Smoothies, the customizable meal packed with nutrition.
Have you ever wondered why the recommended daily calorie intake is only dived between men and women and not size? Why is a healthy calorie intake for all women 2000 calories and for all men 2500? Those numbers don’t take into consideration a six-foot man might need more nutrition than a 5-foot man. What’s up with that? Calorie needs are not one size fits all. Why is a four-foot woman recommended to eat the same as a six-foot woman? No wonder our nation is plagued with obesity. At least, the need for more fruits and veggies has always been at the top. How can we manage weight better? Why not try replacing a meal with a smoothie? Smoothies can be tailored to your tastes, attack health issues, and fill in nutritional holes.
Nutrition in General
There’s no way of getting around it fruits and veggies are the healthiest food to eat. Meat does have protein (and I love a good steak), but vegetables and fruits are made up of carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. Also, you can live on a plant-based diet forever in good health, but a meat-only diet is not sustainable and it is unhealthy. But that is a topic for another day. America’s nutritional needs are as various as the people themselves. So how do you know what you need? Although, the CDC and USDA missed the mark by overgeneralizing the calorie intake, there are a number of resources to help you tailor your diet to your individual nutritional needs.
- Healthy Diets.
- How to lose weight.
- Healthy menus.
- How to manage portion control.
- Diet and health conditions.
Benefits of a Smoothie
Not only are smoothies, fast and easy to make (with a bit of preparation a head of time), they can be delicious and nutritious. First of all, smoothies are a great way to incorporate more vegetables for those who don’t enjoy them. Secondly, by eating more veggies and fruits, you are adding more low-calorie foods to your diet, more vitamins, minerals, and fiber as well. It’s an all around win. When you put good oil in your engine it runs well. The body works in the same manner. Third, replacing a meal packed with your daily nutrition with fewer calories helps maintain a healthy weight. It’s all about making better choices.
The Smoothie Basics
Before you jump in there are a few basics you need, most of which are pretty common. Most smoothies require yogurt, and don’t worry non-lactose friends, there are plenty of non-dairy options. Yogurt not only adds a creamy texture to your veggies and fruits, it’s packed with probiotics for a healthy gut, and if you’re trying to boost protein and reduce sugar, try Oikos or Great Value Greek yogurts. After yogurt, be sure and add protein of your choosing, and the tailored mix of fruits and veggies you desire.
Smoothie Those Vege-terribles
The idea of a drink packed with kale, spinach and an apple may sound a bit unappetizing, especially for kids. Most kids would agree with two young ladies I knew who refused to eat their, “vege-terribles,” as they called them. With smoothies, your hater-of-veggies will never even know they’re in there. What’s better, if you are looking to improve your health for yourself or your kids or looking to attack poor health concerns, there are add-in options to boost or tailor your smoothie to your nutritional goals.
- Matcha—(a lime green powder form of green tea concentrate) is packed with antioxidants that fight inflammation and a bit of caffeine for those who need help focusing.
- Flaxseed—(small brown seeds that look like dark sesame seeds) Along with walnuts, these are the richest plant-base of omega-3 fatty acids (a much more appetizing taste than fish oil too), but you must grind them up to latch onto those benefits.
- Maca Root Powder—(tan powder) adds protein, fiber, iron Calcium and potassium.
- Hempseeds—(small tan beads) are high in protein and healthy polyunsaturated fats.
- Chia Seeds—(tiny black balls that resemble poppy seeds and ground pepper) not only absorb ten times their weight in water adding thickness to your smoothie, but they are packed with fiber, protein, calcium, and iron.
- Spirulina—(dark green powder) is an algae powder not commonly known, but it is a mega-protein source with a whopping 60-70% protein content.
- Protein—probably the number one most important add in. Nuts are my usually go to because they’re not as expensive as spirulina and their easy to find, plus I’m not allergic to them.
Prep Smoothie Ingredients Ahead
The trend for pre-packaged, pre-portioned raw-ingredient meals like Blue-apron or Hello Fresh are popular for many reasons, but mostly because someone did the portioning and preparing for you. While you don’t need to premeasure and portion out smoothie ingredients, there are a few things you can do ahead of time. First when you come home with fresh fruits and veggies, freeze them in bags or containers. Not only does this reduce the liquid and need for ice, but it extends your fresh veggies and fruits longer than they would otherwise. Secondly, create either a space to store all your add-ins, or a basket so it’s an easy grab and make. Third, another way to speed up the process is put all the ingredients to different recipes in one freezer bag and label as such.
Need More Guidance…No Worries
If you’re not sure where to start, here is a website to help you tailor your food choices to the vitamins and minerals you need personally, tailor your smoothie to you. If you want more than one tried and tested recipe, I highly recommend checking this magazine out: “Al-time Smoothie Recipes” by Centennial Health. Every recipe I’ve tried in here has been delicious. All their recipes also have the nutritional breakdown .
“Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.”~Heather Morgan