If you're trying to improve your health smoothies are an awesome way to get your fruits and veggies in all at once. You've probably noticed how trendy smoothies are right now; and because you're reading this blog, I'm going to assume that you want to drink smoothies but you want to do it the right way. Believe it or not, there are some do's and don'ts when it comes to making smoothies, and I want to make sure you're following the rules.Juicing & Smoothies: What's the difference?
A lot of times clients want to start juicing to get healthy. While drinking freshly pressed juice is absolutely amazing for you, there are differences between juicing and smoothies that you need to be aware of. When you juice, you are putting fresh fruits and veggies through a juicer. You're extracting the juice, nutrients, antioxidants and goodness, but leaving behind the fiber. Juicing is really a wonderful alternative to conventional medications and cancer treatments for the ill.
However, if you're not ill and you're just ready to improve your energy, immunity, beauty, and overall health, simply juicing can be a problem. Without any fiber or fat, the sugars in both fruits and veggies travel more quickly to your bloodstream. This can be a problem, and you may even find that it leaves you a bit jittery. The absence of fat also means that your body doesn't have anything to help it absorb all of the nutrients in the juice. You're missing a great opportunity here! Juices can be incorporated into a well-rounded and healthy diet, but I do not recommend relying on them since smoothies provide more substance and give your body more to work with.
Juicing tip: If you do decide to add juicing into your diet, remember to drink them on an empty stomach for max nutrient absorption then follow the juice with a meal.
Smoothies are my FAVORITE. In my opinion, smoothies can actually serve as a complete meal. They're my favorite quick breakfast. However, I see a lot of powdered smoothie packs and people making smoothies with two kale leaves and protein powder. That's not the kind of smoothie I want you to make. I'm talking about something that's still full of the nutrients you get from juicing, but also contains fiber and flavor while filling you up.
Smoothies allow you to boost your immunity and increase your energy first thing in the morning, without much time or effort and a better bang for your buck. If you're not a veggie lover, have no fear. I'm going to teach you how to easily disguise some nutritious vegetables with delicious fruits. Ultimately, the purpose of smoothies is to boost your health and beauty by consuming all of the necessary vitamins, minerals and healthy fats right through a straw. Think about it, half your necessary fruits and vegetables out the way first thing in the morning. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Smoothie Tip: While there are products on the market that have fruits and veggies in the powder could provide some nutritional benefits, but I want you to remember that fresh organic fruits and veggies in your blender are always best!
What makes a perfect smoothie?
1. A nutritious liquid - Always use unsweetened…unsweetened…unsweetened (I can’t stress this enough) nut milk, coconut water, or purified water as the base of your smoothie. Never use fruit juice or other sweetened milks. Smoothies will be sweet enough due to the fruit content, and you don't want to turn your healthy treat into an unhealthy super charged sugary health disaster.
2. Healthy fat - Healthy fats help your body absorb nutrients, and that's exactly what you want when you're consuming fruits and vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals. Use ½ an avocado in your smoothies. It adds a creamy texture, but the flavor won't overpower other ingredients. You can also use flax seeds or oil, coconut oil (not a fan in my smoothies) or a nut butter.
3. Greens, greens, greens - It may take you a while to wrap your mind around adding leafy greens to a beverage, but you will be thanking yourself months from now when you begin to see all the health/beauty benefits. I recommend 3-5 cups of greens like spinach and kale to your smoothies. *Try chard, collards, and other greens also!
4. Fruit - This is what naturally sweetens your smoothies, and it's a much better alternative to added sugars. Generally, 2-3 cups of fruit in your smoothie will do. Frozen ripe bananas are particularly sweet, but you can experiment with frozen berries and other fruits at room temperature as well. *Your fruit should not overpower the vegetables.
Superfoods are optional ingredients, but they are so much fun to play with! Some of my favorites are bee pollen, goji berries, maca and cacao. Once you get a little more comfortable in your smoothie building abilities, don't be afraid to try something new.
The PERFECT Green Smoothie Recipe
2-cups purified water (or unsweetened nut milk)
Combine all ingredients into your blender. Blend until smooth.
Shakera Leigh Halford is a holistic health coach, yoga instructor, fitness instructor and beauty professional. She is passionate about helping women learn how to become the best version of themselves. She teaches women how to balance family, health and beauty though her amazing wellness and weight loss programs.