Do you believe a green smoothie is the secret to nutritional greatness? Or is it possible that it could be making you FAT?
Before you go off the deep end thinking you’ve been lied to all these years, green smoothies are a great way to get your greens in and a good health tool. And of course it’s better than reaching for a chocolate glazed donut, but if it is weight loss you’re seeking, then integrating a smoothie into your diet doesn’t automatically mean you’ll start shedding the pounds!
Many smoothie recipes are based on fruit. First of all, I love fruit; It’s filled with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Plus, it can help curb cravings for much more unhealthy sugary foods. That said some smoothies contain every fruit you can think of. So, if you’re piling bananas, pineapple, mango, apples, peaches, and berries into your smoothie, maybe it’s just too much of a good thing? Do you ever wonder why you feel great and crash an hour later? Two words: blood sugar!
Here are some tips to making a “better” smoothie!
1. BANANAS: Don’t always reach for bananas as your base. Bananas convert to sugar quickly which causes your blood sugar to spike and then drop, so BAM, you’re hungry again and left wondering how did that happen? Try ¼ of an avocado instead. You’ll still get that creamy flavor.
2. ADD FIBER: Make sure your smoothie contains fiber. Fiber is your weight loss friend. It fills you up so you’ll eat less later in the day. Think kale, berries, flax seed, chia seed, oats and pears. These are fibrous foods that do a “better” job at increasing satiety (fancy word for feeling full).
3. PROTEIN: A common mistake is you think it’s healthy because you’ve added your greens (spinach, kale) and then you just add fruit. You forget to add protein. Think about adding 1 tablespoon of nut butter or a handful of nuts, tofu, Greek yogurt, or soy milk (almond milk works too, but contains less protein). If you’re not going to add protein to the smoothie, think about having some on the side.
4. SWEETENER: Stop adding sweetener! Even artificial sweeteners can trigger more desire for sweets…..so, let’s not derail the whole purpose of the smoothie. Fruit is sweet enough. If you have a sweet tooth go for pineapple or papaya and eventually your taste buds will adjust. Sweeteners can tack on a lot of added calories.
5. FROZEN YOGURT: There are so many fast food restaurants that offer smoothies as a health option, but the base is frozen yogurt. Let’s just make sure we’re all clear that this should fall in the dessert category (even if it’s green)!
6. MEASURE YOUR FOOD: Piling the blender with every “good for you” food in sight is a sure way to create a 600 calorie smoothie. Probably not what you were going for…
7. MIX IT UP: Struggling with some tummy rumbling or just can’t stay full long enough? Start your day with a green juice and a healthy breakfast (protein, fat, and carbs) instead.
If you’re looking for a new recipe give this one a try:
¼ cup Avocado
1cup Baby Spinach, packed
¼ cup Cucumber
1 1inch piece fresh Ginger
1 cup frozen peach chunks
1 cup Vanilla almond milk, unsweetened (soy or other milk)
1 splash Vanilla extract
1 tbsp Chia seeds
½ cup plain Greek yogurt (or protein powder)
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To Your Amazing Health,
* This information should not be seen as medical advice and is not meant to take the place of seeing a licensed health professional. You should discuss any dietary supplement use and should not discontinue any prescription medication without first consulting your doctor.