Real food. Real solutions.

Smooth(ie) Move

I know I said wasn’t going to tell you what you can’t do but there is something. Don’t have a stick family on the back of your car. You’re already driving a suburban with six bikes on the back, we know you have an exorbitant number of crib midgets. You should especially follow this piece of advice if your stick family only consists of stick-you and your six stick-cats. Weirdo.

Back to things you can do. Juicing and smoothies are very popular these days so I want to make sure you wonderful people are smoothie-ing the right way. Fruits and vegetables are stupid good for you, don’t avoid them. But remember, whole foods are the key. Our bodies were designed to digest foods in their whole form and when we remove a component from the whole it can become downright toxic (soy lecithin anyone?). And crap, chewing food is just freaking satisfying. That being said, smoothies can be nutritional gold mines when done the right way. Do what I say!-

Leave the pulp
Use a blender rather than a juicer. Juicers remove the fiber which slows digestion and makes us feel fuller longer. Liquids are absorbed into our bodies much faster than solids are. This means you’re stomach and intestines are empty sooner. Empty gut = hungry you = overeating = tire around the waist. Plus, fun fact #1- fruit is high in sugar. Fun fact #2- some vegetables even have a decent amount of sugar in them too. Sugar = carbohydrate. This is okay when consumed in whole form. However, juicing can produce a beverage high in sugar. This is a problem because a liquid source of carbohydrate has a greater insulin response than a solid source of carbohydrate [1]. High insulin responses from low fiber carbohydrates leads to insulin resistance [2]. Insulin resistance = type 2 diabetes. Stop. Go back and reread those last three sentences. Got it? Okay proceed. On top of that, the whole process of digestion uses energy. You actually burn more calories in the time period after eating; this is called the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). TEF accounts for about 10% of the calories your body burns in a day. No pulp means less effort for your body and less calories burned. Plus, as you already learned in this blog post, fiber is key in keeping your intestinal bacteria healthy.

Add some fat
Some nutrients must be combined with a source of fat in order to be properly absorbed. Kale, a frequently added smoothie component, is a great source of vitamins A and K which are fat soluble vitamins. Without fat these vitamins will simply pass through you. Don’t flush your nutrition down the toilet. Try adding nut butter, raw or organic whole milk, raw or organic whole milk plain yogurt, coconut oil, or avocado.

Add some green
More vegetables are the whole point of this smoothie craze. Add any sort of leafy green you want. If you are a frequent spinach eater add kale, sprouts, dandelion greens, chard, endive, anything. Go to the grocery store and pick up the weirdest sounding leafy green thing you find and add it. If you are already adding green things make sure you rotate. Different plants have different nutrients and you need them ALL. Be greedy with your nutrients. Variety is a beautiful thing. You can thank Wikipedia for this handy list of greens. And don’t forget about fresh herbs! They can add both great flavors and a different mix of nutrients. Get over the fact that it makes your smoothie green. You’ve eaten purple Peeps before for crying out loud.

Say no to sweeteners
Just add fruit. Berries rock. Duh.

Don’t overdo it
Just because it is green and contains vegetables doesn’t mean the calories just evaporate. Fat is an essential component of a nutritious smoothie but adding too much can jack up the calories quickly. This can be okay if a smoothie is the only thing you have for breakfast. Although some people can remain satisfied until lunch many of us will find our stomachs growling after a liquid breakfast. If that is the case, do a 50/50 split of half your breakfast calories coming from juice and half from food you actually chew. You don’t need to have a smoothie everyday, either.

Are you going to make a smoothie now? I drank this one yesterday and yikes did I need it after a weekend with my college friends. By the way, 18 & Co- thank you for being Pearls of Nutrition’s biggest fans, I can’t tell you how much it means to me. Love you guys!

The Detoxifier:
1/2 cup plain organic whole milk yogurt
1 cup water
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup raspberries
1/4 cup cubed mango
1/2 cup kale
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 mint leaves

Toss it all in a blender and uh, blend.

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