Smoothies are popular right now. People are all over them, especially now that it's summer and fruit is flourishing at farmers' markets. I listen intently when people tell me how they are building and consuming these calorie-packed, convenient drinks. Yep, you read that correctly. Smoothies are liquid meals full of necessary calories (energy) needed to get through a full day. They are ideal nutrition for busy professionals, my favorite clients, but when I have clients struggling to lose weight or complaining of low energy or productivity, I often focus on their smoothie construction.
Here's my advice for how to build a nutrient-dense smoothie so you're maxing out that meal with nutrition and not empty calories.
FRUIT: fruit contains natural fructose and fiber. Our cells need a certain amount of sugar to work properly but when it comes via juice or candy, it's too much at once. Fiber slows down how sugar is metabolized PLUS it helps keep your colon clean. Use lots of real, fresh, dried or frozen fruit instead of fruit juice.
GREENS: spinach, kale, chard--you name it. Add greens to your smoothie to add even MORE fiber as well as a huge list of essential vitamins and minerals. If you're using spinach, make sure to add healthy fats to offset the effects of the oxalic acid, which can leach calcium from bones.
SUPERFOODS: superfoods are called thusly because they are SUPER packed with nutrients relative to their size. Goji berries, raw cacao, chia seeds, hemp seeds, acai powder, spirulina--these are just a few of the many superfoods on the market, today and easily found in Whole Foods or your local health food store.
FAT: fat doesn't make you fat. Take that to the bank and cash it. Too many calories and not enough exercise makes you fat. The healthy fats found in nut butters, avocados and coconut oil make your brain work better and keep your skin smooth like a baby's butt. Add these to your smoothies.
LIQUID: many, many people tell me they use milk and/or yogurt to blend their smoothies. I recommend using ice and/or cold water or homemade almond milk, instead. Clean, fresh water or ice has no calories and adds to your water intake for the day. Worried about calcium? Stress not, you'll get more calcium from the greens and superfoods or the almond milk you're using than from cow's milk which can be a major allergen for some bodies.
I have a ton of recipes available on this website but I'm always looking for new ideas.
Post your favorite smoothie recipe below. Can you make it even better with the info from this post?