Breakfast has always been a difficult meal for me. I'm often in a rush in the morning, so something quick and easy is best. Unfortunately, a lot of breakfast foods take time and effort, and those that don't are often very unhealthy. For a long time I just ate cereal or a baked good for breakfast, but a few years ago I went on the Paleo diet (meaning I cut out processed sugar, dairy, gluten, and alcohol from my diet, as well caffeine) - best decision I've ever made. It also meant that I had to find something else to have for breakfast.

I don't fully remember how I came to the realization that smoothies make a great breakfast (I add chia to make mine more filling), but I'm so happy I did. It's really the perfect breakfast - not too heavy, full of Vitamin C, easy and quick to make. Over the years I've experimented and perfected the recipe to include the flavors I love: sweet and tangy. Below are the ingredients and the super easy steps to make this deliciousness for yourself.

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    What you'll need:

    • a blender (or Vitamix)
    • 1 banana
    • 1 white nectarine
    • 4 frozen strawberries
    • 6 frozen blackberries
    • 8 frozen raspberries
    • 1/3 cup Chia seeds
    • 1 kale leaf
    • 1/4 cup grapefruit juice
    • 1/4 cup water

    Some tips and tricks:

    • I prefer to buy fresh berries and wash and freeze them myself. Store-bought frozen berries are not as fresh and don't have the same amount of nutrients. It's also tastier to freeze the berries rather than just use berries out of the fridge because it makes that smoothie colder (I don't add ice).
    • Any kind of kale works (I prefer Lacinato kale). To make the smoothie more green, just add more kale! Kale has a very distinct flavor, so if that's not your thing, you can also substitute in spinach, or whatever greens you like.
    • Fruit juices can be really sugary and from concentrate, so I recommend being really careful with what you purchase. My favorite brand is Evolution Fresh - it's organic, cold-pressed, 100% juice, has Vitamin A, C, Calcium, and 20 grams of sugar (which isn't bad for juice). If you aren't a fan of the tanginess of grapefruit juice, you can substitute it with coconut juice, which is a lot sweeter.
    • I add chia seeds because they are filling and add thickness. I used to add granola, but it's actually very sugary and gluten-heavy, so it ends up being unhealthy (even the kind that's advertised to be healthy).
    • I love spring and summer because it's stone fruit season, and white nectarines are seriously one of my favorite fruit. During winter I skip this ingredient because it isn't available.
    • If you love coconut as much as I do, I highly recommend adding frozen raw organic coconut meat - you can do this instead of the stone fruit.
    • You can also add frozen organic acai if you're a fan, or to turn this recipe into an acai bowl.
    • I add water to the smoothie because fruit juice is really intense in flavor and high in sugar. You can skip this step and just use more juice if you prefer.
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    This recipe makes 1.5-2 cups of smoothie, depending on how thick you want it to be. You can add more water if it's looking too thick, or less water if you want to turn this into a smoothie bowl!

    Step 1:

    Start by throwing the banana and berries into the blender first.

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    Step 2:

    Add the chia seeds. I like to add them before the kale so that they are more evenly distributed.

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    Step 3:

    Rip the kale leaf into pieces off of the stem and throw the leafy parts into the blender. Toss the stem away (it's too thick and sinewy to eat).

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    Step 4:

    Cut the peach into pieces and throw them into the blender.

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    Step 5:

    Pour in the grapefruit juice and water.

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    Step 6:

    Blend!

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    If it's not blending well or looking too thick, just add more water or juice.

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    Enjoy!

    That's it - easy right?

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    This is my solution for a quick and easy breakfast. I just pour it into a tumbler (my favorite is this Wow Wow Lemonade one I got in Hawaii) and run out the door!

    Go try it and let me know what you think! <3

    Julia O Test is a lifestyle blogger and photographer based in San Francisco.