What can be better than getting healthy and losing weight with a nice cold creamy beverage!!!
Smoothies work for me! Here are a few rules to keep them healthy and satisfying. It’s very easy to fall into old habits!!
Before starting on a weight loss program with smoothies, here are a few things you need to know.
You can use smoothies to replace a meal, as a meal supplement or as part of a detox diet.
I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. I am a busy Mom who shares recipes that work for me!!
Before you make drastic changes to your diet, please check with your doctor or nutritionist.
Whichever way you go, you need to carefully monitor your calorie and sugar intake. It’s very easy to add high glycemic fruits, yogurt, dairy, almond milk and other goodies that put you back in the same caloric category as a McDonalds McFlurry!!
Here are five ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your smoothies:
Keep it REAL!!
My Golden Rule:
Only use natural foods. Fruits, vegetables, teas, coffee, dairy, soy milk, almond milk, water and seeds.
Adding large quantities of pre-made juices will spike the glycimic count and calories. Occasionally I’ll add 2 ounces of Achi Berry or Blueberry juice to a smoothie.
Don’t pollute your effort towards improving your health with artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, preservatives, sugar or chocolate sauce!!
Avoid the powdered or pre-made smoothies. Make your own using whole fruits, frozen fruits and a food processor or Vita-Mix. There are 1000’s of recipes on-line. I am sharing the ones that I’ve created, tried and enjoyed. It only takes a few minutes to make one from scratch. You get a better smoothie, because you know exactly what’s in it!
Variety is The Spice of Life: Design Your Own!!
Some people like a variety of different smoothies throughout the day for different meals. I like to mix detoxifying elements like Green Tea, Cucumbers, Celery, Lemon, Leafy Greens and Fax Seeds with Low Glycemic fruits and a lot of ice. I make a 50 ounce container and sip on it from breakfast through lunch. I might eat a small portion of the family dinner or lunch. I them make a similar smoothie in the late evening and sip it until I go to bed.
I know that every popular diet says to stop eating at night or to go to bed with an empty stomach! I believe that you have to switch the foods that you are used to eating with healthier options that will fit into the patterns of your lifestyle.
I stay up very late. I’ve eaten ice cream in the evening while watching TV ever since I was a little kid. It’s something I enjoy. I believe that if you remove the joy from your new healthy eating plan, you set yourself up for failure!! You just have to find low-fat, low calorie, natural food options that will fit your patterns. My evening smoothie gives me the same happy feelings and puts me to sleep with a smile!!
At the end of the day, I want to feel good about the choices I made that day and not feel like I am suffering. If you feel like you are suffering, it’s nearly impossible to stick with a new food plan and turn it into your forever healthy lifestyle.
If you add protein powder to your smoothies, watch your calorie count if your goal is to lose weight.
Test yourself to see if you react to Soy, Whey or Rice Protein.
Just because the carton says No Caffeine, No Sugar, No Trans Fat, Etc. It can still include as many chemicals as a Red Bull energy drink!! I have had bad reactions to protein powders, so I do not drink them.
My Nutritionist recommends only using Rice Protein Powder. There are a lot protein powders out there! They serve different purposes. Some are very healthy and others are pitched with the scruples of a Snake Oil Salesman. Beware!!
Make sure that you’re getting a healthy serving of whole food proteins and carbs along with your smoothies. You’ll find it difficult to lose weight fast without these.
I’ve seen You Tube Videos of people who have dropped over 200 pounds in less than a years by drinking only green vegetable drinks and eliminating everything else from their daily diet. Yes, they lost weight fast, but they also deprived their bodies of other nutrients essential for good health. As much as I hate the ideas of only “loosing 2 pounds a week,” I
believe when it comes to re-gining your health, “slow and steady wins the race.”
Experiment with fruits and vegetables. I try to keep my smoothies Low Glycemic.
You can add good fats by adding flax seed, 1 tbsp. of flax seed oil or avocado. Both avocados and bananas make the smoothies silky creamy smooth.
For vegetable only smoothies, experiment with different teas!! Add some kick with garlic and peppers! Try adding different fresh herbs!!
Know your calories and enjoy!!
Cut up bruised bananas and freeze in individual baggies for future shakes. Berries also freeze well. Keep bags of frozen blueberries, strawberries and mixed fruit in the freezer for the days when there’s no fresh fruit in the house.
Frozen fruits make the smoothie colder and creamier.
Watch the Moo:
If you enjoy dairy and do not have lactose intolerance issues, select the type of milk that you like. If you like whole milk, add an equal part of water. If you like low-fat plain yogurt, use it. I prefer full-fat natural Greek Yogurt for the probiotics.
Avoid the temptation to use ice-cream!
Milk and dairy add significantly to the calorie content of your smoothies, so keep them to a minimum for healthy weight loss.
My favorite dairy substitute is Almond Milk or “Almond Breeze.” There are no added sugars!! I love the flavor. Almonds are heart healthy!! It works well for keeping the ingredients Low Glycemic.
I’ve seen Coconut Silk, Soy Milk and Vanilla Soy Milk at the store. They all sound delicious, but you need to carefully read the ingredients for added oils, preservatives and sugars. Not all brands or products are the same. Not everyone reacts the same way. You need to experiment to see what works for you.
I drink a primarily vegetable smoothie with a small amount of fruit in the early part of the day. If I have a few calories to spare, I’ll add Greek Yogurt or Almond Milk to my evening smoothie!! For me it’s a “feel good” food. It gives me my ice cream fix and helps keep me on target with my healthier lifestyle goals.
The bottom line is that you have to find recipes that you enjoy drinking or they will not become part of your lifestyle. I like mine ice cold!! Your health is worth the time spent figuring out what works for you!!diet tips, Smoothie