for the Fab 4 Smoothie are nut butters, avocado, and coconut oil. As a nut butter fanatic, I opt for unsweetened almond butter or peanut butter in my smoothies.
When it comes to superfoods, I don’t think fiber gets enough love. Not only does it provide bulk to help you stay full, but it also slows down carbohydrate digestion and sugar absorption. This prevents your blood sugar from spiking and crashing after you eat, staving off the dreaded afternoon slump. A few fiber sources Kelly suggested include flaxseeds, chia seeds, and psyllium husk, and she recommended aiming for at least 10 grams of fiber. My personal favorite is chia seeds because they add a nice texture to your drink.
If you’ve ever worked out at a commercial gym, you’ve probably seen jacked gym bros slamming post-workout protein shakes. While their weightlifting etiquette is subpar, they’re not totally wrong when it comes to protein. Along with helping you build strong muscles, protein assists in keeping midday sugar cravings at bay, making it easier to make healthy food choices. When it comes to getting protein in your smoothies, the key is to start with a protein powder you love.
Leafy greens are all the rage and for good reason. Veggies like kale and spinach are an amazing source of vitamins and minerals. For example, one cup of raw kale contains high levels of antioxidants and vitamins, like vitamins A, K, and C. These nutrients are essential to ensuring your body is functioning optimally. When it comes to the Fab 4 Smoothie, you can use any leafy green, but I typically go with spinach since it doesn’t impact the flavor of the smoothie.
While the four key ingredients are the main components of the Fab 4 Smoothie, Kelly also recommended adding a one-fourth cup of fruit for a dash of sweetness and more fiber and antioxidants. I’ve also found that adding flavor boosters like cinnamon or lemon instantly makes your smoothie taste like a dessert without the added sugar.
Recipes to try the Fab 4 Smoothie for yourself
There are an infinite number of combinations you can make using the Fab 4 formula. If you’re unsure where to start, give my favorite recipes below a try:
- Chocolate Almond Butter Crunch Smoothie
- Green Ginger Smoothie
- Carrot Cake Smoothie
- Cookies & Cream Smoothie
- Kale & Hemp Hearts Smoothie
- Strawberry Green Be Well Smoothie
- Coconut Cream Smoothie
- Lemon Cookie Be Well Smoothie