Thursday, July 2, 2015

Smoothie Fad

If you could put all of the posts from health gurus who are on Instagram together, how many smoothie/protein shake pictures could we count? Smoothies and shakes are a health fad that can be good or extremely detrimental to your health. Here is the beginner's guide to what to watch out for when thinking about jumping on the smoothie/shake bandwagon:
  • SUGAR: so many packets of smoothie/shake mix contain gross amounts of sugar. Like every substance, if your body isn't burning enough calories that sugar will turn into fat. Artery clogging fat (even if the packet says it's been made with dehydrated strawberries). Fruits themselves already have a lot of natural sugars, so try REAL fruit concoctions to make a sweet and healthy treat.
  • PROTEIN: If you are a person who doesn't do a lot of weight training exercises, you probably shouldn't be drinking protein shakes. Protein shakes are meant to add EXTRA protein to those individuals who are trying to "bulk up" and build more muscle. Thinking that its a healthy addition to your diet can mean that you're still overloading on calories. As with sugar, any excess protein in your system will be turned into fat because that is how our body stores energy. Too bad you can't get away with that milkshake labeled "protein shake!" because it's still going to add a few extra pounds.
  • UPPER LIMITS: When it comes to vitamins, vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble. This means that they are going to be absorbed into your body and blood streams versus other vitamins (like C) which are water soluble and will essentially be peed out once our body has absorbed all that it wants. The problem with fat soluble vitamins is that we can reach toxicity levels if we eat too much of a food containing them. For example, one cup of kale contains well over 1,000% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K. While Kale is still considered one of the healthiest vegetables, to go overboard on those fun green kale smoothies (like three a day) can result in some health defects like GI distress.
So my advice to you when concocting your smoothies and shakes is to do your research and find ingredients that work for you. Maybe skip out on sugar-laden protein powders and stick to things like non hydrogenated peanut butter with simpler protein powders. Or, if you want to have a smoothie as a meal replacement for breakfast, try sweetening it up with real fruits like strawberries, peaches, mangoes, etc. and a little bit of whatever greens you have on hand. These treats will be lower in calories, and will truly be a healthy and guilt-free addition to your diet.

Today my breakfast smoothie consisted of the following ingredients:
Half of a Banana
Half of an Avocado
Four large Strawberries
One peach
Ice and Water

It truly was a delicious and filling breakfast- try it out!
xoxo, Keely

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