There are days when I exist almost completely on a smoothie diet.
I get up late, leave myself no time for breakfast, and grab a Vitamin C Blaster! on my way to class. Lunch time rolls around, I’ve got meetings and rehearsals before another batch of classes, so I run back over and buy a Protein Berry Boost. The people at the smoothie place know me by name. It’s like we’re in some secret club; I come in, they see me, nod, and get to work.
But I recently read an article that stopped me in my tracks.
Here I was thinking I was being Miss Healthy, drinking my nutrients, when in actuality, I might have been loading my body with unwanted fat and carbs.
For one thing, a small, store-bought smoothie usually rounds out at about 16 ounces, which is roughly two cups. Anything larger than that is more than an average woman needs in one serving, especially if there’s yogurt, flavoring, and sugar added.
Also, just because something has a piece of fruit in it, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. A small “Chocolate Elvis” from the chain Planet Smoothie may have bananas in it, but it also has loads of calories, 9 grams of fat, and 108 grams of carbs.
If, like me, you’ll never be able to give up drinking your fruit in the morning, there are some tips to keeping your waistline intact and staying healthy.
First, try to substitute low-fat yogurt or soy milk whenever possible. Both have protein, which slows your digestion and keeps you full longer. Plus, they’re a lot healthier than ice cream or other sugary additives.
Second, stay away from those “boosts”. They may end up giving you way more vitamins than you need in a serving, and don’t always provide the health benefits they claim.
Thirdly, do your best to ignore anything with chocolate, peanut butter, or sherbet. If you’re mixing in one of those, you might as well be having a desert.
Finally, making a smoothie at home is the best way to control what goes in it, while also protecting your wallet. Here’s a fantastic recipe that’s simple and packed with antioxidants:
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup low-fat blueberry yogurt
1/2 a banana
1/2 cup of ice
Blend the banana, ice, and yogurt together. Once everything is well mixed, add the blueberries and blend on low speed for 30 seconds. Adding the blueberries last keeps the blueberry flavor at the top.