The Top 3 Mistakes People Make in Their Smoothies
Smoothies are so great because they can be nutritious, delicious, and easy-t0-make.
I love having a smoothie for breakfast because I can usually make it and get out the door in under 5 minutes. I like to stay in my bed as long as I can, ignoring the cries of my iPhone alarm clock until the last possible moment before hopping out of bed to fly around the house like a whirling dervish.
My 2 cats (Molly & Grumpicus) scatter out of the way so they can avoid getting trampled underfoot by the unpredictable human in their midst.
It's how I do morning time, and it works for me.
However, there's one thing I DON'T do, no matter how much of a hurry I'm in to get out the door...
...I do NOT make any of these 3 costly and health-destroying mistakes when concocting my most important meal of the day.
And you shouldn't, either...unless you want something that's supposed to be really healthy for you to be bad for you by accident.
Mistake #1: Too Many of the "Wrong" Carbs
Constructing delicious smoothies is relatively straightforward--pick a fruit, and then another fruit, and then another fruit, blend them together and BAM! Taste bud heaven!
Human taste buds have been in-tune with fruit since the beginning of time, linking right up to the pleasure centers in our brain. You could say we have been genetically programmed to equate sugar with happiness.
By far, the number one mistake people make in their smoothies is too much fruit.
And this isn't limited to people making smoothies in the comfort of their own kitchens--this mistake is made in every juice joint in the nation.
Scan their menus and you'll find smoothie after smoothie containing an entire banana, a whole apple, and 2 cups of assorted berries. This is close to 100g of sugar. At 208 lbs. I don't even consume that much sugar in an entire day, and you probably shouldn't either if you ever plan to return to your high school graduation weight.
Eating more than 100g of sugar per day will leave you at risk for the following symptoms (listed from immediate to long-term):
dehydration, brain fog, inability to focus, lethargy/lack of motivation, immune suppression, obesity, heart disease, cancer
Tip: cut your fruit amounts to 1/3 of what you're already using. you'll still get the flavor you want without damaging your metabolism, and add spinach. Spinach will increase your fiber content and improve your detox abilities. It's also mostly tasteless in a smoothie, and won't overpower the fruit flavor you're looking for.
Mistake #2: Not Enough Good Fat
I've said it before and I'll say it again: GOOD FAT IS YOUR FRIEND.
When you eat fat you train your body to burn it as a fuel source. You'd rather burn fat for fuel than sugar because fat burns longer and more steadily. Sugar burns up quickly and makes you crash which leads to cravings for more...sugar.
Sugar is like gasoline on your metabolic fire. It sure makes a pretty spark when you toss it in, but it dies quickly. And leaves you feeling more fatigued than you were before you at it.
Good healthy fat is like the slow-burning logs you put on the bottom of the campfire that burn all night long.
Not only does dietary fat satisfy you longer it also has amazing health benefits like:
anti-inflammatory, joint protection, brain longevity, hydration security, blood sugar control, mood elevation
The Omega fatty acids found in "good fat" foods like nuts, seeds, butters, and oils are naturally great at reducing inflammation and protecting your joints. If your joints are creaky, stiff, achy, or swollen, chances are you're eating too much sugar (which corrodes and degenerates your joints leaving them dry, cracked, and brittle) and/or not enough fat.
Good fats also help the neurons in your brain--which are made mostly of fat--communicate faster. So you can think more clearly and efficiently. You also get the benefits of natural mood enhancement that essential fats provide. No more Prozac for you!
My favorite way to get more fat into my morning smoothie is my homemade walnut & raisin butter which is super-easy to make:
mix 1/2 pound of walnuts and 1/2 cup raisins in your food processor and puree until smooth.
really, that's it.
The raisins help the butter become more smooth and less crumbly and removes a touch of the natural bitterness of the walnut.
I choose walnuts because I'm a Blood Type B, and it's the only nut that is highly beneficial for my blood type.
The best high-fat smoothie ingredient options for each blood type:
Blood Type O: flaxseed, walnut
Blood Type A: flaxseed, walnut, peanut
Blood Type B: walnut
Blood Type AB: walnut, peanut, chestnut
To learn more about the Blood Type Diet,
and see the complete food list for your blood type
Mistake #3: Too Little Essential Protein
Many people ignore the benefits of protein and under-consume this all-important nutrient. But this is the last mistake you want to make.
Protein is essential for many vital biological and aesthetic functions like:
hair, skin, and nail growth, brain function, hormone balance, ligament strength, muscular development, fat reduction, metabolism
The healthy nut fats discussed previously do contain some protein, but not quite as much as you need to start your day off right.
In my morning smoothie I like to use protein powder to get my smoothie's protein content where it needs to be.
I've been using protein powder for nearly 20 years, and they've come a long way in that time. For the past few years my absolute favorite has been the vegetarian Warrior's Blend by Sunwarrior consisting of pea, cranberry, and hemp protein. I've tried pea and hemp protein powders and by themselves they are a bit too high-fiber for me. They soak up a lot of water and have a natural cardboard taste that leaves my taste buds less than satisfied.
The Warrior's blend has a smooth natural flavor that will allow the flavor of your other ingredients to shine through.
I usually avoid whey protein due to its potential cross-contamination with casein. Whey and casein are the two primary proteins found in milk, which whey protein is derived from. Casein is a known human allergen, and I've been prone to intestinal gas and other discomforts when consuming whey protein from different manufacturers. Which makes me think they're not as strict with their casein/whey separation standards as they need to be.
If you're looking for a protein powder with a more dynamic flavor profile than a vegetarian-based blend can naturally provide I would recommend Jay Robb's Egg White protein. Extremely tasty, and much better for use in baking tasty treats like brownies and cookies than the vegetarian Warrior's blend because it soaks up less water.
Kids will love the flavor of the Jay Robb egg white protein which is sweeter than the Warrior's blend. Egg white protein is also naturally whey- and casein-free.
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